The first step in our race to go for the high calling of God in Christ is to believe in the Lord’s atoning sacrifice for our sins on the cross and to acknowledge Him as our Lord and Savior. When we see Jesus as the Christ sent from God, one of the greatest of all miracles takes place — we are born again.
Being born again is probably impossible to understand until you have experienced it. It is a transformation so radical that it is like starting a whole new life. Everything in our lives become new, except the conditions. We may still be in the same job, have all the same relationships, and the same credit card debt; however, we are so different that we see everyone and everything differently. This is a miracle so awesome that the Book of Revelation shows us that we will be forever worshiping the Lamb of God whose atoning sacrifice not only paid for our sins, but also gave us an incredible new beginning.
Being born again is so wonderful, it is understandable why many would want to park there for the rest of their lives, and many do. However, just as when we are born in the natural we are just beginning to grow and form into what we are to be, so it is when we are born again. We must go on to maturity.
Possibly the biggest obstacle to new believers going on to become disciples is their relationships. We may have been born again, but for those in our lives who have not had the experience, it will be hard for them to understand and very hard for them to relate to us being different. Often these will do all they can to keep us from changing.
This actually works in the favor of all who would run this race, as it requires the casting off of the fear of man, or our tendency to live to meet other people’s expectations, and instead helps us grow daily in faith and devotion to God. However, not many really get traction doing this and therefore never truly become disciples, according to the Lord’s definition.
Certainly there is great benefit to being born again and trusting in the atonement of the cross for redemption. Even though they may never measure up to the Lord’s definition of a disciple, they can still mature to a degree spiritually and morally. They can have lives that generally bring honor to the Lord, as well as a benefit to their families, neighbors, and others. Many of these truly are salt and light.
As positions and rewards in heaven are apparent, where do these who may have been born again but do not become true disciples fit in? Many of those in church history who addressed this question seemed to think that these would be resurrected on the earth to be part of the restoration of the earth to the paradise it was created to be, which we see will be done, according to many biblical prophecies.
Someone will be on the earth, and perhaps these are the ones — resurrected and having eternal but earthly lives. However, as we speculate about this, we must be careful not to carry things to logical conclusions when God has only revealed them in part. We will know the answers to things like this when we need to.
However, we can be sure that there is a high calling, “a better resurrection” that is the greatest opportunity, the greatest prize that could ever be attained. This pearl is such a treasure that to obtain it is worth selling everything we own.
If we should fall short and not attain to the ultimate high calling, how much further in Christ will we have gone by trying to attain? The day is coming when virtually all believers will see this and begin to run, so we had better get started. Are we are going to have a lot of footprints on our backs from those who have passed us? More importantly, the Lord deserves this kind of devotion from His followers.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|