Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hope vs. Escapism (Philippians 1:19-26)

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Paul had a pretty tough life. After he quite literally “saw the light” and gave his life over to the cause of the gospel, he faced all sorts of hardships and suffering. (Not the sort of thing some would promote as the life of a believer with all of the health, wealth and “your best life now” nonsense that is preached these days.) Here in Philippians 1, written from imprisonment, we have the answer and it is a wonderful way to approach life.

Paul’s life was about his purpose. He understood what his mission was and that everything that he did and everything that happened to him was for a reason. His life was in God’s hands and he trusted that God would use him for His glory. To live was to bring glory to Christ, to advance the gospel. And if things got to the point where his hardships caused the ultimate difficulty in life… well, that wasn’t really a difficulty for Paul.

Death for the believer is not the end, but merely a step toward something better. The hope that we have enables us to stand firm because we know that the worst thing that can happen is in a way the best.

For some reason we don’t hear this message—this attitude—taught or preached much these days. The goal of many “believers” is not Christ, but rather happiness, self-fulfillment and safety in this life. Death is not gain but an escape from punishment. The gospel has been reduced to an escape clause in death and has little to no impact on life (other than those who have a further misunderstanding of the gospel and think that they have to jump through some hoops to maintain their “saved” status.)

We need a return to the understanding of the gospel where salvation is just a portion of the larger message—where Christ is everything and our life, and death, is a secondary consideration.

No comments:

Post a Comment

NonModernBlog written content is the copyrighted property of Jason Dietz. Header photos and photos in posts where indicated are the copyrighted property of Jason and Cheryl Dietz.
Promotional photos such as screenshots or posters and links to the trailers of reviewed content are the property of the companies that produced the original content and no copyright infringement is intended.
It is believed that the use of a limited number of such material for critical commentary and discussion qualifies as fair use under copyright law.

  © Blogger template Brownium by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP