Sunday, July 26, 2009

Daily Devo - Sunday, 07/26/2009

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things unseen”.

Hebrews 11:1

Driving on my way back from a hospital visit I heard a popular young preacher giving an interview on a Christian radio station. One of his statements caught my attention. He said, “traditional Christianity is little more than cosmic escapism. We have a completely wrong view of heaven. Faith isn’t about looking forward to some future Kingdom, it’s about being that Kingdom in the here and now.” Of course, I can appreciate part of that. We certainly are called to live for Christ in the here and now. But I couldn’t help think about how those words would have sounded to the dying woman I just left back in that hospital room. Taking this young pastor’s advice, perhaps I should have entered her room and given some philosophical and humanitarian speech about the “missional nature of the Kingdom” and the need for believers to set aside notions of the afterlife in favor of “making the world a little more like Jesus now”.

No. I didn’t say any of those things. Scared, dying, and overwhelmed—this Christian woman broke into tears. I simply opened my Bible and read 2 Timothy 1:12, “...I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” Then together we looked at Titus 2:12 which speaks of that “blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Moment later I read from Jude where believers are told to wait confidently “for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life”.

How I yearn for believers to live more for Christ now...but I still preach Heaven! Far from “cosmic escapism”, Heaven is proof positive that the struggles of this life are worth it. Remove the eternal promise of Christ’ presence and courageous living for Christ in the here and now is no longer possible.

When the soul is taken up with thoughts of another world,
it can better digest trouble here.

- Thomas Manton, Sermons on Hebrews

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