What We Gain Is Far Better
The graphic used today is one that can describe people both before and after they become Christians. Non-Christians often times are moved in various ways to the point they consider becoming a child of God, but some of them have a lot of things to give up. Maybe they must give up certain friends, a nightlife and/or a party hearty lifestyle, maybe a life of crime, drugs and/or alcohol, a hobby or even a job.
In Luke 14:25-35 Jesus said there might be many things that one must leave in order to follow Him, including family members. In discussing the cost of being a disciple, He gives two examples, one building a tower and the other going to war, and tells His listeners that such undertakings should be carefully considered before embarking on them. He makes the point that it will likely cost people to become a disciple of His, and that they need to ponder and consider such costs.
While scripture is full of instances of what worldly people must forsake for the cause of following Christ, it is likewise packed full of passage after passage outlining the benefits, what we stand to gain for giving up the world and choosing Christ.
There are hundreds of things we could list that demonstrate how the benefits outweigh the cost, but here are just a few.
We are given a personal, intimate relationship with Christ, in fact, His spirit takes up a dwelling place within us. We are promised salvation because He frees us from sin. We learn to walk with Him, thus finding happiness and true joy in this earthly life, and we are eager for the life to come. Our life on earth now has peace and contentment, as we look forward to eternity as an adopted son of the King.
We belong to Him, and the former black cloud of condemnation we had hanging over us is lifted. We learn to walk by faith and not by sight as the Spirit leads us, and gives life to our mortal bodies, and eternal life to our souls. We no longer live in fear of death, because we are no longer separated from God, and while there are many many things in life that separate man from God, those no longer apply to us. We have Christ to intercede for us, to justify us, and to continually cleanse us of our sin.
We could fill a page or two trying to list the benefits, but it is obvious that the list of what we gain in Christ far outweighs the list of what we must give up in order to follow Him. Simply the peace of mind that He brings to His children is a stark contrast from the weight of the sin we formerly had. How grand and glorious is our God?
Additionally, our perspective changes. That might not sound like as big a deal as it is, but when our priorities change, our actions change, our thought process change, our outlook on everything changes, and indeed we ourselves change. The freedom we have is a comfort through and through, knowing of His unconditional love for us.
In conclusion, one final thought. We know God has our back! It doesn't matter what life may throw our way, God has our back. He protects us, blesses us, cares for us, and even if everything in life goes sideways, God will see us through, and He is ready to receive us on the other side. Without a doubt, it is necessary to preach that some things must be given up by almost everyone who becomes a Christian, as their life is no longer their own when they become a child of God. But if we could help interested souls understand the innumerable blessings we gain by surrendering ourselves to Him, how much more willing would some people be to cross the line, and side with God.