Obstacles to the Real Goal of Life

in Achieving Happiness

The Bible has much to say about worthiness-that it is important to be worthy before God. Take for example the church in Thessalonica, a persecuted church. The Apostle Paul wrote: “So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer” (2 Thes. 1:4-5). Paul wrote to Timothy: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). Being worthy in God’s sight may mean persecution. Some in the Sardis Church were said to be worthy before God because they had not defiled their garments (Rev. 3:4-5).

Attaining to the Kingdom of God is the only really worthwhile goal in life. Everything else is temporary and will vanish away. The Kingdom of God is likened to a marriage supper (Matt. 22:2-14). The King (God) invited a number of guests, but many made excuses and chose not to attend. The King instructed His servants to find guests elsewhere. He told His servants of those who had been invited: ” . . . The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy” (Matt. 22:8). Being worthy before God is extremely important. Some who have been invited to be in the marriage supper-the Kingdom of God-may find this out too late.

When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. (Luke 13:25-27)

People vary in their reasons. Christ gave this cogent warning in Luke 21: 34-36:

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to

pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

The Need to Prevail

To be accounted worthy in God’s sight means overcoming the pulls of human nature, rejecting the evil influence of society, and refusing the temptations of Satan. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev. 3:21). See also Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3: 5, and 12. Those truly called by God soon become aware of the changes they must make in their lives. These changes usually begin by recognizing how useless is the need to impress people and to have their acceptance. Family, friends, and various customs contrary to the Law of God become less important in one’s life or are rejected altogether. Bad habits, bad language, overindulgence in food or drink, or inappropriate dress are abandoned. The struggle then centers on the inward changes that must take place in the mind and heart. Lust, hatred, anger, rage, unsavory competition, and the refusal to take correction can be huge obstacles in the way of overcoming. It is a lifelong battle. Growing in the love of God, and enduring to the end completes the task.

What Stands in the Way?

There are various obstacles that stand in the way. What many fail to understand is that man’s worst enemy is his own nature. This nature was given to us for a specific purpose. God could have made man an automaton, but in that case there would have been no purpose in giving him the nature he has. This nature is hostile to God and to His way of life. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7). The carnal mind is the mind of the flesh-the mind we were given at birth. This is what must be changed. Paul wrote: “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:5-6). The Bible admonishes: “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24). When the mind is changed to conform to the will of God, the works of the flesh can be set aside and replaced by the works of holiness. What, then, stands in the way? What are the obstacles that prevent us from achieving this lofty goal?

Self-Centeredness

The first of these is self-centeredness. Most human beings are self-centered and selfish. Self-centeredness is a work of the flesh, one that is very difficult to overcome. But it can be overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ gave an example of this human shortcoming, a defect that constantly manifests itself in covetousness. He said covetousness lies within the heart of man (Mark 7:22).

And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:15-21)

Christ further illustrated this prevalent flaw when he described what would happen to those whose self-centeredness ignores the needs of others.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. (Matt. 25:41-45)

The above example makes it plain that if not overcome, selfishness motivated by self-centeredness can lead to the loss of salvation. This is no light matter. One of the major evils of modern society is described by the Apostle Paul. He wrote: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy” (2 Tim. 3:1-2). To what degree could we have been influenced by this environment? Christians are admonished to come out of the world, to reject its practices and customs. ” . . . Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2). Christians must be aware of this human proclivity and strive to overcome it.

Self-Will

Self-will is the leading cause of stubbornness. Stubbornness in itself is not bad if one is stubborn for the right reason. All too often people are stubborn for the wrong reason. A right reason would be holding fast to God’s Truth and faithfully obeying Him. A wrong reason would be to turn from obedience to God and then stubbornly continue on an evil path. If it is the result of disobedience, here is how the Bible views stubbornness. King Saul disobeyed God’s instruction, and the prophet Samuel said: ” . . . Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry . . . ” (1 Sam. 15:22-23).

The history of the ancient nation of Israel is replete with example after example of their stubbornness and refusal to obey God. Here is what God said: “I [God] spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice” (Jer. 22:21).

The Psalmist describes this stubbornness in Psalm 78:

For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. (Ps. 78:5-8)

Christians, however, are instructed:

Wherefore (as the Holy [Spirit] saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (Heb. 3:7-12)

A severe warning is directed at those who are self-willed and antagonistic against God and His Law.

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption. (2 Pet. 2:9-12)

Self-will is a serious obstacle that can stand in the way of salvation. Every Christian should carefully evaluate and examine himself to be sure he is not being influenced by the urge to demand his own way in opposition to the Law of God-the Way of Life that has our best interests at heart in every aspect of our lives.

