Will American Christians get even lazier in Heaven?

Lazy

Will American Christians get even lazier in Heaven?

That’s a tough one.

First off, is it even possible to be lazier than the average American professing Christian?

Perhaps, but only with supernatural assistance.

Don’t laugh! (Okay, laugh a little, but after that please pull yourself together and continue reading…)

If we stop to think about it, the notion of supernaturally amplified hyper-lazy bliss as an ultimate goal actually seems to fit quite nicely into the modern American spin on Christianity.

How many times have you heard some version of the “I don’t care about anything but just making it to Heaven” line.

Rarely is it quite put that way, but the substance of millions of professions on the subject of eternity centers on the same basic sentiment: Zero interest in active, much less comprehensive, obedience to the King who has supposedly saved the person making the profession from Hell. American Christianity is all about minimalism when it comes to obedience or the pursuit of holiness. Put another way, American Christianity is the Devil’s favorite kind of Christianity.

And it is, in its own warped way, quite coherent. Or consistent, anyway.

If we assume the contemporary American understanding of Heaven as a place where the best things in life are amplified to temporally unimaginable levels, and that “effortless living” is obviously a good and noble thing worthy of said amplification, then why would we not allow for – or even expect – that Heaven will be a place of eternal passivity and practical laziness?

After all, if the modern American Christian worldview generally centers on an understanding that there’s no need to do “too much” (meaning: anything “extreme”, “fanatical” or “uncomfortable”) to proclaim, much less apply, the Gospel as commanded in the Great Commission because “it’s all only going to get worse here anyway” and “Jesus is just going to clean up the whole mess for us anyway”, then sure, it is quite coherent and reasonable to expect that the same effortless (aka “lazy” and “apathetic”) approach here on earth would be amplified into a sort of hyper-lazy, passively awestruck bliss in the Heaven to come.

Sprinkle on the modern American evangelical expectation that allowing things to slide downward throughout the culture is actually a good thing (for these lazy Christians, anyway), because it means that Jesus will then soon arrive to do what we’re not about to: Namely, obey God the Father in detail, and you really begin to get a feel for how this whole lazy, apathetic mess fits together in a near seamless manner.

In this we see how important a proper understanding of the world to come really is and, even more so, how vital a right understanding of the Nature of Christ is to our understanding of the past, present, future, and everything therein.

If we have a vacant, vacuous, unbiblical notion of the future that has Christians passively floating on clouds doing basically nothing but smiling and looking around in awe, then we are more likely to incorporate that notion of the future into how we live in the present. Conversely, if we live in the present in a manner that seeks ease and the path of least resistance while pursuing passive comfort and ease, and we believe this to be a good and wise approach to life, then we are likely to assume that the perfect future would include more of the same.

It’s hard to tell which bad perspective starts this cycle; it’s like a chicken vs. egg kinda deal that way. But the bottom line is that the minimally challenge-seeking life here and the passive, lazy view of Heaven are both wildly unbiblical, and therefore incredibly destructive to individual lives, families, and civilizations. Just ask America.

These passive, lazy approaches and understandings are destructive because they are distinctly separated from and in direct contrast with the nature of Christ as revealed in His Word.

Apathy and laziness here and now (or in the world to some) are evil and destructive first and foremost because Jesus Christ is not apathetic or lazy.

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Christians ought not be lazy because Christ is not lazy.

Since His people are not only called, but supernaturally equipped to desire conformity to His nature, they ought to know and apply that truth better than anyone else in His creation.

Actually, they’re the only ones capable of such application…which is why they are most responsible for the failing and falling of any culture in which He has placed them to serve as His representatives.

So maybe the first question anyone ought to ask themselves if they are into the minimalistic Christian experience here on earth or hoping for a passive, effortless life in some strange, ethereal world to come, isn’t, “Will I be able to have an even more effortless life in Heaven?”

Maybe instead they should ask, “What makes me think I’m going to Heaven in the first place?”

Maybe we should all ask and remind ourselves of that question and the biblical basis for finding its answer. (See: John 14)

Maybe through such hard questions and painful answers we will be graced by our God with true brokenness, repentance and restoration.

