Becoming a Christian often means giving up worldly pleasures and interests. However, the pros of being a Christian far outweigh the cons. Consider the following 15 privileges and benefits.
1. We are in good standing with God
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (II Corinthians 5:18-19)
When Adam and Eve first listened to Satan and disobeyed God, sin entered the world, and sin separated mankind from God. Adam and Eve saw that they were naked, were ashamed, and tried to hide from God. (Genesis 3:7-8) That is what sin does. It makes us feel ashamed to face God. In our ways, we also try and hide from God. Some people even choose to deny God’s existence altogether so that they do not have to face Him.
I have heard some people ask the question, “Why can’t God just simply forgive and save us all?” Well, the truth is, He does. It is God’s will to save us all, but if we, in our hearts, feel we are not deserving of God, we will not accept His mercy and grace. This is why God brought about His plan of redemption through Christ. God has always been willing to save us, but mankind has not always been willing to accept His salvation, so God made a plan to send His only begotten Son to be the way by which we could be reconciled to God. Through Christ, we can experience God’s salvation and reconciliation even when we feel undeserving of it, because we know that it is because of Christ’s righteousness that we are saved and not by our own.
2. Clearance pass to God
Because Christians have been reconciled to God, it gives us access to Him. If you want to go visit the White House, you could not just drive up there and walk inside the door and wander around, looking for the President at your own will. You would have to get permission by arranging a tour, and then when you arrive, you have to enter in by an authorized person. For Christians, Jesus is our authorized person, our clearance pass, to God.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” (John 14:6-7)
“For through Him, we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18)
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
3. Intercession and advocacy from Christ
“Therefore He (Christ) is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
Christians have the benefit of having Jesus as someone to pray to God and act on our behalf. Just like in the case of the President of the United States, most of us can not just call up the President and speak to him. We need to have someone who can speak to him on our behalf. This is what Jesus does for us to God.
However, as an intercessor for us, Jesus does much more than just speak to God on our behalf. He also stands in our place before God. For example, suppose you went before an earthly judge for some crime you had committed. Before you could receive your sentencing, someone else stood up and pleaded with the judge to give them your sentence and let you go free. While this could never be allowed in our court system, God allows it in His judicial system. God allows Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and let us go free.
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also fo the whole world.”(I John 2:1-2)
The whole world has the opportunity to receive Christ’s intercession, but He forces it on no one. The ones who enjoy this privilege are the ones who believe in Him and accept Him into their lives. Every person in a city may have the opportunity to receive dry cleaning services, but only the ones who ask for it ever receive it. The only difference is that with dry cleaning, you have to pay for the service. With Christ’s intercession, there is no price except your willingness to believe and love Him.
4. Everlasting life
Probably the most famous Christian verse is John 3:16 —“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Death is often a fear of many, but as Christians, we can have the consolation of knowing that we will never die. Because Christ died and was resurrected, we have the assurance that we too will be resurrected and live forever with Him.
5. Children and heirs of God
“For you are all the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26)
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with out spirit that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” (Romans 8:16-17)
No matter your age, race, nationality, gender, social ranking, financial status, or anything else, you can become a child and heir of God through Christ Jesus.
6. Eternal membership in God’s kingdom
Christians have a paid, eternal lifetime membership in God’s kingdom. This membership was paid in full by Jesus Christ. He paid for it with His blood, so we should appreciate it and respect the gift He has given us.
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19)
7. Names written in heaven
Jesus told His disciples this: “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
We often like to see our names written in certain places, like on the honor roll list, on a diploma, or the door of a prestigious office. But, what could be better than knowing that your name is written in heaven, signifying that you belong there?
According to several scriptures, God keeps a book in which are written the names of those who believe in Him and serve Him. (Malachi 3:16; Exodus 32:32; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; Revelation 13:8)
Hebrews 12:23 says that the church is “registered in heaven.” When we sign up to be on Christ’s team, we are registered in heaven.
8. Exceeding great and precious promises
The apostle Peter says that by Christ we “have been given exceedingly great and precious promises…” (II Peter 1:4)
As Christians, we are the beneficiary of these exceeding great and precious promises, many of which are discussed within this article.
We all desire victory–victory over our problems, our opponents, our fears, and so forth. According to the scriptures, believers can experience victory in all things through Jesus Christ
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angles nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is he overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (I John 5:4-5)
10. A constant supply of comfort and hope
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” (II Thessalonians 2:16)
Going through troubling times without hope or comfort is like walking in the forest at night with no kind of light. We can’t see where we are going. We don’t know if we are going to trip over something, step on a snake, or if some creature is going to jump out and attack us. Without hope and comfort, life is filled with uncertainty and despair, but when we have Christ, He is our everlasting supply of hope and comfort for whenever we need it.
13. A distinguished name
Names not only identify who we are, but to whom and what we are associated. Our last name often identifies to what family we belong. As Christians, our name identifies us with Jesus Christ.
God foretold in Isaiah 56:5 that He would one day give believers an everlasting name that would never be cut off. After Christ’s resurrection and the formation of His church, His “disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26)
14. Everlasting joy
“So the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 51:11)
This everlasting joy does not mean that we will never experience sorrowful times, but rather, it means that we will have the ability to have joy even in the midst of our sorrows. As Christians, we can experience this joy in the midst of troubles because we know that Jesus will pull us through and resolve our problems. We know that our “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
The apostle Paul illustrates this when he says of himself and other Christians “…as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” (II Corinthians 6:9-10)
15. Crown of life
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)
We can work for various crowns in this world such as a beauty pageant crown, but the most rewarding crown we can ever achieve is the crown of life, a crown that says “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25:23)
“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (II Timothy 4:8)