“If we proclaim a gospel that focuses only on the private experience of the individual and the heavenly benefits for the next life, then we should not be surprised to see people dismissing the importance of good works in this life within the context of the Church.”

– a quote from my forthcoming book, Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals

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5 thoughts on “The Gospel is for Now because it's for Later”

  1. Bill says:

    There is part of me that wants to agree with this statement, but another part of me says to wait and see how these words fit in with the greater context from which you have plucked them… At face value it seems to be a pretty broad sweeping statement, but I’m not convinced you intended it to be as sweeping and broad as it initialy appeared to me.

    Is the dismissing of good works in the immediate context of your quote a deliberate conscious decision, or one that happens more subtley and unconsciously?

  2. Trevin Wax says:

    My point is this (larger context):

    When we make salvation merely a matter of heaven vs. hell (choose one), we wind up making the gospel solely (or primarily) about the next life.

    So it should not surprise us that people “choose heaven,” say a quick prayer and then feel like eternity is settled. And that’s it.

    Salvation in all its fullness is indeed about heaven and hell, but the person who trusts in Christ is not only assured of future heaven. he becomes an agent of the future now in the present. In other words, there is “New Creation.” This of course will lead to good works, precisely because the life to come is now impinging upon the life now.

    The problem is, evangelicals have tended to stress eternal destiny at the expense of the doctrine of the Church and the doctrine of sanctification.

  3. Bill says:

    Thank you for the clarification. And I agree with your asessment of the problem as articulated in your last sentence.

    Peace…

  4. jody says:

    nicely done

  5. I appreciate your quote. There is a fine line between being saved out of fear and being saved out of obedience.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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