Does your gospel ask you questions? Some people turn to Jesus for answers—and we need answers! Heaven or Hell? That requires an answer. Who can forgive me for all the wrong I’ve done? That’s kind of important as well. But after the question of our eternity is settled, after the problem of sin-management is addressed, what more do we have to do with the gospel?
Recently a friend of mind randomly asked people, “Hey, you’re a Christian: do you ever wonder what Jesus has in mind for you next?” Fewer than 25% of those he asked had ever considered that Jesus might have something “next” for them in this life. In other words, three out of four believers couldn’t see the connection between their faith for “salvation” and their everyday life. Their faith pointed them only to heaven.
It’s probably no surprise that the Apostle Paul had a different perspective: “Not that I have already obtained [resurrection from death], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12) In four little letters, just one common word, “that,” all of our future days on earth, all of “what’s next” are contained. Paul understood that Jesus paid the price for his sin and that Jesus had secured a place for him in heaven. But wait, there’s more: Paul understood that Jesus had laid hold of him for some purpose in this life as well. Jesus had a grand mission for this world, and wanted to partner with Paul to achieve that mission. In our day, if our gospel does not ask the question, “what’s next?” then our gospel is too small.
As you look at your “to do” list today, you may want to spend a few moments in prayer and ask the Lord, “how do I fit into your plans to restore all of creation?” Be careful, though: Jesus may actually have something for you to do.