Why Should I Want to Be a Christian?
The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
Why should I want to be a Christian?
All of our wants are either toward something or away from something, aren't they?
In other words, I don't want pain and I do want pleasure. And those are just two words to use. You can use other words: discomfort, agony, horror. Or pick the pains that you don't like: loneliness, etc.
So there's a whole group of things that we don't want. And then there's a whole group of things that we do want: pleasure, delight, joy, satisfaction.
Christianity is Christ Jesus the Son of God, eternal, coming into the world to save sinners who have earned for themselves God's punishment because of our neglecting God, rebelling against God, ignoring God, despising God, refusing God, walking away from God, minimizing God.
Everybody has done this. Christians still do it, unbelievers do it. Nobody owns up to the value of God to the degree that we should. And God is infinitely valuable and infinitely worthy of our trust and our love. Yet nobody does it. Therefore we're all under his just judgment and we're going to be sentenced one day to a lake of fire called the second death or hell.
And to trust in Jesus' work on our behalf, when he died in our place, delivers us from the wrath to come.
So the first reason is the negative one: all those horrible things that will come upon us if we continue to rebel against God won't come upon us if we trust in Christ who offers himself to us as a way of escape.
So that's the negative side. But far more satisfying is, "Why would you want to get out of hell? Or why would you want to have your sins forgiven? Or why would you want to be reconciled with God?" And the answer to those questions is, "To have infinite satisfaction with God forever and ever."
A clean conscience? Yes. Forgiven sins? Yes. Out of hell? Yes. In heaven? Yes. New heavens and new earth? Yes. Lion lying down with the lamb? Yes. Restored with Mom and Dad who were Christians? Yes. But that's not the ultimate satisfaction.
The ultimate satisfaction is that you are going to be with Jesus. You're going to see infinite glory in Jesus.
So why should you want—want—to be a Christian? It's because you don't want eternal pain. You do want eternal pleasure.
Hell is eternal pain, and we're all going there without believing in Jesus. And God is eternal pleasure: "In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).
So if you want full pleasures—that is, 100%, not 85% or 99%—and eternal pleasures—not just 80 years, but 80 ages of years—then become a Christian. That is, renounce self-reliance and embrace Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord and Treasure of your life. And you will have infinite pleasures in his presence forever.
I think that's a pretty good reason for wanting to be a Christian.
©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Used by Permission.
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in physical form, in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For posting online, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. For videos, please embed from the original source. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org