Living in the Certainty of Eternity [Part 1]
Are you ready for some good news?
God wants every Christian to have a deep assurance of heaven. If you haven’t accepted Christ, you can trust him today and forever be free from the fear of death.
Today’s text: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21, ESV)
Pastor and author John Piper has compared Christians and non-Christians to two skydivers free flying through the atmosphere. Though, from all appearances, the two skydivers appear the same, one has a parachute and the other an empty backpack. Both are freefalling. Both are headed in the same direction. Both experience the rush of flying through the air unrestrained.
But only one of the skydivers can enjoy the journey!
If you know that you have no parachute, there’s no way that you can enjoy skydiving!
Life is like that. If you have no certainty of glorious life with God after you die, you have no way of deeply enjoying your journey on earth. The specter of death robs the soul of deep peace and joy because the unbeliever is unconsciously held captive. The writer of Hebrews asserts that, apart from Christ, we are subject to a form of spiritual slavery because of an abiding, innate fear of death (Heb. 2:15).
The skydiver without a parachute looks free – but he is actually a slave. He is a slave to the fear of death. He can’t contemplate the wonder of earth and sky. He can’t revel in the rush of wind upon his face. A skydiver with no parachute isn’t free to do much at all – except fear death.
That’s a picture of life without the certainty of heaven.
The hope of heaven for the Christian isn’t a form of escapism or fanciful thinking whereby we dull ourselves to the challenges of this world. Rather, the certainty of heaven empowers us to enjoy our journey on earth. The hope of heaven creates peace in the Christian’s heart that fuels a life of engagement with the world for the cause of the Gospel.
The parachute analogy, of course, falls short. For the skydiver, a working parachute means a safe landing on earth and re-entry into the mundane. For the Christian, the promise of heaven is about much more than a safe landing. It’s about the end of all that is mundane and the beginning of ultimate glory. And that’s the Gospel!
For more information please visit SharingtheLight.org.
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