The Ultimate Goal of Christianity

streets of goldIn my early years of life and even in my early years as a young Christian, I thought that the ultimate goal of Christianity was to get to Heaven! I grew up with a theology that advocated there was nothing really good in this world and that Christians should never have any real involvement with this present age because, after all, we are just pilgrims passing through this unfriendly world! In my youth and in my early Christian years, I thought that the ultimate goal of Christianity was to get to the Pearly Gates and the Streets of Gold!

goldMuch of what I am hearing in Christian circles today is almost the exact opposite! It seems that much of the modern preaching and teaching in Christian circles advocate the ultimate goal of Christianity is to be prosperous in this present world. Many advocate that it is God’s ultimate goal that we “prosper and be in good health.” Many other scriptures are used to advocate that the ultimate goal of Christianity is gold; to be rich, healthy, and wealthy in this present age in this present world!

But what does the Bible really say about the ultimate goal of Christianity? Well, since I have come to some understanding of what Jesus meant about the Kingdom of God (Heaven), things that were once complicated are all so simple to me now! The ultimate goal of Christianity is NOT HEAVEN when we die NEITHER IS IT PROSPERITY IN THIS LIFE! The ultimate goal of Christianity is pronounced in Romans 8:28-29: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (KJV) For the Christian, God works everything together for the good and the “good” in verse 28 is defined in verse 29. The good is that we be conformed to the image of his Son! In other words, if you are a Christian, then God works all things together so that you might BE LIKE JESUS! A Christian, by definition is a follower of Christ and I read somewhere that the term “Christian” can also be defined as: “little Christ.”

Now this fits in perfectly with God’s original plan in the beginning! In Genesis 1:26-28 we read: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (KJV) God’s original intent for humanity was that humanity might administrate the Kingdom of God on earth on HIS behalf. Therefore, humanity was created in the image and likeness of God. In Colossian 1:12-15, Paul wrote: “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” (NKJ) Do you see that? Paul described Jesus as being “the image of the invisible God.” In Romans, he said that it was God’s predestined plan that we be conformed to the image of HIS SON! Now, if HIS SON is the image of the invisible God and that same invisible God created man in his image and likeness, then the mission of Jesus was really to provide a way for us to be restored back to our original state: Created in the image and likeness of God!

man on mountainTherefore, the ultimate goal of Christianity is really to restore what was lost in Eden! Adam didn’t lose Heaven in the Garden; he lost dominion! The ultimate goal of Christianity is to take us back to what we were made for! We were not made to occupy Heaven eternally in a spiritual state, nor were we made to be materially prosperous in this world for the sake of prosperity! We were made in the image and likeness of God to have dominion (to administrate the Kingdom of God) over the earth! Therefore, the ultimate goal of Christianity is to put us back where God created us to be! In a place of dominion and authority; not as owners, but as stewards of the Kingdom of God over the earth!

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Shock and Awe!

cat shock

According to Wikipedia, Shock and awe (technically known as rapid dominance) is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power, dominant battlefield awareness, dominant maneuvers, and spectacular displays of force to paralyze an adversary’s perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight.

Well on the social front, many times it seems like we are reeling from the effects of social, psychological and spiritual shock and awe! Every time we turn on the news, it’s one tragedy after another! One natural disaster after another! One senseless murder after another! One mass shooting after another! It seems as though the only news reported or perhaps the only news that captures our attention is bad news!

But, the truth of the matter is that it is not all bad! There are still some good things happening in our world and there are still some good people in our world; you are one of them! Many times it takes the bad and the evil to bring out and accentuate the good! The stars are always shining, but they can’t really be seen until the darkness of night! The most brilliant diamonds look their best when displayed against a dark velvet background.

Jesus, speaking in reference to how it would be prior to his second coming said: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Mat 24:12-13 KJV) My friend, don’t allow yourself to be neutralized and don’t allow your love to grow cold because of the social, spiritual, and psychological shock and awe of the age. In spite of the prevailing headlines, life is still very much worth living! Don’t allow your will to do good and your will to do the right thing to be destroyed! If you need to, periodically turn off the television and limit your in-take of media news and avoid, as much as possible, the company of negative people. Read a positive book and enjoy the company of positive-minded and inspiring people. Remember! Even when it storming and raining; the sun is still shining beyond the storm-clouds and the rain! Keep smiling! Keep the faith! Keep hope alive! Don’t become a victim of shock and awe!

Just Your Imagination

imagination

I remember when I was young, I was afraid to go to sleep with the lights off because I would often hear noises that frightened me. I always thought the “boogie-man” was under my bed, but my mother would tell me that it was “just my imagination!”

Well, as it turned out, mother was right! It was, just my imagination! But, at that time, my imagination created the reality of fear in my life. So, although the “boogie-man” didn’t exist in the physical realm of my existence, he was very real in my mind! And because he was real in my mind, I exhibited the consequences of that reality in my physical world.

That is how the human mind works! Whatever we think about with intensity and emotion on a consistent basis in our minds eventually affects our physical reality. In fact, not only will it have an effect upon our reality, it will eventually become our reality. Now this works for better or for worst! We are constantly creating our “real” world in and with our imagination.

Now, in order for this to work for our benefit, we must be aware of the process and come to re-define some terms. From now on, instead of thinking of your imagination as thoughts of something that is not real, I want you to think of your imagination in terms of “the images you hold in your mind.” (If you really look at the word “imagination” you can easily see that the root word is “image.”) When we were young, we didn’t know how to control our thoughts and so our imagination would often run wild. But we must learn to harness our thoughts (the images in our minds) and think only of what we want and what would be beneficial in our lives. Most people don’t realize it, but it is possible to control your thoughts! In fact, if you want to have peace and harmony in your life, it is essential that you learn how to control your thoughts! If you don’t want something to happen; don’t think about it! Focus your thoughts on what you want; not on what you don’t want! The reason for this is because we eventually move in the direction of our thoughts and the object of our thoughts eventually make their way into our objective realities. Our minds are magnets, constantly attracting the objects of our thoughts (imaginations).

Keep that truth in mind the next time you hear someone tell you that you are just imagining things or it’s just your imagination. The images you consistently hold in your mind will eventually objectify themselves in space and time in your life! You will become what you think! So think positive thoughts! Think about what you want and not about what you don’t want! A good formula for directing your thoughts comes from the Apostle Paul who wrote to the church at Philippi in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (KJV)

Remember everything that’s tangible now was, at first, just someone’s imagination! Your present thoughts (the images you are presently consistently thinking and entertaining in your mind) are the creator of your reality. If you want to change your objective tomorrow, you must change your thoughts today because in a sense, your tomorrow is already here today; it’s just your imagination!