Q. Your answer in “Am I Expected To Tithe?” states that we should tithe “Out of gratefulness that the Lord has saved us from eternal punishment.” Our pastor has brought up the point that Jesus didn’t die to save us from an eternity in hell, although that’s a good side benefit. He died to restore the relationship that was lost in the garden. John 10:10 says “He came that we may have joy to the full”, it doesn’t say He came to keep us from eternal punishment. Our pastor goes on to say that people who accept Christ as “fire insurance” have missed the point and missed the joy of what Jesus wants…a relationship with Him for now and all eternity.
A. I think your pastor has the priority reversed. Saving us from eternity in Hell is not just a good side benefit. It was the primary purpose of His death (John 3:16, Col. 2:13-14, etc.) . The abundant life He spoke of in John 10:10 is the good side benefit. Jesus mentioned the abundant life only once, but being saved from the penalty of our sins is the very foundation of our faith (1 Cor. 15:1-4) and the reason for our joy.