Friday, May 13, 2011


Unbelievers think born-again Christians are fools for living their lives to please God, because they think we are missing out on the pleasures of life. In a way they are right, for the Bible itself acknowledges that sin is pleasurable (Heb. 11:25), and a genuine Christian makes every effort to avoid sin. The Apostle John wrote, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 Jn. 2:1). I would also have to agree with them if I believed that the Bible is no different than other "religious books," but it is not. I believe it is the inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16), given to save me (Rom. 10:17), to instruct me (2 Tim. 3:16), and to arm me against the enemy (Eph. 6:17).

The blessings of being a child of God far outweigh the pleasures we sacrifice by living for Christ. God is the source of every good and perfect gift from above (Jam. 1:17). God provides us with comfort in all our afflictions (2 Cor. 1:3-4). In love, He chastises us when we need it (Heb. 12:5-11). And He has promised never to forsake us (Heb. 13:5-6). He has given us His Holy Spirit to live in us (Jn. 14:17). God has given us eternal life (Jn. 3:15). He has given us joy (Jn. 15:11). He has removed the threat of death (Jn. 11:25-26). And perhaps the greatest promise He has made to His children is that He will make us like His dear Son (Rom. 8:29; Phil. 2:13; 1 Jn. 3:2).

As if the benefits we have in this life aren't enough, the born-again Christian has more rewards waiting for him in the next life. Of course there is eternity in heaven with God, but we are apparently going to have a little "bling" for our "trouble," as well. Christians will stand before the Judgment Seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we will receive rewards for what we allowed the Holy Spirit to do through us (1 Cor. 3:9-15; 2 Cor. 5:15; Phil 2:13).

We may also be rewarded with one or more of the five crowns mentioned in the New Testament. Because we long for the return of Christ, we will wear the Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8). If we share the Gospel with the lost, we will receive the Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thes. 2:19). By living a life that brings honor to God, we are promised the Crown of Victory (1 Cor. 9:25-27). If we are fortunate enough to be a Bible teacher, we will get the Crown of Glory (1 Pet. 5:1, 4). And should we die a martyr's death, we will wear the Crown of Life (Jam. 1:12; Rev. 2:10).

If you do not believe the Bible, then eat, drink, and be merry; you might as well get some pleasure in this life (Isa. 23:13; 1 Cor. 15:32), because I assure you, you will not enjoy the next (Rev. 20:15).

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