ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, January 21   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Evangelical Focus is three years old
When was the first time you visited Evangelical Focus?





SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Peter Mead
 

Life now

Too many gospel presentations offer only a ticket to heaven when you die. And too many Christians are walking around with hope of comfort tied exclusively to that end of life anticipation.

BIBLICAL PREACHING AUTHOR Peter Mead 12 JULY 2016 10:35 h GMT+1
woman, sea, Photo: Michael Ramey (unsplash, CC)

We can easily make the Martha mistake. I don’t mean the Martha in the kitchen mistake though. At the end of Luke 10 we see Martha graciously rebuked by Jesus for desperately trying to love her neighbor as her first priority, when she should have first loved the Lord and allowed Him to minister to her before she tried to minister to others.  We easily and maybe regularly make that Martha mistake, but I am not referring to that.



We can easily make the Martha in the street mistake. In John 11 we see Jesus at a key point in his ministry coming to Bethany where Lazarus was ill and then died. Martha runs to Jesus and expresses her grief, that if Jesus had been there, then Lazarus would not have died.  Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. But now Lazarus was dead and buried, Jesus was too late, and Martha understandably made a mistake. What was it?



Jesus told Martha that Lazarus would rise again. What do you say to a grieving sister? Maybe this was just one of those platitudes that we hear at Christian funerals. Comfort, but distant. Martha took it that way. She assumed that Jesus comes to us and points off into the distant future – comfort for the by and by.  She was mistaken.



When Jesus told Martha that “I am the resurrection and the life,” he was not just referring to the far off future. What she didn’t know was that this person stood before her was about to reinforce the Jerusalem leadership’s decision to kill him. What she didn’t know was that this person stood before her was soon to enter into death deliberately and with dignity. And what she didn’t know was that in a few weeks this person stood before her would stand up and walk out of his own tomb as the conqueror of death.



If Martha could have seen the next few weeks, then she might have anticipated more in the next few minutes. Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and Lazarus was about to be miraculously resuscitated after four days of stone cold death.



We can easily make the Martha mistake. We can assume that Jesus comes to us in the tough times of life and ministry in order to point our hearts into the future – that far off time when we will be with him and all the tears will be wiped and the presence of sin dusted away and we will forever enjoy what we were made for, fellowship with the Trinity. This is all true. But this is not all.



Jesus comes to us in the midst of hurt, and sorrow, and challenge, and struggle, and betrayal, and fatigue, and tears . . . and he comes to give us life now.



Too many gospel presentations offer only a ticket to heaven when you die. And too many Christians are walking around with hope of comfort tied exclusively to that end of life anticipation. Jesus is the kind of Savior who comes to us, by his Spirit, in the midst of the mess we experience. Jesus is the kind of Savior who gives us life now.



Martha misunderstood the physical implications of Jesus meeting her that day. We can misunderstand the spiritual implication of Jesus meeting us today.



As conqueror of death and Lord of life, what is it that Jesus offers us today as his beloved friends and family? He offers us hope for the future and a new standing with God, of course. But never let the good news diminish into a merely status-based future hope. Jesus offers us the loving intimacy of the Trinity by the Spirit poured out into our hearts reassuring us of God’s love, urging us to call God our Abba. 



Jesus offers us eternal life now, which is to enjoy fellowship with God our Father and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. Jesus offers us transformed hearts, filled hearts, tenderly loved hearts.  Jesus offers us his presence, his comfort, his concern and his companionship.  Jesus offers us life, now.



I thank God for Martha. Her mistake in the kitchen in Luke 10 is a mistake I make all the time. Jesus’ gentle rebuke of Martha resonates deeply as a loving rebuke for me. And her mistake in the street at Bethany in John 11 is a mistake I make all the time. I too tend to live my life as if Jesus’ presence is nice today, but the difference Jesus offers lies off in the distant future. 



Jesus lovingly corrected Martha’s grieving error by giving her the embrace of her brother that day. Jesus lovingly wants to correct our similar error by giving us his embrace, today. That is life, eternal life. It is not only life forever then. It is, in the midst of all the mess I experience, life now.



Peter Mead is mentor at Cor Deo and author of several books. This article first appeared at his blog Biblical Preaching


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Life now
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest

About 70 people from European countries met at the Younger Leaders Gen gathering in Hungary (19-22 October) to discuss the challenges of the church in the continent and build partnerships. Photos: Evi Rodemann and Jari Sippola.

 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
He is... He is...

A video about Colossians 1:15-20.

 
Creation Care and the Gospel, in France Creation Care and the Gospel, in France

The conference drew about 90 delegates from across Europe. Scientists, theologians, activists reflected together on the theme “God’s Word and God’s World”.

 
“It is inconsistent to say we love the Creator while we destroy His creation” “It is inconsistent to say we love the Creator while we destroy His creation”

In creation care, “we need more people who lead by example”, says well-known Brazilian politician and activist Marina Silva. 

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.