Eternity Written on Our Hearts
- Crawford Loritts
- 2007 31 Jul
I would challenge you to surrender to the call of heaven. This destiny provides meaning and significance.
Have you seen the movie Antwan Fisher? This film tells the moving story of a young man who struggles with anger and pain because of the abuse he experienced growing up in a foster home. He feels disconnected because he doesn't know his family. His deepest desire is for family, to know to whom he belongs, to have a home.
While serving in the navy, Antwan is encouraged to find his family by a navy psychologist (played by Denzel Washington), who serves a mentor and father figure in his life. With bits and pieces of information, Antwan heads out on his search, and he is successful. He learns his father is dead but meets his father's family. Then an uncle takes him to meet his mother.
As he enters the apartment of the woman who gave birth to him in prison, he is filled with anticipation and hope that this is going to be a joyful reunion. But it's not. She sits there, not knowing how to respond. It's as if she's in shock. The meeting is a disappointment.
Disappointed and once again rejected, Antwan returns to the home of his aunt. He walks through the door, and to his surprise he finds a room full of people - his extended family that has gathered to meet him. He is swallowed up in a sea of love and acceptance. And when he walks into the dining room, there is an enormous feast, a banquet in his honor. His grandmother, the matriarch of the family, says, "Welcome home."
As we live the Christian life, we must embrace the tension of both living this life to its fullest down here and at the same time understanding that this is not our home. We are pilgrims on a journey to our real home, where there is a family and a banquet waiting for us, and a Savior eager to say, "Welcome home."
Purpose, Passion, Perspective
The apostle Paul points us to the perspective and the motivation that should anchor us on our journey. Read carefully these words from 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. Weigh them. Let your mind absorb them.
According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
There are four observations I want to make based on this passage. First, the foundation of our lives is Jesus Christ (v.11). The Christian life is the life of Christ living in and through us. Jesus Christ should be everything to us. He is our reason for living, and as our foundation, He brings strength and stability to the structure of our lives.
Second, we must approach life with discernment and great care because our lives reflect the foundation upon which we are built (vv.10-11). Ever time we trade in the motivation of responding to god's love and provision for the stuff of this life, we introduce foreign substances to our foundation. It weakens the building (our lives) and cheapens the structure.
Some of us have absorbed the "foreign substances" of this life. It weighs us down and it is causing damage to our spiritual structure. In a word, we need to strip our foundations and return to the bedrock: Jesus.
Third, we will be held accountable for our choices and approach to life (v. 13). It is true that as followers of Christ we will not be judged concerning our eternal destiny. That was settled at the cross, and when we placed our faith in Christ, our sins were forgiven and we received the gift of eternal life. But that doesn't mean we should live carelessly, following the whims of whatever we desire. According to this passage, we will be held accountable for what we do with our lives. The critical question is: What will be revealed when "the fire itself will test the quality of [your] work"?
This leads me to the fourth observation: The enduring (eternal) quality of our lives will be rewarded (vv.12-14). Every day of our lives we must choose that which endures ("gold, silver, and precious stones") over that which may be so appealing but is perishable ("would, hay, straw"). It is my view that this passage clearly teaches that although we are saved for eternity, some of us will experience the loss of reward because we settled for the perishable. In this regard, we're wasting our eternal wealth.
The burden of my heart, and the reason I'm writing this book, is that God has called us to be a people of destiny. We have a longing in our souls because eternity has been written in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Eternity is a powerful motivation. Someone once said that if you have a why for living, you can stand almost any how. Our home in heaven is our motivation and destiny. When we live up to that sense of destiny at the center of our lives, we will experience purpose, passion, and perspective. We have been called to live for a time we cannot see.
Crawford Loritts is Senior Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in the greater Atlanta area. He is the former associate director of