Don’t Sugarcoat the Gospel

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This is a problem that must be avoided.  Matthew 16:24 says, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’ ”  Matthew 5:10-12 says: “10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  Persecution will come.  If it isn’t, then you are not doing anything about your faith (see our post “Persecution”).  This is part of being a follower of Christ.  You need to let people know what they are getting themselves into.  Now, obviously, you can’t say “Are you sure?” as that will turn them away for sure.  But you can’t just go around saying, “Follow Christ and your life will be perfect” because that isn’t true.  It will be hard, but the point is that Christ will help us get through those hard times.  He won’t eliminate them.  In Matthew 13:5-6 it says: “Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.”  Basically, this is saying that the Word of God (the seed) was well received in these people (the stony soil).  But after they realized that life was not going to be absolutely perfect, they fell away (sun coming up and plants wilting).  This is what will happen if we describe life in Jesus that way.  We will win many people, but few of them will be true Christians.  This is so important to remember.  Kindly tell people that life will not be perfect, but that Jesus will help them get through those hard times.  Hope this helps!

In Christ, Matt

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