These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. -- I John 5:13
God's Gift of Eternal Life




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"The Greatest Race Of Life"

The Greatest Race of Life


Evangelist Clifford M. Smith, Th.D.
Copyright© 2009 All Rights Reserved.


"INTRODUCTION"

I pray, that this book will inspire you to live for the Lord Jesus Christ and give God all that you have in this life! There will be mentioned some things, that God expects you to live up to, so that you will receive His great blessings in this life (Note: To receive God's blessings, it must be done with the RIGHT attitude and intentions).

This book follows my previous book, GOD'S GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE, which is the title of my evangelistic web-site. I thank the Lord for all of the "Decisions of Salvation" and the strength received by others to claim God's promises concerning the "Eternal Security" of the beleiver, from the book, GOD's GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE. There are many types races in today's world,but ONLY the Christian's "race" leads to "Eternal Life (Heaven with Christ Jesus)" and all others lead to "Death (Hell-The Lake of Fire)." I pray, that THE GREATEST RACE OF LIFE, will give you great understanding on the "Race" that you're entered into for God' Glory! It has been said, "Only One Life Will Soon Be Passed, But Only What's Done For Christ Will Last." Please honor the Lord Jesus Christ with your praise, service, talents, time, and money.! "May The World See Jesus Christ In You!"

The Lord's Servant,
Bro. Clifford M. Smith, Th.D.
Romans 1: 16; Romans 12: 1, 2; I Corinthians 15 :51-58,

"CHAPTERS"

I. "God's Plan Of Salvation"
II. "The Race For Christians To Run"
III. "Some Great Observations About The Race"
IV. "Key Strategies To Help You Win In The Race"
V. "Your Race In Life Rewarded At The End"

I. "God's Plan Of Salvation"

Hi friends, neighbors and brothers/sisters in Christ Jesus our Lord! The "great race of life" begins with us all, by simply qualifying. You don't have to join a specific church, follow a set of guidelines, be baptized by water, speak in tongues, pay for your sins (By cutting or bruising your fleshly body) or giving all your money to the church to help further the work of God, to qualify to run in the "race of life." To qualify in God's Race, you must ONLY accept "God's Gift of Eternal Life" by God's Grace(Amazing) through Faith (100% trust and with NO bragging rights on your part). God's Salvation is a "GIFT" from God, that you can't buy or earn to receive. God accepts you, just as you are (A dirty rotten sinner -that may wear a tuxedo or rags). When we were born into this world, we were born with the decaying sin of Adam (Our spirit was dead) and in need of the Savior's (The Lord Jesus Christ) touch to quicken (Make alive) our "spirit." As hard as we try, we can't get to Heaven on "our own", we must have a "Savior" and His Name is "Jesus Christ the Lord!" If you don't qualify for the "race", you don't get to run or walk in it. I sure hope, you get qualified in the "Race!" Here's how you qualify for the "Greatest Race of Life":

1. "You must realize, that you are a "SINNER!"
(Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.")

2. "You must realize, that there is a Payment or Penalty for SIN!"
(Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death ...")

3. "You must realize, that Jesus Christ DIED for SINNERS!"
(Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth (showed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.")

4. "You must have a GODLY SORROW for your SINS!"
(II Corinthians 7:10 says, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of :")

5. "You must CONFESS WITH BELEIF, that JESUS CHRIST is LORD and RAISED FROM THE DEAD by GOD (The Anointed Messiah - Savior of the World)!"
(Romans 10:9 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt beleive in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.")

6. "You must BELEIVE, that there are NO WORKS of YOUR OWN for SALVATION and when you do accept CHRIST JESUS, you must tell someone or MAKE IT KNOWN!"
(Romans 10:10 says, "For with the heart man beleiveth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.")

7. "You must RECEIVE GOD'S GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE!"
(Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.")

"PRAYER OF SALVATION"

If you would like to "Receive" JESUS CHRIST as your "Personal Lord and Savior", here is a simple example of a Prayer, that you can "Pray" to receive "God's Salvation" for your "LIFE (Body, Soul & Spirit)!" *This Prayer, "MUST COME FROM YOUR HEART WITH A TRUE DESIRE FOR GOD", But It Can Not Be Some Kind Of Meaningless Prayer (Like A "Religious Act (Just Going through the Motions)" or Like A "Robot!")! Again, if you desire to accept JESUS CHRIST as your "Personal Lord and Savior", Pray This Simple Prayer >From Your Heart For God's Salvation!

