As we wrap up this amazing letter I can't help but think of the way I used to be. Even when I was 13 I remember being consumed by whatever I was “in to”. First it was baseball. I devoured Pete Rose's book “Winning Baseball”. I read about every position, I hi-lighted the book and studied all the time. At 16 the same passion went in to fighting. Same routine, studying books and constant practice. Then when I started my business I realized three things; 1) I don't have a clue about business 2) I know even less than that about making t-shirts and 3) I couldn't continue to be the same selfish (bleep) I have always been and expect to be successful in business.
I listened to “success” and “motivational” tapes constantly. I read about business and success every chance I could. I was consumed with succeeding in business and in life. I think that is why, when I read a chapter like Hebrews 13, and I have come to this point in life, that I recognize the fact that the only Book anyone ever needs is the Bible. Aside from the fact that it holds the Truth of eternal life and death, the Bible tells you how to live. If you don't have the patience to study The Word of God, but you want to know “the secret”; here you go, it's in 6 verses:
Hebrews 13:1-6 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. 3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. 4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. 5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU." 6 So we may boldly say: "THE LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT FEAR. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?"
Throughout God's Word there are promises and warnings, blessings and Wrath. The Word promises that no eye has seen, and no ear has heard what God has prepared for those that love Him:
1Corinthains 2:9 But as it is written: "EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."
When God makes a promise it is kept without fail. When He promises that all that love Him will enter His Kingdom, count on it. When God says those that do not belong to Him will be condmened forever, it is guaranteed. How do we know this?:
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:15-16 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Notice how He said God is well pleased with doing good; but He does not say that the doing good will save you. This must not be confused. Doing good does NOT save you, but it will be a fruit of someone that is born-again. Can someone do good and not be saved? Of course, but there are too many people that are under the illusion that their “goodness” will “earn” their way to Heaven.
The Good Work that is pleasing to God is the good work that He establishes; His Will:
Hebrews 13:20-21 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.