Apr 14 2002
This Israeli-Palestinian conflict/minor war saddens me. It saddens me because there are people who feel so despondent, so hopeless, that they’re willing to strap bombs to themselves and blow themselves and others into tiny little pieces. There are people who are living in fear, afraid to go outside because of the next despairing suicide bomber.
Where is the hope? Where is the peace? One place. Christ alone is mankind’s purpose. In recent months, I’ve found that there can be no watering down of the Gospel. Yes, it is forgiveness of sins. Yes, it is the avoiding of Hell and the gaining of Heaven. But you can’t talk about these parts without a larger understanding of what those things mean. You’ve got to go all the way back to humanity’s purpose – and we were created to know God, and be satisfied in Him alone. It is because of that fact that all the rest happened. So long as any of us try to find our satisfaction and completion in anything else but the person of God, be it money, love, academic success, a good cause (like the fulfillment of the Great Commission even), we are not living up to our purpose, even if we have put our faith in Christ already. I’m learning this everyday. Now I think I’m beginning to understand why Darin always said that we must continually preach the Gospel to ourselves everyday. In keeping in mind that our purpose on this earth is to know God, it reminds us of how we are sinful and depraved, and knowing God only comes through Christ’s death and resurrection. More importantly, the Gospel should remind us of what we’re truly here for. Not to convert people (not that we can do that anyway). Not just to do good deeds. Not to just share the Gospel in word and deed. These things may be good and dandy, but if these things are done outside of the complete and unashamed pursuit of God, then we’re missing it. Those other things are not our purpose, although they will be integral parts of our lives if we are truly devoted to Christ.
To not talk about our purpose in a clear manner when speaking of the Gospel is to muddy the Living Water. Explaining to someone their sin and need for a Redeemer without explaining why humanity, and in particular, that someone was created to KNOW the God of the universe leads to the all-too-familiar “fire insurance” salvation.
The Christian life is not about duty. It’s not about obeying because we should. It’s about obeying because it’s our deepest desire to do so. Because in doing so, we know God. Because in knowing God, we cultivate the desire to obey. It’s not about doing the “oughts.” It’s about doing the “I want tos.” And that should be knowing God. The obedience to the rest of it will come if the God of the Bible is the one thing we are chasing after.
Chase. Run. Yearn. Follow. Pursue. Desire. Want. Seek.
Know why you were created. And then live for what you were created for.