“Have You Considered, Then What?”

Looking into the future

Much of the time young people do not think too far into the future. Perhaps it is because of the fact they are young. But what would the answer be if they were asked what they were going to do in the future?

What Then Questions

But, what would the conversation be like if a father were to ask his son if he had given any thought to his future, he might get several different answers. It quite possible he would be somewhat surprised if his son was to tell him he had it all figured out. If we were to listen in on the conversation we might hear something like this.

The father asks his son to tell him about his plans. So the son proceeded to tell him that after he graduated from high school he would go on to college. “Fine, son; what then?” Then his son stated that after he graduated from college, he’d get a well-paying job and buy a big house and a nice car. “Great, son; what then?” The boy said he’d then get married and raise a family, just like his dad. “Wonderful, son; but what then?” Well, the son figured that he’d probably work until he was old enough to retire. Excellent, son; so, what then?” Perhaps somewhat perplexed by this time by his father’s continued inquiries, the son figured he’d live out his golden years traveling and enjoying his grandchildren. “Splendid, son; have you considered what then?” Realizing the inevitable, the young man said of course he’d die! And then his father looked straight into his son’s eyes and asked one last time, “Okay, son; have you considered what then?”

Planning For The Future, Have You Considered What Then?

It is always wise to take time to plan for the future. A young couple will usually try to plan their finances so they can afford to buy a home. Most of the time, they also plan for the size of family they want and the children’s education, even going so far as to set up a savings plan, shortly after each child is born.

People make sure they have car insurance before driving their car. They also buy health insurance to cover the event of serious illness or injury and life insurance to protect the family against the loss of a loved one, particularly a bread winner. Sometimes they look far enough into the future to set up some kind to plan for retirement. All kinds of people carry day planners around with them to plan their daily schedules. It’s wise to plan!

Death Comes, Have You Considered What Then?

But in the face of all the planning we typically do, many carelessly fail to put God in their plans (Jas. 4:13-17). So, it isn’t surprising so many also fail to plan for the most important day of our existence, the day we’ll all stand before our Lord at judgment (2 Cor. 5:10). The young boy in the story above sounded as though he had his life and future well under control. But he had failed to plan for eternity which awaits everyone after this life is over. And that’s probably the way it is, to one degree or another, for most people.

Seventy, eighty, ninety or a hundred years sounds like a long time. But, it’s less than a drop in a bucket compared to eternity. To consider planning for the time we will spend in this life is wise.  But to give little thought to what lies just beyond this life is utter foolishness! Someone has said there are only two sure things in life: death and taxes. But, with death come the judgment (Heb. 9:27). Have your future plans gone as far as that ultimate day of reckoning? When you reach the point of first drawing in and then releasing that last breath of life in this physical world, have you considered what then???

See also:

Grace! Is It Possible To Fall

Most of our friends in the religious community want to tell us that when God decides to bestow His grace upon us, we have no choice in the matter. And once a man has entered God’s favor (been saved), his continuing to receive God’s grace is not conditional at all upon man’s teaching, actions or will. Article 9 of the Methodist Discipline states, “Justification by faith alone is a most wholesome doctrine and full of comfort.” I can see where “faith alone” would be a very comforting idea, can’t you? If that were true, you wouldn’t have to worry about anything you might do. In fact, it would leave you the option of doing anything you might desire. Things such as cheating, lying, committing sexual immorality (and all that it implies) or even murder might be engaged in without fear of any repercussions from God.

God’s Grace is Conditional

We see conditions placed on man’s continued salvation all the way through the Bible. In 2 Peter 1:10, Peter says, “…for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble…” In this verse never falling is conditioned by the word “as long as you practice.”

It seems somewhat strange that people believe this, in that we have so much evidence in the Bible, of God placing conditions on mankind. In Gen. 2:16-17 God told Adam, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat…” Is this not a command from God that Adam and Eve were required to keep? Because they transgressed that command (sinned), Adam (and Eve) were driven out of the garden and man was separated from God.

Grace must be Guarded

In Acts 8:13 Simon obeyed the gospel (called gospel of God’s grace in Acts 20:24). Yet after entering into a saved state he fell into sin as to be (1) doomed to parish, (2) having a heart not right with God, (3) needing to repent, (4) being guilty of wickedness, (5) poisoned by bitterness and (6) bound by iniquity. Some will tell us that he was not really saved, but the scriptures do not support such statements. Here is a man who entered the grace of God then turned to his own will and committed sin, refusing to abide by the conditions of the Lord and thus falling from grace. Either that, or with all the things mentioned here against him, he still goes to heaven. But in Revelation 21:27 we read, “nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it.” That means sin cannot enter heaven.

Also in Heb. 6:4-6 we read, “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.” The writer here is speaking to those who need to go beyond the first principles of Christ (Heb. 5:12-14). It could not be the alien sinner since the sinner needs to obey the first principles not go beyond them. The writer is speaking to those (1) once enlightened, (2) who have tasted the heavenly gift, (3) partook of the Holy Spirit and (4) tasted the good word of God. Not one of these can apply to the alien sinner because the alien sinner has not tasted nor partaken of any of these and certainly not been enlightened, as the Bible throughout speaks of his state as “darkness”. Instead this is describing the child of God who has not born the proper fruits, with the warning he can fall away.

