Saturday, September 17, 2011

Going to Heaven?? Planning on it.

For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,
not as a result of works so that no one may boast.

Eph. 2:8-9

Yesterday we were watching a sermon by David Platt, the author of the popular book Radical, at work. I think he has great points about a lot of things and covers most topics in ways that are challenging and Biblical. His message about eternity made me nuts.

I agreed with him that salvation is more than "repeating this prayer" signing this card and accepting a get out of Hell free card. I agree that perhaps not everyone who proclaims right relationship with the Almighty is correct. I don't agree with his mindset that we can't know for sure we're going to Heaven.

He mentioned that it keeps him up at night worrying that the people he ministers to don't really know God. He's worried that if he's not careful he will stand before the judgement seat of Christ and hear, "I never knew you." He mentioned that those following God should display works of God and bear fruit. True. But, his message tilted dangerously close to putting salvation back in my court. And that's not good news.

I'll never believe in a God who expects His children to live in fear and anxiety. (Do not fear/be anxious for nothing zips through my mind). God refers to us as his children. Loved. Forgiven. Accepted. We do make a choice to choose Him. We accept his plan of redemption and we fall on his grace and mercy. And then, I have to believe, for my own sanity, we can know where we stand with him. What parent wants their child growing up saying, "You say I'm yours, but I'm just not sure."

I'm not of the mindset that threatening people with Hell will make them come running to the Father. God is everything to me. The rest of all of my life revolves around my decision to be His. That's not to say I've "arrived" spiritually. The fact that we're always changing things so this life better reflects Him is proof that the relationship lives.

I can't live with anxiety that Heaven is not for me. I can't live in fear that I'll get there and He won't recognize me. I've accepted His gift of salvation. I've aligned my life with his. At the end of the day, I'm a human being with an eternal soul. God does not fall off his throne when I fail.

And I'm planning on going to Heaven.

It was love that drew me to Him. . . . .

and love that leads me Home.


Meredith Gould said...

Ever notice the congruence between Christian fear-mongers and hate-mongers? Vewy scawy.

John Reasons said...

*cough* *Wesleyan* *cough*

Sue said...

I agree with you Brenda... I don't believe you can "know" you are "going to heaven" with your head--but you can certainly know with your body and your beingness and your heart and soul that you are in communion with God.... it's not an intellectual knowing. Maybe it's not about going anywhere anyway--maybe heaven is being in sacred communion with the divine, and you get to meet Jesus in person later on but it's a continuation of the relationship in a more expanded way after we leave this realm.

I always thought streets of gold would be boring. Let me sit at Jesus's feet!