Self-Justification

One of the easiest methods of refusing to admit faults or wrong is to use self-justification. Self-justification means to make excuses for what one thinks or does. Consider the following example:

You see, God, it’s like this: We could attend church more faithfully if your day came at some other time. You have chosen a day that comes at the end of a hard week, and we’re all tired out. Not only that, but it’s the day following Saturday night, and Saturday night is one time when we feel that we should go out and enjoy ourselves. Often it is after midnight when we reach home, and it is almost impossible to get up on Sunday morning. And you must realize that you have picked the very day on which the morning paper takes the longest to read-the day when the biggest meal of the week must be prepared. We’d like to go to church, and know that we should; but you have just chosen the wrong day. (Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations-Twentieth Century Christian)

The above excuse contradicts a belief. While the Bible does not sanction Sunday as a day of worship, character demands that one at least be faithful to his beliefs. Not only does the example justify a failure to obey what is believed to be a Bible command, it even finds fault with God.

A Bible example of how one justified himself is seen in the example of King Saul. He had been given specific instructions from God to completely destroy the wicked Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:2). Samuel confronted Saul when he saw this was not done (vv. 9, 19). But what was Saul’s excuse?

And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal” (1 Sam. 15:20-21).

Saul had not been told to take the sheep and oxen to Gilgal [the Tabernacle site]. He had been told to destroy them. So Saul not only disobeyed what God had instructed (v. 3), he blamed the people for the act of disobedience. The fact is: Saul had been instrumental in sparing the livestock as well as Agag, the king of the Amalekites (1 Sam.15: 9). For this act of rebellion, God rejected Saul as king (v. 23).

The book of Job cites a number of examples of self-justification. None of the friends addressing Job understood why all the terrible things had befallen him, not even Job. But Elihu, being more correct in evaluating the situation, became angry with Job because he justified himself rather than God (Job 32:1-2). He had heard Job say, “I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me” (Job 33:9). Elihu further noted that “. . . Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment” (Job 34:5). Finally, in the end God intervened and told Job: “Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?” (Job 40:8). Job finally understood what he had been doing, and said: “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). Job no longer justified himself.

Jesus addressed this issue in the New Testament. When asked by a lawyer what was necessary to inherit eternal life, Jesus said: ” . . . What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” (Luke 10:26-28). Jesus’ answer implied not only what was required for salvation, but also that if one had failed or should fail, one could not possibly obtain salvation. Notice the lawyer’s response. “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29). The lawyer’s answer implies he felt he was not failing. This is because Jews regarded only Jews as their neighbors. It appears the lawyer believed Jesus would agree with this view, and thus justify his behavior. But the answer Jesus gave was much more comprehensive. Jesus gave the parable of the good Samaritan.

. . . A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. (Luke 10:30-35)

When he completed the parable, he asked the lawyer: “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” (Luke 10:36). The lawyer could give only one answer. “And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise” (v. 37). This example illustrates that self-justification can be a hindrance to applying the spiritual intent of the law-the law of love. Based on the limited understanding of the letter of the law, the Jews were ignorant of God’s righteousness and went about to establish their own righteousness.

Another example is found in Luke 16:13-15. Jesus explained the importance of placing God ahead of the material things of this life. “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (v. 13). The Pharisees did not take kindly to this comment. “And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (vv. 14-15). The Pharisaical belief was that one’s wealth was proof that he was pleasing God, while penury was just the opposite. The Pharisees justified their vaunted possessions by this form of reasoning, but Jesus said it amounted to coveting. The above examples clearly illustrate that excusing one’s conduct on the basis of self-justification is an obstacle to achieving the only real goal in life-the Kingdom of God.

Every Wind of Doctrine

The fundamental weakness of those who fall prey to “every wind of doctrine” is the failure to recognize the importance of divine revelation. When called to a knowledge of the truth, God does not reveal error. His Spirit is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17), and it is impossible for Him to lie (Titus 1:2). Yet, there are those blown about by the winds of clever arguments who cannot remain faithful to what they have been taught from God’s Word at the beginning.

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us . . . . Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. (1 John 2:18-19, 24)

The Apostle Paul warned of this weakness when he wrote to the Ephesians that it was necessary to come to a unity of the faith and “. . . be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14). One cannot allow even a small amount of error to permeate the mind. “. . . Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (1 Cor. 5:6). Christians are warned to be on guard, and to be aware of those who would influence them to go in the wrong direction. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom. 16:17-18).

Paul warned of the time when error would prevail in the Church of God, indeed a time that has already come. He urged Timothy: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:2-4). One must take constant stock in the firmness of his beliefs. He should be knowledgeable of the Bible and know in confidence that he is following what was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit.

Social Orientation

Another obstacle is placing the desire for social contact ahead of obedience to God. While social contact is good and beneficial, it should not be motivated by a desire to fellowship with those whose beliefs are contrary to what the Bible reveals. We are generally in close contact with fellow employees, neighbors, and friends, and sometimes acquaintances, but this socialization is not the bond of fellowship we have with church brethren. True Christians are required to be in the world, but are not to be of the world. A problem can develop when one chooses to have or to maintain close relationships with those whose lifestyles are contrary to the Truth of God. This association is bound to have an adverse effect upon one who is seeking to obey God. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14). Being unequally yoked means having fellowship with one who is not equal, that is, an idolater. The Apostle Paul forbids Christians to have social intercourse with such. One not called to the truth, and who is living in an ungodly manner, is not spiritually equal to one who has God’s Spirit and obeys His commandments. Remember, a little leaven leavens the whole lump (1 Cor. 5:6).

