I’ve been a Christian since I was seven years old, and I can see undeniably how that has changed me and shaped me as I’ve grown, both physically and spiritually. I’ve thought a lot over the years about the many ways in which Christianity both enriches life and makes it more challenging.
As such, I thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to write a list of pros and cons of being a Christian. So, here goes!
1. Assurance of salvation and eternal destination
This is probably the most common, yet significant reason. Everyone is plagued with the question, “What happens after I die?” The Bible lays out the answer plainly. There is either eternal reward with God in heaven, or eternal punishment with Satan, in hell, for all who reject God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
For as much as Satan hates us (1 Peter 5:8), he does seem to embody the phrase “Misery loves company,” because he has used and continues to use countless deceptions, excuses and false, manmade religions to trick people away from the simple message of salvation.
… if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.'”
– Romans 10:9-11
For the Christian, knowing that our future is secure through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the best feeling in the world.
2. A life that is astoundingly wonderful in the here and now
“Life is hard, then you die.” This realistic, depressing phrase illuminates the grim truth for those who are unsure of their eternal destination. Yet, as stated above, the reality is very different for the Christian. Getting the soul secured is just the beginning. Then comes the lifelong adventure of living out the Christian life.
Any seasoned, authentic Christian will tell you that it is a difficult life; not for the faint of heart. The real work begins once you accept Christ. But with that work comes help from the very presence of God through the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). It also includes benefits that continually unfold as you walk with God. Such as:
God promises to give His children peace in the midst of a turbulent life. Those who trust in that promise receive peace that cannot be explained or duplicated apart from a right relationship with God.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
– John 14:27 (The words of Jesus, as denoted in red)
Apart from Christ, it makes no sense to have joy even in the thick of life’s struggles and heartbreaks. But as a defining characteristic of the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22), it flows naturally. Christ Himself promised it also:
“These things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” – John 15:11
Living life as God designed brings clarity to things (Psalm 111:10) that can’t be gained elsewhere. Furthermore, God gives it as His kids ask for it.
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5
- Freedom from sin
The power of God at work in the Christian does innumerable miraculous things, not the least of which is giving him or her the power to say no to sinful behavior (Romans 6), which, before conversion was impossible, as we are all born in sin and slaves to sin by birth (Romans 3:23).
- Friendship with God
It is no small matter that the Creator of the universe and all it contains extends mercy and grace to those who call on Him through Jesus Christ. No less significant is His offer of friendship extended to the same. (John 15:15)
To complete the trifecta of amazing potential intimacy with the Almighty, He welcomes us into His presence (Hebrews 4:16) and invites us to share our burdens that He may take care of them (1 Peter 5:6-7). Simply astounding.
While we won’t see the full of expression of this in this life, the reality is amazing to ponder. God, our heavenly Father, is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16). And we, His kids, have been adopted into His family. That makes us heirs to the kingdom (Romans 8:15-17). Royalty. Mind. Blown. As they say…
3. A worldview that makes all the pieces fit
In addition to the benefits listed above, following after the God of the Bible just makes sense. An honest, thorough examination of the Bible reveals its historical & archaeological authenticity, right diagnosis of the human condition, clear instructions on how to live as well as the consequences of wrong living, and shows us who God is, what He has done, and how all of human history was written by Him long before it came into being.
The worldview that flows from the Bible provides answers where others only uncover more questions that cannot be satisfactorily answered.
4. Our playbook was written by God Himself
The Bible has been under attack since not long after the resurrected Christ ascended back into heaven. Skeptics and non-believers consistently ridicule and undermine it, and make many claims against its status of the Word of God. Many, many books have been written on the subject. As such, there is no way to summarize such a big topic in one blog post. I will briefly touch on a few points.
- It claims to be the Word of God. All throughout its pages, it boldly declares that it is God-breathed. God inspired men through the Holy Spirit, to write what He wanted to communicate. If it were so easy to prove that it is a scam, as some people claim, the Christian church would have long evaporated. Yet we see the opposite is the case. The church is continually growing, especially outside the Western Hemisphere.
- It contains a cohesive message. Despite being written by dozens of different authors, encompassing multiple types of literature, over thousands of years, the whole of its words present a message that flows logically and tells the story from the Creation of the universe to its future destruction cohesively. The only way to explain that is its supernatural origin.
- It passes scholarly tests in flying colors. In recent years I’ve begun studying the authenticity of the Bible. One thing I’ve learned is that to determine the authenticity of an ancient text, scholars rely on the number manuscripts that can be found containing its material. The more manuscripts exist, the more likely the work is authentic. As it turns out, the Bible has more manuscripts than any other ancient work. Many, many more times than any other ancient work. It easily meets scholarly standards for authenticity.
These points don’t begin to scratch the surface on what could be said about the Bible as the Word of God. This is just a starter, to hopefully pique your interest in the subject.
Now that we’ve looked at four significant pros to living the Christian life let’s look at a few cons.
1. Haters gonna hate
Just as the Bible has been ridiculed for centuries, so have its adherents. Christians have received hate and persecution since the first century A.D. Jesus predicted that, however, and warned His disciples and future followers.
“You will be hated by all because of My name.” – Luke 21:17
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” – John 15:18-19
While this fact is inconvenient, we know to expect it. We also know that the outcome is worth it:
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
– Matthew 5:11-12
2. A life of self-denial and sacrifice is the expectation
The Christian life, for all the pros listed above, is anything but easy. The point of it is to fold our lives into God’s mission to redeem humanity while bringing glory to God and living a life of service to Him, as Christ modeled for us in His time on earth. This necessarily means dying to ourselves.
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.“ – Mark 8:34-35
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14
“For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.” – John 13:15
As we identify with the life of Christ, we follow His example in living lives devoted to God and to others. Everything we do, we seek God and His ways first, putting aside our own selfish desires in favor of that which is of eternal value. This is a process God works in us throughout our whole lives as we follow Christ (Philippians 1:6, 2:13).
I realize this post very quickly blasts through several hotly contested issues. Issues over which hundreds of books have been written through the years. You’ve likely gathered that my aim in writing this post is to give an overview, not to give a thorough analysis of any particular topic.
I also realize that there are multitudes of people (many of whom I know) who would vehemently disagree with some or all of the contents of this post. I don’t doubt that, nor do I shy away from it. I am always pleased to get comments from those who disagree with me.
This is a partial list, based on my experience walking with God through Jesus Christ, and reading His words in the Holy Bible. If you’re curious about Christianity, I can tell you with sincerity that what God says about Himself and His plan of salvation through Jesus Christ is true. I would also love to answer any questions raised here.
It is my prayer that you would trust the God of the Bible. Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful day.