1st May 2020
If you’re a Christian, you cannot lose. The bad things in your life will turn out for good, the good things in your life cannot be lost, and the best things in your life are still to come. I think that’s how I heard Tim Keller summarise a sermon by the great American pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards. But I should take the blame for what follows now.
It sounds too good to be true. We’re not used to things being that good. Which just shows how used we are to living in a fallen world, and how unaccustomed we are to thinking of how powerful and good God is. If you’re a Christian, the bad things in your life will turn out for good, the good things in your life cannot be lost, and the best things in your life are still to come. Really? Yes, really. Let me show you. All three of those things are clearly stated in that most wonderful of chapters in the Bible, Romans chapter 8.
The bad things in your life will turn out for good. That’s verse 28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him”. If you’re a Christian, God works in all things – which includes the bad things – for your good. And what is your good? The next verse tells us. It is that you be “conformed to the image of his Son”, in other words that you be made more like Jesus. The bad things in your life really will turn out for good.
Next, the good things in your life cannot be lost. That’s verses 38 and 39: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life…, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The good things in your life come from the love of God. The greatest good is that God loves you in Jesus. And nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate you from God and his love. Not even death, the great separator, which separates everything and everyone else. Jesus has gone through death for you to make sure of it. If you’re a Christian, the good things in your life really cannot be lost.
Finally, the best things in your life are yet to come. Is there anything more than being one of God’s children, and being loved in Christ? Amazingly, there is! It’s sharing his glory. And that’s what you’re promised in this chapter, again and again. Verse 17 says you’ll “share in his glory”. Verse 18 speaks of “the glory that will be revealed in us”; verse 21, “the freedom and glory of the children of God; verse 30, that our final destiny is simply this: “glorified.” You will share in all that God is, his holiness, his majesty, his life, his love, his light. If you’re a Christian, the best things in your life really are yet to come. It really is very good, and it is true.
Chris Hobbs, Senior Minister