Earlier today, one of my favorite followers of Jesus (that I’ve never met), Carlos Whittaker (@loswhit), tweeted this:
Jesus didn’t die just so you could go to heaven. He died so you could fully live on earth. Salvation is for today.
I LOVE this for so many reasons. Too many Christians walk around filled with hopelessness. Too many Christians have settled for mediocre lives. Too many Christians have bought into the idea of “surviving earth” and one day floating on a cloud in heaven.
What about NOW?!
Why do we paint Jesus into a corner, instead of expecting him to do GREATER things in our lives? Because we don’t understand why Jesus came.
In the gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 10, Jesus said that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the FULL.” While heaven is our destination, we shouldn’t wait to truly live until we get there. Heaven can start to manifest itself in our lives the moment we say yes to Jesus. If we are supposed to have FULL life, then why do we settle for less than that?
I am daring to believe that Jesus meant what he said, but I know that it will take work on my part. I’m not going to sit and do nothing and expect to live a full life. I believe that Jesus wants to partner with me in bringing about the full and whole life that he spoke of throughout the gospel accounts.
So what does that look like? At my church, Naperville Christian Church (@napervillecc) we are on a mission to experience every bit of wholeness that Jesus wants for us while we’re on this earth. It will be messy, but we’re going to stand with you and contend for it all.
We are working on beginning a recovery ministry, because everyone has issues and hurts to deal with. We are only supporting missions that we can “go and see,” because we don’t think that people are really changed by just giving a few bucks to people they’ll never have the chance to know and love. We are encouraging all of our staff to get regular counseling, because healthy people encourage others to seek and find wholeness. We are not going to overly program, because programs don’t lead to life; relationships do. We believe that physical fitness and healthy eating matters, too. All of these things lead to life and not to death.
We don’t have all of this figured out, but we’re convinced that this is a more life-giving way to live out the full-life that Jesus came to give.
In the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul wrote:
…work out your salvation with fear and trembling…
Paul wasn’t suggesting that we have any power to get ourselves to heaven. What he meant was that God had given us power to work toward our “wholeness.” He gives the strength, but we have to get up and use it.
So…work it out.