Recently, I wrote about the now famous “false alarm missile incident” that took place in Hawaii on Saturday, January 18th. It will help you to read that article before you read this list.
Now it’s time to put some flesh to the whole thing. Let’s think specifics. Because remember, our lives can be extinguished at any moment. We are clueless about how it will all end for us. God has marked out our days before time even began.
The whole point of my previous article was this:
Dear Christian: What if you had been in Hawaii on January 13th, 2018? What if you had received that now infamous message about an incoming missile? What regrets would you have had?
For now, I came up with 6. Overwhelming? On our own……yes, absolutely. But with God, well you know………..ALL things are possible to the one who believes. (Mark 9:23)
With that Scripture in mind, let’s beware of some possible regrets…………
1) Do you have unresolved conflict with believers?
Have you done everything you can to reconcile with other Christians? Are you too prideful to make the first move? Are you constantly making the argument that they need to come to you first?
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)
2) Are you toying with pet sins, or at least one pet sin?
Are you doing everything you can to put it to death? Or are you making excuses to indulge in it? Don’t play with fire. Seek God for grace to put sin to death. When you fall, get back up again. Make your Christian life one of continual and consistent repentance.
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)
We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. (1 John 5:18)
3) Do you refuse to be long suffering with an unsaved person?
Have you sinned against them in your speech? Have you played the ‘silent treatment’ game with them? Do you move toward them, or away from them? Have they seen humility in your dealings with them? Do you refuse to follow the Golden Rule with them, simply because the Golden Rule is too inconvenient? Do they see Jesus at all in your life?
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
4) Are you regularly sharing the gospel?
Do you remember the last person you shared the gospel with? We all need help with this, don’t we? Remember, for all the mystery we have regarding heaven, there is one thing we know for certain about it. There will be no evangelism. Evangelism is an earthly command. Heaven will be full of God’s elect, redeemed people from every age. Make your words count now. Is there someone you regret not sharing the gospel with? Pray for an opportunity. Pray for God to use you. Pray for boldness. Then, go and speak the message of the cross to them. I am preaching this to myself before I preach it to you, dear reader.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)
5) Do you have a lazy, inconsistent, haphazard prayer life?
This is a failure to love God by not communing with Him often. And it is a failure to love others by not going to the throne often for them. Again, help us Lord. We are weak and need your grace.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
6) Have your last words with anyone been harsh, rude, or simply unkind and unloving?
You would definitely remember this if you thought your life was ending soon. Take care of it now.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
How are you doing with this list? How will you improve? What steps will you take, and when will you take them?
How about this for an annual New Year’s Resolution:
By the power of God’s Holy Spirit, work daily on eliminating possible future regrets.
This list only scratches the surface. I believe it is a good start though. But I need your help. There are way more than 6 regrets that Christians have to fight against. In the comments, please add any others you think Christians need to pay attention to. Thank you in advance! May God work mightily in all of you, so you will have fewer regrets when your time is quickly running out.
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