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Desperation is one of the best motives for absolute focus, and you do not have to be a believer of Christ or disciple to know that. In fact, non-believers know this better than believers. Perhaps, it is because non-believers have not the promise of the eternal life that is in Heaven after they die, and because they do not believe in God, this life is all they have… and knowing that gives them an innate desperation, which allows them to focus on what they would achieve in this life if they had the opportunity.

The lack of focus that many disciples, from the earliest to all of us, have is due to our lack of desperation in certain matters. The promise of life after death in Heaven that has been taught as the final destination of all who believe is in part responsible for a laxity of focus that has been detrimental to the Kingdom of God. The erroneous teaching that those who believe in Christ will be saved and will spend eternity in Heaven with Him after death, in paradise, has removed the drive for all concerned to have the desperation to focus on bringing Jesus back. By and large, it is a laid back attitude of living a ‘holy’ Christian life so that one would ensure one’s admission through the ‘pearly’ gates to Heaven, and there to spend a blissful eternity with God, Jesus, mother Mary and the saints, while the devil is left free to roam on the Earth, and those horrible unrepentant sinners burn forever in Hell for all their unkindness and rudeness to the church and her people.

Unfortunately, we allow death to come too early and we see death as an easy way out of this life into the loving arms of Jesus in Heaven. How different it would be if there was no death for Christians and they would have to live life on Earth until Jesus comes back in the flesh before they experience any deliverance from persecution, sickness, poverty and the general miseries that are the burden of every man. Then it would no longer be a life of holy Christianity putting up with the inconvenient sufferings of this age until death takes us to Heaven, but rather, it would be a life of continuous inconvenience with suffering unless we either have the miraculous power of God to overcome the world or have Jesus back so the world would be under His dominion. How different the attitude and the focus would be then, and how much quicker the necessary work would be completed and Christ returned.

However, when believers are not being earnestly made into disciples, and disciples themselves, just like the eleven, were still concerned about who amongst them would be the greatest instead of recognising the Lord’s distress, it is unrealistic to try to convince the whole body to join us, but rather, like all major victories of God, it is up to the few. And since it is up to the few, then the greater the glory is for God. For, the elect of the Holy Spirit are like the men of Gideon who drank from their hands and not lapped the water like dogs. The focus is on the task and not their own relief from thirst.

Just as the disciples were distracted by the beautiful stones of Herod’s temple and the gifts made to God that decorated them, so many disciples today are distracted by the beautiful work of the church and its many giftings from God, distracted by the preaching of the Gospel, the salvation of souls, the healing of the sick and the rewards of discipleship, even the 100 fold return of homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields in this age. And like the eleven, our minds are more concerned about the restoration of what we have lost through our sins than what God wants to lay down through our obedience. As they asked the Lord, “Lord, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” so our prayers are focussed on the restoration of what we have lost ourselves… even if we are disciples who have paid the price and given up houses, fields, mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers and children for the sake of Jesus and the Gospel… it is, “Lord, are You at this time going to restore me?” Even our ministering is done with an eye on dying to go to Heaven.

Departure from this life through death will certainly give any believer or disciple the relief from the daily grind of having to overcome the problems of this world, even when you have full miraculous power. For people will never stop getting sick; there will never be an end of children being born who need to hear the Gospel, and the wars, evils, crimes and lack will never cease. You may be able to multiply the food for 5000, but they will be hungry again the next day and the following day as long as Christ has not returned and this world is not under His government. Dictators who were overthrown by ‘good’ people were replaced by another in a decade. Look at Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia. The people fought to get rid of Ian Smith, only to replace him with Mugabe. No wonder Solomon said, “…everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”

That may seem good to us, to live, die and go to Heaven for our reward because of our ‘holy’ Christian life, but will it seem good to God? You see, Jesus said to Nicodemus when they were alone, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life,” but Nicodemus never asked Jesus what He meant by eternal life. Indeed, most assume that this eternal life Jesus spoke of begins when we die as believers and go to Heaven to live forever with Him.

Indeed, many who have attempted to be more than believers and have gone on to discipleship, even paying the price of discipleship, have assumed that eternal life begins in the next age, for did not Jesus say and promise to the disciples, “I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for Me and the Gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first”? You see, you would be forgiven for thinking that eternal life does not begin until the next age, the age to come, and depending on your understanding of what the next age is, it could be the millennium, it could be Heaven, it could be New Jerusalem… unless you have listen to Jesus enough to realise that Jesus also said to the Father as He prayed, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.”

