The Christian walk is the adventure of a lifetime

Photo by Eric Sanman on

One of my favorite things to learn about is the Space Race. Recently, I read a book titled Rocket Men by Craig Nelson. It is a detailed chronicle of the Apollo 11 moon landing (which was real, by the way). The men and women of the Apollo program spoke often of what they were doing as being “exploration” and a “journey to the last frontier.” It was an adventure. Adventures are ubiquitous, especially in our entertainment culture. Some of the most famous stories of all time are adventures: The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars— you name it.

I would like to make the contention here that Christianity is also, in fact, an adventure. And not only is it an adventure, is the most exciting and challenging adventure. Whether it’s the life of one individual Christian or the mission of the global church, the Christian walk is the adventure of a lifetime.

We were made to be adventurers

I am a student of history. History has many common threads that run through it, across most all people and time. One of the most noticeable threads in all of history is the common thread of exploration and discovery. Some of the most famous people in history were explorers, headed into the unknown. Most all civilizations were built on curiosity and exploration. So, it makes sense that we all, on a very basic level, intuitively seek to discover, adventure, and explore. It’s what we do. But why?

God made man in his image. This means many things. It means we are created to think, feel, have relationships, etc. But it also means that we are like God. The problem is that sin clouds our judgment on what this is or what it means. We have a purpose, but we don’t know it because we can’t know it due to our sins. The culture of our time in America is such that living life to the fullest means to do whatever we think is best for us. As we all know and can imagine, that is incredibly subjective. But nevertheless, all people are on a journey of self-discovery. God created us to know him and glorify him. Those that are dead in their trespasses and sins– which we Christians all once were at some point– are on a journey to discover who they are. The primary issue is that they are searching for the right things in the wrong places, typically. Luckily for us, the Bible is not silent on why we do this. David writes, in Psalm 19:1-3:

The heavens declare the glory of God, 
       and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 
Day to day pours out speech, 
       and night to night reveals knowledge. 
There is no speech, nor are there words, 
       whose voice is not heard.

The created world declares God’s glory. We were created in his image. Though many do not understand the gravity of this, intuitively they are searching for their purpose in the cosmos. We fundamentally were created to be adventurers. We all know to ask why? Asking, seeking, and wondering– that’s what we do.

Christianity is quite the adventure

What makes an adventure? When we think of adventurous stories, they encapsulate so many things: adversity, success, loss, growth, calamity, bravery, excitement, etc. Adventure stories of fiction, like Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, or Luke Skywalker, are so much fun to read and watch because they are relatable. The adventure stories of history, like Lewis and Clark, Amelia Earhart, Ferdinand Magellan, or Nelson Mandela, are so inspiring, once again, because they are relatable. Life, in general, for all people, runs the entire gauntlet of emotion. We all go through varying levels of ups and downs, celebration and lament, wins and losses. Christianity, as a path of life, is no different.

Paul talks of his Christian walk in many places as being a race, a fight, a mission (See 2 Timothy 4). The writer of Hebrews says in chapter 12 “let us run the race with endurance.” This conjures up images of sports, yes, but also of a journey, an adventure. Think of the testimonies of saints you may know. The marvelous and compelling stories of those who were once dead in their sins but are now alive in Christ. The magnificent stories of the giants of our faith, like Billy Graham, John Calvin, John Wycliffe, William Wilberforce, Corrie Ten Boom, and so many more. Even the practical nature of what it means to be a Christian is chocked full of exciting moments. Joining a church, getting married, dealing with the loss of a friend, losing a job, seeing someone come to faith in Jesus– these are all big moments! The Christian life contains all of the fundamental elements of your favorite Harry Potter book or your favorite famous biography. But what is the key difference? The key difference is that the adventure of Christianity is about one thing– Jesus.

The goal of the adventure is seeing people move from death to life

Some of this is semantics, but follow me here. The chief end of man is to glorify God. The purpose of the believer is to glorify God and make his Gospel known. The goal of the Christian life is to see people move from death to life. Romans 6 says this:

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

And 2 Corinthians 5 says this:

1Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Christians are not broken people who have been fixed. They are dead people who have been resurrected! And not only this, they’ve been reconciled back to God. And what are they to do with this status? Go tell other people how this can happen to them! The purpose of the adventure is to see dead people come back to life– figuratively, of course. The true nature of the adventure of Christianity is to carry a ministry and message of reconciliation that God will use to take people from “dead to sin” and transform them to “alive in Christ.” This is why we fight the fight, finish the race, keep the faith, and make disciples. This is the race to be run with endurance. We have the ministry and message of reconciliation that can make dead people living!

Christianity is the adventure of a lifetime because it is the only thing that will outlive this lifetime. The legacy of the Cross is not bound by time. People are searching, looking for glory in the wrong places. But we know the king of glory. So, let us not wait any longer. Let us not lament any more. Let us not worry about things uncertain nor fall victim to things unknown. Let us lay aside every weight and sin. And let us go to the ends of the earth, to find those that are dead so that Jesus can make them alive. Let’s go, therefore, and make disciples. Let’s go to a people, a culture, a world that knows no purpose and introduce them to the God of purpose. Let’s get up. Let’s get moving.

Let’s go on an adventure.

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