Greg's Blog

Are Christians Bored Killjoys? Far from It

by Greg Laurie on Sep 25, 2020

It’s pretty rare to find Christians portrayed in a positive light on television or in movies today. They’re usually presented as an exaggerated or completely distorted version of a Christian.

People think of Christians as, well, sort of lame. They view them as people who live by a lot of rules and regulations, don’t have any fun, and live in perpetual boredom.

But that’s completely false. The opposite is actually true. Case in point: the parable of the Prodigal Son, which we find in Luke’s Gospel. It’s a story that Jesus told about a father and his two sons.

One day the younger son said, loosely paraphrased, “Dad, I’m sick of living here with you. I’m sick of the rules, the regulations and the rest of it. I want my portion of the inheritance now.”

So the father gave him what he asked for, and he went off and lived a crazy life and made all kinds of horrible decisions. Then he came to his senses and realized how messed up his life had become.

When you get to the end of yourself, you get to the beginning of God. He’d lost everything. He lost his money. He lost his so-called friends, who weren’t really friends at all. And he came to the realization that he had it better back in his father’s house. So he returned home.

The Bible tells us that “while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20 NLT).

Then the father told his servants, “Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found” (verses 22–23 NLT).

What was he looking for when he left his father’s house? Apparently, he wanted nice clothes and great food, and he wanted to party. And what did he find when he went home? His father gave him nice clothes, nice food, and a feast.

Now I’m not suggesting the Christian life is about nice clothes, good food, and partying. My point is that this prodigal son found everything he was looking for in his father’s house. It had been there all along.

In the same way, everything we’re looking for in life is found in a relationship with God. I can tell you that I’ve experienced more enjoyment and fulfillment in worship services and Bible studies than I’ve ever experienced at any party.

Everything we need is in a relationship with God.

Sometimes when I hear people talk about all they’ve given up to follow Christ, I think, “Seriously? You really didn’t give up that much.”

The apostle Paul summed it up this way: “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7–8 NLT).

By the way, that word garbage is a very kind translation. In the original language the word literally means “excrement.”

For instance, if you were out walking your dog and he did his business, you’d use a little bag to pick up after him (at least I hope so). And then you’d discard that little bag as quickly as you could. You wouldn’t carry it around to show to other people, because it’s offensive.

So Paul was saying, “It’s garbage. I don’t want it anymore, because I want to focus my attention on following Christ.”

The Bible actually tells us there is happiness in keeping the commandments of God: “How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands” (Psalm 112:1 NLT). But notice that it doesn’t say, “How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in breaking his commands.”

In addition, Psalm 1 says, “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night” (verses 1-2 NLT).

Let’s take the Ten Commandments, for example. They give us absolute truth on which to build our lives. We can’t just make up our own morality as we go. We can’t vote on it or reach a consensus. We need a higher authority, and God has given it to us in what we call the Ten Commandments.

But understand, God didn’t give these to us to make our lives more difficult. Rather, it’s to make our lives better. These commandments aren’t bars keeping us in; they’re barriers of protection that keep evil out. And if we live by them, we’ll be happy people. We’ll be fulfilled people.

However, we can’t keep these commandments in our own ability. We all break them. There’s only one who has ever walked this earth and kept all the commandments. His name is Jesus.

The commandments show us that we need Jesus. They open our eyes to our shortcomings and sinfulness.

So let me ask you, are you a happy person? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be happy, but there’s a right and a wrong way to find happiness. There are two ways we can live. There are two paths we can take in life. One is a broad path that leads to destruction, and the other is a narrow path that leads to life.

There are two foundations you can build on: you can build your life on the rock of Jesus Christ, or you can build it on sinking sand.

Learn more about Pastor Greg Laurie.

This article was originally published at WND.com

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