Are You Winning Or Losing?

August 14, 2012

Are You Winning Or Losing?

Many times people think they are winning when, in reality, they are losing.  In my years as a pastor I have seen this happen to some girls.  They were part of our youth group.  They paid attention in the preaching and teaching, and they knew how to answer the questions right.  However, a few years later, they fell in love with an unsaved young man and married him, or as was the case with some, they just moved in with him.  They later regretted it, but there was no way to turn back.

Some years ago we had a young couple in our church.  I performed their wedding and all indications were that they were headed in the right direction.  Some time later, however, they made a foolish decision.  They had the opportunity to buy a house, at a price they could afford, in another town.  I discouraged them from doing it because I knew that there weren’t any good churches in that town.  They didn’t take my advice.  The last we heard of them, they were separated.  What, to them appeared to be a gain, turned out to be a loss.  If they had stayed in our church, we could have helped them when they had marriage problems.

Psalm 1:1 warns us that we can miss God’s blessing by walking in the counsel of the ungodly, standing in the way of sinners or sitting in the seat of the scorner.  The book of Proverbs exhorts us to use extreme caution in choosing our path.  Proverbs 4:26, for example says “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.”  Again in Proverbs 12:15 we read “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” Proverbs 14:2 says “He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.” Then there is Proverbs 16:2. “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.”

It’s unfortunate that some who say they are saved think that just one hour a week is enough to be in church.  Instead of going to Sunday school and the worship service they choose one or the other.  They could be in church two or three times a week, but they think they have more important things to do.  They are missing the opportunity of gaining valuable Bible knowledge that could be a tremendous help to them in making wise decisions.  They are also missing fellowship with other believers that could encourage them in their Christian life.  They think they are winning, but, in reality, they are losing.

Many young people think they are winning when they refuse to surrender their life to God so that he can guide them.  They prefer to make their own decisions about how to live.  They ignore the promise of Proverbs 10:22 “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” As a result, they get what a fallible man can do; not what the all powerful God can do.

Our enemy is deceitful.  Altogether too often he is successful in deceiving, not only unbelievers, but even believers.  Revelation 12:9 says that Satan deceives the whole world.  He deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  He goes on deceiving people with the result that they are losers and not winners.

Many have heard the gospel without accepting it.  They think it best not to get mixed up in what is called “religion.” That allows them to continue on in their dubious ways without being questioned by anyone.  They don’t see that they are missing out on anything.  They think that if they live like the majority they’ll be alright.  They live with the same peace of mind as many others around them.  They ignore the warning  that some time in the future there will be a day of judgment.  Revelation 20:15 says “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” They will spend all eternity lamenting their foolish decision.  They will know then that they were losers, when they thought they were winning.

Many times, when unbelievers are confronted with the biblical teaching about the judgment of God, they pass it off saying, “I don’t believe that.  Therefore I have nothing to worry about.” My friend, if that’s the way you are thinking, let me remind you that just because you don’t believe something doesn’t make it untrue.  Don’t take lightly what the Bible says in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death.” In that verse “death” means eternal separation from God.  The second half of the verse says “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” If you go on through life rejecting that gift, there is no doubt about it, you will be a loser.

It grieves the servant of God when someone he knows and loves rejects the free gift of God’s salvation.  Sometimes, when he witnesses to his friends, they even get angry with him and say “You have no right to get involved in my personal life.” It’s not that the servant of the Lord wants to get involved in someone’s personal life.  It’s just that he is concerned for their spiritual well being.  He knows that they are losing, and that the day will come when they will regret that they didn’t take heed to what he was telling them.

I too spent 19 years of my life thinking I was winning, when all the time I was losing.  After I accepted Gods gift of salvation, and discovered all that was included in it, I had no regrets.  Oh yes, I gave up a few things, but they haven’t been a loss to me.  What I have gained is far greater than anything I gave up to follow Christ.

There are those who prosper even though they live their life without God, but you can’t die without God and prosper.  Death, for them will be the beginning of eternal destruction.  My friend, put your trust in God’s Word and its glorious message of forgiveness and abundant, eternal life.  If you haven’t done that, you are on the losing side, and you are going to be a big time loser later on in hell.  “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation”  (II Corinthians 6:2).  Don’t wait any longer.


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