“As for us, our life is like grass. We grow and flourish like a wild flower; then the wind blows on it, and it is gone—no one sees it again.”
–Psalms 103:15-16 Good News Bible
THIS IS HOW the Holy Scriptures describe how frail man’s life is. Isn’t this very true? Most of us have somehow met or known people who, no matter how strong and healthy they were, death suddenly came to them. Truly, life in this world is feeble and only temporary. It will end when death comes. No matter what we do to preserve this life, we will still lose it.
The Bible teaches the frailty of life because there is something that our Creator wants us to realize. In James 4:14-15, this is recorded;
“You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears. What you should say is this: ‘If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that’.” (GNB)
God wants us to understand that we cannot rely on ourselves to preserve our life. As humans, we have limitations. We do not even know what will happen tomorrow. Hence, what we should do is to humble ourselves before our Lord God, for the preservation of our life depends on Him.
The way to life
What did God give man for the good of his life? His commands, teachings, and corrections:
“For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.” (Prov. 6:23 New International Version)
God’s commands—His corrections and discipline—are vital to man, for they are the “way to life”. According to our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s command “brings eternal life” (John 12:49-50 GNB). So despite life’s frailty, God has something in store for us—a life that is indestructible and permanent—the eternal life. Thus, if we work hard for food, shelter, and clothing (the prime necessities of this frail life), we should all the more give value to that which will bring us eternal life—God’s commands.
Listen and obey
Our Savior assured that He will give eternal life to those who listen to His voice and follow Him:
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never die. No one can snatch them away from me.” (John 10:27-28 GNB)
Let us remember that the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ are not His own but the Father’s. He said:
“What I say, then, is what the father has told me to say.” (John 12:50 GNB)
What did our Lord Jesus Christ teach that man must follow in order to receive eternal life? In John 10:9, He said:
“I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold through me will be safe…” (Revised English Bible)
Man should enter the fold. Those inside the fold will be saved and therefore will receive eternal life. Which is this fold? According to the apostles, it is the Church Of Christ:
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation)
Church Of Christ members are purchased or redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ with His blood and therefore forgiven from their sins and assured of salvation on Judgment Day. Hence, people will greatly benefit from joining the Church Of Christ, for doing so is obeying God’s command taught by our Savior. Although that may entail making sacrifices, it is certainly not a loss to do so because it leads to eternal life.
But how will members of the Church Of Christ be granted with eternal life? In John 5:28-29, this is written:
“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (New King James Version)
All people who have died will be resurrected. But notice that only those “who have done good” are included in the resurrection of life—they will receive eternal life. Whereas, those “who have done evil” are included in the resurrection of condemnation—they will be punished for eternity. Therefore, in order to be assured of receiving eternal life, man must do what is good. The “good” being referred to are the commandments of God, which are written in the Bible (Rom. 7:12; I Tim. 3:15-17 NKJV).
Those who belong to Christ
What is one of the Christian teachings written in the Bible everyone should follow in order to be resurrected to life? He should belong to Christ. Apostle Paul said:
“But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised. But each one will be raised in proper order: Christ, first of all; then, at the time of his coming, those who belong to him.” (I Cor. 15:20, 23 GNB)
Those who belong to Christ are the members of His Church:
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18 Revised Standard Version, emphasis ours)
The Church built and owned by Christ is called by the apostles as the Church Of Christ (Rom. 16:16; Acts 20:28 Lamsa).
Indeed, membership in the Church is essential to man. Because of it, life’s frailty is not something to be anxious about anymore. Even if members of the Church die, they will be resurrected, for they are the ones who obeyed God’s commands that bring eternal life. They are the ones who belong to Christ.
This is the reason Church Of Christ members, led by the Church Administration, do not cease and are even so enthusiastic in conducting various activities to invite more people to join the Church. They exhaust their efforts because this is for the benefit of man. Knowing that life is so frail, the faithful waste no time in obeying God’s command as they look forward to a better and far longer life in heaven. They hold fast the opportunity given by God for them to be saved, just as exhorted by Apostle Paul:
“In our work together with God, then, we beg you who have received God’s grace not to let it be wasted. Hear what God says: ‘When the time came for me to show you favor, I heard you; when the day arrived for me to save you, I helped you’ Listen! This is the hour to receive God’s favor; today is the day to be saved!” (II Cor. 6:1-2 GNB)
This article was originally published in the Pasugo: God’s Message magazine, June 2017 issue.