Avoiding Hell And Making Heaven Have Never Much Motivated Me

Barbara Walters presented a two hour special on ABC called:  Heaven — Where Is It? How Do We Get There.  However for me, the issue of our response to God is much bigger than Heaven.

I tend to be a procrastinator.  I think much more about the present than about the future.  So the possibility of avoiding Hell and going to Heaven has never motivated me.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t want to go to Hell and I do want to go to Heaven, but that’s in the future.  I am much more concerned about how I live my life right now.  Am I doing the right things?  Am I overcoming the evil that is within me?  Am I making a difference?  Am I serving others?  Am I pleasing God?  Those are the things that put a passionate fire in me.

However, if you look at history, avoiding Hell and going to Heaven have been the major motivators in the church’s marketing — the Hell of a big stick and the Heaven of future gimme gimme.  Salvation is usually offered as fire insurance and/or lavish mansions in the sky.

The offer of eternal fire insurance and a ticket to Heaven may get someone to join a church, to say a prayer, and/or to attend religious meetings; but that motivation seems weak and short-lived.  After a while, people become satisfied.  Their Christianity is all about the future, but not much about present day life, so they get bored and their hearts get cold.

Yet, we humans need daily motivation, not just pie in the sky.  So what motivates me to hunger for and to seek God with all my heart?  Jesus promised victory over the power of sin.  I long to live in His freedom from moral bondage in my life and to help others do so.

Jesus said that His followers would do greater things than He did.  When you read the book of Acts you see that His early followers did amazing and miraculous things.  Now that stirs me up and keeps me motivated.  Lord, let me experience Your power like those early Christians did!

Jesus is wonderful.  Getting to know Him, is the greatest motivation.   A daily, personal relationship with Him is the absolute best thing that life on earth has to offer.  Like the old hymn says:  “He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own; And the joy we share, as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”

Peter, the fickle former fisherman who denied Christ but was later turned into a faithful, fired-up follower of Christ, said that we can experience in this life, “joy unspeakable and full of glory.”  Now that’s motivation.  That’s what people are looking for — that’s why they party hard.  They want to get the Hell out of their life so they are desperate for joy and they try to manufacture it with alcohol, drugs, sex and rock and roll.

But the amazing, enduring, heart-throbbing, hang-over free, guilt free, overwhelming joy that comes from following and obeying Jesus, cannot be found anywhere else.  Whew!  Now that’s real motivation!

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @ http://amzn.to/2nCr5dP
This entry was posted in alternative lifestyle, Barbara Walters, Buddhism, Dalai Lama, drugs, feelings, fire insurance, God, Heaven, Hell, Hindu, history, Jesus, Jesus Christ, joy, lifestyles, meaning, morals, motivation, salvation, TV, TV network, Uncategorized, Where is it? How do we get there?, Why be a Christian? and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Avoiding Hell And Making Heaven Have Never Much Motivated Me

  1. sherwood8028 says:

    Jesus taught – “I have come that you might have life and have life more abundantly.”

    It has been years since I thought seriously about heaven or Hell but have concentrated on defining “abundance” in my own life. The amazing revelation I have discovered is the fact, the more that one gives, the more is given unto you. That indeed is abundance.

  2. Walt says:

    Cute little reflection on life, joy and the desire for heaven. However, the trendy concept of living in the day is somewhat a small way that can have serious, permanent consequences of the greatest sort upon the soul.

    Lest we forget the warning in the Bible, paraphrased, ” Like a thief in the night, you will know not when he comes……..be ready!” Of course, The Bible is speaking of the coming of The Lord and/ or one’s death, as that is when your/ our judgement will occur, in the absence of His returning to Earth.

    Every second, subsequent second and breath we take is a gift. We don’t know when it will be our last. We do, however, know that once we die we will be judged. There will be no rescheduling or postponing the event. No bargaining with The Judge and no second chance.

    Live every moment of every day at though it is your last! It may very well be……….

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