One of the greatest discoveries I ever made that transformed my duty into delight was to finally understand that the Gospel is not a way to get people to heaven but a way to get people to God. I used to think that not “going to hell” was the best thing about being a Christian. I finally came to realize (I mean deep down in my bones) that that was not true. Somehow along my years in my church I came to somehow think that sharing the Gospel was mostly about rescuing people from hell. And while the death of Jesus definitely brought about the salvation of mankind from the throes of hell, the decisive goal of Christ’s butchering was to bring us to God and eliminate the outcome of NOT being able to enjoy our original design to be united with him; therefore, the greatest gift of the Gospel is God himself. As God told Moses, “I am your very great reward.” Paul’s great motivation was not the gift of heaven but the gift of the Giver when he said, “I want to know Christ.” Heaven is wonderful and beautiful but not because of its gold, precious stones, or mind-blowing exquisiteness… it is wonderful and beautiful because it is where God is and where we will dwell with him face-to-face.
Why does “devotions” or church attendance become such a chore for some Christians? Why does Christianity seem like an endless set of errands for a God we cannot seem to please? Why do so many Christians become jaded and bitter?
I think one of the answers (maybe THE answer) is that they are trying to follow and worship a THING, not a person. I mean, how long can you worship “not going to hell”??? It’s hard to worship and find delight in a thing and not a person. Many come to church and do their devos out of a guilt-tripped sense of obligation to a THING, namely “not going to hell.” But the discovery that liberates is the knowledge that eternal life is knowing God.
[RabbitTrail: And instead of asking people the Q: “If you died today, do you know you would go to heaven?” maybe we should ask them, “If you DIDN’T die today, and woke up tomorrow– would you have hope, joy, and the intimate knowledge of The One Who Made You– the One who loves you and calls you by name…so you can LIVE tomorrow with a purpose and a future???]
The difference with the Rob Seyler of 1991 and the Rob Seyler of now is that the old Rob Seyler was on his way to heaven… the Rob Seyler you know now is on his way to God. Small difference in wording, huge difference in motivation. May the delight of knowing the Giver free you from the emptiness of being motivated by his gifts.
— Rob Seyler