Letters are Addressed to Saved

Peter addressed his second letter to those who have already obtained faith of the same value (just as strong) as the apostles (2 Pet. 1:1). Would I be wrong in assuming that they were saved? After saying that they can pursue the course that will cause them to never fall (2 Pet. 2:10), he then points out that they can be “carried away by the error of unprincipled men” (2 Pet. 3:17). Surely it is clear that remaining in God’s favor (grace) is conditioned on continued obedience to Him. Either these spoken of could fall and be lost or Heaven will have some who have left faithfulness and embraced the error of the wicked. God knew that man would attempt to tamper with His will, so he left us clear statements to disprove these human theories. Read 1 Tim. 4:1-2 and Gal. 5:4.

John 10:28-29 reads, “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Some will raise the question, “doesn’t this prove that one cannot fall?” The forces of error will use many passages to try and lull people into security. What is said in John 10:28-29 is true; no man, no force, not even Satan himself, can forcibly remove a child of God from God’s care. No one who hears the voice of the Lord and follows Him is going to fall. And no power can remove such from God’s hand. But in the points, we have already made God’s Word speaks of those who decide to refuse to hear, refuse to follow, and willfully persist in entering a sinful way. No one snatched them from the Lord’s hand: they willfully departed. There is no doubt that one who abides by the conditions of God is enjoying God’s grace and will be saved eternally. Conversely one who decides to not continue in God’s Word will fall from grace (favor) and be eternally lost. Remember Peter’s admonition: “as long as you practice these things.”

Also See:

What Are You Willing To Give Up?

The world that we live in is not one of spiritual-mindedness. It is not a world of godliness or one of righteousness. The world in which we dwell is one full of sin and all kinds of evil. It is a sad thing to look at the world knowing that most people are not going to make it to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14). What is perhaps even more sorrowful is looking at attitudes that individuals have in the church.
Think about all the blessings we have as children of God. Look at all the many things He has done for us and what a debt we owe that we will never be able to repay. Yet, although we understand and say, “Yes, I owe a lot to God”, we often fail to act as though we truly believe that. Why is it that we claim to understand the blessed state of being a child of God but do not put our best foot forward to be pleasing to Him? Do we not believe that only the faithful will make it to heaven? Do we not believe, as Jesus said, that only he who does the will of the Father will make it to heaven (Matthew 7:21)?
I believe a major reason why Christians are not as committed as they should be is because they aren’t willing to give up the things of the world to live for the Lord. John said in I John 2:15, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” The world and God are on opposite ends of the spectrum. How can you have both? John says later in vs. 17 that the world is passing away. It’s only the one who does the will of God who will abide forever. We forget just how temporary our lives are here on this earth. We get caught up in thinking that this is most important, the here and now. It’s not!! All that we have on this earth won’t be here eternally. It is going to be passing away. Does it make more sense to concentrate on the things that will one day be passing on or is it better to put our efforts into that which will be here eternally? Most anyone will tell you, “Yes, we have to concentrate on spiritual things”, but how many are doing just that?
What are you willing to give up to go to heaven? Many in the world expect to go to heaven but do not do anything to insure it. Many Christians expect to go to heaven but do not want to give up worldliness. Paul told Timothy that times would come when men would be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God“(II Tim. 3:4). The same thing is true today. People just have too many things to do. “I’m too busy to serve God”, would fit a lot of peoples actions. Those whose busy lives interfere with their commitment to the Lord will have much time in eternity away from God to think about all the times they were too busy to be spiritual.
I ask again, what are you willing to give up to go to heaven? Are you willing to give up things that would interfere with your attendance in worshipping God (hobbies, concerts, sports, etc)? Are you willing to give up the short, tight, and low cut outfits designed only to be seen by others? Are you willing to give up talking, acting, and behaving like those of the world? Are you willing to give up worldly associations that might hinder you from being a faithful Christian? If you are not willing to give up even these few things, how can you say you are willing to sacrifice to go to heaven?
Heaven has its cost and so does the life of being a Christian, but the benefits of the sacrifice involved far outweigh the burdens of this life. Think of what Christ was willing to give up so that you could have these blessings (II Corinthians 8:9). He gave up His very life. How much of an inconvenience is it for you to live a faithful obedient life to make it to heaven? It should not be a burden at all but simply a small sacrifice for the love and kindness He showed to us. Do not let the world stand in the way of you reaping the reward of heaven!
– Shane Williams

Going To Heaven

Someone once, “If you miss Heaven, you’ve missed it all.” Our number one priority in this life must be to go to Heaven. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
We can have a big house, fine car and money in the bank, but there is nothing that equals the value of our soul. It is the most precious thing we have. We read in Matthew 16:26, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” The answer is very easy. Nothing we have is as valuable as the soul. And whatever we have we would gladly give up to avoid losing our soul when we realize it’s value.
In today’s materialistic society, it is easy to get caught up in the pursuit of materialism, if we are not careful. Yet, Jesus says in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Our 401K needs to be in heaven.
In Colossians 3:2, the apostle Paul, by direction of the Holy Spirit, wrote, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” Every day we need to tell ourselves that the main thing in this life is to go to Heaven.
Heaven is not just a pipe dream. It is a prepared place for a prepared people (John 14:2-3). It will be such a wonderful place, which is beyond our wildest dreams. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” There is no way that Heaven can be described so we as mortal human beings can understand how wonderful it will be.
Nobody has ever gone to Heaven accidentally. It is a lifelong race. The Hebrew writer tells us in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” Going to Heaven requires endurance, patience, and persistence. We must finish the race.
Have you dropped out of the race? If so, you need to repent of your sins and ask God for forgiveness. Have you ever been in the Race? No? Then you need to repent of your sins and be baptized so that your sins may be forgiven (Acts 2:38, 22:16).