I used to think that non-Christians were miserable, that they were empty inside. I thought that every non-Christian was searching for something that would fill some aching longing deep in his heart. Not true. I’ve met non-Christians who are extremely happy. They’re not sitting around anxiously waiting for some Christian to come along and give them the keys to real happiness. They already have the keys; they’re living the good life. They aren’t longing for fulfillment because they already have it. They go to church either every Sunday, a few times a year, or not at all, they love their spouse, they love their kids, they have whatever luxuries they desire, they volunteer at the local food bank, and give to the best charities. They think their chances of going to heaven when they die are quite high. If you ask them, they’ll probably say something like, I think so, or I hope so. And if they don’t believe in heaven, they’ll tell you they don’t. Regardless, they are genuinely happy, good people and aren’t hung up on the details of the afterlife. What’s important to them is the here. The now. To get all they can out of life while they’re living. I even know people who’ve said goodbye to Christ and have admitted being happier without Him. And really, I don’t doubt that for a moment. Why? Because they’re free. They’re free to enjoy life without accountability and commitment. They say that it was too hard to adhere to the Christian lifestyle. Or maybe they got hurt by other Christians. Anyway, now they’re free to live however they want, to enjoy whatever satisfies them, be it drugs, sex, money, alcohol, or any other temporary, happiness-producing stimulus.
How can this be? How can a person truly be happy without Christ? How can a person be happier without Jesus Christ in his life than with Him? If people are already happy, what’s the point of talking to them about Jesus’ ability to change them? Into whom? They’re already happy and good and don’t need changing. A person who’s already content won’t listen! A person who’s already satisfied is out! Now what?
News Flash: Non-Christians might be happy, but they’re not good.
Nobody is, the Bible says. People are still sinners in need of a savior, no matter where they are on the happiness meter. If you are to whom I am speaking, take you, for instance.
You’ve probably lied, making you a liar. You’ve probably stolen something, making you a thief. You’ve probably looked on a another person with lust in your heart, which makes you sexually immoral.
Jesus said, these are sins which will keep you from entering that very narrow gate into heaven. All people need Jesus’ forgiveness of these and other sins whether they’re happy or not. That is the gospel message, isn’t it? It hasn’t changed, has it? Jesus didn’t come to give you happiness. He came to give you life!
All of us, every human being alive and living on this planet, is a sinner headed for Hell no matter how happy we are. Why? Because nobody is good. Not one person. Not me. Not you. And until you deny yourself (let go of your pride and admit you are a sinner) and pick up your cross (die to your selfish wants) and follow Him (absolute surrender), you are a walking-dead person. The Bible says that we (all of us) are dead in our trespasses and sins. Because of our sins (lies, stealing, and lust for example), Jesus died the death we should’ve died. He didn’t commit these sins. We did. With his blood, He paid the ultimate price for our nasty deeds so that we could live forever. Jesus Christ is the only one who can transform us from the walking-dead to people who are alive. He promises to give us a new heart, a new Spirit-filled life that we so desperately need whether we know it or not. Do you understand? Take a look inside yourself right now. It’s not really about being happy, is it? If you’re honest, isn’t it life that you really want?
- Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
- As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one.”; (Romans 3:10)
- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… (Romans 3:23)
- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)