I'm wondering why I follow Jesus...
What is the chief end of man? To glorify God AND enjoy Him forever. John Piper says, "To glorify God BY enjoying Him forever". So the question that comes to my mind is, "How do I enjoy God in this life, since it's the beginning point of my forever?".
Without the gift of life, I am not here. You are not here. Psalm 139 is clear about how God knits us, forms us and knows us. Jeremiah talks of God knowing us and ordaining our days. Ephesians 1 speaks of being chosen and known before creation ever began. Then, does it mean that to enjoy God forever is to wait until I am done with this life so we can get to the real stuff? If one believes that, then what is this life about? What is the chief end of man as a mortal human being with a life span limited by years, time, mortality and death? I propose, it is to still glorify God BY enjoying Him; AND enjoy Him for ever... And that begins now.
The beauty of this life is that we have an opportunity to experience the glory of God in the midst of our sufferings, trials and losses. Those dimensions of our human experience will not exist in our eternal life with God. Heaven will have no darkness. Heaven will have no tears. There will be no sorrow. Therefore, a resolve begins to emerge in the human spirit to LIVE radically for the glory of God; enjoying Him in this moment, within this fleshly and emotional experience despite the fears, losses and rejections.
The gospel of the Kingdom, taught and demonstrated by Jesus is not a foretaste of the ever-after only, but it is also a "heavenly selfie" of what life can be and should be like for every person. Would we follow Jesus if heaven and hell are not involved in our decision making? Do we follow Jesus only for "eternal insurance?" If so, then where is the glorification of God and how are we enjoying Him NOW, when our true and honest motive for choosing Jesus is not actually choosing Jesus, but instead choosing His free gift? Do we believe that the teachings of Jesus is the way to enjoy God forever? Is Buddhism the way to glorify God and enjoy Him forever? Is Islam the way to glorify God and enjoy Him forever? Is humanism the way to glorify God and enjoy Him forever?
Have you considered, if hell is not an option, why would you follow Jesus? This question challenges our motives for following Christ. It challenges us to study the teachings of Jesus as "formational" for how we live, and that our life's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Is that what Jesus did? If so, how? And if He is our model, are we imitating and innovating the Kingdom way of living? Is life a gift or a long and arduous road of rejection, fear, loss and pain with a light at the end of the tunnel called heaven? I'm not making light of our eternal home and reality, but trying to suggest that life is a gift; a grand and magnificent gift; a truly one and done gift; a gift which affords us the beautiful opportunity to glorify God within the human narrative and enjoy Him forever since we are the Imago Dei - the image bearers of God.