As Christians, we live with the tension between what is “already ours” and the “not yet” of our experience. Paul said believers should look forward to Christ’s return “that you may not grieve as others do who have not hope. Grief was expected, but it is different from the grief of the world. There is a difference between tears of hope and tears of hopelessness.
Ask the question “What must I do to get to heaven”? You may hear the answer of live a good life. Give to others. Treat others like how you want to be treated. Just like the young rich ruler that asked Jesus the same question and informed Jesus all the good that he had done but missed what he needed, we also fall into the same trap. We don’t understand the gospel. The kingdom of God and God’s will for mankind.
Our Gospel is inward instead of outward towards the promises of God that are in Christ Jesus. It is a constant battle and that is why good teachers like Erwin Lutzer is such a blessing. This study has 3 books in one. How can you be sure you will spend eternity with God, One minute after you die, and your eternal rewards.
Trusting in Christ means we have been given a great trade. He has taken our sin and we have taken his righteousness. What is profound about that is Christ became legally guilty of the worst of sins. The great trade brings us to the cross and to the banquet table.
When correctly understood, the gospel humbles us that we are able to love and serve others without it being a contract (the prodigal son’s brother is a reflection on a self-serving love). What does this all have to do with heaven? It is looking forward to eternity that we can live in freedom today. It is looking forward to eternity that we understand how sin keeps us from the one thing we need the most. It is looking forward to eternity that we are transformed to live to serve God and others.
Some of the quotes I found encouraging and helpful.
The issue is never the greatness of the sin, but the willingness of the sinner to be saved.
Doubt, if properly used, can be the servant of truth.
We are not to work for Christ as an employee for an employer; we are to work for Him as sons and daughters.
The works that are most acceptable are those done with the conviction that there is no merit in us but in Christ.
A study that is thorough in what is God’s part and what is our responsibility. A study that will give rest but push us forward to the goal of heaven. I was encouraged and challenged to look forward.
A Special Thank You to Moody Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.