As we enter the Easter season, I want us to stop and think a moment about our personal relationship with the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. If you have ever heard a true Gospel message then you have heard that the only way to be “saved” and have an “eternal life in heaven” is by making “Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.” Now for most of us men it doesn’t take us long to determine that we do not want to spend eternity in a place defined as “The abode of the dead especially as a place of eternal punishment for unbelievers” (Holman Bible Dictionary, 1991). You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out you prefer not to spend your eternity in a place called the “lake of fire.” Some of you may even question if there is life after death but you wanted to play it safe and buy yourself a fire insurance policy just in case. In other words, you understood the “savior” part of the equation and you didn’t want to be left with no coverage if there is an eternity. So you hedged your bet by saying “yes Jesus, please be my Savior and keep from an eternity in a place of punishment.” You decided to just add some additional protection if there truly is an eternal judgment and you wanted to have your fire insurance policy in hand when, and if, you needed it. It wasn’t about changing your life from following your sin nature to following Jesus, it was just insurance. If that is your line of thinking then read the remainder of this article very closely and very carefully.
First, God is not in the insurance business! He is in the abundant life business. Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10: 10b NKJV) If you are living your life with Jesus as nothing more than an eternal fire insurance policy, then you are missing out on the many promises He made to those that follow Him in this earthly life. God never said this earthly life would be easy or without challenge but Jesus tells us in Mark 10: 27 “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
If you only had enough faith to buy a fire insurance policy then you missed the meaning of God’s grace. Ephesians 2: 8-10 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” As men we are prone to boast about our accomplishments. We are known for our one-upmanship tendencies and the pleasure of bragging about our victories. That is why God makes it very clear that eternity has nothing to do with what we can do for ourselves but it has everything to do with what He has done for us. It is because of what God has done for us that brings us to do “good works.” Not because it earns us an eternity with Him but because of the tremendous gift He gave us through His son Jesus Christ. God has a plan for our life here on earth and it includes things that can be used to further His kingdom. Each of us has gifts that God can use to serve Him in our daily lives. If you have a “fire insurance policy” mentality, then you are missing the benefits of a grace filled life and utilizing the gifts God gave you to serve Him.
Peter does an excellent job of describing what it means to have Jesus as Lord of our lives. 2 Peter 2: 3-11 says “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (NIV) Peter makes it very clear that this relationship with Jesus is much more than an “insurance policy” if we will put forth the effort to make it what God desires it to be. First and foremost is the question “are you living on the very great and precious promises that will allow you to escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires?” For most of us men, our downfall always starts by turning from the promises of God and relying on the lies of the world. We know full well that the enemy relies on the attraction of sin to lure us back into his clutches and control. We are like a bug drawn to light and suddenly, ZAP, we receive the shock of the reality of our poor decision. 2 Peter 2: 20 tells us “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.” As much as we don’t want to hear what this passage of scripture says, it is very clear that if we have escaped corruption of the world and then become captive to it again, we are worse off in the end than we were in the beginning.
God’s desire is for a daily, personal, ongoing relationship with us. He wants to equip us to withstand any and all of the efforts Satan will use to destroy us and our families. Earlier in this article I quoted the second half of John 10: 10. The first half of that verse says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” You see Satan has no greater objective than to steal kill and destroy the creation made in the image of God. If you are using your relationship with Jesus Christ as nothing more than a fire insurance policy, you are missing all of the grand and glorious opportunities that a daily reliance upon your Heavenly Father has to offer. What a wonderful time of year to pause and give some thought to where you are in your personal relationship with the God who created you and His Son who died to pay your sin debt. There is no better time than the present to get that relationship on the right track. If you have been living your relationship with Jesus as if it’s a fire insurance policy then it is time to change that. God can and will forgive you and He will help you to begin the wonderful, rich, and glorious life journey of relying on Him everyday for everything. 2 Peter 3: 17&18 says “Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”