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“My yoke is hard but hell is harder”

I was recently asked the old question: "But if we're in Christ forevermore, why be good?"

Any number of counter-questions might be appropriate:

Is fear of consequences really the only reason for avoiding sin?

Isn't unconditional love most likely to elicit a good response? 

Why is being good the ultimate arbiter (rather than relationship with God)?


But as we spoke it seemed clear to me that the big misconception behind it all was a view that says: The Christian life is really, really, really hard and the only reason to live it is because there are other, basically unrelated, spiritual rewards.  Take away these carrots and sticks and of course you'll sin. Because, you know, sin is really great.  It's so great that God has to threaten us with hell to stop us having fun.  Offer free grace and there'll be pandemonium.

As though the way of Jesus is stifling.

As though sin is life-giving.

As though God's a cosmic kill-joy.

As though only eternal damnation balances the scales enough to make Christianity the clever choice.

As though Jesus said "My yoke is hard, but hell is harder."

But what if Jesus really brings life and sin only brings death?  What if Christ's yoke really is the easy one - the only one that properly fits?  What if you don't have to dangle people's feet over the pit to get them to behave?  What then?

Well you tell them "You're in Christ forevermore, why be bad?"





7 thoughts on ““My yoke is hard but hell is harder”

  1. Josh VB

    Thanks Glen,

    once we realise that sin is actually bad (for us, and not just the consequences) questions like "can I still sin" are so stupid. It would be like someone who was pulled out of a cesspit, covered in c..., who was washed, cleased, given new clothes asking if they can jump back in now that they have been rescued.

    Only once we've been made perfect we'll see that no matter how vividly (and offensively) I tried to describe the cesspit experience, it would still be much prefereable to sin.

    On the flip side, godliness is simply doing what a loving, gracious saviour asks us to do - and we somehow fail to trust that this saviour who has always proved himself to be good to us, is good to us as he asks us to do what he knows is for our best.

    (Not that I live in a way consistent with all this...)

  2. woldeyesus

    Josh VB,

    It is helpful to recognize the two classes of sins defined in the Bible, viz.: "the log" or lack of personal knowledge of God, and "the speck" or all other sins.

    "I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs" the LORD has irrevocably spoken.

    Therefore, the choice is between personally knowing God in Jesus Christ or dying ine one's sins (John 8: 21-28).

  3. childcare yorba linda

    Just a beautiful post..Being good is the part of being christian.It's a part of being a good human being.Christian life is not the hard its just a people think that because they can not understand the purity and the love of being a Christ..

  4. fruitofhisdeath

    Sorry, the conventional "Christian life" and the "love of being a Christ" are mutually exclusive. As a religion, Christianity is completely extraneous to Christ's agenda of firsthand knowledge of God for all and sustainable faith, a.k.a., "sacred faith".

    (John 4: 21-26; Matt. 27: 50-56; Heb. 10: 19-25).

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