Many are getting farther and farther away from God. If a person has the desire to go to heaven, he or she must search for and follow the steps of Jesus as they travel through this world.
“For even hereunto were ye called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). The one who loves Jesus and wants to stay close to him will desire to know how he lived and what his actions were.
Paul wrote about this in the letter to the Philippians “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8). The more one knows about Jesus, the stronger one’s love for him will become.
When people fail to study the Bible, they begin to drift away from God and from living as they should. They begin to think that they can serve God any way they choose, and it will be OK. The Bible tells of individuals who wanted to serve God their way.
King Saul was one such person; he wanted the blessings of God and wanted to serve God as long as it fit in his schedule of things (1 Samuel 13:8-14). He had been chosen and put in power to be the King of God’s people, but he forgot that God was the one in charge and not him. He wanted things his way.
Later, Saul was told to destroy a people, but he decided to save some of the best things (1 Samuel 15). Now, Saul wanted to proclaim his love and service to God, but his fruit showed a different story. This was not pleasing to God and because of it, God rejected Saul.
The same thing will happen today if man decides that what he wants to do in service to God should be acceptable, but it does not follow the plan God has laid out. God’s commands must be followed. “Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).
Some have the idea that man can do just about whatever he wants and God will still save him. God has never promised salvation to one who will not obey him. “Not every one that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my father, which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
God’s desire is for man’s salvation. The last will and testament of the Lord shows that mankind must know the word. This study of the word develops faith (Romans 10:17), which leads to repentance (Acts 2:38), a willingness to confess Christ before men (Matthew 10:32) and the need to be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). The word then gives instructions on how to live the Christian life.
Stay close to God, study and show your love by obeying his word.