Faithful to the End
It is right that we try to please the Lord, and encourage other people to do so as well. But however hard we try, we cannot please God unless He helps us. So, when encouraging another believer, we must first point to God who holds us steady so that we can do His will. Only God can prevent us collapsing spiritually, and He is committed to our eternal security because we belong to Him.
When we see the Lord on that Final Day, we will be like Him … and blameless (1 John 3:2). The cleansing power of the blood of Jesus continues in every believer until we see Him face to face. And in heaven we shall continue to thank Him for His shed blood (Revelation 5:9-10). It is important to remember the faithfulness of God in forgiving sin, when trying to correct wrong teaching and the accompanying wrong behaviour, as Paul was about to do in this letter to the church in Corinth.
When we become children of God, we become the 'brothers' of the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 2:11). It is a privileged relationship which will continue for ever. By God's grace we are bonded into fellowship with Jesus Christ and in His faithfulness He will never throw us out (John 6:37), nor will He let Satan pull us out (John 10:28). So we must be careful not to be wilful and walk out (Colossians 1:21-23). That is why God gave us the apostles and today's teachers - to remind us to continue in His grace.
God is faithful - not primarily to us, but to His own promises. That is why we can encourage people to stay on track with the Lord: He will always watch over His people to bring them through the hard times of challenging circumstances and personal folly as they repent and trust Him. Our great successes do not matter to Him nearly as much as the closeness of our fellowship with Jesus. The Lord's goal for our lives is to make us like our 'big brother'. So when we are trying to help others in their Christian lives remember that the faithful God is already at work and we must learn how to work with Him.
© Dr Paul Adams