Heaven is NOT the Primary goal

2 Corinthians 8:9 (KJV) For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

If there were no heaven (of course we know there is heaven for sure), would you still be a Christian? Would you be interested in the Christian life if there was no heaven after this earthly life is over? I would like to suggest that if my primary motive in being Christian is to get myself to heaven, then it is possible that I am not a Christian at all. The one who becomes a partaker of spirit of Christ is more concerned about someone else’s salvation than his own.

Remember Judah, when he had become surety for his brother Benjamin? When he thought that Benjamin would be kept in Egypt as a slave, and thought of the grief it would bring to his father, he offered to take Benjamin’s place. He voluntarily chose to be a slave forever, that Benjamin may be set free. (Gen 44:33)

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Remember Moses, when he was leading the Israelites out of Egypt? God offered to destroy the ungrateful rebels in the desert and start it all over with Moses to make a great nation. Moses prayed “Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. Exodus 32:31-32 (KJV). Now that is profound. Moses had come to the place that he was willing to be lost forever, if that is what it would take for Israel would be saved.

Remember Paul, in his appeal for the Israelites, For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh Romans 9:3 (KJV). Paul like Moses was willing to lose eternal life that Israel might gain eternity.

And Jesus, the greatest Giver of all, did not count heaven as a place to be desired while we were lost, but came on the long expensive journey, risking His own eternal life. It is His spirit of unselfish giving that was shown in Judah, in Moses, in Paul and in all heaven.

These things were not written merely that we might read and wonder, but that the same faith which wrought in God’s servants of old might work in us. In no less marked a manner than He wrought then will He work now wherever there are hearts of faith to be channels of His power.  {Ed 256.1}

I have heard people say, “I love my wife, husband etc, but I would rather go to heaven alone than to hell with her.” How would Judah, Moses, Paul or Christ phrase that prayer?

Every true, self-sacrificing worker for God is willing to spend and be spent for the sake of others. {1SM 86.2}. The goal of the Christian life and of missionary work, is to create that selfless spirit in us that was in Christ. It is the willingness to spend and be spent that is our need today.

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