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Almost Persuaded


Blog title card; topic is being healthy
Almost Persuaded

To be born healthy and whole is a miracle. Consider what an additional blessing it is to escape serious illness and injury as a young adult. Now, imagine being that blessed 40-year old and sitting in a doctor’s office. You listen as the doctor describes what you need to remain healthy and live a long life: cut out smoking, quit drinking, stop eating fast food, work out consistently, etc. But instead of heeding him, you decide you’re going to live your life the way you want, and you ignore him.


Ten years later, at 50, the doctor again looks at your chart, tells you that you have heart issues, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and a battery of other issues. Though you take your situation seriously, you again ignore his advice about living a healthier life, and instead you address the issue with pills.


However, imagine at 60 you have a heart attack. Your years of bad eating and physical inactivity have taken a toll on your body, and organs. You spend your remaining years not doing or changing much until sadly, one day, you pass at a much younger age than you should have. “Almost thou persuadest me” is a good summary of your attitude toward health.


God’s Word says that “the days of our years are threescore and ten,” or 70 (Psalms 90:10).  On the other hand, throughout the Bible we are told of ways we can prolong our life. Deuteronomy 5:33 told Israel to “walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you”; Ephesians 6:1-4 admonishes children to “obey your parents in the Lord” and “honour thy father and mother”; Proverbs 9:10-11 states that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Each of these passages ends with a promise that your days will be long if you follow God’s instructions.


So, we follow the instructions. We also listen to the doctors, make healthy decisions, and, with God’s blessing, we live a long healthy life. Again, a long life is a gift. However, even the unsaved sinner can have long days by making wise life choices and being healthy. However, long days alone mean nothing to us without the love of God we find by accepting Jesus. Living to 80 or 90 and seeing your grandchildren and possibly great-grandchildren is wonderful, but “what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?


I love seeing a dad who takes his health seriously.  A dad who eats healthy and is not a glutton and who exercises with his wife and children is leading his family to a better, healthier physical life. Exercise without Godliness is useless, though. “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).


Does this mean we, the redeemed, are permitted to eat junk food, be a sluggard, and have our bodies fall in to disrepair? If we let our bodies go, die young, or live in pain with diseases easily avoided with proper health and exercise, how then does this bring glory to God? What example are we setting for our families? “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).


The balance to this is taking care of the body is to remember that the physical body turns to dust. What about the eternal part of our being, though?  Taking care of your eternal soul’s health is the most important decision you will make. If you are saved and trusting in the blood of Jesus Christ to get you into Heaven, your soul is rescued. But “the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).


What does it profit to lift weights, eat healthy, and die at 95 if your eternal soul is bound for eternity in Hell? What good is it to live a full life as an unbeliever? For the lost, there is only punishment on the other side of this physical existence. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him“ (John 3:36). Notice the present tense of this verse: “abideth.” It is happening right now.  If you are a non-believer, God’s wrath abides on you. If you have heard the truth of the gospel and you keep turning it down, eventually God’s wrath will find you. If you escape God’s wrath here on earth, God’s wrath will find you in eternity, “and shall cast them into the furnace of fire” (Matthew 13:50).


I urge you, if you have heard the gospel, act now! Understand it and believe it. Perhaps the saddest words spoken in the Bible were from King Agrippa: “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:28). Do not let these be your last words!  Do not be one who resists God’s authority and spends an eternity in a Devil’s Hell. Eat clean food, exercise when you can, lead your family in a good lifestyle, but more importantly, accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and lead your family to repentance and the love of Jesus Christ as well. “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21).

 

The above article was written by Jonathan Thornton. He is a military veteran and member of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL. To offer him your feedback, comment below or email us at strengthforlife461@gmail.com.


Every Tuesday, SFL publishes relevant Bible-based content. Check back next Tuesday to read the next SFL article.

 

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