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This quote from Calvin greatly refreshed me today as it reminded me of this blessed benefit of the gospel.

“Surely the gospel does not confine men’s hearts to delight in the present life, but lifts them to the hope of immortality. It does not fasten them to earthly pleasures, but by announcing a hope that rests in heaven it, so to speak, transports them thither.” –John Calvin, Institutes, Book II.10.3

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3 thoughts on “The Gospel Lifts Men’s Hearts to the Hope of Immortality”

  1. Mike says:

    Erik, Martyn Lloyd-Jones warns of the flip side of Calvin’s focus on the Gospel, the rejection of Christ:

    There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12)

    The importance of ‘the end’ is something which is constantly emphasized in the Bible. Our Lord has put it once and for ever in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ … Look at the broad way, how marvellous it seems. You can go in with the crowd, you can do what everybody else is doing, and they are all smiling and joking. Wide and broad are the gate and the way. It all seems so marvellous. And this other seems so miserable — ‘strait is the gate’. One at a time, a personal decision, fighting self, taking up the cross … And it is because they look only at the beginning that so many people are on the broad way … They do not look at the end …

    The end of the one is destruction, of the other, life. The trouble in life today is that people look only at the beginning. Their view of life is what we may call the cinema or film-star view of life. It always attracts, and all those who live that life are apparently having a marvellous time. Alas that so many young people are brought up to think that that is life, and that always to live like that must be supreme happiness … people are attracted by the appearance. They look only at the surface; they look only at the beginning. They do not look at this type of life in its end; they give no thought whatsoever to the ultimate outcome. Nevertheless, it is as true today as it has ever been, and the Bible has always said it, that the end of these things is ‘destruction’.

    Faith on Trial, pp. 50-1

  2. Steve says:

    You don’t get to use the word thither very often anymore. Our heavenly hope allows us to embrace the present as an adventure in Him.

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Erik Raymond

Erik Raymond is senior pastor of Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Ne. He and his wife Christie have six children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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