I received an email recently with the following:
“In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said: People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.”
First, of all, Rick isn’t wrong…his beliefs are simply incomplete…seriously incomplete. Let me explain…
- Eternity has no beginning and no end; it’s always been and always will be; therefore, it cannot be prepared for because it already exists and is where we already are. Besides, as Solomon said, God has placed eternity in the hearts of men. So, how can we prepare for what is already in us?
- The purpose of life is to live out of the overflow of our intimacy with the Lord Who lives IN US NOW. And not only does He live IN US, NOW, but in Colossians Paul said that the fullness of the Godhead dwells in us; not just Jesus or the Spirit BUT God the Father, God the Son, AND God the Holy Ghost. Then, also, let us not forget that Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is IN US as well. So, with that said, why would God want us to be with Him in Heaven when He is ALREADY with us AND in us NOW?
- There is nothing in the Scripture that says “God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.” Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool (lit. the spirit) of the evening where they lived and interacted “with Him” as dear, intimate FRIENDS. And when they sinned, they were cut off from that relationship. However, Jesus reversed the curse. As one theologian has said, “Adam turn the Garden into a graveyard but Jesus turned the graveyard back into a Garden.” And NOW we can “be with Him”, walking in the cool of the day, in the Garden He has put us in within the context of our daily lives, intimately united to Him in every way; and we know this is true because, as the Scriptures say, our relationship to Him is like that shared by a child and their parent, by a wife and her husband, by a servant and their master, by a person and their best friend, by a plant and its caretaker, etc. And according to Hebrews, we can experience a level of union and communion with the Lord in this New Covenant day that FAR surpasses anything Adam and Eve ever could have experienced; in fact, Paul said that the reality of the New Testament, purchased by the shedding of Jesus’ blood, is far more glorious than anything mentioned in the Old Testament.
I am truly saddened by what people like Rick Warren have turned the Gospel into. They have reformed it into “pabulum” that tastes good – to the spiritually inept – but has no substance. Sure, what they are saying has a lot of Truth in it, but it is so incomplete that it has neutered the miracle of the New Covenant till it has become a mere sentimental ornament in our American devotionals rather than the source of unspeakable, resurrection power that transforms us, through and through, in our spirit, soul, and body. The American Gospel is easier to sell, easier to market, than what Jesus lived, died and was resurrected for, and now there are millions of Christians whose spiritual taste-buds and bellies have been so conditioned by this pseudo Gospel that they have developed an aversion, unknowingly, for the real the thing. And, unfortunately, people like Rick Warren have far more influence on the “christian” masses than the Word of God which is absorbed FAR less than Warren’s nuggets of incredible, untouchable, unquestionable insights.
It just reminds me that while the MAJORITY of “christians” are like this, there is a remnant that has been ruined for anything less than “the real thing”, as modeled by Jesus Himself, and they will not settle for less than all that He purchased on our behalf.