There are those teachers who profess the Truth of God in one manner or another, but who do not live up to what is divinely revealed. They tend to delve into speculative and eschatological teachings that are without foundation. Yet, because this kind of preaching may appeal to one’s friends or relatives, the desire for fellowship with these friends and relatives becomes more important than holding fast to what is foundational. This association can cause one to believe this is permissible or proper. The fact is: It is not. People who are socially inclined are more interested in the benefits they may derive from these associations than in obeying God’s Truth. They are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (2 Tim. 3:4).

There are many forms that social orientation can take. Consider what the Bible says about the last days.

And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-30)

Here were people who were more interested in having fun than in thinking seriously about the times in which they are living. Indeed, they are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. One category of pleasure-lovers is mentioned in the Parable of the Sower. “And that [seed, the Word of God] which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection”(Luke 8:14). One’s orientation plays an enormous part in whether or not he fears God and seeks to obey Him. The admonition in Ecclesiastes makes this principle clear. “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth” (Eccl. 7:2-4).

Socializing with those who are like-minded is indeed a joy, but including the deceived and disobedient as close confidants and friends will eventually bring disaster. Remember this: “A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses” (Prov 27:19, The Living Bible).

Too Busy

Recall the parable of the Great Supper in Luke 14. Though the guests had been invited, they began to make excuses. The mundane pursuits of physical life were too demanding, and they were all too busy.

. . . A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one [consent] began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. (Luke 14:16-20)

This employment in physical activities-being too busy to concern oneself with the things of God- is seen more than once in the Scriptures. Notice what happened when Jesus invited two men to join Him. “And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:59-62).

In both examples these men had no idea what they were turning down. Rather, they were affected by the mundane circumstances of this life. In the case of the former, what he proposed required some length of time to accomplish. This is why Jesus said that those who are not privileged to know the Truth are spiritually dead, and were involved in burying their physical dead. Therefore, what is truly important is the quest for eternal life which far surpasses any physical duty in this life. And this is what Jesus was offering-eternal life. In the case of the latter, Jesus could clearly see that this man’s worldly interests, if even for a short time, would become the means of stifling his present interest and would eventually replace any permanent interest that he might gain in the future.

What must be realized is that dedication, zeal, and a willingness to give up what seems important are required if one is truly going to obey God and live a Christian life. This is made plain in Matthew 16. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt. 16:24-25). The Apostle Paul wrote that the sacrifice will be well worth it: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor. 2:9). Paul quoted this statement from the book of Isaiah, which says: “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him” (Isa. 64:4). At the present we have only an inkling of what is ahead, but when that time comes we will be absolutely amazed what God has planned for mankind.

Not in Earnest

Jesus described what it would take to enter the Kingdom of God. It is recorded in Matthew 11:12. “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” A much clearer translation is as follows: “Indeed, from the days of John the Baptizer until this moment, the kingdom of heaven is being taken by storm, and the strong and forceful ones claim it for themselves eagerly, for all the prophets and the law prophesied until John” (vv. 12-13 Wuest Expanded New Testament). Jesus asserted here that much effort was required to gain eternal life. He emphasized this again in Luke 16:16: “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” The Apostle Paul also emphasized this important requirement. He admonished the disciples that they should “. . . continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

When asked how many would be saved, Jesus replied: “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24). “Agonize” is a better translation for the word “strive.” The words “be able” can be translated, “be strong,” or “have the power.” Why will they not be able, that is, be strong enough or have the power? The answer: Because they failed to make the Kingdom of God the primary purpose and goal in life. They were not earnest in their pursuit for salvation and did not really strive to attain it. Too many people today labor for the meat that perishes, and not for the meat that endures to everlasting life (John 6:27).

In the book of Hebrews the Apostle Paul called attention to the need to be earnest about the Word of God. He wrote: “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation . . . ” (Heb. 2:1-3).

How important is the Word of God? Here is the answer:

My son, let not them [God's Words] depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. (Prov. 3:22-26)

How much should we desire to enter the Kingdom of God? Paul describes this desire in Romans 8. He wrote: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:22-23). Paul wrote that Christians agonize over the present state in which they find themselves but anticipate the time when the fleshly body will be changed-changed from flesh to spirit. “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (v. 21).

Yes indeed! There are many obstacles that can hinder or prevent us from achieving the only real and worthwhile purpose in life-attaining to the Kingdom of God. A number of these threats have been outlined in the material above. Let us seriously consider which one or ones may be presently troubling us, and make the necessary changes to overcome.

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