Some believers have bought in to a truncated, transactional Gospel—one that promises something in the future, but doesn’t relate all that much to today. It looks something like this: say a prayer of belief in concepts related to Jesus and in return get eternal life, but treat nothing about it as applicable now. This can have a devastating effect on someone’s ability or motivation to live a God-honoring life today!
There is no doubt that the hope of everlasting life is good news. I mean, when you compare it to the alternative—everlasting separation from God—it sounds like something worth pursuing! Yet, when we limit the good news to the distant future, it potentially puts in motion two dynamics that can undermine the health of our spiritual life today.
- We can live with little expectation that God will do anything in our lives, or that good news applies to our day-in and day-out existence on Earth. It can even lead to a kind of unhealthy dualism—life in this physical world is something we put up with until we move into the major leagues of heaven.
- We can live with little expectation or motivation for transformed lives today. We figure that we have fire insurance, so why sweat living a holy, God-honoring life, worthy of the Gospel?
Jesus clearly communicated that His Kingdom good news was magnificent news for daily living. In fact, Jesus would say that eternal life begins today, with the availability of abundant life in Him.
What are your thoughts? How do you see a distant future promise and its application to today?