Sunday, September 23, 2007

Heaven without Christ?

When you think of Heaven, what do you picture? What are you looking forward to? Another amazing book by Piper, "God is the Gospel", has pointed out something in me, and is something worthy to be shared.
"The critical question for our generation—and for every generation — is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?"

I've been thinking lately about the abundant pleasures that exist in our world, which can be so luring and enticing when there's nothing better to choose in place of them. Nothing is better than choosing Christ.

Piper's point in this book is that GOD is the treasure of the Gospel. The reason that the Gospel is good news at all is because GOD is the source of it all, and that Christ is exalted above all other things: He's better than pleasure, beauty, comfort, leisure, health, or friendship. He created these things, so He must have authority over them!!

I think it is easy to take the blessings of the Gospel - new life, peace, hope, joy, etc (all great things!) - and forget about WHO they came from, and WHY we ever got to experience these blessings in the first place - that Christ made a way for salvation to break through our rock-solid hearts. When asked, "Could you be satisfied in Heaven, if Christ were not there?", does it make you stop and think for a second? The pointed question - if Heaven would be the same with Christ - unveils how we really feel about the blessings of the Gospel, and where they are in importance for us. I pray that my desire to be with Christ (in His presence, sitting with Him, reigning with Him, worshiping Him) grows more and more as the Day approaches. I also pray that the word "Gospel" points me to Christ and Him being lifted up, and less about me and the blessings we receive.

1 comment:

Xia Wu said...

G,

That's a good word. It hits deep, though.

It seems like something about the environment that we've grown up in in the Western world is so geared towards separating that which scientific and tenets of faith - the physical and the spiritual - that we also have been soaked in that frame of reference. As much as we might want to recognize God in each moment and experience of Him and His creation, it has to be an exercise in discipline for it does not come naturally. Piper's great at those "big" reminders that all Christians need to be meditating on.

Thanks for the challenge.

Xia