Friends of God
Vol: 158 Issue: 28 Friday, November 28, 2014
All human beings, according to Scripture, are born with an eternal destiny. In the grand scheme of things, the main purpose of our earthly lives is to choose what that eternal destiny will be.
The Apostle James asks and answers the question;
“For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14)
We can get some sense of perspective from our own human experience. We are created by God at conception, but spend nine months being prepared for life outside the womb.
We leave the comfort of the womb in terror; our first experience involves being grabbed by the head with a pair of salad spoons and yanked from our 98.6 degree environment into a sterile 68 degree delivery room, where we are promptly assaulted.
Shortly thereafter, silver nitrate is dropped into our eyes, we get poked, prodded, stuck with needles and get dropped into a basket where we find ourselves alone for the very first time in our brief existence.
(And you don’t even want to think about what is coming in a few days if you are a boy.)
But, given all of that, who would want to trade this life for a life spent floating in darkness inside the womb?
The baby on the way out doesn’t know what wonders await him on the other side, (but the doctor wielding the salad spoons does.) Still, the doctor only introduces the potential — what the baby does with that potential occupies his next seventy or eighty years.
Then the process starts all over again. Out come the Divine Salad Spoons, and we are dragged, kicking and screaming into the third and final phase of our existence — eternity.
The Bible is the God’s Owner’s Manual for human beings. It contains all the information necessary regarding humanity’s origins, care and feeding, rules for safe operation and guidelines for proper maintenance. It also explains our ultimate purpose — to be friends of God.
“Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:14-15)
Note that being a friend of God is conditional; whereas salvation is unconditional. Of friendship, Jesus said, “Ye are My friends, IF ye do whatsoever I command you.”
Regarding salvation, Jesus said,
“I am the door: by Me if ANY man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
But of His friends, Jesus said,
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.” (John 15:16)
Jesus is not extending His Hand of friendship to farmers. The command to ‘bear fruit’ that ‘should remain’ is a reminder that this life is, as James said, ‘even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, then vanisheth away.’
Each of us has an eternal destiny and each of us has the opportunity to choose where and how we will spend it.
We will either spend it in joy unspeakable in the Presence of God, or we will spend it in darkness, alone, separated from God for eternity, with only our memories, in the place Jesus described three times as being;
“Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:44,46,48)
My eternal destiny was sealed when I accepted the gift of Pardon Jesus offers and trusted Him for my salvation.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
But what of my ‘fruit’ that is to ‘remain’, should I hope to be God’s ‘friend’ instead of just another servant. Note also that ‘grace’ is the extension of an unmerited gift, mercy and salvation are the gifts being extended.
But ‘friendship’ is something different. It is often observed that “we are stuck with family, but we choose our friends.”
Each of us, to be saved, chooses Christ. We become part of God’s ‘forever family’ as Hal likes to put it.
But Jesus says of His friends, ‘I have chosen you’. Not only that, but ORDAINED them to ‘bear fruit’ that ‘should remain’ after their own ‘vapour’ has dissipated from this earth.
Among His servants, Jesus has chosen and ordained certain of them to bear fruit, saying that those who accept His calling will be numbered among His friends.
There can be no question but that we are in the final countdown to the end of this present Age. The final war between the Lamb and the Dragon is poised to spill out into this reality during the Tribulation.
There is little time remaining for those of us who have accepted the call to take up our positions on the line. Not everybody is called to take positions in the front ranks, however.
Any army has many layers; warriors, support troops, cooks, supply clerks, ‘office pinkies’ etc.
In the Marines, I was a supply clerk, then later changed Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) to become an ‘office pinkie’ working in a data processing unit. But, like all Marines, I was, first and foremost, a combat rifleman.
Each of us may find ourselves in combat from time to time, if we are faithful, but that doesn’t make all of us frontline warriors. Some of us are more valuable in a supporting role.
An army’s effectiveness depends as much on its lines of supply as it does the fierceness of its warriors. (A Marine with an empty rifle would be a fierce warrior armed with an expensive, poorly designed club)
There are many ways the friends of God can lend support to those on the front lines of battle. Pray for us at the Omega Letter.
Seek the leading of the Holy Spirit. The time has come for those who would be friends of God to stand.
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20)
Featured Commentary: Standing for the Gospel ~ Alf Cengia