I want to make sure you realize that forgiveness is not the goal of the gospel. Forgiveness always happens in the pursuit of a better goal. If I get up in the morning and I sin against my wife with my words before breakfast and wound her, I need forgiveness.
Why? And if you answer, “So that she’ll make supper,” that’s the way a lot of people treat God. That’s why they want forgiveness. Hell is hot, for goodness’s sake. I’d rather have supper in a cool place. It’s not a good answer.
Do you know why I should want forgiveness? I want her. I don’t like the wall. I don’t like the ice. I don’t like the offense that I have created. So be careful why you want the gospel.
“You don’t need to be born again to not want to burn. But you have to born again to be satisfied in God.”
The gospel exists to remove barriers between you and God — the enjoyment of God, the delight in God. It’s not just to relieve your conscience and get you out of hell. Sinners want that without any new birth whatsoever. You don’t need to be born again to not want to burn. But you have to born again to be satisfied in God. This is huge — that you get the goal of the gospel right. And it isn’t exit from hell, entrance to heaven, golf forever. That’s not the gospel.
So, Christian Hedonism goes for broke. It wants the ultimate goal of the gospel. I love 1 Peter 3:18, for this reason: “Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” That’s why he died. He died to bring you into an enjoyment of God.
And if you don’t enjoy God, you’re not saved. That’s why he died. That you might enjoy God more than anything — more than wife, more than family, more than money, more than success, more than forgiveness, more than eternal life.
“Your steadfast love is better than life” (Psalm 63:3). So, that’s where your joy is to be found, and Christian Hedonism won’t let you settle for anything less.
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