I would like to compare two statements of The Lord Jesus Christ:
-23: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
-28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
-30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light
On one hand in Luke 9:23, we have a difficult task given to us (and an even more difficult one in Luke 14:26), as we know, Jesus carried his cross for us, and we out to carry our cross for Him,
but on the other hand in Matthew 11:28-30, we have, as what Jesus describes, an easy task.
How do we harmonize these two truths?
There is also another verse in Luke to look at:
-26: If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Really strict standards here that even I struggle with, and I need to pray that I can live the way God wants me to live.
The statements in Luke 9:23 and in Luke 14:26 re often used to support the idea that God commands Christians to ‘thou shalt not have fun’ (see my other thread: Is everything fun a sin? 1 John 2:15-17):
I often use Matthew 11:28-30 to try and rebuke the idea that having fun is a sin, one person literally said to me that “I do not believe the act of fun is a sin. It’s fun to read the bible, serve God, ect… But even if it was a sin, Jesus could still say that. Not sure how that conflicts with someone who would believe fun is a sin?”, when this person says “Jesus could still say that”, he was referring to me using Matthew 11:28-30.
So anyway, how to people reconcile these texts.
Being willing to die for my faith is something I have zero issues with, however, the idea that having fun is a sin is something I struggle with all the time, to the point I get anxiety every time I here 1 John 2:15-17 quoted since that is usually the go-to verse to say all fun/pleasure/entertainment is a sin.
I pray to God every day that he changes me to live the way he wants me to live and takes away all that must be taken away, but this topic always has it’s way of coming back around, and I struggle with my faith when it does, especially when it gets combined with eternal conscious tormented,
there are a few people out there who will never use these words, but teachings what amounts to ‘God will torture you forever if you have fun’.
It’s also worth mentioning that if the way to salvation involves forsaking all fun, and if you fail to do so, ETERNAL TORTURE!!!
I fail to see how the gospel could be considered be good news (some may argue it still is since one can be saved at all, as difficult as it may be), if the way to salvation is living up to a very, VERY, difficult standard that very few a capable of doing, and if you fail at living up to this almost impressible standard, you will be tortured for all eternity without mercy.
Christ Be With You All