Continued from here.
Many people seem to believe that the point of being a Christian is about getting into heaven and avoiding hell. If that is the primary focus of your faith, you are still an infant in Christ and feeding on milk. It’s time to mature! God has so much more to offer you than “fire insurance” against going to hell. While I am happy to know I won’t go to hell when I die, that fact is low on my list of reasons why I am grateful to have a relationship with God. God can make a very real difference in your life today, as well as in the lives of everyone you encounter in your day-to-day life, if you stop seeking additional reassurances that you really are avoiding hell and start feasting on the meat God has to offer you. There’s so much more to be excited about than avoiding hell!
The big picture story of the Bible has four parts: Creation, the Fall, Rescue, and Restoration. We were created to be in relationship with God. The Fall happened when Adam and Eve chose to make their own decision about what was good. Jesus came to rescue mankind and restore relationship with God. Jesus did not come only so mankind could escape hell: the main point was to bring people back into relationship with God:
[Jesus’] purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” ~ Eph. 2:15b-16
To have a relationship with someone, you need to come into his presence. While our society keeps trying to convince us that we can have successful relationships over a computer screen or through our smart phones, there is simply no replacing face-to-face contact for building solid relationships. Your relationship with God is no different.
Jesus did not come simply to save us from hell. His sacrifice was not for us to check “not going to hell” off our worry list so we could continue living in a way that is functionally no different from the culture around us other than warming a pew on Sunday. Jesus destroyed the barrier of sin that separated us from entering into the presence of God! God wants a relationship with you, and this is only going to happen if you enter into His presence. Again, I am not saying that you are not a Christian or are going to hell if you choose never to do this. But don’t you want more? You have direct access to the presence of the Living God! Don’t rest until you learn how to open that door in your heart and walk boldly into His presence!
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace’s face on the cover of a book entitled, “Why Even Try?” Courtesy Bitmoji.]