REWARDS OF GODLY AND RIGHTEOUS WALK
IN A POLLUTED ENVIRONMENT
HEBREWS 11:5-7; COLOSSIANS 3:24.
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). It can be clearly seen that Enoch was rewarded by walking with God. Genesis chapter 5 can be called the “and he died” chapter. But this didn’t touch Enoch who walked with God for three hundred long years, he simply disappeared.
The book of Hebrews gave us an astonishing revelation of what Enoch did – he pleased God. This started by faith. He believed God for who He is and what He says. This is righteousness. “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). Without faith you can’t please God. Without righteousness and holiness you can’t see God. Therefore to please God and get His protection, promotion, provision and preservation, one needs to walk in righteousness in any environment.
This journey into heaven is actually a walk with God, not with self, friends or the world. To commence this journey therefore you need to listen to a true preacher of God’s word, read the Bible, believe it with all your heart and finally call or cry onto God for salvation, because He alone can save you from destruction. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).
These should lead one into a step by step and side by side movement with God – not to stay behind, stray beside or stroll before Him. Let’s consider this topic under three sub titles 1. Repentance – A Compassionate work by God. 2. Righteousness – A Compulsory walk with God. 3. Remembrance – A compensatory Will of God
1. REPENTANCE – A COMPASSIONATE WORK BY GOD
Micah 7:18&19; Acts 5:30-31
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Proverbs 28:13; Matthew 9:13). To walk with God, He has made available repentance from sin through Jesus Christ our saviour. All you need to do is acknowledge those sins, confess and forsake them, and then ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness with a determination never to go back to such sins anymore (Romans 10:9, 10). God takes pleasure in walking with man. That is the original reason for man’s creation – to give Him pleasure (Revelation 4:11). Sin gives God displeasure. This made Him to drive the fallen angels and first humans from His presence. But compassion made Him to cause restoration to humans through repentance by Christ Jesus. Talk with God to walk with Him.
2. RIGHTEOUSNESS – A COMPULSORY WALK WITH GOD
Titus 2:11-14; 1 Peter 3:12
Righteousness can be defined as a quality of being morally right and good. Walking with God can mean being morally right and good by His standards according to His word. We are to deny every form of ungodliness and live godly in this present evil world. Noah was seen as righteous in his generation because he obeyed every word of God. “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation” (Genesis 7:1). A whole generation perished because of the greed to satisfy the flesh.
To keep the experience of your salvation in this turbulent troubled world, you need to break off from unbelieving friends, cast off unrighteousness, flee youthful lust and then focus your attention on God’s Kingdom. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17). You are to flee every youthful lust and constantly reject peer pressure, resist negative thoughts and reprove compromise in any form – spiritually or physically. “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22).
God desires to walk with man more than we can imagine. But because His eyes are so pure that they cannot behold iniquity, He just must separate sinners from Himself. If the first man was pushed out to suffer doom then it can’t be otherwise today, for God can never drift, He is just the same. So to be part of the new kingdom undergoing preparation for the redeemed, you need to seek righteousness at all cost. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:43).
3. REMEMBRANCE – A COMPENSATORY WILL OF GOD
Jeremiah 2:1-3; Malachi 3:16
If one can bring back the picture of something or thought of an individual to memory, then it is certain an action must follow – whether positive or negative. Sometimes it could lead to physical actions. This in its fullest is remembrance.
God can neither forget nor remember. But according to scriptures, when God forgets one’s children, then such are doomed for destruction. When God remembers anyone, then such a person is redeemed to walk with God and receives His blessings. Sometimes God can either “forget” or “remember” one’s iniquity as the case may be. In a nutshell, there is a reward or consequence for remembering or forgetting. The thief at the cross believed in Jesus and requested to be remembered and was granted immediate access into the coming kingdom. “And he said unto Jesus, Lord; remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42-43).
A song writer wrote:
When you count up those who forward press,
Count me, count me;
Who shall gain the crown of righteousness,
Count me, count me.
There is a crown of righteousness for all pilgrims to heaven. When God counts you then he has remembered you.
When God remembers a stripling, such a youth must locate the throne. In 1 Samuel 17:55-56, Saul had forgotten who David was despite the benefits he had derived from him earlier. But because David walked with God, and God remembered him, it became difficult for people to forget him. Even Abner who had also forgotten him was forced to look for who David was. When God remembers a boy, girl, man or woman, that person is remembered indeed, no matter who forgets him or her. This certainly brings a reward here, on earth and finally in heaven at last.