"DEAR LORD JESUS, I come to you, Right Now, as a "Hell-Bound Sinner" in Need of "The Savior Of My Soul!" I ask you to "Please Forgive Me For All Of My Sins!" I BELIEVE, that "You Paid Sin's Price And Penalty On The Cross Of Calvary For ALL Of My Sins (Past, Present & Future)"; And After You Were Buried, I BELIEVE, That You Arose From The Grave On The Third Day(3rd) Victorious Over Death And Hell!" "I Accept You Now, JESUS CHRIST, As My Personal Lord And Savior!" Thank You for Shedding Your "Precious Sinless Blood" and "Giving Me Eternal Life" (THAT ONLY BY YOUR GRACE and THROUGH MY 100% FAITH IN YOU, LORD JESUS), that I have now become a "Child Of God" and will spend "Eternity With You!" "IN THE 'NAME' OF THE 'LORD JESUS CHRIST', THE MOST MAGNIFICIENT AND GLORIOUS ETERNAL 'NAME' IN HEAVEN AND IN ALL OF THE UNIVERSE, I Pray, AMEN, AMEN & AMEN!" Scripture References: John 19: 28-30; Ephesians 2: 8, 9; I John 5: 11-13; Revelation 1: 18. "Hallelujah (Praise The Lord) For Receiving God's Salvation!"


II. "The Race For Christians To Run!"

When I think of a "race", I think of a "starting point" and the "finish line" with normally a tough course to run in the middle of it. In my opinion, a "race" could also be referred to as the following: 1.Playing football, baseball, basketball, tennis or soccer, 2. Painting a house, 3. Mowing a yard, 4. Taking a special educational class and also 5. Trying to lose weight. In early years of the Christian Church, the Apostle Paul wrote of the "Christian's Race" and referred to the Olympics events as an example for Christians. The winner of the Olympics didn't receive great riches, but a "Great Name" of "Honor." Proverbs 22:1 says,"A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches..."What kind of "Name" do you have in this life and in the "Eyes of God?" The difference between "eternity" and "life" is very simple to understand. "Eternity" has "No Beginning" and has "No End." "Life" on the other hand, has a "Beginnig" and an "End". After "Life" is over for you and I, we enter into "Eternity with God or without God." As a qualifying contestant for the "race", you and I will be rewarded rightfully by the Lord Jesus Christ at the end of our life on Earth. Romans 14: 11, 12 says, "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." II Corinthians 5:10 says, "For we (The Children of God) must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ: that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." KEY SCRIPTURE PASSAGE: I Corinthians 9: 24-27 says, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run,not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

I would like to encourage you, to give it your best shot and aim for the "bull's eye" on the target. We're going to stumble and possibly fall (Because we live in this "sinful flesh"), but get back up and keep your eyes on "JESUS!" He is the Good Shepherd and will guide us, protect us and show us the way in our "Race". Everyone of us, has a different course to travel in this life (Some have a short life, like some of my young friends at St. Jude's Hospital - I ask for your prayers for all involved with this hospital and your financial support. Some live to be 100 years old and older). I pray, that when our lives are over, that Jesus will say to us "Well done thou good and faithful servant (Matthew 25: 21).

III. "Some Great Observations About The Race!"

I don't know about you, but I love to study or examine "history." The Bible is all about "history" or has been said to be "HIS"/"STORY" (Which is to say - "God's Story" ). We can read about the consequences of OBEDIENCE (The Receiving of God's Blessings) and of SIN(The Receiving of God's Judgment), this is determined on how we obey God's commandments and principles in His WORD (The Bible). We learn of the beginning of this world, the creation of man, the establishment of God's Children "Israel", the life, death , resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ and the "End Times of This World." I urge you to study "Not Only the Bible", but the "History of Civilization" of the world. You will see a great Law in life throughout "history", that says "...,For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6: 7)." Let's look at a few facts about about "running in any race":

1. Many don't even Enter the "Race", because of that, they can "Never Finish!"
2. Many start the "Race" going "Fast", but "Burn-out" and "Never Finish!"
3. Some start the "Race" at a "Slow" speed and sometimes quit temporarily, but "Finish the Race!"
4. Some start the "Race" at a "Fast" speed and never look back. They have an "Exciting Finish!"

