I won’t change, ever, for anybody

That’s a common phrase these days. People say it on the wave of the self-entitlement culture. “I am what I am, I fully embrace it, and you have no right to tell me I am wrong. I won’t change, ever, for anybody. Those who love me must accept for what I am”.

Definitely common. And definitely personal, as well. In the sense that someone I once called friend actually said this to me.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to focus on the phrase “I won’t change, ever, for anybody”.

I sure hope that even a non-Christian sees how that’s the very opposite of love. To say that you’re unwilling to change even the slightest thing about yourself out of love for somebody is the antithesis of love.

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Penn Jillette: I don’t respect people who don’t proselytise

The outspoken atheist Penn Jillette once said:

I don’t respect people that don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell — or not getting eternal life, or whatever — and you think that, “Well, it’s not really worth tellin’ ’em this, because it would make it socially awkward”, and atheists who think that people shouldn’t proselytize, “Just leave me alone. Keep your religion to yourself”… How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean, if I believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you and you didn’t believe it —that truck was bearing down on you — there’s a certain point where I tackle you, and this is more important than that.

That is logical, right? Unfortunately, logic has very little place in society these days. The spiritual battle has reached a whole other level, and God’s enemy has made sure that every single last tool that could be used to get closer to the truth of God was removed from education. Logic and sound reason have just no place in school and society these days. Everything has become a function of self, an emotional entitlement at being whatever one wants to be, even if that means you will forfeit the most precious gift of all: eternal life purchased for you by God in the flesh dying on a roman cross for crimes not His, but ours.

The cynical and the truth

The cynical often says “nothing is really ever free”. But the Bible speaks of the greatest free gift of all: eternal life

This is offered by God to all humanity,

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The apostolic writings tell us this gift of grace is received simply through faith. Jesus says:

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)

Though humans had plunged themselves in bondage, slaves to sin, God has been merciful and graceful.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

If you’re not a born-again Christian, I invite you to read the Gospel of John. John himself wrote: “But these [things] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31). The Gospel of John has all you need for you to believe and receive God’s free gift of eternal life.

I want to add, though, that the cynical is partially right.

No, I am not taking back what I wrote above. I simply agree with Roger Hancock when he said “Nothing is ever free, though to you it be. Somewhere, somehow, someone paid”.

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What’s worth and what’s not

In this day and age people are obsessed with worthless things:

  • satisfaction is sought in the material things
  • people are overly concerned with their bodies, and
  • overly concerned with the planet

But the Bible tells us that:

  • focussing on material things is foolish (Luke 12:13–21)
  • our present bodies are perishable no matter what (1 Corinthians 15:42)
  • the planet as we know it is headed for a great fire (2 Peter 3:7,10)

Bad news. And although we are responsible for the bad news, God doesn’t leave us without the Good News:

  • there’s a way to focus on things that are above (Matthew 6:19–21)
  • there’s a way to get a brand new indestructible body (1 Corinthians 15:42)
  • there’s a way to inherit a new earth also (Revelation 21:1)

The greatest problem of every man and woman is not their lack of wealth, their decaying bodies, their illnesses, or the planet being polluted. Those are only the symptoms of the real problem: sin. And the greatest consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

Mankind’s sin caused all that. But Jesus has redeemed all of it, and appointed a time when the new will overcome the old forever. Meanwhile, he extends this offer to you, too:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Your greatest problem is that you’ll die. And the reason you’ll die is that, like anyone else, you’re guilty before God. But God was willing to let His Son pay your fine, so that you, through faith in His work on your behalf, might go free and have eternal life. Repent (i.e. change your mind) and trust in Jesus.

Shalom.