Do you remember your teenage years? Mine were 30 years ago but I remember the 90s quite clearly. Confession: the life I presented to those I wanted to please was much different than the life I was living. On the outside, to my church family and teachers at school, I was kind, helpful, a good student, a good speaker, and a youth group leader.
But on the inside, I was just as the Bible describes sinners in Titus 3. I was foolish, disobedient, envious, hateful, deceived, and enslaved to lust and pleasure. I will spare you the details, but I was not the person you would want your teenage daughter to be. I did my best to keep this side of me hidden from those I wanted to think well of me, but my friends certainly saw my rebellious side. I was not the perfect little church girl. Far from it.
We all struggle with sin. Whether we consider ourselves Christians, or not, we are all sinful. We are selfish. We are prideful. We are hateful. Just consider the last time you stood in a long line at a grocery store, were talking with your insurance company, or were driving in heavy traffic, and these sides of you probably came out. We are all trapped in the bondage of sin.
Many people do not want to follow God because they do not want to give up their sin. They enjoy it, and can’t imagine life without the pleasures that sin brings. But here is where people are confused.
The gospel is not about the sinful pleasures we have to give up, but about the great gifts that God wants to give us.
First, God wants to offer us a way out of our sin. When I was living my sinful life as a teenager, I wasn’t happy. I hated myself. I was ashamed. I was scared. I was looking for a way out of this life, and even attempted suicide. Sin may be pleasurable, but the life it creates is not one of happiness. It was one that I wanted to escape.
God offers a way of escape through Jesus. Jesus died so that we wouldn’t have to live in the bondage of sin. Jesus died so that we wouldn’t have to pay the penalty of our sin. And Jesus died so that we could have a relationship with God.
Being a Christian is just about giving up our life of sin, but is about gaining a relationship with God.
Knowing God brings us joy, peace, and hope in this present life. But if that wasn’t enough, there’s more! When we become Christians, we not only receive forgiveness and find peace in this present life, but we are promised eternal life in heaven with God. I love how this passage presents it:
For all eternity, God wants to show us His grace, expressed in kindness. God is going to be kind to us in heaven, FOREVER. What’s not to love about that? I love when people are kind to me, and I’m sure that God’s kindness will be amazing. I can’t wait.
How could anyone not want Jesus? Yes, you have to give up being sinful. You have to give up being hateful, prideful, envious, selfish, and lustful. But you gain a relationship with God, here on earth, that will give you peace, hope, and joy. And you will receive kindness from God for all eternity.
The gospel is not so much about the sinful pleasures we have to give up, but about the great gifts that God wants to give us.
Your sin may be pleasurable for now, but what God freely offers you, both on earth and in heaven, is SO. MUCH. BETTER. Why not give God a chance? What do you have to lose?
If you would like to know more about trading your life of sin for a relationship with God and eternal life in heaven, email me at Lisa@CelebratingWeakness.com. I would love to answer any questions that you have.
I invite you to share this blog post on Facebook so that more people can hear about the free gifts that God offers all people.