My question to both of us would be, "Where am I in the "Greatest Race of Life?" Since I'm still alive, I have the opportunity to change my position in the RACE, so that I can Finish!

IV. "Key Strategies To Help You Win In The Race"

The KEY scripture verse in helping us win in the "Greatest Race of Life" is found in the following scripture verse:

Mattthew 6 : 33 says "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Now, lets look at some of the following "Strategies for our Race" to help us WIN:

1.. You must "Keep Your Eyes" on Jesus Christ.
2. You must "Focus" on the "Daily Steps of Obedience" to God.
3. You must "Follow" the Holy Spirit's leading in your life.
4. You must be "Faithful" in your service to Christ Jesus.
5. You must "Realize", that ALL that you have, comes from God.

There are three commandments of Jesus Christ to His Church that Jesus commanded for all Christians to follow. These three commandments are the "Core" or the "Center Most" Commandments to follow in the Christian's Race. Lets look at the following Scriptures:

1.   THE GREAT COMMANDMENT (Called "The First Of All Commandments!")
Mark 12 : 29, 30 says "And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."

2.   THE GOLDEN RULE (Called "The Second Of All Commandments!")
Mark 12: 31 says "And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." [* Inter-Woven in this scripture are two scriptures referred to as the "Golden Rule" : Matthew 7 : 12 ; Luke 6 : 31]

3.   THE GREAT COMMISSION
Matthew 28:19,20 says "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

ORDINANCES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH : After you get "SAVED", there are two "Ordinances", that the Christian must participate in, to help in his/her's "Race." An "Ordinance" is an "Act of Rememberance" or "Like a Wedding Ring, to help remind us of our Marriage to our mate in life. The following are the "Two Ordinances" of the New Testament Church, that we are commanded to follow:

1.   BAPTISM : Jesus Christ was baptized as an example for future beleivers to follow, but mostly as an example of His Death, Burial and Resurrection (Like taking a "Kodak Picture", for His Disciples to veiw the future events of His Life- Luke 3: 21,22). Baptism is the "First Step of Obedience" when you get saved. You should be baptized as soon as possible, before the Devil tries to pull you back into the things of this world (This can ruin your "Testimony" or "Book", that the "Lost Read" -since you've become a Child of God). If your life is "Hot" for God, you'll draw many to the Lord Jesus Christ; but if your life is "Lukewarm" for God, you'll cause many of the "Lost" to reject the "Love of God" through the Lord Jesus Christ. This "Lukewarmness" makes God sick to His stomach (Which is an Abomination To God), as seen in the Laodicean Church in the Book of Revelations(Rev. 3:15,16). For most people in this world, the "Testimony", that you "Live" will mean a "Heaven or Hell" Decision for them that view it. Now, pertaining to the "Ordinance of Baptism", it is a "One-Time" experience before your local church. You are saying by your actions, "I have accepted the Gift of God's Love by Grace through Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and that I am a Child of God!" WARNING: "Baptism" in these waters doesn't play any part in Salvation, because to be Baptized, you must already be Saved (Read Acts 2: 41; 8: 26-39).

2.   THE LORD'S SUPPER: Jesus prepared a supper of bread and wine(Actually, it was "Grape Juice"), for His "Twelve Disciples" to partake of (Prior to His arrest by King Herod's soldiers) in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus said in Luke 22: 19, 20, very clearly what the "Bread and Wine" represented, "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." This "Lord's Supper" became an "Ordinance" observed by the "New Testament Church", as seen in Acts 2: 42 , "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." The Apostle Paul wrote concerning the importance of taking the "Lord Supper", with a Pure Heart and with an Attitude of Respect (Holiness) to the Lord (Read This For Further Study: I Corinthians 11: 23-34).

