“Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus!” 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2
It is not sufficiently realized, that the Bible has far, very far, more to say about this present life than it has about the future one; that it makes known the secrets of temporal felicity, as well as everlasting bliss.
In their zeal to tell men how to escape from hell and make sure of heaven, many evangelical preachers have had all too little to say upon our conduct on earth; and consequently, many who entertain no doubts whatever that they will inhabit a mansion in the Father’s house are not nearly so much concerned about their present walk and warfare as they should be; and even though they reach their desired haven, such slackness results in great loss to them now!
The teaching of Holy Scripture is the very reverse of the plan followed by many an “orthodox pulpit”! It not only gives much prominence to–but in Old and New Testament alike–its main emphasis is on our life in this world–giving instruction how we are to conduct ourselves here and now!
The central thing which we wish to make clear, and to impress upon the reader is that God has established an inseparable connection between holiness and happiness; between our pleasing of Him and our enjoyment of His richest blessing; that since we are always the losers by sinning–so we are always the gainers by walking in the paths of righteousness; and that there will be an exact ratio between the measure in which we walk therein and our enjoyment of “the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11).
“I will be careful to lead a blameless life; I will walk in my house with blameless heart!” Psalm 101:2
“Thus you will walk in the ways of good men–and keep to the paths of the righteous.” Proverbs 2:20
However distasteful to the flesh, whatever sneers it may produce from carnal professors, the Christian must rigidly and perpetually act by the rule that God has given him to walk by. In so doing, he will be immeasurably the gainer; for the path of obedience is the path of prosperity!
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful!” – Joshua 1:8
– A. W. Pink