In my experience in sharing the Gospel with unbelievers, I often run into a problem that effects most people when it comes to giving their lives over to Jesus Christ. The problem is the deceit of sin!
What I mean by that is people begin to see the truth about themselves and Christ, and begin to count the cost of following Jesus. That is a great thing to do, because even Jesus said: "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him." (Luke 14:27-29)
But where a lot of people stop and decide it is not worth it to follow Christ, is when they begin to think about their life and all the things they would have to give up to follow Him. Thus, the deceitfulness of their sin comes in and tells them, " There is no way I could give up my friends," or "I can't stop drinking and partying, life would be so boring without it!" People love their sin, whether it be the outward manifestations of it, or simply the sinful thinking they love to indulge in.
Sin deceives the person into thinking the cons far outweigh the pro's when it comes to getting saved and following Christ!
For those of you who have come to know Christ and are born-again, clearly the choice should be an easy one. That is, because we have seen the light and have been set free from sin's bondage! That is why I believe Jesus said: "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44) People do not have the full strength in themselves to make the right choice and follow Jesus! The Holy Spirit has to help them count the cost and surrender their lives over to their Creator!
I know this to be true, because when the Lord was drawing me to Himself, I had a war going on within me! I thought about how good sin made me feel and how the lifestyle change could be too much to bear! But thanks be to God, He showed me what sin had done in my life and the eternal consequences I would have to endure had I not gotten saved: "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24) To die in your sins, that is, to not have them wiped away by Christ, would mean an eternity in Hell paying for them! It is so true that: "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:31) Fearful if you haven't surrendered to Christ and gained forgiveness of sins! But joyful if you've been saved from your sin and enter into the joy of your Lord!
Yes, sin is deceitful and will give people a ton of excuses as to why they shouldn't follow the Lord. But thank the Lord that whom He calls, he justifies ( makes right with Him), whom he justifies, he glorifies!
For those of you who are counting the cost now, yield to the Holy Spirit, for today is the day of salvation! There will come a time, when it will be too late to choose, and the Lord could be saying to you: "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness (sinful living)!" (Matthew 7:23)
In Christ -Dustin