“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God …”  1 Peter 3:18 

Christianity is about so much more than going to heaven when you die! 

Are you the victim of a truncated gospel? Did the “gospel” come to you in this form: “Would you like to know for sure than when you die you will go to heaven?” For far too many of us, it did. And who wouldn’t want that (at least compared to the alternative)? But is that really all the Good News Jesus came to proclaim, live for, suffer and die for, and be raised again to secure? Or, is there more – much more? 

The real Good News is that the work of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit is to draw you near to Him! Near – where there is infinite peace, joy, and love. God wants to give you more than blessings and benefits. He wants to give you Himself. And the more we understand, trust, and adore Him, the better everything is.   

In one of my favorites of his books, John Piper writes, 

“… the highest, best, final, decisive good of the gospel, without which no other gifts would be good, is the glory of God in the face of Christ revealed for our everlasting enjoyment. The saving love of God is God’s commitment to do everything necessary to enthrall us with what is most deeply and durably satisfying, namely himself. Since we are sinners and have no right and no desire to be enthralled with God, therefore God’s love enacted a plan of redemption to provide that right and that desire. The supreme demonstration of God’s love was the sending of his Son to die for our sins and to rise again so that sinners might have the right to approach God and might have the pleasure of his presence forever.  

In order for the Christian gospel to be good news it must provide an all-satisfying and eternal gift that undeserving sinners can receive and enjoy. For that to be true, the gift must be three things. First, the gift must be purchased by the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Our sins must be covered, and the wrath of God against us must be removed, and Christ’s righteousness must be imputed to us. Second, the gift must be free and not earned. There would be no good news if we had to merit the gift of the gospel. Third, the gift must be God himself, above all his other gifts.” 

John Piper, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself  

God wants to do more than take us to a place. He – from the moment of our conversion – is drawing us to Himself! He wants us to know Him, love Him, enjoy Him – not just in heaven one day – but now and forever! And because of what Jesus has done, is doing, and will do for us, that beautiful possibility can be made into reality. God is drawing you to Himself. Are you ready to come near? 


  • Paul Thompson

    Paul joined the Calvary team as Senior Pastor in March, 2012. Prior to serving here, he was the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Jensen Beach, Florida for 15 years. Paul and his wife Cecilia met while students at Mars Hill University in Mars Hill, NC and married after graduation in 1992. They have 3 sons (Daniel, Alex, and Mark) and 1 daughter (Sarah). Paul also holds a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Wherever his family is is where he wants to be – especially if that means being at the beach! Paul loves to read, study, and travel. This is his ministry life verse and aim: “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” – Colossians 1:28