The motivation and the goal

Jerald Finney
Copyright © January 20, 2012


Note. This is an edited version of Section I, Chapter 2 of God Betrayed. 

Highly recommended sermon: Paris Reidhead, “Ten Shekels and a Shirt,” January 1, 1980

See also, The Love of God Perfected. Are you asking, “What can I do to please my heavenly father?” That is the right question. This short audio teaching on what the word of God teaches about “the love of God perfected.”

Click here to go to a short 3 min. 23 sec. audio teaching on the God-given goal of the believer.(Also answers the question. “What is the primary purpose of missions?”)

The Motivation and the Goal

An individual, family, church, or civil government will stay on track only should it, in addition to fearing God, have the proper motivation and set the proper God-given goal. The proper motivation for the saved is love for God first, and love for man second. Love is the key. Notice the use of the word “love” throughout the articles on this website and the book God Betrayed (which is reproduced on this website)(See The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls which is a revised version of the booklet by the same name.). The improper motivation is love for oneself. If one’s motivation is love for God first and man second, he will set the proper goal—the glory of God—and he will have happiness as a side-effect, at least in eternity. If one’s motivation is self-love, he will set the wrong goal—his own happiness—and sooner or later he will be unhappy.

One who is not a child of God cannot love God or neighbor. It is only natural for God’s children to love and glorify God:

“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also” (1 Jn. 3.14, 4.7-21).

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Co. 2.9-16).

“Goal” means “the end or final purpose; the end to which a design tends, or to which a person aims to reach or accomplish” (AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, NOAH WEBSTER (1828), definition of “GOAL”). The two ultimate and mutually exclusive goals are “the glory of God,” and the “happiness of man.” Should a person aim for the goal of “the happiness of man,” his path must differ from one whose goal is “the glory of God.” The conflict between these two goals is seen throughout Scripture and history in the life of every individual, family, church, and nation. Every entity, spiritual or earthly, sets one of these two goals.

Adam and Eve, Abel and Cain set one of the above-mentioned goals. All the heroes of the faith in the Bible understood or came to understand the importance of setting the proper goal. For example, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, King David, the prophets, the apostles, and the Christian martyrs throughout the ages understood the importance of setting the right goal. Joshua understood the importance of setting the right goal. He said, “[C]hoose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Jos. 24.14-15).

Paul understood this. Amidst persecution and on his way to martyrdom, he joyfully said, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Ph. 3.14). In the midst of bonds and afflictions, he said, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Ac. 20.24).  Certainly his lifestyle would have taken a different course if his goal had been his happiness. If all he had counted his salvation for was “fire insurance,” and his own eternal happiness in heaven, he could have avoided the physical torture, pain, and martyrdom which he experienced on earth. Perhaps one who professes to know Christ as Savior only in order to obtain eternal happiness in heaven without real repentance should examine his eternal salvation. Most “Christians” today have as their goal not only eternal but also temporal happiness.

God desires the goal of every government to be “the glory of God” and not “the happiness of man.” One will set this goal only if he loves God. Should the author of this book, or anyone else, serve God his entire life and die and go to hell, he would only be getting what he deserves. Every person should realize that. But hell does not have to be the destination of sinful man: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3.16). “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 Jn. 4.19). Eternal happiness in heaven is promised to the believer, but that is never the goal of the believer; it is only a side effect.

The Bible glorifies God and reveals that the glory of God is the God-given goal for every person and that everything was created for His pleasure. The first of the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20.3), is a concise statement of this principle. Besides that verse, the Bible makes abundantly clear that the God-given goal of man, which man can embrace or reject, is the “glory of God,” and that glory is due to God for many reasons.

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah” (Ps. 24.7-10).

“And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran” (Ac. 7.2).

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ep. 1.17).

“And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen” (Ps. 72.19).. “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Ro. 11.36).

“… Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name” (1 Chr. 29.10-13).

“Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.  The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever” (Ps. 29.1-2, 9-10).

“Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.  O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously” (Ps. 96.7-10).

“The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.  Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.  A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory” (Ps. 97.1-6).

“The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high” (Ps. 113.4-5).

“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (Ps. 115.1-3).

“All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations” (Ps. 145.10-13).

“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple…. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory…. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Is. 6.1, 3, 5).

“Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us” (Je. 14.21).

“And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Da. 7.14).

“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Mt. 19.28. See also, Mt. 25.31). “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Ti. 1.17). “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 25).

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (Re. 5.13).

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Re. 4.11).

“And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen” (Re. 7.10-12).

“The Bible indicates that God is glorified through His sovereign dealings with nations (Ezek. 39:17-21), rulers (Rom. 9:17; Dan. 4:17, 34-37), Israel (Isa. 43:1, 7; 46:13; 60:1-3; Jer. 13.11), the Church (Eph. 3:20-21), and the nonelect (Rom. 9:17-18, 21). God is glorified by His sovereign act of creation (Ps. 19:1; Rev. 4:11), His sovereign acts in storm (Ps. 29.1-3, 9-10), His sovereign judgments (Isa. 2.19, 21; 59:18-19; Ezek. 39.17-21; Rev. 11:13; 19:1-2), and His sovereign act of hiding knowledge from human beings (Prov. 25:2). God glorifies Himself by sovereignly redeeming lost human beings and sovereignly keeping those whom He has redeemed (Rom. 9:23; 15:7-9; Eph. 1:5-6, 12, 14, 18; Phil. 4:19-20; 2 Tim. 4:18). God is to be glorified through the righteous deeds of believers performed through the equipment which God sovereignly gives (1 Cor. 10:31; Phil. 1:11; Heb. 13:21)” (Renald E. Showers, There Really Is a Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology (Bellmawr, New Jersey: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990), p. 13).

“Christians” who do not love God and whose goal is “the happiness of man,” as opposed to “the glory of God,” probably will not respond to God’s call for active service. They will be like Micah who combined a little of the world with a little religion and employed a Levite for ten shekels, a suit, and his victuals and then said, “Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest” (Jud. 17.13). They have their goal—they will be eternally happy in heaven so why not use God to also bring temporal happiness on earth?

This principle applies to individuals, families, churches, and nations. The goal of lost people and most “Christians” is happiness, not the glory of God. Many families whose goal is “the happiness of man” will seek the American way of life into which they have been indoctrinated. Mom will work, the children will be left at day-care, will attend public schools, and will be brainwashed in Satan’s principles. Many “Christians” set out to make themselves and others happy, not to glorify God. Many nations likewise have the goal of “the happiness of man,” although that goal is only for an elite in many nations.

Individuals and families who love God and whose goal is to glorify God will get to work for the Lord. They will be seeking what they can do for God, not what God can do for them. They will be faithful to a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church which operates according to biblical principles no matter what. They will seek to serve God, to carry out the Great Commission, and to love everyone, including their enemies. Churches and civil governments who love God will remain totally under Him and neither will seek to be over or under the other.

Saved people will one day be in heaven where they will be happy. There they will be happy, and they, along with all other creatures, will glorify God:

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Re. 21.4).

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (Re. 5.13).

God’s children, unlike when they get to heaven where loving and glorifying God will be natural, may now choose to love and to glorify Him.

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