(Go to Meeting)

Norbert Bohnert—January 1, 2021

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It's been a quite a year, 2020 will go down in history as the year that a lot of people didn't expect would occur that had occurred, and we're still facing some dilemmas here as far as Covid and so forth. Not only that, the world conditions and the things that are going on around us just don't get any better.

Should that be a surprise to us? Well, really not, it's just that we've been so comfortable for so many years that we often wondered what will come about! This Covid that came upon us very quickly, and to the scale it did is a real eye-opener for all of us. It's something that we have deal with, but also look forward to what we know and the calling that we have received.

We're going to talk about legacy. I'm asking: What will your legacy be?

We're going to talk about legacy and our personal roles will be establishing and leaving a legacy in our temporary lives in this world today. We are all facing a temporary life and we will all find our time that we will eventually die. What can we say personally that we can leave behind as a legacy.

It's a very broad topic. Legacy can involved natural talents, natural things, personalities, characteristics that a person showing outright and excels in, and leaves behind once he dies and is in the grave.

I thought I would look up the word 'legacy' in the Bible. It does not occur in the Faithful Version nor in many other translations. It is not explicitly mentioned. There are many verses that refer to the concept of legacy, but nowhere is that direct word used.

Proverbs 13:22: "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the righteous."

This refers to the term and concept of legacy. Heritage is an important theme throughout the Bible that we find both in the Old Testament and the New Testament; the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.

A legacy is related to this concept and focuses on what will endure. It's about the passing of things of lasting value to those who will live on after us. Legacy also involves living intentionally and aiming to build into the next generation for their success.

  • What is the most significant to pass onto the future generations?
  • How should we as Christians go about that?

Legacy, although not directly written in the Scriptures, has many references to it in so many ways, and we will try to examine just some of the significant and what's important regarding the concept of legacy in this walk with God that we are presently in.

We will first learn what a legacy consists of, and examples of such that are found in the Scriptures. We will strictly concentrate on the spiritual legacy aspect.

A spiritual legacy is a legacy of faith. Like many people, we want to impact the world with the life that we lead and live, and we really are responsible for that with the calling that God has given to each one of us personally.

In our Christian walk with God upon our calling, do impact the world, even if we do not directly realize it or think about it. What is the starting point for developing a legacy spiritually? A spiritual legacy is all about your relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ!

The stories of your past and present walk with God, developing those traits and characteristics in your journey of creating your own personal legacy.

Let's start with the basics and work our way to answering a few questions.

What is a legacy? In simple terms it's a memory of what someone is best known for! For what they have left behind once they are gone.

We are familiar with the legacies of many famous people throughout history. Some examples from the secular world:

  • Columbus discovered America
  • Thomas Jefferson purchased Louisiana from Napoleon
  • Napoleon himself left quite an historical legacy in the last battle in Waterloo; he was a participant in the last restoration of the Roman Empire
  • George Washington was the first President of the United States
  • Abraham Lincoln is famous for the Gettysburg Address, and his legacy of abolishing slavery

What do you want your legacy to be?

Perhaps we have not thought about this concept seriously, but we in God's Church—each one of us—has been called for a specific purpose. In the past within the Churches of God, even some questions come up—and continue to come up occasionally—that affect our legacy.

There are those who are teaching that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached sufficiently and completely by Herbert W. Armstrong, and that it need not to be preached any longer.

Those who tend to teach that the Gospel was preached completely and need not be preached any longer adhere to such theories in Scriptures like:

Revelation 3:7: "And to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia, write: 'These things says the Holy One, the One Who is true; the One Who has the key of David, Who opens and no one shuts, and Who shuts and no one opens. I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one has the power to shut it because you have a little strength, and have kept My Word, and have not denied My name'" (vs 7-8).

People conclude that the Gospel message is shut and no one can open it. They claim that the one who opens the door is the one who can shut the door so that no one can open it. The work of the Gospel to the world is closed. That is what they are basically inferring.

