Archive for May, 2013

End Game

May 20, 2013

“Begin with the end in mind” – a simplistic and oft-quoted mantra from one of those self-help/self-improvement books. It claims that we will become effective people if we are clear about our end objectives.

I was pondering over today’s sermon on the reason for my living. Yes, it is to share the gospel and God’s saving grace to all the world. To reach out to every life that crosses my path, because life is short and precious. It is also God’s will for the souls of man to be saved (from himself, mostly). Without God, man has no way to find the answers to morality, origin, destiny and truth.

One of the things said in the sermon today was “out of our love for God, we should fulfil the great commission.”

My main reservation for that last point is that it seems to be founded upon the debtors’ ethic. It kind of guilts people into doing things for God. I have read John Piper’s book “Future Grace” in which he submits that having faith in the future grace of God would be a better anchor upon which we progress in our christian lives. Not that gratitude is not necessary, but if that is our source of motivation in loving God it will not last very long. We cannot pay God back. God does not really need us to fulfil his works. The world does not stop spinning when we mess up. I somehow find comfort in that fact.

So then, I find myself asking how exactly does it work out? I mean, evangelizing to my friends, colleagues, not to mention the unreached people groups. I find myself in want of the self-authenticating apprehension of the spiritual beauty of Christ and his words, to be fully assured of the purpose and conviction of my “preaching” to others. How can I be in this world, sharing the same time-space and human condition as others, yet tell them that they should repent and believe in God, when I do not yet fully understand what it means to hope in God, and to desire Him above all things. At this moment my heart has not caught up with my mind. I am somewhat half-hearted in terms of being passionate and zealous for God. But I do want to be passionate. Yet I also read somewhere that it is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. (Proverbs 19:2).

That is why I want to read up more, to be fully convinced in my mind about exactly what and who I believe in that I want others to know and be persuaded. (There are people, who will say that reading is not the only way to gain special revelation about God. There are so-called works of the Holy Spirit and supernatural encounters, but I am not comfortable in extra-biblical phenomena, because I see the same problems as the debtors’ ethic. The phenomena seems like a weak/short-lived foundation of faith).
If not I may well be the blind man that leads the blind. Will I be able to practise what I preach?  Meanwhile distractions abound, but that’s another story.

I know the drill when it comes to evangelizing, but these will be mere platitudes until I am completely sold on the End Game – that ultimately only God and his word and the souls of man last forever and our only hope is Christ himself. Another question emerges as to whether being fully cognizant of the end would be sufficient motivation to live fully for the cause of Christ.