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What Are You So Happy About?

“Rejoice because your names are written in Heaven.” -Luke 10:20

There are some great benefits to being a Christian.

  • There is purpose and meaning for life,
  • peace with God and with ourselves.
  • There is opportunity to see the remarkable power of God to affect individual lives, to bring healing, both spiritual and physical.
  • The power to change society–
    • greed, hatred, corruption, indifference,  self-centeredness all have been overcome when the gospel has been heeded.
  • Hospitals and churches have been built.
  • the poor and the sick have been helped.
  • And there is opportunity to be part of the family of God.

But Jesus had a way of getting to the real issue, and he reminded his disciples of a very important fact.  Though the benefits of responding to God’s good news are many and varied, there is one central cause for the Christian’s joy—your names are written in heaven.  The ultimate reward is heaven, with all that involves.  The real benefit of knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord is life, eternal life, i.e. heaven.
How important those words, how important that is for us to remember in a world like this, when life isn’t going well for us.  It was Malcom Muggeridge who said, “The only ultimate disaster that can befall us,”…is to feel ourselves at home here on earth.”1  This is especially true when we are faced with our mortality, our death.  Death for the believer is simply arrival at the final destination.
The Gospel, the good news gives us that hope.  It is a simple (yet profound) story which we often make very complicated.  The Bible teaches that each person has a fatal affliction called sin.  The basic element in this affliction is failure to believe, to trust God, “un”faith.
However God, has provided the remedy—“God loved the world so much that he gave his only son [Jesus] so that whoever believes in him will not die but have life.”
In short, the gospel, the good news is that though each of us has been infected with sin, if we acknowledge it, confess it, place our trust in Jesus by surrendering our life to him, he will give us eternal life—ultimately heaven.
Every other benefit pales in comparison.

1quoted in Christianity Today, 12/8/72, p.54

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