Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 3:13-14).
In our lives as Christians, there are many times when we have worked diligently toward some goal– an event, personal development, or some other such thing– and we get to the point where we have met the goal. After reaching such a goal, it is natural and understandable that we may feel the desire to “come down” a little bit and relax on the work.
While some rest is not a bad thing, we must remember the message of God, and how the work is not yet done. As Paul constantly pressed on toward the goal, so must we also continually press on to the goal of Heaven.
Pressing on in our conduct. There is never a time when we should feel that we no longer have to “act like a Christian”. We must always be working righteousness and fleeing from sin (Galatians 5:19-23). The battle is pressed hard about, no doubt, but through Jesus we can always have the victory over sin (cf. Ephesians 6:10-18). It may not be easy, but we must continually persevere!
Pressing on in encouraging the saints. As it is written in Hebrews 10:24-25:
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works; not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh.
God has required His saints to assemble with one another not out of a desire to see His people suffer or to compel them to get up on Sunday mornings, but to give the opportunity to encourage one another. When the vast majority of the congregation is assembled the result is very encouraging– the singing is better, the association is greater, and everyone is better refreshed. Whether the assembly will be small or large, however, is entirely dependent on the decisions of each member. When you feel a desire to forsake the assembly, consider what you will say before God on the Judgment regarding why you decided to do so! We must constantly press on to build one another up constantly, for that is how God has determined how we will help one another get to Heaven.
Pressing on in furthering the Gospel. Many times we invite friends and family to various spiritual events, and many do well at presenting the message of the Gospel to others. As it is written in Matthew 9:37-38:
Then saith he unto his disciples, “The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest.”
Will you stand and be one who goes out into the fields of the world to preach and promote the Gospel? If you do not, who will? Are the fields any less ready for harvest when events have concluded?
We again hope that you have been refreshed– let us now take that refreshment and energy and more diligently apply ourselves to the work of the Kingdom and furthering the purpose of Jesus Christ. Let us work together, pressing on to the upward goal of Heaven!