Maybe then we might give our everything to and for His Kingdom.

Maybe when we start doing what Christ the King has lovingly commanded and equipped us to do, see this dying culture restored…one supernatural salvation at a time through His Gospel-fueled Great Commission…all by His grace, for His glory, and to the eternal benefit of His actively obedient people.

~

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© 2015 Scott Alan Buss – All Rights Reserved.
Soli Deo Gloria!

4 COMMENTS

  1. I didn't know there was much about Heaven or Hell in the Bible to begin with. In the New Testament the "World to Come" is mentioned, which implies this world in the future?

  2. @ Richard:

    “That said , however , when we’re confronted with a set of less-than-ideal options , it’s not always easy to discern which one is God’s will for us . You seem to suggest that the one which is most costly for us (in whatever terms) or the most difficult or risky is automatically the one we’re called upon to take .”

    Maybe the most costly path isn’t God’s will, but shouldn’t Christians be prepared for the worst? We often assume that God’s will is sunshine and flowers, when Jesus tells us to expect persecutions if we are doing things right.

    I rather like the way the Babylon 5 episode “Comes the Inquisitor” puts it:

    How far are you willing to go? How much are you willing to risk? Are you prepared to die alone, friendless, deserted by everyone, because that is what may be required of you in the time to come.

    Marytrdom may not God’s will for all of us, but are we willing to submit to whatever God’s will is period, regardless of the personal cost? Do we even ask what God’s will is? Do we care?

    • I'm not sure if you read and understood my entire post . The point was not that we shouldn't be prepared for anything or are unable to discern God's will with prayer, faith, maturity, and discipline. Nor was it that we're off the hook for our decision if we can't manage to discern God's will at a particular point in time.

      The point was that it's not necessarily laziness if we pursue a path of lesser resistance, because sometimes that's what God wills at that particular point in time. He has a plan, and we are no more allowed to accelerate that plan than we are allowed to decelerate it. Both mistakes are equally egregious, and equally rejecting of the Lord God's authority over us.

      RT

  3. Of course we're supposed to take all reasonable efforts ("reasonable" would exclude violent) to fight the evils which , per the Lord Jesus' plan , magnify by the day. Not to do so would be sinful , almost just by definition .

    And of course there are a huge number of "Christians" today who would disagree with this , and thus merit the term "lazy" , among others .

    That said , however , when we're confronted with a set of less-than-ideal options , it's not always easy to discern which one is God's will for us . You seem to suggest that the one which is most costly for us (in whatever terms) or the most difficult or risky is automatically the one we're called upon to take . Isn't a better understanding that this is ultimately true for each of us at the end , but not necessarily always true before the end ?

    Jesus overturned the tables on a certain occasion . He could have done it before that , but didn't . Was He being lazy all that time ? I think not .

    He allowed others to crucify Him so that His most important work , which only He could do , could be done . It wasn't laziness for Him to allow this to happen . Nor was it laziness that He waited until He did before allowing it .

    In a similar respect , when He calls upon us to take up our cross if we would follow Him , this can mean different things over the course of our life . If we're to be martyred ultimately , that doesn't mean that in the years before that happens , we're being lazy if we bear other , lesser burdens in the meantime . As long as that is actually the Lord's will and plan for us .

    Jesus was not being lazy when He allowed a disbelieving synagogue of Jews to carry Him out of the worship service and over to a cliff with the intent of casting Him down . Nor was He being lazy when he got away from them and left them alone , rather than going back to the synagogue and reclaiming the pulpit .

    Certainly Christians (anybody , really) should not send their children to government schools , and if they do , certainly they're being lazy and might be questioned or criticized about it . But is it necessarily lazy if they would like to homeschool , but don't see how they can ? Sometimes people get themselves into situations that they can't get out of , or can't see a way out of despite their best attempts . That may in fact be caused by past sins . But is it necessarily laziness , in the present time ? Or is it sometimes just the unavoidable reality ?

    The Grace of God be upon you.

    –Richard

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