Not everyone turns to Christ. Not everyone wants to turn to Christ. Many are convinced that turning to Christ is a waste of time and energy. In fact, at any moment in history, the majority of those who know about Christ choose not to turn to him. Then why do those who choose to turn to him make that choice?

Some people turn to Christ because they are convinced that Christ can help them achieve physical and material objectives. If Christ assists them after death, that is a "fringe benefit." However, eternity is not their primary motivation for "being a Christian." If turning to Christ can help them achieve this life's goals and ambitions, that is their primary desire. To them, "the here and now" is the significant consideration.

Some people turn to Christ because they want divine protection from physical disaster. Belonging to Christ is like supplemental insurance. Christ "covers" situations that savings, insurance policies, positions, ownership, and investments cannot cover. After all, there are some things money cannot buy, connections cannot correct, and well placed people cannot fix. In their thinking, Christ "covers" such situations.

Some people turn to Christ because it is good business. Because they are Christians, they expect Christians to do business with them. Being a church member provides them with some impressive contacts. Ignoring that potential is simply "bad business."

Some people turn to Christ because of family pressure. For generations his or her family have been Christians. In the family, being able to declare "all my family members are Christians" is a prized mark of spiritual success. The family expected you to turn to Christ. That was the expedient, convenient thing to do. This person turns to Christ to keep his or her family off his or her back. Do the expected and avoid family pressure.

Some people turn to Christ because of community pressure. They live and work in a community context where most friends and acquaintances are Christians. To "break out of that circle" would result in numerous practical problems in many aspects of daily life. In definite ways, such a choice would be suicide. Suicide is not their thing.

You know other motivations that cause people to turn to Christ. The lengthy list includes forms of greedy, arrogance, control, power, prestige, or perceived advantage.

Then there are those whose eyes are opened and hearts are softened. They see the mess this world is in. Relationships are self-destructing. Ungodly criteria determine value systems. Morality has little to do with God. "What is in it for me" decides personal ethics. A good lifestyle is existence's most important consideration. Prosperity bankrupts souls. The devastation of bankrupt souls is overwhelmingly apparent.

These people turn to Christ because they seek life. They trust the message of John 10:10b. "I am come that they might have life, and have it abundantly" (NAS).

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 5 August 2001

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