Speaking of the Laodicean Church era, they say that the seventh era has rejected the presence of Jesus in their lives, and closed that door between them and Jesus Christ.

We have to be careful and not get into this thinking pattern. That is a different door that the Laodiceans have closed their lives off to Christ. Be careful, those ideas are contrary to the true meaning of the Scriptures. They twist the Scriptures to suit their own ideas and agendas.

Let us look at the words of Christ as He prayed to His Father/our Father.

John 17:4: "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do."

Doesn't that statement compliment this entire way of thinking, that tells us the Gospel does not need to be preached that the statement "…I have finished the work…"?

Hold on! Jesus also said, "…the work that You gave Me to do." Jesus was in no way declaring that the work of preaching the Gospel to be complete. Jesus Christ intends that everyone hear it so that God can call whom He will, even to the last hour!

Matthew 28:18 "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples in all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit'" (vs 18-19).

Did Jesus intend for the Gospel to go out and be a one-time event?

Verse 20: "Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even until the completion of the age.' Amen."

God will be calling some to a full reward until the very last hour.

Matthew 20:9: "And when those who were hired about the eleventh hour came, they each received a silver coin."

Contrary to what many say, that the work has been completed, even in His statement in His last days as found in his autobiography, that his end-time commission to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world for a witness unto all nations had been completed.

Autobiography of the Herbert W. Armstrong

The work that God has given me to do is complete, but not the Word of God's Church, which will be faithfully doing God's work until Christ, the true Head of this Church, returns.

  • Is that not similar to what Christ said at the end of His life? Mr. Armstrong can be said to have left his legacy of preaching the Gospel!
  • Is this to assume to mean that there's no need for the Gospel to go out to the world any longer? Certainly not, as we will continue to see in this message!

Let us examine these questions:

  • Has the Gospel been preached in its entirety?
  • Is it God's intent that no one else is to hear the Gospel preached?
  • Is the Gospel to be preached at this time?
  • Will the Gospel yet be preached?

There are those who have put claim onto the Gospel of the soon coming Kingdom of God was preached and completed in the last century.

We know that this is a fallacy, and that the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God shall be preached unto the end of the world, until the return of Christ.

Let us search the Scriptures a little further to clarify this point. There are very important questions to be answered, because it helps us understand and answer another question:

  • What should we as Christians be doing?
  • Has someone else completed the required preaching of the Gospel message?

or

  • Does there remain the essential obligation for each one of us to continue to be a witness to this world?
  • Why is the Gospel to be preached?
  • What does Jesus say the reason is?

Our life is meant to be a witness for Jesus Christ!

Matthew 24:14: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come."

It clearly says that the Gospel shall be preached right up to the end. We've heard and read this verse many times over the years. But let us make a distinction in this word witness.

A witness is a person who sees something; that is passive. They do not do anything, they just know about the Gospel. Then there is the witness who testifies to a cause. That's what we should be! That is active; that is who we are to be: a witness who testifies to a cause!

Our very lives give testimony to the coming Kingdom of God. From our Christian perspective, the Gospel message is not passive but active!

This is a big warning verse here, and we need to be prepared! This is coming on the Church of God very soon.

Mark 13:9: "But keep yourselves on guard… [speaking to us] …for they shall deliver you up to councils and synagogues. You shall be beaten, and you shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a witness against them. And the Gospel must first be published among all nations."

With the Church being so widely scattered and confused at times, it would be easy to fall into the trap of saying, 'What can we do? We are too small and weak!'

Let us not forget that it is not our work to do; we've got to remember that! It is not for our work to do, but the work of God that is getting done through us, through Christ. That's the crux of it.

John 6:29: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God: that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.'"

  • What is our part in the work of God?
  • Can we kick back and relax because God is doing the work? Of course not! That is not what we are to do!
  • How can we help other's believe in Jesus Christ and His Gospel? This is a very important question for each one of us, personally, to answer!

We have not been called just so that we can be saved at this time. Were that the case, God would have waited to when He calls everyone else, which is later.

We are being called, have been called, at this time, at this moment to fulfill a specific function; each one of us. We can review the lives of many saints and prophets from the past to learn why they were called. All we must look to is their legacy as revealed to us in the Bible.

Heb. 11 is called the faith chapter, and also the legacy chapter. Paul speaks to what has been fulfilled in the Law, and what remains for Christians. Every one of these men and women—here in Hebrews—were called for a purpose, and we are no different! We are called for a purpose:

  • What is yours?
  • What is your purpose?
  • What is my purpose?

Most names—as we find here in Heb. 11—are not all listed; just a few of them are! The Apostle Barnabas left us a legacy. We are told that he excelled in encouraging others.

  • What is it that God wants us to do?
  • What is it that God wants us to accomplish?
  • What will our legacy be when all is said and done?

Let's take a brief look at some of the legacies of the well-known people of God.

Hebrews 11:4: "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it, though he died, he is yet speaking." Abel's legacy, his witness, yet testifies!

Verse 7: "By faith Noah, after being Divinely instructed by God about the things he could not yet see, was moved with fear and prepared an ark for the salvation of his house; through which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness, which is by faith." Noah's legacy was building the ark and saving mankind from the Flood!

Verse 8: "By faith Abraham, being called of God to go out into the place, which he would later receive for an inheritance, obeyed and went, not knowing where he was going."

Genesis 26:5: "Because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws"—Abraham's legacy was to obey and receive the covenant promise!

It was an awesome, awesome calling that Abraham was given and received that covenant promise!

We see in the book of Hebrews just a few examples that God intends even women to write their legacy and be women of spiritual fortitude, wisdom and strength.

Hebrews 11:11: "By faith also Sarah herself received power to conceive seed, and gave birth when she was well beyond the childbearing age, because she esteemed Him faithful Who had personally promised her a son."

Verse 20: "By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things that were to come." Rebekah—Isaac's wife—conceived!

Genesis 25:22: "And the sons struggled together within her [Rebekah]. And she said, 'If it is well, why am I this way?' And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her, 'Two nations are in your womb, and two kinds of people shall be separated from your belly. And the one people shall be stronger than the other people, the older shall serve the younger'" (vs 22-23).

These are examples of people through history, written in the Bible having a legacy of their own.

Let's look at what has transpired in our lifetime, and what we have witnessed as highlights in our lives. There's a beginning of a great confrontation, a clash of civilizations. We are experiencing and witnessing a shifting demographics, and it continues.

Without authentic repentance, and a return to the true God, the future of Christianity in American and England looks hopeless. We must watch and compare the events occurring as prophecy comes to light. This is becoming apparent and very significant as time goes on.

Westerners—Europe and America—are in the biggest shock of their lives in the dark times ahead as the Islamic caliphate has been declared and re-established in many locations, and thousands of mosques are showing up. In England Sharia Courts are now officially a part of the British legal system. Muslims are migrating all over the world. Jews are fleeing France and have done so in record numbers as anti-Semitism is prevalent.

This is being accepted and British Muslim students are in favor of a worldwide caliphate, a Muslim state!

The previous caliphate ended with the Ottoman Caliphate, 1517 going on to 1924. March 3, 1924, the first president of the Turkish Republic—Mustafa Kemal Ataturk—as part of the secular reforms constitutionally abolished the institution of the Caliphate.

Now they are at it again! We are speaking of legacies.

How about Muhammad, the prophet's legacy. By the way, Allah is not the true God, but a pagan moon-god. Muhammad's behavior is an example to all Muslims and cannot be criticized by anyone in or out of their ideology.

If Muhammad had been a man of peace like Gandhi or Mother Teresa, there would be no problem. But Muhammad was a warlord, a mass-murderer, a pedophile and he has multiple marriages at the same time. Islamic tradition tells us how he fought in the battles. Muhammad had his enemies murdered and even had prisoners of war executed. He himself slaughtered an entire Jewish tribe!

Islam is a sensitive political ideology, a political system that recognizes no limits to authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life. It is marked by political repression, personality, occultism, control over the economy, regulations, restriction of speech, mass surveillance and widespread use of terror.

Islam actually means submission! It is not compatible with freedom and democracy. It can be compared to communism and national socialism, which are all totalitarian ideologies.

Heb. 11 are legacies that have occurred in the past.

Hebrews 11:21: "By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped God, leaning on the top of his staff."

This, of course, is Ephraim and Manasseh right here in the legacies chapter: England and America.

It's rather disheartening once you enter the Truth that brethren and sometimes ministers of Jesus Christ proclaim that there is no need for the Gospel still to be preached to this dying world. That is a false claim, totally false!

1-Samuel 25:30: "And it shall be, when the LORD has done to my lord [David] according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and commanded you to be ruler over Israel."

David fought Goliath, ruled physical Israel and his legacy is yet future in presiding over the Apostles and the 12 tribes of Israel:

Jeremiah 30:9: "But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up to them."

Matthew 19:28: "And Jesus said to them… [the apostles] …'Truly I say to you who have followed Me: in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit upon the Throne of His glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'"

That is a good point for all of us; our greatest accomplishments are yet ahead of us.

  • Elijah confronted 450 priests of Baal
  • Daniel foretold the Kingdom of God to Nebuchadnezzar, the head of gold

Hebrews 11:36: "And others endured the trial of cruel mocking and scourging; yes, and moreover, of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawed in two, they were brutally interrogated, and slaughtered by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and in goatskins, being destitute, oppressed, and ill-treated; of whom the world was not worthy; they wandered in deserts and in mountains, living in caves and in holes in the earth. But these all, though they had received a good report through faith, did not obtain the promise" (vs 36-39).

Paul spoke thee words in the book of Hebrews, and we can read of Paul's legacy also.

2-Timothy 4:6: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight; I have finished the course; I have kept the faith. From this time forward, a crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me in that day—and not to me only, but also to all who love His appearing" (vs 6-8).

It reinforces again that everyone whom God has called in the past, everyone whom God has called in the present has been used, or is being used, for a specific purpose. We, brethren, are no exception!

  • What will you be known for?

better yet:

  • For what purpose has God called you to salvation and glory at this time?

It's a question we must ask ourselves, and be motivated that we are so honored to have had God call us.

  • Will the earth be a better place because of us having been here?

God is not calling everyone now:

  • Why did He call us?
  • Why did He call you?
  • Why did He call me?
  • For what purpose?

I often wondered, and I know that it comes up often!

By the end of this message I hope to give you insight as to why your life is important to Jesus Christ right now. Perhaps you will be able to answer the question and say, 'My legacy is to….' You fill that part out.

The great majority of us will not leave a legacy of money, property or power. Jesus did not leave that type of legacy. There are many more important ways to leave our legacy.

  • What is our purpose in life?
  • Do we have that smug feeling that we know that we have found the right church
  • Do we have that smug feeling because we are members of that church?
  • Do we have that smug feeling that all we have to do is kick back and cruise into the Kingdom of God?
  • Is that what really think?

We cannot be on cruise control, because the true Philadelphians are certainly not on cruise control!

Mark 16:15: "And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation.'"

It certainly does not look like from this Scripture that Jesus intended that enormous numbers be excluded. Most people in the world have never heard the true Gospel message!

Herbert W. Armstrong has been dead for 35 years (died in Jan. 1986) and the average mean age on the earth is 30-years-old. That means that half the people on the earth have born since Herbert W. Armstrong died.

  • Is it not foolish to assume that the Gospel is not to go to them?
  • Who should not hear?

The Gospel message is not passive, but active! We have a Gospel to preach, we have a Gospel to live, and we do make a difference!

The Gospel is still being declared and lived by everyone who is led by God's Holy Spirit. Verbalizing our potential legacy is having a huge effect on our motivation to achieve something distinctive with our own lives and how many years we have left.

Some people feel worthless or useless; it's just natural that some people feel that way. But we can be reassured that we are called for a specific purpose! What is the purpose of the life that God has given each one of us?

Matthew 10:23: "But when they persecute you in this city, escape into another; for truly I [Jesus] say to you, in no way shall you have completed witnessing to the cities of Israel until the Son of man has come."

The preaching and the witnessing of the Gospel will go right up until the first resurrection. Make no mistake about what Jesus said here about persecution; it does not sound to me like we will be able to remain 'fat and happy' until Christ returns. It's going to be a rough and bumpy ride, so hang on; It's going to get worse!

This is no time to check out and decide that the work of God has all been done. There's ample room for each one of us to write our own legacy.

Matthew 24:46: "Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing." Good intentions count for nothing! Boastful words count for nothing!

  • Will we have a legacy that is pleasing to Jesus Christ?
  • Will our names be recorded in the book of Acts when it is completed?

We all have a story to tell! We all have a life to live!

All church members—no matter where they find themselves—are to be diligently continuing with the work of God, to which all the church brethren have always been committed.

We are coming to a time when the Church of God, as we have known it, will not exist anymore! Websites may fail; persecution may be setting in!

There is an immensely powerful outpouring of the Gospel message that will come when God gives power to His two witnesses, and they shall prophesy 1260 days clothed in sackcloth and ashes:

Revelation 11:3: "And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."

Brethren we cannot leave the job to the two witnesses. They do not come on the scene until the work of the Church is over and we can leave the job of witnessing to:

Revelation 14:6: "And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and language and people."

  • What is my legacy?
  • What is your legacy?
  • Why has God singled us out at this time?
  • What did God need you for?

If you had not been called there would have been something missing in the plan of God! There was a purpose for God calling us. Sometimes it's difficult to fathom that, but there is a purpose why God called us individually.

Remember how Jonah survived the great fish to go on to Nineveh. The Ninevites were not called to salvation, but God used their repentance for a special purpose. That point is: We must never diminish our purpose of being called at this time!

Luke 11:30: "For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, in the same way also shall the Son of man be a sign to this generation. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because they repented at Jonah's proclamation; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here" (vs 30-32).

Jesus goes on here to tie our responsibilities to us, because we have seen the light!

  • Is that not correct?
  • Is that not right?

Verse 33: "Now, no one who lights a lamp sets it in a secret place or under a bushel basket, but on a lampstand, so that those who are entering may see the light."

  • Who are you supposed to let your light shine unto?
  • Who are you to be a witness to?
  • Who do you help?
  • Who do you encourage with your words?

All questions that we must ask ourselves!

Jeremiah was called for his special purpose: prophesying to the nations.

Jeremiah 1:4: "And it came to pass, the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I consecrated you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations'" (vs 4-5).

Ezekiel 2:5: "And they, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear—for they are a rebellious house—yet, they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

Ezekiel 3:4: "And He said to me, 'Son of man, go! Go up to the house of Israel and speak to them with My words.'"

Ezekiel's message did not go out to Israel. Not until our generation with the printed Bible and the Gospel message did Ezekiel's message go out.

Ezekiel 33:33: "And when this comes to pass; (behold, it will come) then they shall know that a prophet has been among them."

Few—even among those whom we have fellowshipped with—grasp what an incredible thing it is to be God's children at this time. Everyone eventually will be called, but not to the special calling that we are privileged to, a better resurrection, the first resurrection!

Have all the cities of Israel heard the Gospel preached? There are a few people today, percentage wise, who have heard the Truth of the Gospel proclaimed!

So many people are not receiving the witness of the Gospel. This world has not been sufficiently warned. Obviously, we still have our work cutout for us. There are some that would hope that one of the groups with a charismatic leader would take off nationally, or internationally, like when God gave a special gift to Herbert W. Armstrong, and that the Gospel would again be carried around the world making that person's name a household word.

Thirty-five years have passed since HWA's death, and it certainly does not look like Jesus Christ is going to give that special evangelistic gift to anyone, any man who aspires to work in HWA's shoes. God is in control! That you can say was HWA's legacy: to preach the Gospel to the world, and every other man must figure out God's specifically expects them to do with their life.

Who is crying aloud and sparing not?

Isaiah 58:1: "Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like a ram's horn, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins."

There are many secular men out there today who are crying out more than those in God's Church: i.e. Glenn Beck, Mark Levine, Rush Limbaugh (deceased), Donald Trump, Michael Savage; just to name few.

Can we say that these are the judges of Israel like Samson, who was no paragon of virtue himself? Even HWA did not see the sword come upon this land as we have; the sword is now touching our land:

Ezekiel 33:1: "And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them, "When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman; if, when he sees the sword come upon the land, he blows the ram's horn and warns the people"'" (vs 1-3).

We have and continue to have terror being brought into our shores.

Leviticus 26:16: "I will also do this to you: I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and burning fever, consuming the eyes and causing sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it."

HWA did bring the warning message that Ezekiel says must go out to all. Many of us remember hearing that Gospel message, as many of us were introduced at that time. The warning went out in great power to all the world as a witness.

Ezek. 33:4-11 is all about repentance. Even the Church of God does not receive a free pass because of the calling that they have.

Ezekiel 33:12: "Therefore, son of man, say to the children of your people, 'The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression. As for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it in the day he turns from his wickedness. Nor shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sins.'"

God says that America and England need to repent and return to serving and obey Him; realizing that He rules and most of all accept that He is the LORD (read vs 13-17).

How many people in the USA and in Britain know that we are the recipients of the national blessing that God has bestowed upon the children of Abraham after 2250 years of separation?

Ezek. 23 is well-worth reading! We know, as we read in vs 23-33 that America and England have turned their back on God.

  • Why has Covid hit us?
  • Was it a wakeup call?

It reinforces everything that we are facing, and will be facing. We must wake up! You can read on in Ezek. 33, there is much there to learn. Much there that tells us of what we are to expect.

How is it that there are ministers still in the Churches of God teaching that Jesus Christ had a warning message that ended 35 years ago? Now they teach that we only must care about getting ourselves into the Kingdom of God!

Yes, do have to make sure that we get ourselves into the Kingdom of God, but God's Word and way of life—breathing it—is how we do it. That is how we show our faith. As a result of that faith and our works and action—it takes action on our part—we can create our legacy in fulfilling the Word of God to the best of our ability with God's Holy Spirit guiding us and directing us through it all!

Our legacy can be formed in our temporary lives, as that of being close to God and practicing God's Word, God's way of life, amongst each other and very importantly unto our fellow man!

We are going to experience terrible and rigorous religious persecution before Jesus returns. We must ask ourselves:

  • Do I represent the Kingdom of God:
  • in my personal life?
  • in my behavior toward others?
  • in my behavior toward other brethren?
  • In my behavior toward those outside in the world?
  • Am I a living example of God's way of life?
  • Do I live according to the rules of the Kingdom of God?

Matthew 11:12: "For from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven is taken with a great struggle, and the zealous ones lay hold on it."

That is what we must keep in the back of our mind in our complete conversion process, and our complete walk with God. God has called us and has a purpose for each one of us. Let us not forget that. We are privileged to be called by God to have that awesome opportunity to rule with Christ forever in the Kingdom of God.

The journey is difficult, but with the guidance of the Holy Spirit working within us, dwelling within us, our goals can be accomplished, and with that goal a legacy is inevitable.

In our shortened lives of which many of us are truly looking at, with the ages that we have obtained, we will pass things down to the next set of individuals and possibly generation.

Even if we do not have much materially to leave behind, we will have instilled character traits, talents, hobbies, skills and more in our children and grandchildren. But how valuable will your personal legacy be.

Will you leave anything that has relevance and benefit for this life to others' lives in eternity? The most valuable legacy that we can pass onto our children, our grandchildren and fellow brethren is our spiritual legacy: The legacy of faith and hope in Christ Jesus!

That legacy is built upon the foundations. As you can see this is an exhaustive topic, and in summary I want to give you ten points of leaving a legacy; then things that I personally and we all should want to be remembered for. I think we all want to be remembered by Christ for our attitudes, our presence, our words and importantly the actions spiritually.

We have been called by God to need and to establish a legacy that needs intentional effort every day with the power and strength of the Holy Spirit working within us.

  • legacy of joy during difficulty

James 1:2: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you are beset by various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance" (vs 2-3).

In this present life we know we're going to have troubles even if we are not the instigators of such. In our attempts to live a trouble-free life is much better to expect 'bumps in the road' and dig deep into our faith and find joy amidst it all. Knowing that God is in control of every situation in our lives.

  • legacy of receiving and giving grace

1-Corinthians 3:10: "As a wise architect, according to the grace of God that was given to me, I have laid the foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each one take heed how he builds upon it."

God gives us great grace to accomplish His will right where we are. Being on the receiving end of undeserved grace and mercy makes it easier to pass it onto other.

  • legacy of encouraging and aspiring others toward greatness

Hebrews 3:13: "Rather, be encouraging one another each day, while it is called 'today,' so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."

There is always something to bring people down: a discouraging word, a disapproving look or disrespectful action. Sometimes we must bring the joy with us when we show up in the home, in the Church, amongst our brethren and in our community.

Great personal joy happens within us when other people are inspired by our words and our actions.

  • legacy of giving my time, my treasures and energy for the Kingdom of God, God's work

2-Corinthians 8:7: "Now even as you are abounding in every wayin faith, and word, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in the love that you have for us—so you should also abound in this gift."

As believer's in Christ Jesus, our legacy should be one of incredible generosity of our time, money and energy.

We are promised by God that He will supply our needs and grant our desires according to His will. Our legacy is bolstered when we live unhindered by selfish ambition or hoarding earthly treasures for ourselves.

  • legacy of modeling forgiveness

Ephesians 4:32: "And be kind and tenderhearted toward one another, forgiving one another, even as God has also in Christ forgiven you."

It's much easier talking and thinking about forgiving others than actually doing it. We know that; however God gives us incredible freedom to those who choose to forgive those who have offended them.

Christ's sacrifice at the cross is the most modeled when forgive as He has forgiven us.

  • legacy of unconditional love for the family, friends and the Church family

1-Peter 4:8: "But above all, have fervent love among yourselves because love will cover a multitude of sins.

Many of grow up believing that people love us when we do something worthy of their affection. However, God has called us to love unconditionally as He has loved us. Through His grace, the legacy of 'agape' love can reach out throughout many generations of family and friends.

  • legacy of leading and discipling people to Christ

1-Thessalonians 2:8: "Yearning over you in the same way, we were willing to impart to you not only the Gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you were beloved to us."

It is easy for us to take for granted the amazing gift of salvation giving from God the Father through Jesus Christ. Yet, every time we share the Gospel and witness our transformation, we tend to reach out to the lost more so. It takes time and effort to disciple people in Christ. But God gives us that wisdom and strength when we trust His direction and guidance.

  • legacy of hearing and doing God's Word

James 1:22: "Then be doers of the Word, and not only hearers, deceiving your own selves."

    • Is it not wiser to leave a legacy of doing God's Word rather than just sitting around accruing knowledge about it?
    • Doing God's Word rather than just acknowledging it?

God's Word is a powerful motivator to get us moving in the right direction. However, it's only possible when I surrender my inability in the flesh and trust the Lord give me what I need to follow through.

  • legacy of doing good and productive work

1-Corinthians 3:1: "And, I, brethren, was not able to speak to you as to those who are spiritual, but as to those who are carnal—even as to babes in Christ."

We must gain much satisfaction from giving our best in the work that God has given us to do. It's not always easy and sometimes we are tempted to quit. However, through perseverance and strength through the Holy Spirit we can accomplish our goals and aspirations in the different seasons of our lives, to give a good days work in and outside the home; amongst the brethren and our community.

  • legacy of looking forward to awesome final potential of being a king and priest, ruling with Christ into eternity in the Kingdom of God

2-Peter 3:13: "But according to His promise, we look forward to a new heaven and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells."

Brethren, we all leave a legacy, whether we plan it or not. Everything we do and say leaves an imprint of our lives on those around us. If there is breath in your body, there's an opportunity there is an opportunity to leave a rich legacy of hope.

Let us take to heart and know the goal that we are trying to achieve. At the end. Our lives my be shortened in this temporary life that we live, but the future is there for us beyond what anyone could ever imagine. That future has become possible with the knowledge that God has given us; the calling that God has given us

Let us build on our spiritual legacy and not let down. Let our spiritual legacy come forth and radiate as God looks down upon us and says, 'Well done, my brother/sister.' We are human, yes, but by the power of the Holy Spirit we can build our legacy to the point of developing the mind and character of Christ for the reward awaiting all of us, that of eternity in the Kingdom of God!

Let your legacy shine, and remember that it is through God's love that we are even here, privileged to be part of His most awesome plan! Let our legacy continue on to our death and let our shine so brightly in carrying that legacy to others. Our legacy will reign supreme if we stay faithful to the end. Our spiritual legacy can also be referred to as our spiritual inheritance for those who come after us, pressed onto the next generation with eternal value and will always be more important than the inheritance of money or property.

I thought that we should always be thinking about and realizing the importance of it. It is active and not passive. We must do with action in our active Christian lives. Remember that God has a purpose for us all, and that purpose will vary from individual to individual with a specific legacy that has been left behind in our first life.

Let each one of us ask the question to ourselves: What will our spiritual legacy be?

Scriptural References:

  • Proverbs 13:22
  • Revelation 3:7-8
  • John 17:4
  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • Matthew 20:19
  • Matthew 24:14
  • Mark 13:9-10
  • John 6:29
  • Hebrews 11:4, 7-8
  • Genesis 26:5
  • Hebrews 11:11, 20
  • Genesis 25:22
  • Hebrews 11:21
  • 1 Samuel 25:30
  • Jeremiah 30:9
  • Matthew 19:28
  • Hebrews 11:36-39
  • 2 Timothy 4:6-8
  • Mark 16:15
  • Matthew 10:23
  • Matthew 24:46
  • Revelation 11:3
  • Revelation 14:6
  • Luke 11:30-33
  • Jeremiah 1:4-5
  • Ezekiel 2:5
  • Ezekiel 3:4
  • Ezekiel 33:33
  • Isaiah 58:1
  • Ezekiel 33:1-3
  • Leviticus 26:16
  • Ezekiel 33:12
  • Matthew 11:12
  • James 1:2-3
  • 1 Corinthians 3:10
  • Hebrews 3:13
  • 2 Corinthians 8:7
  • Ephesians 4:32
  • 1 Peter 4:8
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:8
  • James 1:22
  • 1 Corinthians 3:1
  • 2 Peter 3:13

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Ezekiel 33:4-11, 13-17
  • Ezekiel 23:23-33

NB:bo
Transcribed: 12/6/21

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