"we are saved not just to be forgiven of our sins
or to be assured of our eternity in heaven,
but we are saved to know God."
I have presented the gospel to many a high school student and I have discussed the gospel with my parents and in front of a Sunday School class. And I just suddenly realized that the punch line in each and every one of those presentations was about "inviting Jesus into your heart" or "opening the door to Jesus" or "accepting Jesus." I can not recall ever focusing on our need for Christ. Sure the gospel presentation always included the diagram of the chasm between us and Christ. But that part was always rushed through so you could get to the invitation and acceptance.
How can it be that its taken me so long to get "IT"...to understand and live out the truth that the purpose of salvation is
KNOWING GOD EXPERIENCING GOD???? Why have I short changed the Lord for so long? Am I a failure as a Christian?
The answer to that is "NO- I am not a failure." The reason I don't "get it" or "live it" sometimes (ok most of the time...sigh...) is that God is not done with me yet and He is still at His own pace and in His own way revealing the truth of the gospel to me. I had forgotten that turth until I heard Sunday's sermon on Hebrews 10:11-19. Take a look at verse 14:
"because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."
By Christ's sacrifice we have already been made perfect- God's work of salvation is DONE. However, we still need to be made holy. So we live in what the preacher refered to as "an ALREADY NOT YET TENSION." As God's children we are already saved but we are not yet holy. So we live life on this high wire act and constantly learning more of God's truth.
So it's ok that I am not ready to pack my bags and move my family to Africa. And its ok that I have not sold all my possessions. What matters is simply that each day I know and experience God in a deeper and deeper way. That my friends takes the weight off my shoulders and gives me a sense of freedom. I do not have to become Radicalized (I made up that word) overnight...instead I need to move out of the way and let God do his work.
But what I do need to do is get off this computer and begin to figure out how to present the gospel in a way that glorifies God and doesn't limit Jesus to waiting at a closed door knocking....