From the Cross to heaven is a marathon not a sprint – it is a very long journey. When you come to Christ Jesus you are not immediately taken to heaven but you start a journey, a race, a marathon.
Reason Apostle Paul said,
2Tim 4:7: I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith
The point we come to Jesus Christ, be justified (our past sins washed by His blood) and we start a walk in Him, in His Spirit by faith is at the Cross and a marathon starts.
There are 3 major differences between a marathon and a sprint
|1. Very long||Very short|
|2. Takes very long time||Takes very short time|
|3. Needs renewal and sustaining of strength||Does not need renewal and sustaining of strength|
The journey from the Cross through the world (wilderness) to the Promised Land (heaven) is a marathon that;
1. Is very long and takes a very long time
The children of Israel led by Moses is the first church and it gives us a perfect picture of the second church; the Bride of Christ. From the cross (Passover) through the wilderness to the Promised Land, it took the children of Israel 40 years.
From the point you come to Christ, believe and have faith in Him and start walking in His Spirit to the point you go to heaven it can take 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 30, 50, 70, 90 or even 120 years and it also depends on several factors like obedience, your assignment on earth, etc.
Same also with calling and sending – there is a period of time between the point you are called and the point you are send. See difference between being called and send to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. Needs renewal and sustaining of strength
For you to win a marathon, you need to keep renewing and sustaining your strength until you cross the finish line.
From the Cross through the world to heaven, you need to keep renewing your strength, sustaining your run and walk in Christ Jesus until you cross the finish line to win the race.
Isaiah 40:31: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Renewal of strength is in waiting upon the LORD; patience in the LORD. Satan and every person in him all lack patience.
It is patience, waiting upon the LORD that makes us renew our strength and run entire marathon even if it is 120 years without being weary and walking without fainting.
Let’s study the Marathon
From the Cross to Heaven is a Marathon Not a Sprint
In a marathon we have 3 major groups of people;
- Those who start a marathon like a sprint
- Those who break the rules of the race
- The winners
Let’s look at each group with relationship to those who come to Christ Jesus at the cross.
1. Those who start a marathon like a sprint
These people being new believers in Jesus Christ are very excited, joyful and zealous for Christ. They are babes in Christ Jesus but they want to act like the mature.
Even when babies are born, they start with milk for some time before being introduced to solid food and meat. But these babes are born today and want to eat meat, walk, speak, etc – it is a disaster.
Instead of first taking time to developing an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, knowing Him well and have deep roots in Him, they are carried by over-excitement and joy and the result is disaster.
These are the people who come to Jesus Christ today and tomorrow they are out preaching – they never last a year and if they do 2 years is a long time for them; they immediately get entangles with world affairs and doing as world people.
They are they when called to preach the gospel they immediately go out preaching impatient to be send. Satan entangles them and they all perish. Patience, waiting upon the LORD is the key to preaching, testifying and witnessing Jesus Christ in power nor words for Kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
The longer you take in developing an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, the harder it is for you to be entangled by world and defeated by Satan and the easier for you to win the race (inherit heaven).
The shorter you take in developing an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, the fast you are entangled by the world and defeated by Satan and perish – go to hell. Even trees have to take time to develop deep roots to overcome every weather.
Intimate relationship with Jesus Christ is developed in silence, loneliness and quietness for God is a God in secret (Mt 6)
In the parable of the sower, these group of people are represented by the seed that fell on stony places – they are like trees with no deep roots, they only last for a while and cannot overcome tribulation or persecution thus they perish fast.
Mt 13:20-21: But he that received the seed in stony places, this is he that hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it; Yet he not root in himself, but endures only for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
These are the people when trouble comes, they cannot stand by the Word of God and with Jesus Christ. These are the people when persecution comes, they deny Jesus Christ and go with the persecutor. They are prophets who when they prophesy they cannot stand with what they said when testing and persecution of the word comes. They lack deep roots in Christ Jesus and perish fast – go to hell fast.
These people never know that the race is long, may be 20 years, 40, 70, 80, 120 years and it needs patience, waiting upon the LORD to renew strength never to be weary or faint, and running with heavenly timing not your own time therefore they never win – go to hell.
2. Those who break the rules of the race
These are people who do not start the marathon as a sprint like the above studied group but they break the rules of the race thus they never win – go to hell.
Paul the Apostle said,
2Tim 2:3 …if anyone competes in athletics he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules
From the Cross through the world there are rules of the race. The rules of the heavenly race are the laws and commands of Jesus Christ.
You cannot be racing to heaven but be a sexual immoral person – you are lying to yourself and going to hell
You cannot be racing to heaven but be an abuser, persecutor, with filthy language, etc, – you are breaking the rules only going to hell
You cannot be racing to heaven but be a woman in men’s clothing or a man in woman clothing – you are breaking the rules and you will only go to hell. See it is an abomination for a woman to wear man’s clothing.
You cannot have idols and foreign gods with you yet be racing to heaven – you are heading to hell for breaking the rules. When Jacob went to meet God at Bethel, he put away all foreign gods, earrings, ornaments on hands, etc, and hid them in Shechem (Gen 35) and no foreign god was found in Jacob house for the rest of his life (Det 32) but you you want to walk with the LORD and in His Spirit with your foreign gods and make it to heaven – you are lying to yourself. See put all foreign gods from thee
You cannot entangle yourself with affairs of this life and world and make it to heaven (2Tim 2:3-5, 1John 2:15)
In the parable of the sower, these people are represented by the seed that fell on the thorns.
Mt 13:22: He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful
99% of the so-called Christians are in this group – they claim Jesus Christ with their mouths but breaking His rules, laws and commands – their end is hell if they do not change (repent). See it is only few who find the narrow path
It is not by mistake that about 600,000 men (beside women and children) left Egypt but on 2 people (Joshua & Caleb) of those who left Egypt made it to Promised Land – Rebellion and disobedience perished them
3. The winners – those who make it to heaven and be rewarded
Those who win, go to heaven and be rewarded;
- Take time to develop their roots and relationship with Jesus Christ thus troubles, persecution and the world never overcomes them
- They renew their strength for they have patience; they wait upon the LORD thus they never get weary or faint
- They run with heavenly timing not with their own timing thus doing the right thing at the right time – heavenly timing needs patience
- They adhere to the rules, laws and commands of God
- According to their assignment on earth, they know the length of the race and when they finish like Jesus and Paul the Apostle
- They know who they are competing with. See who are you competing with (next)
In the parable of the sower they are represented by the seed that fell on the good ground and bears fruit
Satan runs sprints not marathons for he has no patience, thus no time and energy to waste. Example; a person who abuses and persecutes you cannot last 20 years or 40, 70, etc – even a year is a very long time for them. Reason it is said,
Resists the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7)
Jesus is Coming
Repent Repent Repent
Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand