24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1 Cor 9:24
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith
2 Tim 4:7
If you’re in an athletic competition of any sort and you decide to stop trying, you won’t win. Athletic movies can be heartwarming and motivating. The story usually begins with an underdog who has a heart for the sport and has to overcome a number of obstacles to get his team to the championship game or in the case of an individual sport, he has to make it to the end. What if in the middle of the movie, the hero decided to just relax, go to the coffee shop and read magazines. No more training, no more trying to improve, just coasting… Despite his coach or friends prompting him to get back up, the hero goes home to watch movies on cable. Would it be a very good movie?
Paul in many places compares Sanctification to a race. In the race we keep on going, keep on getting up when we fail and run for the prize. God wants us to finish well, but it’s our choice on whether we let all of the distractions in life keep us away from the race, or whether we don’t conform to the world and run the race to win.
Once we accept Christ, we’re justified, this is our ticket in. We should strive for more than getting in, we should strive to finish well.
10 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.
2 Cor 5:10
We will all appear before the Bema Seat whether we want to or not. Would it not be better to receive our rewards than just wish we’d have done more?