- You don't believe in God,
- You don't believe in Hell,
- You don't believe God will send anyone to Hell,
- You don't want to accept the Christian lifestyle,
- You don't want to give up all your fun,
- ...insert your excuse here...
please read the following:
Much has been said over the years about how much you give up to become a Christian. It is true that you may have to give up many things. But I prefer to think of it as gaining many things. Christians aren't the losers that the world paints us to be.
At the end of my life - at the instant of death when it is too late to make any changes - if I were to find out for an absolute certainty that there was no God, no heaven, no hell - that my life on Earth for however many years it lasted was all I got, what would my response be? I can safely say that it wouldn't make a particle of difference to me. Might I have done some things differently? Perhaps a very few, but not many, and few of any significance.
I would be able to look back in that instant at a happy marriage, true friendship between equals, no bickering, no fights, none of the problems that are reported in the papers every day. Few things in this world are perfect, but our marriage comes close. I have seen non-Christian relationships first hand. I've heard husbands yelling at wives on the phone for the silliest reasons. I've seen the families torn apart by divorce. I've read of the problems of wives and husbands cheating on each other. Do I miss any of those worldly pleasures? Not for a second.
I would be able to look back in that instant at a fairly happy family. The kids aren't fully grown yet, so I can't say for sure how they will turn out. Each individual is different. But I know that the vast majority of the kids that I know in our church don't have any of the problems you read about in the papers. They are fairly good kids. To my knowledge, they aren't in trouble with the law, don't get drunk, don't do drugs, don't have premarital sex, aren't rebellious.
Not all church kids are perfect by any means, and some church kids can in fact be just as bad as kids who don't go to church and who don't believe in God. (Some people who simply attend church but who haven't accepted Christ as their Savior and repented of their sin can be too.) But most Christian kids do seem to have fewer problems than the average kid on the street - especially if they are really sold out on God.
Looking back in that last flash at my personal life, I would also say there are no regrets. I'm not addicted to cigarettes. I might get cancer from something else, but not from that. I probably won't die from a heart-attack brought about by emphysema like my dad who smoked. I won't be fighting for breath just to get from the parking lot to a store like he was at the end. I won't get lung cancer or emphysema like my aunts and uncles who smoked regularly. Do I miss those worldly pleasures? Not for a minute. All they got them was a shorter and more miserable life.
I don't have any nights in my past that I can't remember due to too much alcohol. I've never had a morning after. I never had to worry about whether I was buying illegal drugs laced with rat poison or drugs that were too pure and would kill me if I took them even once, like some other kids did. I don't have the worries over HIV and AIDS that many who seek other worldly pleasures have. Do I miss those worries? Not for a second.
It is true that I have given money to support the churches I have attended, but God has never let me run short. There has always been enough to meet our needs. So I can't even complain about that. The churches, and this web site, have taken much of my time over the years, but when you look back at death, you realize there is much time that is wasted doing fruitless things. If I am wrong about God and eternity, and could have done other things with the time, it would have disappeared just as fast, with little to show for it.
I've been basically healthy. Christians do tend to be healthier in general and get over illnesses faster in general. We aren't perfectly healthy. After all, Satan hates us with a passion and wants to destroy our Christian walk as quickly as possible. But we have a second avenue for treatment. Doctors have done double blind studies where some people were prayed for and others not. The ones prayed for - even though they didn't know they were being prayed for - got better faster. You probably don't believe that, but that is the least of your problems.
Truly, I would be able to look back at my life as a Christian even if there turned out to be no point with no regrets.
Now for the big question... If you were also facing death - and in that last instant of death when it is too late to make any changes, you found out for an absolute certainty that everything every Christian had ever told you was true. There was a God, a heaven and a hell, and that by refusing Christ's atoning sacrifice on the cross for your basic sin nature, you were going to be judged by God against what your conscience (Romans 2) has told you was right and wrong all these years, would you be at peace?
I have no regrets about the way my life as a Christian has gone. I may have foregone some worldly pleasures, but I have also avoided the worldly consequences which go along with them. I very firmly believe that a triune Godhead exists, that there is a Father, a Son, and a Holy Spirit, all working to change and help people's lives. I have seen miracles happen before my eyes to people who I personally know, who had been to the doctor and received a particular diagnosis that the doctor's couldn't fix. These aren't explainable in the natural world we live in. God is the great I AM. I have heard messages in tongues and interpretations where neither person spoke the language used and discovered that a third party in the audience spoke the language used and vouched for the interpretation as being spot on. You can scoff at this, but you weren't there. You can go about your life avoiding places where you might be exposed to God yourself and have to form your own conclusions. But you'd be doing yourself a favor to get to know some Christians and to start attending a pentecostal church where you can see what God is doing for His people today yourself. Ignorance will be no excuse at the Great White Throne Judgment.
I firmly believe that there are eternal consequences for each person based on the decisions they make for or against God, and that the basic sin nature you have inherited from Adam's original sin condemns you now that you are knowledgeable about Christ's sacrifice for you regardless of how good you think you have been. I firmly believe that God is sending Christ back to rapture His church at some random point in time which God has selected. That church will be made up of people who have accepted Christ as their Savior, regardless of denominational affiliation (or lack thereof). After that will be 7 years of tribulation - 3 1/2 lesser and 3 1/2 greater, the like of which the present world has never seen. You may not have until the time of death to decide what path you will take. An accident could take your life tomorrow or Christ could return.
If you do happen to be right in all your denials of the Faith and I am wrong, I have lost nothing in the way I have lived my life, and have gained many good things. If I am right and you are wrong, you will lose everything and will have an eternity being tormented without God to reflect on that fact.
Read this as many times as it takes and really think about what you have to lose. Whatever successes and pleasures you have gained on Earth mean nothing in the face of eternal punishment if I do in fact happen to be right. If I am wrong, you won't regret any changes you make in accepting Christ and following a Christian lifestyle for long.
Remember, salvation isn't just fire insurance. God expects a lifestyle that is pleasing to Him after you have accepted Christ as your Savior. You need to repent of those things the Bible condemns after accepting Christ as your Savior. It isn't a one time policy you buy and then go about your own business without a concern for God. Read the Word and find out what He expects of you.
What is your conscience telling you right now? Make the choice for God while there is still time.