I read an article written by Costi Hinn in a recent “Answers” magazine. In it, he posed three questions, one after the other, that stuck with me. He wrote, “Is the gospel about the gifts or the giver? Is the gospel about earthly riches or eternal life? Is the gospel about monetary gain or the glory of God?” These are poignant questions, particularly in the Western context in which so many of us live.
We claim to love Jesus, but do we love Him because of who He is or because of what we perceive He can give us? Why do you follow Christ? Jesus is God. He is holy, and the epitome of love. His very nature demands we love and worship Him simply for who He is. And yet, many see Jesus as only a means to get what they want. This is not Biblical Christianity, and it certainly is not the gospel.
Why do you follow Christ? I admit eternal life is an amazing perk we receive for following Christ. But it isn’t the point. Jesus is always the point. The gift of God is eternal life through His Son. Without the Son, there is no life. Jesus is worthy of our lives and worship because of who He is. If Christianity was only about this life on earth, would you still choose to follow Jesus? Is He worth the sacrifice? I remind you that Jesus felt His sacrifice for us was worth it. That fact demands a response in kind from us.
Eternal life is the exceptional gift we all desire. But there are other things people look to get out of following Jesus. Many of the most popular preachers in the world today (including some of Costi Hinn’s family) preach what is called the “prosperity gospel”. Right off the bat, we should recognize if you have to add a description to the gospel, it is not the true gospel. Paul warns us to avoid all such teaching (Galatians 1:6-8). The prosperity gospel twists the scripture to make it all about this life rather than the next. They promise prosperity, health, healing, and miracles to those who simply will have the faith to believe and send money to the ministry of the preacher.
Many are taken in by this teaching, which preys on the poor and marginalized. But certainly, no one is immune from their garbage. The Bible is all about God. It is about eternal life and eternal blessings. It is not about your life on earth. The gospel shows us how to live to prepare us for eternity. It is not about how to live your best life now.
Following Jesus will rarely lead to wealth. You will still get sick, and I promise you will still eventually die. Jesus said following Him meant walking on the narrow path (Matthew 7:13–14). He said the world will hate us (Matthew 10:22; John 15:18-21), we might be homeless (Matthew 8:20), and possibly arrested for our faith (Mark 13:11). No, following Jesus is definitely not about living your best life now. It’s not about creature comforts. It’s all about bringing glory to the One who saved us from our sin and eternal damnation. So, Why do you follow Christ? Make certain you are seeking Him for who He is, and for no other reason.