I FEAR that there are many in our circle of friends and colleagues who have heard mixed messages about the Christian faith: are Christians really more successful and happy than non-believers?
Are they showered with good fortune, always, and given immense riches above measure?
Or are they really actually persecuted people with a blessed hope and joy of heaven that is an inheritance for them in the future?
The truth is that there is a great mixture of false ideology about what a believer is.
Promises have been made by countless churches mistakenly offering unbelievers earthly blessings beyond their wildest imagination the Bible doesn’t promise, complete health and the absence of sickness, pain free circumstances and above all of this a lifestyle to be envied by those without such privileges.
Determined to make following Christ acceptable, easy, enticing and entirely casual the church has woefully made Christ’s words powerless in John 5:20, “Remember the word that I said to you, The servant is not greater than his master.
If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept My saying, they will also keep yours,” and many others regarding the suffering of His people in this life.
The entire focus of scripture rests upon the joy of the believer remaining pure when refl ecting on the future blessings coming that are waiting for us in heaven.
Coming to Christ with the expectation that we will never experience pain, always be healthy, remain untouched by tragedy and be filthy rich is one of Satan’s largest lies perpetuated by many churches.
The life here, for the Christian, is literally filled with tribulations, but the abundant hope rests in the fact that God has prepared somewhere better to completely rest when we’re gone: a city with mansions prepared for us; void of sin, sadness, sickness or death.
Yes, God forgives the Christian from the penalty of sin by Christ’s atoning death, let’s never make light this glorious exchange, but let us remember the body is not yet redeemed; sin still remains (its effects) and trouble for the Christian still hangs around until the believer is called to meet with God or Jesus returns again.
This is why 1 Corinthians says, “no eye has seen, no ear has heard the things that God has prepared for those that love Him,” and this is why through trials the believer has peace, rest and breathing space, because of God’s Holy Spirit comforting them through the most intense trial; perfecting them by purifying them this way.
If you are not saved, and are unsure of where you will spend eternity, Jesus provides the only salvation through His death on the cross and resurrection; paying the fi ne you deserve, and life with Him will involve partaking in His sufferings, but with His comfort that “transcends understanding” through any situation will be yours.
No other religion offers this.