Pastor Levi Lusko of Fresh Life Church spoke to thousands of Christian youth at the Passion 2018 conference, encouraging them to set their minds on the "next world," which he said, will help them do three things in this world.
The lead pastor of the multi-site church in Montana and Utah told the youth about the promise of God in 2 Corinthians 4:14, "… We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself."
"Death is not the end of the road; it's only a bend in the road," he told them.
Giving the audience a preview of his message in one sentence, the pastor said, "The more you look forward to the next world, the less you'll need from this one."
The message was titled, "Kicking the Bucket List," which Lusko explained was about writing down our manifesto of what we want to accomplish before we die.
The pastor said three things will happen if we expect less from this world.
One, he said, "the less you need from this world, the more you can do for it."
The less you look for something from this world to fill some hole in your heart, the more space you will have to make a difference, he explained.
"You are God's plan A to change the world. … And there is no plan B," he told the audience.
Two, "the less you need from this world, the more you can withstand the pain in it."
In the New Testament, there's always a tensions between the present problems and the promised prize, Lusko said, and quoted Romans 8:19, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
God can turn agony into glory, he stressed.
Three, the pastor added, "the less you need from this world, the more you can actually enjoy it."
The less you're hoping this world and the relationships and accomplishments here would fill some part of us, and thereby see things in light of where they stand in eternity, the more we can actually start to enjoy them, he said.
When we know our job, an opportunity or vacations are not going to fill any hole in our heart, we can take pleasure even in the simplest of things, he added.
Even our idea of ministry will change, Lusko said. God is not expecting big things from us. We just need to be faithful to Him, he said.
He explained that when Thessalonians were confused about Jesus' coming back, Paul asked them to "make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you," according to 1 Thessalonians 4:11.
"If you're called to sing, then sing, if you're called to lead then lead, if you're called to banking, then (do) banking," he said. And do so by leading a quiet life, and love Jesus in an infectious way so that people around you would want what you have, Lusko told the youth.
The Passion conference, a gathering of 18–25 year olds and their leaders, began as Louie and Shelley Giglio started a Bible study in Texas to minister to Christian students in colleges.
Passion 2018 was held at Philips Arena and the Infinite Energy Center in metro Atlanta and at The Anthem in Washington, D.C. from Monday to Wednesday.