rob bell is nothing if not controversial. argue as we may about what box to stuff him in, i could not help but stop when i read this in one of his books:
For Jesus, eternal life wasn’t a state of being for the future that we would enter into somewhere else; it is a quality of life that starts now.
it bothers me significantly when i hear the familiar line about “getting to heaven.” by all means, eternal life is important to our Christian faith. we should look forward to spending eternity worshiping our Creator. but should it really be the focus of our conversion? if we’re just trying to get to heaven, what about now? what about my problems and pains and troubles now? what about the happiness that i experience now?
can our faith be a part of who we are now? what about who we will be tomorrow?
i know we’re not promised tomorrow, but part of me wonders if we’re only living this life to get to the next one, what are we missing? do we wish away what God has blessed here? did Jesus come for us to have abundant life? doesn’t that start now? aren’t we missing the point? we don’t get picked up out of this world the moment we’re saved. we’re here. we’re experiencing this life now. so is our faith relevant to our lives in this moment? are we experiencing the joy of our faith now?
it could be about heaven and maybe i’m missing it. but a big part of me would be very unsatisfied if that’s what it was all about.