It’s cool these days to say that Christianity is stupid and oppressive.
But I say the opposite is true.
I say if you reject the Bible’s teachings; if you you divorce your life from the One who created it; you are in for a world of hurt and bitter disappointment; if not in this life, then definitely in the next.
And I say that living in obedience to Christ is actually freedom.
Because God says so.
God has given us his Word so that we might know truth; that we might know just what this whole life thing is about and how it actually works. But most people have decided they know better than God. Just glance at the news headlines and you can see how well that’s working out.
They ignore the words of Jesus, to their own destruction:
“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” -John 14:6
The truth is, whenever we try to find our way, or declare our truth, or build our life apart from Christ, we are doomed to fail, because everything else is quite simply a lie from the pit of hell.
It’s that bad.
You see, friends, life apart from Christ isn’t freedom, as the masses seem to think it is.
Been there, done that. And it’s miserable. Absolutely miserable.
Sin never actually satisfies. It leaves us empty every time. It whispers lies to our heart and tells us that if we just go a little bit further, if we just try this one other thing (and then the next, and the next), then we can truly be happy.
It will never work. You may experience a short relief from your emptiness and pain, but it’s not really gone. That ache you feel, late at night, when you’re alone with your thoughts; that’s the truth. You know something is dreadfully wrong.
You are living a lie. You have been tricked into thinking you’ve found life, but really, you’re on a carousel of sin and death and you have no idea how to get off.
You’ve bought into the notion that if you give into God, you are giving up all your rights.
I have bad news, friend. You’re a slave either way.
No matter how novel you think your rebellion against God is, all rebellion comes from the same place. The father of lies: CNN. Just kidding! Satan! Satan is the one you are following when you choose to live in opposition to God.
But there’s good news here, too.
Jesus died so that we wouldn’t have to remain slaves to our sin.
“Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.”-Romans 6:16-18
If you are a slave to sin, as we all have been at one time, there is great news:
YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY THERE.
Following God can feel a lot like dying. It is a death, in a way. It’s a death to sin and selfishness; it’s an end to our own disastrous ruling of our own lives. But man! There is so much good there! So much life!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” -John 10:10
Who we follow matters. It matters for our life now and it matters for eternity.
I think of all the years of joy and peace sin stole from me. I think of the babies I’ll never have because I decided sex outside marriage was my right and my choice.
I think of choices made by people I love that have led to pain and misery. Some of them are still choosing things that will only lead them further away from God and deeper into darkness. My heart aches for them. I pray that they’ll turn from those ways of life and see the beautiful life God is offering them.
I think of the lies of “you’ll be more fulfilled this way” that have pulled both mothers and fathers away from their children. Lies of “you’ll be happier this way” that have ripped marriages apart at the seams. Lies of “you’ll be better off this way” that have caused men and women to mutilate their bodies and murder their offspring. Steal, kill, and destroy, indeed.
It’s not stupid to lay down your life to follow the One who layed down his life for you.
It’s the only thing that makes sense.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26