Why should you become a Christian? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I have lived in the South all my life and so this might be a problem that is mainly in the South, but I doubt it. There have been two events lately that got me to thinking I should write this. The first is seeing tracts at my workplace and I am sure the people mean well, but it’s always the same thing.
“Do you know where you’re going when you die?”
“How to make sure you will go to Heaven.”
Then in Sunday School yesterday, we’re talking about individualism in American Christianity and I bring up the whole thing about the emphasis on going to Heaven. This is not to say that Heaven is unimportant, but when people become Christians, at least in America, we generally presume they’re not knocking on death’s door immediately. Unfortunately, there is often a good amount of time until they die, especially if they’re children.
We make it seem when we do this that the whole point of becoming a Christian is so you can go to Heaven. When we do that, are we really any different in that mindset from when Muslims want to go to Heaven so they can get 70 virgins? By the way, when we talk about Heaven, we tend to do similar treating God as an afterthought. We more talk about living forever and seeing loved ones again and mansions and streets of gold. God is usually an afterthought.
This all produces a self-centered Christianity. Why did Jesus die? Because God wanted us to go to Heaven when we die. Is He just incredibly lonely or something? This is not to say God doesn’t want us to be with Him, but it is to say that there is more to Christianity than just Heaven. We get a self-centered Christianity and lo and behold, we start thinking more and more everything is about us.
Christianity is about what we do now. It’s about the Kingdom now. It’s about serving Jesus now and calling Him Lord now and bringing glory to Him now.
Sometimes I hear my folks downstairs watching YouTube videos and sometimes, they watch people singing hymns. One song they’ve been listening to lately are about the hills of home calling me.
I really don’t like it.
We have a sort of Gnosticism in Christianity that we think this world is really a mistake that has gone entirely wrong and God is trying to rescue us from this evil world that He will destroy and we will have a real home away from “This house of flesh” which is apparently a prison. God created the body as something good and Jesus was resurrected in a good body. Our bodies are not mistakes.
Note also how Scripture ends. Then I saw a New Heavens and everyone went up from the Earth to the New Heavens. No. That’s not how it goes. The New Heaven comes down to the New Earth. I don’t think the Earth is destroyed any more than I think Heaven is. This is new in quality and we are seeing the marriage of Heaven and Earth, but this Earth is where it takes place. This is where we were meant to dwell and God is not changing His mind.
If you’re giving out tracts like the one I described or doing evangelism in the way I described, please find another way. I don’t doubt you mean well, but people need to know what they’re living for now. They need to know what it is that they are supposed to live like now and the importance of holy living now.
It’s not about us. It’s about Him.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)