“That’s the only reason why I’m a Christian,” she said, “So that I don’t go to hell.”
My heart sank just a little bit after hearing her words. But it wasn’t weighed down by judgement. No, my heart sank as I thought, That’s all you think there is to this?
Please don’t misunderstand me, I know that being saved from hell is a very, very good thing. It’s a real thing. It’s an eternal thing and it’s a logical beginning of salvation for many people. Some are frightened by it and come running into the arms of Jesus out of fear of the unknown, fear of this horrid hell that imaginations have painted red and the bible has described as a lake of fire. And although many people shun coming to the Lord out of fear, I stand alongside Paul who accepted the preaching of Christ no matter what people’s motives were, so long as the gospel was preached, and I say, come to Him, ALL of us no matter our motives, so long as we come because once we come, truly come, He changes everything.
But I still found myself moving out of her vision with brow furrowed, mouth agape, head cocked slightly to the left and mind bewildered at how she could have missed that we were saved for more. That He saved us not just from hell, but to be in relationship with us, to show us His love and have us recognize it and revel in it once we realized it . . . to give us power to live beyond ourselves . . .to do the supernatural . . .to make us worthy of having His spirit placed inside of us . . .to show love to others, even the most unlovable so that they too would come to know Him . . .to see His goodness in the land of the living . . .to have joy, unspeakable joy, in the midst of trying times . . .to have peace that surpasses understanding . . .to know that we have a savior who came to bind up broken hearts, heal the sick, make whole the broken . . .to live with purpose and intention, no days on earth wasted . . .to have hope . . .
. . .and then it dawned on me . . . that’s why I moved here–to be an example of this very thing.
See, I know that people are speculating, what’s the real story? who in their right mind would move from there to here? I bet they ran up on hard times and just needed to move back home for a while. hey, it happens to the best of us. . . But there are no secrets. We really did change everything and give up everything to come and be salt and light. We came for moments just like these– to live among people and show them the more that God is calling us to. To wrap our arms, minds and hearts around the harvest of souls waiting for a glimpse of recognition from the Father. Yes, He sees you. Yes, He wants you. He stands at the door and knocks and it would serve us well to answer. Answer because you are afraid of what’s behind the other door. Answer because you are afraid not to answer at all. Answer because you want Him and what He has to offer. Answer because you’ve answered everything and everyone else and you’ve been sadly disappointed every time. Whatever the reason–Just don’t miss out on your opportunity to answer. And when you do, I pray that I’ll be ready to be used, should He choose to use me, to demonstrate that being saved from hell is just beginning.
6-10 Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (John 10:6-10 The Message)