Now, let's look at some of the "Top Daily Steps Of Obedience To God," they are as follows:

1. "Daily Praise The Lord!" (Psalms 146: 1; 147: 1; 148: 1; 149: 1; 150: 1)
2. "Daily Give Thanks Unto The Lord!" (Romans 14: 6 ;Ephesians 5: 20; Philippians 1: 3 ; 4: 6)
3. "Daily Rejoice And Have Joy In The Lord!" (Nehemiah 8: 10; Psalms 5:11; Philippians 4: 4)
4. "Daily Read Your Bible!" (Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 ; Psalms 119: 11-16; Read John 1: 1-14)
5. "Daily Prayers To God!" (Psalms 55: 3, 17 ; I Thess. 5:17)
6. "Daily Share God's Plan Of Salvation With Others!" (Prov. 11:30; Matt.28: 19,20 ; Luke 14: 23)
7. "Daily Obey God In All Things!" (Joshua 1:8; Acts 5: 29)

The following are some other "Steps of Obedience", that we are Commanded to Obey, but Not Necessarily on a Daily Basis:

1. "Follow The Ten Commandments Always!" (Read Exodus 20: 1-17)
2. "Attend All Church Services If Possible!" (Hebrews 10: 25)
3. "Give Tithes and Offerings To The Lord's Work!"(Malachi 3: 8, 10; I Cor. 16: 2)

The Strategies for running in the "Race of Life", were taken right from the "Word of God." Follow them carefully for "God's Glory" and "Not Your Own." Its been said, "That the Bible is God's "Roadmap" to "Heaven!" If you follow it, I know, you'll "Finish" the "Race" set before you, in your life (Please Read These Scripture Verses And Allow Them To Stir Your Spirit, That You May Run "The Greatest Race of Life" with Boldness for the "Glory of the Lord! - Philippians 3: 1-21).

V. "YOUR RACE IN LIFE REWARDED AT THE END"

No matter, who you are in this life; all of us will receive our "Just Reward." Some will sow "good" seeds, and some will sow "bad" seeds. The Lord Jesus Christ (The King of Kings and Lord of Lords) shall "Judge" His children, on how well, they run in the "Greatest Race of Life." Lets see, what the Bible says, concerning God's "judgements" on mankind:

"THE LAW OF SOWING AND REAPING"
Galatians 6: 7 says "Be not deceived; God is not mocked : for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
II Corinthians 9 : 6, 7 says "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully."

"THE WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT( FOR THE LOST)"
Revelation 20 : 11-15 says "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

"THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST (FOR THE SAVED OR "CHRISTIANS")"
II Corinthians 5 : 10, 11 says "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences."

"JESUS CHRIST IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE BUILDING OF OUR LIVES"
I Corinthians 3 : 9-11 says "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

"THE RESULTS OF THE CHRISTIAN'S LIFE IS REPRESENTED BY BUILDING MATERIALS"
(Faithful Rewards : Gold, Silver and Precious Stones represent a "Christian", that Finished the Race!)
(Unfaithful Rewards : Wood , Hay and Stubble represent a "Christian", that didn't Finish the Race!)
I Corinthians 3 : 12-15 says "Now if any man build upon this foundation gold ,silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

"CROWNS THAT ARE GIVEN TO CHRISTIANS (QUALIFIED RUNNERS IN THE RACE)"
1. Crown of Righteousness (It is given to all "Believers"): II Timothy 4: 8.
2. Crown of Life (It is given to those that endure temptation, even unto death): James 1:12; Rev. 2:10
3. Crown of Glory (It is given to "Pastors" for taking care of the "Church"): I Peter 5 : 4
4. Crown of Rejoicing (It is given to "Soul-Winners" for Christ): I Thessalonians 2:19

In closing, let me urge you to "Run Boldly" in the "Race of Life!" In the end, when you stand before the "Throne of God" and in "God's Holiness", you'll wish that you had given more to "God's Glory!" You may ONLY have a "Crown of Righteousness" to cast at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven, but wouldn't you want to be able to give more (Revelation 4:10). "JESUS CHRIST GAVE HIS ALL ON THE CROSS OF CALVARY FOR YOU AND I, LET US RUN AND FINISH THE "GREATEST RACE OF LIFE" FOR THE LORD !"

"THE END"

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