We have choices:
We can live for one of two kingdoms.
We can live for the kingdom of this world, or we can live for the Kingdom of Christ, but we cannot live for both.
We can take up our cross and follow Jesus, rejecting this world and being rejected by it. Or we can, as children of God, live just like the world does. Meaning, pursing life in this world with the same goals as the average American, pursing the American Dream, by pursuing an education and career and future with the mindset of planting ourselves in the earth. In other words, it is not necessarily an “evil” or “sinful” life, just not a “follower of Christ” life. The apostle Paul speaks of this here below:
"For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:11-15).
My family and I had choices. We have always had choices. God gives His children “free-will” for He does not want robots for sons and daughters. Now, to live “for this world” as a Christian, does not mean anything more than getting up every morning and going to college or to work and earning a living, building a house, having a savings account/retirement/401k, planning vacations, going on trips, and shopping, all with the idea of living for ourselves and the temporary pleasures and benefits of this life. I wrote that so that you understand that the passage which is quoted above by Paul in Corinthians is not a “bad” thing in and of itself. It’s just that it is vanity. Before I go further, I just listened to Dr. Charles Stanley and I need to add this note: A Christian can live for the world, but not without consequence. Why? Because they are not walking according to God’s best (will). An even later note (added later): I must finally admit that as “Christian’s” we do not have the “choice” to live as the World! We are called to be disciples (followers of Jesus). So, I am not positive in other words, that what I originally said about the verse above, was what Paul meant. But it sounds logical and yet, God’s call is not logical.
Anyway, my family and I are struggling today because we are learning the hard way that a lover of Jesus Christ can follow the Lord with all their heart, being absolutely convinced of this, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4) and realize that promise may not come till eternity? So, it is eye opening. But I think the Lord never promised certain things “in this life” which some say He has in His Word. I must remember that the “Promised Land” and all the benefits of entering the Promised Land in the Old Testament are transferred to the NEW Promised Land in eternity. And that the physical “Manna” and “Water from the Rock” in the Wilderness are now spiritual through Christ. So, I believe that many of the promises we find in the Old Covenant are now “In Christ” for the Christian in the New Covenant. But Jesus has made these promises clear: That the “godly” Christian would be persecuted; that those who follow Him would be rejected by the World, and also, must forsake the World. But also, He did promise that the Father would provide our needs just as He does the flowers and birds, even more so. He does promise grace and mercy; and a Comforter and Counselor and the Spirit of Truth to lead us. He does promise treasures in heaven, and peace and joy now. He does promise purpose, and a hope unshakable. He promises He will never leave us or forsake us; that He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother; that He is an ever-present help in time of need. That His love is unfailing, and His mercies are ever new. Also, He calls His children, who are able, to provide, and to come along side, in prayer and support for one another, in the Body-of-Christ. So, though we struggle, sometimes it is in order for the Body-of-Christ to love its other members and be the Church it’s called to be.
So, we all are called to love the LORD our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and to love one-another within the Body-of-Christ as Jesus. And yet, I am learning that a child of God can be saved and either follow Christ or not follow. That they both can be “saved” from their sins and receive eternal life. But only one will “reign with Christ,” as the scriptures seem to say, and be rewarded in eternity. While the other will live in the apartments down on “Grace Lane” in the Promised Land. This truly is eye opening to me.