I’ve gotten quite a bit of criticism because of how I choose to share the Gospel. A lot of people prefer the “wonderful life” gospel, as Ray Comfort calls it. They like to share all of the good parts about following Jesus, and they sugarcoat life with Him. They promise the person that they will have a wonderful life. Perhaps, they promise them that they will have prosperity, that Jesus will take care of them in every way and make sure they don’t go hungry, or go poor, or suffer. They make it sound like their lives will magically improve when they are saved. And, yes, in many, many ways, their lives do improve. When we are saved, we not only gain eternal life, but His love, His peace, His presence. He does improve our lives, but our lives will not be perfect. In fact, the Bible tell us that we will suffer. We will be persecuted. We will face trials.
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say we “may” be persecuted, or “may” suffer. It says we will. We know that we will have victory in the end, and if we continue to carry the cross and follow Him, we will have rewards in Heaven, but that doesn’t mean that these trials won’t make our life harder. God does not tell us that we will always be happy in this world. Even the most dedicated Christian’s had hard times. And I’m sure, every Christian that has faced persecution, whether it be serious persecution, people being tortured and killed for Christ, or the persecution we typically see in person, the rude comments we receive, the loss of friendships, becoming an outcast, has not always enjoyed that persecution. I will say this – I am proud of Jesus Christ, and I wouldn’t change who He has made me into for all of the friends and popularity in this world. At the end of the day, I am blessed. I am thankful. But, I have very few friends. In fact, as of right now, I can’t think of a single close friend that I could go to with anything. I’ve had good friends, and I’ve lost them. I’ve lost them because of my faith. If I were to straddle the fence more, I would make friends easily. And this has upset me more than I can describe. At times, I feel like giving up. There are times that I am so depressed I can hardly stand it, and that I’d do almost anything to just be like everyone else. To do the things other people my age do. To make friends. I live an easy life, a very blessed life, compared to thousands of other Christian’s around the world. The persecution I face is tiny in comparison. I feel like an outcast at times, I get rude comments…but I have never been in danger because of my faith. And for that, God has blessed me. But, my life was not made easier because of Jesus. My life has gotten harder.
It is much easier to live a life of sin than it is to be Christ-like. It is easier to dress like the world than it is to dress modestly. It is easier to talk like the world than it is to be a meek, classy lady. It is easier to make friends in this world if you’re willing to drink, have sex outside of marriage, listen to the same music, watch the same shows, and be like the world. Of course, sin will lead us to Hell, which will be far from easy to deal with. But as far as this life goes, it is much easier to be sinful than it is to be a Godly Christian.
“This hill though high I covent ascend;
The difficulty will not me offend;
For I perceive the way of life lies here.
Come, pluck up, heart; let’s neither faint nor fear. ”
― John Bunyan,
The Christian life is not an easy one, there is a reason that the Bible says it is a narrow road. It is not the easy route. Matthew 7:13 says “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” If being a Christian was easy, we wouldn’t have dead churches. We wouldn’t see so many Christian’s backslide. If it was easy, why would they backslide?
When we promise sinners a wonderful life after salvation, we might as well be purposely creating backsliders and/or false conversions. These people come to Christ only so that they can improve their lives. They don’t come to Him because they see their sin and need for a Savior, they don’t come to Him because they believe He shed His blood for their sins. They do not have repentance because they don’t see what is wrong with their actions. They only want Jesus because they think He promises them an easier life, a good life. A better life than what they’re living. And when they get “saved” they will be shocked to find out that nothing has changed, and they will run far from Jesus Christ and the Christian faith. They will become bitter towards Christian’s and God because they think we lied about Him! Here is a great witnessing parable put together by Ray Comfort to help you understand this better,
“Two men are seated in a plane. The first is given a parachute and told to put is on as it would improve his flight. He’s a little skeptical at first because he can’t see how wearing a parachute in a plane could possibly improve the flight. After a time he decides to experiment and see if the claim is true. As he puts it on he notices the weight of it upon his shoulders and he finds that he has difficulty in sitting upright. However, he consoles himself with the fact that he was told the parachute would improve the flight. So, he decides to give the thing a little time. As he waits he notices that some of the other passengers are laughing at him, because he’s wearing a parachute in a plane. He begins to feel somewhat humiliated. As they begin to point and laugh at him and he can stand it no longer, he slinks in his seat, unstraps the parachute, and throws it to the floor. Disillusionment and bitterness fill his heart, because, as far as he was concerned, he was told an outright lie.
