Knowing God in the Present for the Sake of the Future
How often is heaven on your mind? If we are honest this may not necessarily be a frequent thought for us, as we are often consumed with the cares of this life. Following up on the quote from John Owen last week, he again shows us how a heavenly mind allows us to repent well and turn from the foolish things of this world to the breathtaking realities of God’s kingdom. This is a great reminder about how needful it is to get specific in the Christian life. We tend to generalize about our sin, but we need to come to a specific understanding of what we are actually dealing with on a daily basis. This is so that, as we focus on the specific characteristics of God and His kingdom, we can kill those sins with greater focus and precision. Are we prepared to leave behind the worldly pleasures of this life and forsake some things that may have become stumbling blocks to our loving Christ with passion and joy? Are we willing to turn away from temporary pleasures to ready ourselves for the eternal joy that awaits us with Christ? If so, we must be quick to repent and pursue the only thing that will satisfy, Jesus Christ.
How can we possibly believe the promises concerning Heaven, immortality, and glory, when we do not believe the promises concerning our present life? And how can we be trusted when we say we believe these promises but make no effort to experience them ourselves? It is just here that men deceive themselves. It is not that they do not want the Gospel privileges of joy, peace and assurance, but they are not prepared to repent of their evil attitudes and careless life-styles. Some have even attempted to reconcile these things and ruined their souls. But without the diligent exercise of the grace of obedience, we shall never enjoy the graces of joy, peace and assurance.
Jeremy Kimble (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Cedarville University. He is an editor for Credo Magazine as well as the author of That His Spirit May Be Saved: Church Discipline as a Means to Repentance and Perseverance and numerous book reviews. He is married to Rachel and has two children, Hannah and Jonathan.