Let us courageously, powerfully, and godly live to the fullest the lives Father God has allowed us to have at such a time as this. That is the best way we can thank Him for letting us see 2018.
Too many professed believers in Christ are resting on their laurels—are living like they are satisfied with their past achievement (salvation), so much so that they refuse to consider additional effort from them is necessary. They have assumed that their salvation automatically made them the Bride of Christ—made them saintly Overcomers. As a result, they either overlooked the Scripture that commands them to work out their own salvation, or they read and studied said Scripture but concluded it does not pertain to them.
Anyone who has an ear needs to hear that Christ’s overcomer is not just the run-of-the-mill kind of saint, who gets into Heaven with the smell of smoke on him or her (see 1 Corinthians 3:15). To get the heavenly rewards mentioned in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, every saint must be the spiritual conqueror (a more than a conqueror) kind of overcomer—a faithful and obedient even unto death kind of saint.
The ultimate goal of every believer is NOT to make it into Heaven. The ultimate goal of God’s salvation plan is to have every single one of His sons and daughters achieve Christlikeness. The only way to achieve this goal is to work out everything God has worked into each believer—to work God’s Perfect Will out of each believer. God’s Perfect Will in the believer is His Holy Spirit, who is every believer’s Source of power, authority, gifts, practical sanctification, and so forth.
Had the Lord’s First Coming been with ALL of His Glory, EVERYONE would have seen Him and known then that He was Jesus THE Christ, the ONLY begotten Son of God. This is the reason why He prophesies in Matthew 16:27 that it is at His Second Coming that “…the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” For this reason, His purpose for coming to Earth the first time never included Him embracing His Glory.
Jesus the Christ makes it absolutely clear that the only RSVP response that will matter to God is that response which is an initial “yes” followed by a progressive inward change—a sanctified spirit/heart that is habitually sincere, repentant, humble, compassionate, loving, and obedient. These Christ-like characteristics are MUST!