I often hear people today talk about “bucket lists.” You know, all those things you want to do before you kick the bucket because you assume you’ll never have a chance to do them again. But does that make sense for the Christian?
For the believer, the way you know you’ve really been released from bitterness is you weep in your enemy’s pain and rejoice in their rejoicing. Even when they experience some of the painful consequences of their sin, even when these consequences are a fulfillment of justice, your heart breaks with them in the pain of their actions, and you pray that God will use this pain to bring them to forgiveness.
God uses his church to reach people. We need each other. We are, all of us, incomplete, insufficient for life—at least for what God wants from our lives—without deep and meaningful involvement in the church.
While all Christians are called to evangelize, give, serve, and pray (among other spiritual gifts), we are not all called to everything equally or gifted equally for them. Not everything that comes from heaven has your name on it. But something does.
The Apostle Paul may or may not have known all this about butterflies. But he did recognize that something similar happens to the believer: “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind ..." (Romans 12:2 CSB).
We have two seemingly contradictory truths: On the one hand, the Bible says that once God saves you, you’ll always be saved; on the other, it says that only if you endure to the end will you be saved. You have to put the two together.