DO CHRISTIANS HAVE IT EASY?
By Alan Yusko
What advise does one give a person deciding if they should become a Christian? Is life a bed of roses with no problems for the Christian? Is Christianity the easy way out in this life of pain, hurt, sickness, and death? In this tract we will address these subjects.
Let me start by saying there are only two types of people in the world. There are saved people and there are lost people. If you are not saved by trusting in the Lord Jesus then you are a lost, hellbound sinner. Here is what the Bible says:
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
This is very important because as we go through life, a Christian reacts from a different perspective to pain, hurt, sickness, and death than a lost person reacts.
The first point I want to make is that everyone suffers in this world. That is a simple fact. We all have good times and suffer bad times in this world. This is true for both the saved and the lost.
I remember briefly watching an interview with Mary Taylor Moore years ago. She certainly has suffered. Her son died and she developed a terrible form of diabetes. One of her points in the interview was that everyone suffers pain in this world. She certainly has suffered in her life and came to that correct conclusion about suffering. Sickness is another form of suffering. Most people when they reach age 30 and beyond can easily develop health problems. One of the painful things of growing older is the attempt to keep the 'old' body healthy. Again, this is another form of suffering and can be quite painful.
I've seen other people suffer great pain through death. I remember a lost person who had a husband die from sickness. This person suffered so much pain and grief, that she developed mental problems.
Death is a terrible enemy in this world. People we know and love will not live forever. All our lives are very temporal and at any unexpected time any one of us could die. No one will live forever as we all know death is coming. We do what we can to delay it for a few years, but death is still coming. Again this is true for both the Christian and the lost person. Some people will die suddenly while others will develop a sickness and die slowly. A person can never know when his last day on earth will be. I've heard more than one story about athletic people who return from jogging only to die from a surprise heart failure.
One untimely death story is about a lady who used to come to church week after week. She heard the Gospel but never responded. Then one Sunday night the pastor gave a strong salvation message. Again the lady was unmoved and chose to reject Jesus. Here is another point to think about... to do nothing with the Lord Jesus is the same as rejecting Him.
Matt 12 30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
Back to the story. That evening the pastor was walking home. He saw a commotion up the road at the street lights. As he approached he saw medical people and a lady laying on the ground. Unfortunately the lady was dead as she was hit by traffic. The dead lady was the same one who came to church and politely rejected the Gospel message....again and again. Death was very sudden and unexpected for her as just one hour earlier she was sitting in church hearing the Gospel.
Death is coming and it is very important to be ready for eternity when it finally comes. The Lord Jesus is the only Saviour and the only way to heaven after this life is finished.
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Since we are all going to die, what does that do to our loved ones we leave behind? Well they suffer greatly. It is very sad to know that you will never again see that person in your lifetime. This kind of pain can destroy a lost person. The Christian still hurts but they at least have hope of seeing that person again in eternity (if the person is saved). The lost person has nothing to look forward to. They have no assurance or knowledge of the next life. The poor atheist believes that when you are dead, you are dead. They think at death the person ceases to exist. How painful that must be when they face the death of a loved one with no hope. To be a lost person is a very hard thing to do. The saved and the lost go through the same losses through death, but the Christian has hope in this life and in the life to come. That is a big difference and is an anchor to the soul for the Christian.
18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
CHRISTIANITY IS A COMFORT
Is the Christian life easy? Is it a bed of roses? No it is not! But being a lost person is not easy either. Personally, I believe the lost person suffers much more than the Christian. We are all going to suffer similar pains. We will all have to deal with pain, hurt, sickness, and death in our lives and family. But the Christian has the Holy Spirit for comfort and he has the hope of all the wonderful promises in the Word of God. The lost person simply must endure his pain with no hope or comfort.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
As a father comforts his children who are hurt, so God comforts His people in times of suffering. He does not necessarily remove the pain, but instead comforts, encourages, and gives strength to endure through the trial.
