It was not long ago that the British Humanist Association made global news with the launch of their bus ad campaign which read, “There probably is no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” As a Christian, I would have altered that slogan to read, “There is a God. Now you may [truly] live.” Despite my tacit dismissal of their theological stance, however, I am forced to confess – they do raise a good point.
For a savior who promises life – and not just life, but abundant life – there are an awful lot of Christians who fail to experience it. In fact, for many Christians, this existence-altering relationship with the creator of the universe is neatly packaged and placed upon a shelf, a theoretical promise of a life to come… but not this life. Salvation, they often contend, is all about avoiding hell and acquiring heaven. In this manner, the Christian life begins and ends with a prayer. If it continues beyond that, it is a matter of tallying our deeds and hoping we “stay true” to Christian behavior. Rather than coming to Christ, weary and heavy-laden to discover rest, we find a hefty weight soundly planted on our shoulders. Thus it is that the bus slogan offers hope. Reject God. Discard the burden. Enjoy your life.
Yet, is this what Jesus really has to offer? In my conversations with such people, I have always found it interesting to ask just what Jesus saves us from. The answer in insightful: hell. Jesus saves us from hell.
Wrong. Hell is a consequence of sin which, left to rule us, results in brokenness and pain. An eternity marked by a community of people consumed with the relationship-shattering, self-absorbing, pain-inflicting effect of sin is, quite simply, an eternity doomed to hell. This, however, is the end result of something much deeper. Jesus saves us from hell not by translocating us in the afterlife, but by redeeming us from our own brokenness. An eternity marked by a community of people transformed into a people of love and selflessness would be quite the opposite. This is the kingdom of God.
Thus it is that we also discover the abundant life. The transformation begins in this life. This is what Jesus does. This is who Jesus is. This is who Jesus wants you to be.
Yes, there is a God. Now you may [truly] live.
- Christian Contentment and the Kingdom of God (ofdustandkings.com)
- Cultivating The Soul, p.1 : Discipleship and Spiritual Transformation (ofdustandkings.com)
- The Kingdom of God: Eternity Begins Now (ofdustandkings.com)