What kind of life can one expect if he becomes a Christian? Answer: A life of righteousness, peace, joy, and trouble. All four.
In the Bible, life in the kingdom of God (speaking of the current, spiritual kingdom composed of all who voluntarily submit themselves to Jesus as king and savior) is described as “righteousness and peace and joy ….” Other parts of the Bible explain that trouble is also part of a Christian life. Some of that trouble is just the plight common to everyone living in a fallen world: disease, natural disaster, abuse from other sinners, and personal errors. Beyond that, there is trouble purposely caused by people who resent Christians (II Timothy 3:12).
What then is the motivation for becoming a Christian, if trouble is part of the package? Why not seek peace and joy on another path? A few reasons occur to me. One is forgiveness.
Jesus said, “…whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them ….” Matthew 7:12 How often have you broken that law? That makes you a lawbreaker. How often have you lied? That makes you a liar. Catch the reality? ” …all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire ….” Revelation 21:8 You need forgiveness.
Guilt is disturbing. Guilt is a warning system — warning because sin (wrongdoing) commonly causes extra trouble and sadness (Proverbs 13:15). Guilt warns of Hell. Unforgiven sinners are sent to Hell. Seek forgiveness. Only the holy Creator is in a position to offer the forgiveness we need.
Men have a few alternate strategies (alternate to God) for dealing with guilt. Such as
(1) “Compared to other people I’m pretty good.” But God doesn’t grade on a curve. By His standard, you fall short. Having a lot of company in Hell won’t relieve the pain. (2) “I’ve tried my best; surely that’s sufficient to satisfy God.” ” …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God….” Romans 3:23 ” …if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” Galatians 2: 21 (3) “I’m, at the core, in my own way, spiritual.” Catch the sarcasm in God’s response. “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble.” James 2:19
(4) “Evolution shows that we are basically animals, the result of non-rational chance. So there’s no basis for permanent definitions of good and evil; ultimately morality is just popular preferences.” If someone invades your houses, steals your valuables, kidnaps a family member, and then is apprehended; will you stick to the idea that good and evil are merely preferences? Surely you wouldn’t expect someone to go to jail for having a different preferred morality? My guess is that in your heart you believe in right and wrong, which stems from an Almighty Judge.
Truth is, your guilt is well founded. You need forgiveness from the Almighty Judge. The good news is that the Almighty Judge loves people. He designed a way for justice to be satisfied. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was crucified, buried, and rose again as the means whereby people like you and me can be forgiven. If you will turn from your wrongdoing (the Bible term is “repent”), and trust Jesus Christ to save you from God’s condemnation, He will.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
Now back to where we started. The same One who tells the truth about trouble can be trusted when He offers “righteousness and peace and joy:” all part of the kingdom of God which lasts forever. Romans 14: 17
How does a person become a Christian?
Realize that I, by nature, am not acceptable to God because I violate what is morally right – because I fail to meet God’s requirement for righteousness. Romans 3:23
Realize that by myself I cannot achieve acceptance by God, rather I am separated from God and destined for His wrath. Romans 3:23, John 3:36
Believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again to save us from separation from God. Romans 5:8
Make a decision –
To turn from wrongdoing to living God’s way (i.e. “repent” – which refers to our intention) Luke 13:3, Luke 24:47
To trust God to save me, freely – as a gift; i.e. trust (believe in) Jesus Christ as my personal savior. Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:36
If you become a Christian, identify yourself as one by being baptized. Find a church where people are faithful to the Bible and get involved.