In Matthew 18, Jesus tells of the shepherd who has a lost sheep and how he goes to retrieve it. Then he said, "Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish" (Matthew 18:14).
To God, every soul is important. Every man needs to realize the importance of the soul and comprehend the uncertainty of life. James wrote, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14).
Everyone must die. It matters not the great plans one may lay for the future; death can come when least expected. The story is told of the man who wore his overshoes when it rained, brushed his teeth twice a day, saw his doctor twice a year, watched his diet, exercised, golfed every week but only 18 holes, never smoked or drank and was prepared to live to be 100. His funeral will be this week. Several doctors, two gyms and several health food and exercise equipment companies survive him. He forgot God. How true this is of many who are more concerned with this life than they are of the one to come.
Preparing for eternity takes planning. It seems some think it will just happen and they will be saved, no matter how they have lived. Getting ready for eternity should take on the atmosphere of the occasions when one is getting ready for a trip on Earth. Plans are made, arrangements for the trip, the GPS is programmed and reservations are made.
The question should be "Are plans being made for eternity?"
Is the book God gave to man being read and studied to find out the right route to heaven? Is there a sense of excitement about being able to spend eternity in heaven? If not there should be!
The Apostle Paul spoke of it in this manner, "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:" (Philippians 1:23).
It is only by obeying God’s commands can one be saved. This is what all should be doing, but God does not make man follow him, he gives man the choice. However all should be seeking to please God. In his word, he told man how to be saved. The Holy Scriptures tell of the importance of faith. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he who cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
Some would stop here, but God’s word tells that there is more to be done. God commands that repentance occur. "And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30).
One must also confess the name of Christ as the Son of God. "…And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:38).
Following this one is to be baptized for the remission of our sins, "Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, (Acts 2:38).
Peter later would write, "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: (I Peter 3:21).
God loves all men, but man must obey him.