The Christian is expected by Jesus to get into heaven at all costs. The impression that Jesus gives is that this world is not at all a place of comfort for the believer. There are many verses in the Bible, some of which I shall quote, that talk about being harsh to your body, your spirit and even to people around you for the sake of your salvation as a believer. Indeed this is harsh to the person that must live up to the His expectations.
Christianity critics say that Jesus and the Bible are very unreasonable and inhuman in many ways. Earlier today I watched a YouTube video criticizing Jesus’ words when declared that He came to create enmity between a father and a son, daughter and mother and that if anyone loves his own family more than Him, that person is not worthy of Him (Mathew 10:34 -39). This person is of the view that a family should be the number one hiding place or where the best of friends should come from. To people of the world this makes more sense but to Jesus the best person to trust is the Lord (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30). No wonder “… the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
The tendency is for Christians and Bible scholars to make these verses sound lighter and softer. They make it sound like Jesus was giving a parable yet He was making a call for the believer to prioritize Him above everything else. This calls for the believers to be harsh on themselves. Paul likens the Christian walk to that of an athlete who disciplines himself on food to eat and a particular lifestyle just so he remains competent.
Why is Jesus so harsh to people He says He loves? It is because the wrath of God to those who die and go to hell is unspeakable. Hear Him when He says, “if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than your whole body to be cast into hell. And if you’re right and causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that’s one of your members parish Thanks for your body to be cast into hell” Matthew 5:29 – 30. He will show no favor to the disobedient, Christian or not. “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life” (1 John 5:18). It follows that he that does not listen to the son will be judged for his disobedience.
The good news is that Jesus is ready to assist the believer in every way possible. He sees everything we do, think and hears all our words. He may seem too far yet He is very near. That is why He calls us out of sin and makes sure He keeps us guilty until we correct our mistakes. The intolerable position of living in guilt is one way living a Christian life is not just a simple walk into heaven but a life of continuous purification.
What then does this mean for the believer? It means that if there are two functions that coincide; one does not help the believer get closer to Christ and the other does, the Christian should go for the one that will make him or her grow the relationship with Christ. Similarly, if all events are not Christian, the best choice is not to attend any of them. This calls for choice on music, television channel, books to read, meetings to attend, etc.
It is discouraging and sad that some people make intentional commitments to live in sin and ignore the guilt that comes with it. For example, many know that it is wrong not to pay their TV license, to accept bribes and to have sexual intercourse before marriage but they still do these things even when they call themselves Christians. What excuse can such a believer give to God to save his or her soul when facing God on the judgment day? We all shall be judged on what we know. There won’t be any surprises. That is why if you do not understand anything in your Christian walk, Jesus is the doorway into God’s presence for answers to any question you might have.
I want to conclude by saying that as much as it was not easy for Jesus in this world, so shall it be for His followers. Don’t be deceived by the contemporary Gospel that teaches that all that Christianity is all about is living a happy and fulfilling life in this world. May God bless you.