Comfort and the Gospel

A Part of Civilization

One of the characteristics of established civilization is the creature comforts that established culture brings. Even in ancient times, the civilizations that became dominant were known for their own comforts and “conveniences.” One such example was the earliest use of indoor plumbing which existed during the Roman Empire!

Our modern culture is no different, to the point of comfort being a driving force behind much innovation. From fast food to remote controls for everything, from overstuffed recliners to custom made walking shoes, we have comfort in mind in all aspects of our lives. This concept of comfort even transfers into how we receive information and what we will allow to impact our lives. Anything that might upset the established worldview is to be avoided or made socially unacceptable. In such a world focused upon comfort, where does the Gospel fit in?

The Gospel Should Challenge

The truth is that the Gospel of Christ should never make man feel comfortable. While the grace offered freely by God should bring the greatest elation, the starting point of any discussion of the Gospel must begin with the problem of sin – and sin is not a comfortable topic. Some of the most common complaints about sermons today are that certain topics make people uncomfortable. Challenging sinful behavior makes people uncomfortable. Emphasizing that following Christ requires changing sinful behavior makes people uncomfortable.

Even for the Christian of many years, the Gospel should never make one comfortable. While the path of light (1 John 1) leads to the most perfect destination (John 14; et al.), the journey will have occasional pitfalls. Understanding what great love God has for man requires remembering what that love cost and that should make us uncomfortable. When one becomes too comfortable in their Christian walk, they run a great risk of taking such a walk for granted.

The Problem With Comfort

The entire point of comfort is to remove all possible difficulty and effort from an action. Such comforts can be wonders we should thank God for, but in terms of our heart before God it has no place. Protecting our hearts from discomfort only keeps them from being struck by the Word of God. It also keeps us from confronting sin, the most important problem in our lives. What is more important, being comfortable or being right with God?

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