Lead them to what??? – Spreading Contentment #5

Hi Reader,

Welcome to Living Contentment Weekly. Here are your three contentment-related thoughts for today. Something for you to: read | do | pray


Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at various ways we can have a positive impact on the contentment of those around us.

We’ve looked at how even the blind can help the blind, how our scars not wounds can help, how we might be the missing ingredient in a combination for someone, and how we often don’t share the very thing that brings the most contentment.

Last week, we looked at how pointing people to Jesus is the real ultimate way to help others increase their contentment. Today I want us to think about what it is we’re actually pointing people to when we point them to the way of Jesus.

For a few centuries now, a lot of rhetoric from the Christian church has focused on Hell. Or at least Heaven and Hell. This is WAY too big a topic for this simple newsletter, but for the last 500 years (1/4 of the life of the post-resurrection Church) there has been an emphasis on how Christianity affects what happens to you after you die.

If we consider the book of Acts as an accurate reflection of the early church (and I’ve never heard anyone seriously argue that it is anything else) then we should probably look back at what they talked about. When those early believers, many of whom had met Jesus in person, tried to point others to the way of Jesus, to give them a deep sense of living contentment, what did they talk about?

Of all the messages spoken in Acts, only 16 of them – 58% – speak of hell.

OK – I just lied. Totally made up those numbers.

The number is actually zero. [1]

There is no talk of hell, no mention of “heaven and hell.”

But interestingly – there is a lot of talk of “heaven and earth.” and talk about the “kingdom of God” – both referring to how God is acting and present in the here and now. In fact, in the whole of the New Testament – ‘heaven and earth’ and ‘kingdom of God’ show up almost 100 times, and hell only 22.

The early followers of Jesus fully realized they were part of a movement that has a massive impact on the here and now.

If we are trying to spread real, living contentment let’s be sure to share the part that affects the here and now.
Yes – eternity with God is the absolute ultimate in contentment.

However, there is so much contentment that following Jesus brings here and now. That’s mostly what we look at every week – but let’s not drop that when we share with others what following Jesus means.


When you think about how following Jesus can bring contentment – what is your first thought?

Eternal contentment in eternity – or – a of contentment now?

Both are true – but teh way each of us tends to lean towards one side will impact how and what we share with others.
Try to have a more balanced sense of the ‘now vs. then’ sense of Christian contentment.


God of love,
you want good for all,
not just in the next life,
but here and now.
Help us hear your call to bring your kingdom,
so your will is done here, now,
just as it is in heaven.


Talk to you next Thursday!


[1] In Acts 2:27 records Peter using the Greek word HADES when he quotes Psalm 16:10. HADES is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word SHEOL. There is wide agreement that SHEOL/HADES are not at all the same concept as Hell – which is usually the translation of the Greek word GEHENNA – which is itself a name for a place in the valley of Hinnom outside Jerusalem.