The Joy of Being a Christian
Fort Collins, Colorado
The constitution of the United States was framed and adopted in 1787. In it is the right of every man for the pursuit of happiness. The quest to obtain happiness has led men in many different directions without achieving that goal.
Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter two, tells of his quest to find the secret of "what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life" (Verse 2). Solomon had everything: he tells of his fame and fortune in Ecclesiastes 2:10 "and whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them . . ." Wouldn't you think if a man could have anything his eyes desired he would be happy? Not so, look at verse 11, "then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind." At the end of the book, Solomon tells us the secret to a true and lasting happiness. Ecclesiastes 12:13: "This is the end of the matter all hath been heard: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man." Solomon realized, that the God who created man knows best what will and will not make man happy.
Many known men of our time have tried various things in life only to find happiness was not there. Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: "I wish I had never been born." Jay Gould, an American millionaire, with all his money said when he was dying: "I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth." Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure, if anyone did. He wrote; "The worm, the canker, and the grief are mine alone." Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day, having done so, he said in tears: "There are no more worlds to conquer." Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of position and fame. He wrote: "youth is a mistake; manhood, a struggle; and old age a regret." The answer to happiness is not found in unbelief, nor money, nor pleasure, nor military glory, or in position and fame.
Where, Then, is Happiness Found?
The answer is simple; in Christ alone. Jesus said to his Apostles; "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you" (John 16:22).
Paul wrote the Christians in Philippians 4:4 and said, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say Rejoice." Over 600 times in the Bible the words: Joy, Happiness, Bless, etc. are found. The Bible even speaks of the joy in suffering as a Christian. Colossians 1:11, ". . . unto all patience and longsuffering with joy;" James 1:2, "count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptation." 1 Peter 4:16, "But if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name."
Everyone can find happiness by obeying Jesus. We can have the joy that is found in being a Christian. But, how do we become a Christian?
How to Become a Christian
God did not forget to tell us, nor did he leave it up to our own judgment as to how we become a Christian. The Bible is plain on the subject. In the Book of Acts we have examples of conversions. The Jews on the day of Pentecost were told to believe Jesus is Lord and Christ, and to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus, for the remission of sins (Acts 2:36-38). Those that were baptized (verse 41) were added to the church (verse 47).
In every case of conversion the steps were the same: faith in Jesus, repentance of sins, and baptism for the remission of sins. Any person who has not taken these simple steps for the reasons that the Bible gives is not a Christian.
Friends, do not fool yourself into thinking you are a Christian when you have not obeyed the Lord's commands. Jesus said only those who do the will of God will be saved (Matthew 7:21; Mark 16:16).
Truth Magazine XX: 42, p. 668