In a world full of failures, why are there only a few men and women who attained success?
But before you answer that question, we must answer first the question, “What is real success?”
Is successfully detonating a bomb or taking your own life a true success? Is acquiring great wealth and material possession a success? Is it about winning the gold medal, graduating with high honors, closing business deals, getting a promotion, and finding a spouse?
Or is there more to success than meets the eye?
What is true success according to the Bible?
What is true success – the type of success that God would agree with? Jesus Christ has this to say in Matthew 16:26-27:
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Now, this is how the world defines what success is. This world measures success by the how much money you have, the possession you have acquired, and the level of your importance in the society.
Christ asked the question, what profits a man if he gains all the riches, honors, and pleasures this world could ever offer, but losing his chance to salvation? In short, so what? So what if you have the biggest mansion in your area, the nicest car, or the latest smartphone? Salvation is more important than anything this world could offer!
Every one of us is appointed to die (Hebrews 9:27). Many people will soon forget all our achievements in life. All our awards, accolades, and recognitions will eventually fade away. At the end of our life, none of those really matters. The only thing that will really matter is the relationship we have built with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Now, back to our original question, what is true success? Here’s what success really looks like. Let’s continue reading:
“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”
Now that’s real success for you!
As Christians, our success lies on the reward God has prepared for us and that reward will depend on our works, which refers to how much godly character we have built during our short stay here on earth.
God will not reward us by our medals, diplomas, the money we have in the bank, the type of car we drive, the model of the phone we use, or the size of our house.
Now, let me make this very clear. Those things are not bad of itself, but the moment you let material things get between you and God, then you are making an idol out of them. The moment you exchange worldly success for spiritual success, you will just ultimately end up empty.
King Solomon, one of the richest kings who ever lived and also the most successful people in man’s history, wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. After living a life of luxury and pleasure, he concluded:
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, Whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
There is it again brethren, the word “work.” Our success as a Christian will be judged according to our works. I am not saying that we can earn our salvation, but God will surely not entrust eternal life to those people who have not develop the godly character He wants us to build.
What really matters at the end of our lives?
So let me ask you this question, what really matters at the end of our lives? When you are already lying on your deathbed, struggling to take your next breath, having difficulty to move even a muscle – at that very moment – what does really matter?
As we approach the Feast of Trumpets, I hope we are reminded that our lives are short and we cannot escape death. We all have to face the fact that one day, we will die. We don’t have to wait for end-time prophecies to be fulfilled. We don’t have to wait for the signs of the ages to change our priorities in life because the second coming of Christ is as close as your last breath.
When you die, your next waking moment will be during the resurrection. Hopefully, when the last trumpet sounds, we will find ourselves floating to meet Christ in the air. It is my sincerest desire that when we are resurrected, we have the confidence to stand before the judgment seat and hear God telling us, “Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”
THAT IS SUCCESS, MY FRIEND. Success is when you finally stand before God and hear those sweet, beautiful, and assuring words. No amount of worldly success can compare to the tremendous joy and gladness we will feel when we finally know that we will be part of God’s Kingdom.
Living a life with urgency
Every day brings us a day closer to Christ’s second coming. We must have a sense of urgency to do the work God has given us. We are not called in the church to be just a mere social club. We are called to do a job and that job is to proclaim the Gospel to this dark and dying world.
Are you doing your share?
From now on, let us live our lives as if Christ will be returning tomorrow because in a sense that is true. We can die anytime, and that is as close as Christ’s return is for all of us.
I hope brethren that we won’t lose our first love (Revelation 2:4). Let us keep the vision of God’s reward brightly BURNING in our hearts and let us all be filled with the passionate desire and obsession for God’s work because only then, we will truly be successful in this life!