The second man is given a parachute, but listen to what he’s told. He’s told to put it on because at any moment he’d be jumping 25,000 feet out of the plane. He gratefully puts the parachute on; he doesn’t notice the weight of it upon his shoulders, nor that he can’t sit upright. His mind is consumed with the thought of what would happen to him if he jumped without that parachute.
Let’s analyze the motive and the result of each passenger’s experience. The first man’s motive for putting the parachute on was solely to improve his flight. The result of his experience was that he was humiliated by the passengers; he was disillusioned and somewhat embittered against those who gave him the parachute. As far as he’s concerned it’ll be a long time before anyone gets one of those things on his back again. The second man put the parachute on solely to escape the jump to come, and because of his knowledge of what would happen to him without it, he has a deep-rooted joy and peace in his heart knowing that he’s saved from sure death. This knowledge gives him the ability to withstand the mockery of the other passengers. His attitude towards those who gave him the parachute is one of heart-felt gratitude.”
So, how do we avoid this? How do we avoid telling these lies when witnessing and making a devastating mistake? When I first started witnessing to others, shortly after I was baptized (I got saved quite young, so true witnessing didn’t really come until later, until I had a better understanding of the Gospel, if that makes sense.) I went the wonderful life route, and I was confused because I had no results. Some people told me that they had “tried” Christianity, and that it wasn’t right for them. That they didn’t like it. And I knew that was wrong. You don’t simply try Christianity. It is something that you live out. If you are saved, you are saved. It is eternal. Sure, you can backslide, but you can’t just leave God completely. I found Ray Comfort’s video’s of him witnessing, and suddenly, a lightbulb went off.
Last month, I started courses from Living Waters School of Evangelism, which was put together by Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron and Mark Spence. I’m only on lesson 19, but what I have learned is priceless. When I started using these tactics, so to speak, I suddenly saw results. Even if the person I talked to didn’t say that they were going to be saved, I can practically see their minds churning.
Christian’s, we have ten amazing cannons that were put together for this battle. Because this is a battle. We are all involved in a Holy, Spiritual war. And we need to recruit as many souls as possible. Witnessing is incredibly important. We are all called to be preachers, and we should preach how Jesus preached. Jesus Himself used these Ten Cannons.
These Ten Cannons are also known as the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments are a great tool for witnessing. They are there to get into the sinner’s conscience, to show them that they (all of us) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The Bible says that if we break one of these, we break them all. The law was not meant for the righteous, but for the sinners! (1 Timothy 1:9-10) By teaching the Ten Commandments, we are bringing knowledge to the sinners. Because of them, they can see their sin and therefor be prepared for grace. The law speaks to the conscience of the sinner, and it is “perfect for converting the soul.” (Psalm 19:7) So, why don’t we use this tool? We are too afraid of offending people! We are afraid that if we go through the Ten Commandments and ask them how many they’ve broken (and when you explain the commandments, you’ll find that most of everyone has broken all of them.) you’ll offend them. But, if you go about this the right way, and speak gently and with love, you won’t offend anyone. We have to remember that making people feel guilty is not a bad thing because that guilt is simply their conscience trying to steer them towards Jesus and repentance. Before you are saved, you must feel guilty for your sins and repent. Remember that Jesus Himself used these tactics! Take the woman at the well for instance – He gently told her that she had broken the seventh commandment. He convicted her, and because of that, she saw her sin, repented, and was saved. But before He could give her grace, He had to convict. As John Wesley said,