Hell Insurance?

(Reposted from squintforgod.com)

All my life, I’ve been told that the gospel of Jesus Christ isn’t simply a religion, it’s a relationship. It was explained to me as a youth that it’s not going to church that makes a difference, but rather a accepting Jesus’ offer of salvation, etc. The idea was that the gospel wasn’t a set of rules to be followed out of duty, it was something more. Something from the heart.

Yet despite that, I’ve seen plenty of believers who just don’t seem like that at all. You get the sense that spending time in worship or personal prayer time or serving in ministry sounds more like a set of duties that need to be fulfilled.

It reminds me of insurance. I don’t really know that much about insurance. Deb and I have several different kinds of insurance. And I know that insurance is really important. I know there are a lot of papers in our files that have all the fine print explaining the details of our insurance, but frankly I don’t expect to ever really understand it all. And while I’ve clearly chosen my insurance, I can’t say that I have a lot of strong feelings about it. My insurance policies aren’t a matter of the heart for me, they’re more like something I don’t want to not have. That’s why I’m willing to pay the cost of having it.

I wonder if sometimes our faith can become like a kind of insurance. We know that it’s really important. We know that there is a whole Bible filled with fine print explaining all the details about it, but frankly we don’t expect to ever really understand it all. And while we’ve clearly chosen the Christian faith, it’d be a stretch to say that we have a lot of strong feelings about it. It’s more like something we don’t want to not have.

Think of Christianity as hell insurance. Maybe you don’t like paying the costs of following biblical teachings, but it saves you from having to wonder whether you’ll be all right for eternity.

How about for you? What makes the gospel more than simply “hell insurance” for you?