For those who remain disciples and receive the 100 fold in this age with its persecution, eternal life will begin in the next age… that is, their coming to know the only true God and Jesus Christ. The promise of the reward of the 100 fold and its very manifestation can be such a distraction that indeed you would not have time or room for eternal life until the next age!

However, when Jesus prayed in John 17.1-3, He said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You. For You granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those You have given Him. Now this is eternal life…” Yes, all who have been given to Jesus will be given eternal life. However, the question is, when will that be? For some it will be in the next age, but for others, it is the will, the wish and the decree of Jesus that it is NOW. He said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son…” When was that time? In a day or two… the next age? No… it was “Now…” The glorification of Jesus begins now on Earth with the manifestation of the eternal life in those God has given to Jesus, that knowing of Them, not the believing of Them.

However, that glorification… “Now…” can be delayed and therefore denied if we are disciples who are focused on the receipt of the 100 fold of what we have given up. If Jesus was focused on the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel and His claim as King of the Jews, then His work as the Lamb of God would have certainly been delayed, and the absence of the Kingdom of God would have been delayed too, for the Holy Spirit would not be able to be sent until Jesus had left for the right hand of God.

The receipt of the 100 fold is there to test our focus on the work that is to be done, and to see what we treasure in our hearts. For things such as family, houses, fields, brothers, sisters, children, mothers, fathers, even wives, are things that pagans run after, and all such things have been given to us already. Indeed, the 100 fold for such things are what pagans run after, not just their food or clothing as well, but no pagan runs after eternal life. They may run after immortality, but not eternal life. Immortality is to live forever without having to come to know God and Jesus Christ at all. Indeed, if Satan has his way, immortality is to live forever without God or Jesus Christ… full stop. However, eternal life is not immortality. It is not just living forever, it is living to get to know the Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, and anyone who wants that to happen now has answered Jesus’ prayer.

It is when we treasure above all else, even the 100 fold of what we gave up, the right to know Them now that the Holy Spirit will let you into Him. For no one knows the Father and the Son better than the Holy Spirit, and He alone is the One who can help you and let you get to know Them now, for He is here with us now. Thus, the giving up of things that pagans run after – home, fields, families – for the sake of Him and His Gospel is the price of a disciple. Its 100 fold reward in this age is the test of a disciple’s readiness for eternal life. Those who want to receive the 100 fold first will not receive the eternal life till the next age, hence, the first will be the last. And those who want to receive the eternal life first without allowing the 100 fold to distract them are ready for eternal life now, hence the last will be the first.

It is when you understand that the 100 fold has been given to you – because that is what pagans would run after but they would not run after the eternal life – that you should focus on getting the eternal life now instead of later. And when you do have that eternal life… you realise that there is no relief from the cycle of lack, from evil and from hunger, all the things that sin brought, until all things are restored on New Earth and New Jerusalem, and that even the millennium is merely a stepping stone to the ultimate destination and destiny of God for Himself and for you… then your focus should be absolutely on seeing Christ joined with His bride, the city of New Jerusalem, and God living amongst His people in that city. When your focus is upon that destiny/destination, then your focus is absolute, for nothing will and can change that destiny or destination. Whereas your 100 fold in this age can be disrupted, stolen and robbed, and your sojourn in Heaven can be terminated by death and the destruction of this present Heaven and Earth. So then death and Heaven are no longer a distraction or an option, but rather, everything in between you and New Jerusalem are merely signs of things to come and the promise of what lays beyond. When you have such a focus, then the Holy Spirit will let you into Him, and then you will realise what Paul was saying when He wrote: For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…

The focus, the absolute focus, is for the Holy Spirit, for He alone knows not only the Father and the Son, but Their plans and thoughts… and He alone can bring them to pass, for it is ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Anyone who is not ready for eternal life now, not focused on eternal life now, is not ready to be in the Holy Spirit even though the Holy Spirit may be with himand is living in him. And since He is the Spirit of Life, then you must at least believe that you will live and never die. And if that is true, then you must face the problems that living without dying on this Earth will bring you if Jesus is not reigning upon it.

That is the focus, absolute focus, for the elect of the Holy Spirit.

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