The Christian has another blessing the lost person does not have. That blessing is the ability to make prayers and supplications to God.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
When God's blood bought people pray and make their requests known to God, it is comforting to know that God hears it all. The Christian walk is a walk of faith. This means as pain, hurt, sickness, and death come, the Christian must learn to trust in his God. What I just said is very easily said but not easily done. It is very hard to trust in God when you are in pain and suffering. However, that is part of the growth and maturing process for the Christian. As a Christian grows older in Christ, he is able to trust God in increasingly painful situations. Yes we all suffer, yes we all must endure pain in this world. But the Christian has the Lord for His support whereas the lost person has nothing. As the Christian trusts and leans on God, he is given the peace of God as a result.
So is Christianity easy? No it is not. You are going to suffer in this world no matter who you are. Pain, sickness, and death are universal. Don't think for a minute that the Christian life is an easy one. However, it is a better life with the hope of heaven and eternity with God at the end of it!
1 Pet 4
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1 Pet 1
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1 Cor 10
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
God allows suffering for the Christian which is designed to cause maturity and growth. This involves trials and painful situations to be endured. God has promised that He will not allow any trial to come into our lives that is greater for us to endure. The end result of trials and suffering is blessing but the process can be painful. God has made a unique promise that He would work all things out for good to the Christian. This means even though we cannot see the good or the end result from all we must suffer, God is still in control. Things are working to the good for the Christian whether it can be seen or not. Again, the Christian walk is a walk of faith in this world. Faith and trust in God grows as we mature in Christ. It is good news that God is working all things in the life of a Christian for his good!
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Did you know that it is possible to actually invite trouble, pain, sickness, and death into your life? It is and the wicked do this all the time.
Let me give an example. A wicked man who cares nothing for God or His Word has no problem with fornication. The wicked set their own moral values and fornication, adultery, and sodomy is an acceptable practice to many in these last days. On the other hand God warns that such sins are evil and destructive.
1 Corinthians 6
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
Since the lost person has his own moral standards, he freely fornicates with his body. What are the results? Terrible sickness, pain (physical and emotional), and an early death are some results. AIDS, herpes and other terrible sexual diseases are very common for the fornicators. So if you want to increase your pain and suffering simply violate the moral laws of God and you will get all the pain, sickness, and death you can handle! Here are some verses that show how the wicked tend to get into trouble and destruction while those who love and obey God actually avoid troubles.
23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.
7 A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
19 As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.
13 The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.
27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
In this tract we have made the point that everyone on earth experiences suffering, pain, sickness, and death. We also showed that in the midst of trouble or pain the Christian has hope. God is a helper and strengthener of His people. The lost have no hope at all. Since they have rejected God and the only way to be saved by the Lord Jesus, there is only a lost eternity ahead for the lost. When pain and suffering comes the Christian reacts differently than the lost person. Both saved people and lost people experience pain and suffering in this world. However, the Christian has God and the wonderful promises of the Bible to assist in getting through a time of suffering. Finally, we showed how the wicked actually invite additional trouble into their lives by living a life of sin and rebellion toward God. The wicked do not have the comfort and peace of God. Hence, many times the lost break under pressure and pain.
21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
It is important for the Christian to remember that God is very involved in your life. God knows everything about His people and He has great plans for His children. God even has a count of the number of hairs on your head!
7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
In this world the Christian has guidance from God. By trusting completely in Him, a person can walk through life with the guiding hand of God leading him. Unfortunately, that guidance does not always involve a pleasant path. God allows pain and suffering to build character and aid in maturity and growth for His people.
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Finally, the Christian has a great hope in heaven. In fact it is so great that we cannot even conceive in our minds the great things God Has in store for His people! However, one day our life on this earth will finish and either through rapture or death, we will be ushered into the very presence of God. Those will be good days as God loves His people and has many exciting plans for the future.
1 John 3
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
If you are not saved, I would encourage you to accept the Lord Jesus as your Saviour today!
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