Sunday, April 23, 2006

Reason #1 to give thanks for Tim Keller

Tim Keller

"What is our Christian hope? Is it just heaven? Is that it? If it is just heaven we just have compensation for all the things we have lost. And we have lost so much…But if the future is a new heavens and new earth, if the Christian hope is not just a compensation for what we have lost, but a restoration of the world and the life we have always wanted, that changes everything with regard to suffering.

If heaven is a compensation for all the stuff you have always wanted but never going to have, that is one thing, but if the new heavens and new earth is our hope, and it is - and therefore we have a restoration of everything you ever wanted - the new heavens and new earth will make every horrible thing you every experienced nothing but a nightmare… and as a nightmare will do nothing but infinitely, correspondingly, increase your future joy in glory, in a way that it wouldn’t have been increased if you had never suffered it. And that is the ultimate defeat of evil. To say evil is an illusion or that you are going to be compensated for it is one thing, but to say that evil will be in the end the servant of your joy - that’s astounding. The Christian hope does not just compensate you for your suffering, it undoes it - it absolutely undoes it. Our momentary affliction achieves an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

You don’t just accept suffering, because you know God does not want it. You certainly don’t just avoid suffering, because you realise how God can use it. You don’t embrace suffering, like some kind of masochist, because you realise that this is evil, this is evil, God doesn’t want this to happen. But look how God has worked out in Jesus Christ so that even evil will be the eventual servant of our joy and our glory."

(From the sermon Christian Hope and Suffering preached on 16 May 2004)

Unfortunatly that quote does not do total justice to Tim Keller's preaching on hope, but it is still so good I had to get it typed up.

If you want to know more about Tim Keller try Steve McCoy's page of resources, or his profile for Mark Driscoll's gig, but he is all about the preaching (so go buy some mp3s).


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