John Ortberg has asked an important question that all of us need to consider: “What if salvation isn’t mostly about getting us into heaven but about getting heaven into us?” (p. 7).
In Eternity Is Now in Session, Ortberg examines the meaning of salvation in light of eternity.
This book arrived from the publisher two weeks before I was scheduled to teach on John 3. I devoured the book, rereading passages and highlighting key thoughts. God’s timing is always perfect! I used quotes from this book in the teaching.
Ortberg writes that salvation is more than saying the sinner’s prayer; in fact, we don’t have the sinner’s prayer in the Bible, he points out. He writes that salvation includes much more than entry into heaven after we die. “To the contrary, Jesus’ Good News is that eternal life–life with God and for God, life under God’s care and life by God’s power–is available now. If you want that life, the logical step is to become a disciple–a student, and apprentice, a follower–of Jesus” (p. 52).
In other words, “Jesus’ gospel is the offer of life as an apprentice of Jesus, by grace, through faith, in this world and the world to come” (p. 62).
The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 asks the reader to rethink salvation and consider that it is much more than the minimum requirement to enter heaven. The second part asks the reader to consider eternity as the reader walks with Jesus. This walk includes seeing God everywhere, leaving baggage behind, adopting a new mental map, and becoming aware of union with Christ.
This is a well-researched, Scripture-filled book that would serve as a great small-group Bible study. Ortberg refers to C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Rankin Wilbourne, Dallas Willard, and others throughout the book.
He includes personal stories, historical stories, and Bible stories at just the right moment to keep the reader engaged.
In addition to this valuable resource for Christians, Ortberg developed a five-session study with a DVD to accompany the participant’s guide. I did not receive the DVD or participant’s guide.
I received a complimentary copy of Eternity Is Now in Session from the publisher for my honest review.
Our Father in heaven, thank You for John Ortberg and for this book. Bless the readers of this book and teach them what You would have them to learn. Bring them into a deeper relationship with You. Empower them as they walk with You as Jesus’ apprentices. Bless John Ortberg and smile upon him as he ministers to You and to Your sons and daughters. Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Related post: Eternity Awaits You