Did you know that Jesus didn’t just come for “hurting” people? When the Bible speaks of laboring and being heavy laden, it’s not referring to being down because we’ve been hurt and because of the weight of the problems of this life. We come to Jesus because we are laboring and are heavy laden under the weight of our sins. That’s why we need a Savior. And it’s when our sins are forgiven that we find rest for our souls. It’s not to have our problems fixed.
If you don’t think I’m right, let’s consider the thief on the cross. He had a big problem. He was nailed to a cross and was slowly dying. To say that he was hurting is a massive understatement. So he turned to Jesus. But it wasn’t to have his problem fixed. It was to have his sins forgiven. He was a thief, and because he was aware of his sin, the fear of the Lord filled his dying soul. When the other thief wanted his problem solved, this man rebuked him:
Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?” Luke 23:39-40
The thief on the cross came to faith in Jesus. Then, a Roman guard took a spear and broke both of his legs. That no doubt added to his agony, and then he suffocated to death. That was the beginning of his wonderful new life in Christ.
The Gospel isn’t just for people with problems. It’s universal. The fact that God offers everlasting life is good news for all people — the happy and the sad, the rich and the poor, to those who are miserable, and to those who are enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season.
But if you want to harden the world to the true Gospel, go ahead and tell them the lie that Jesus will fix their problems. But give them a Bible that removes Stephen being stoned to death, James being beheaded, and Paul and 10 other disciples being murdered for their faith. Cross out the verses that speak of fiery trials, of much tribulation, the inevitability of persecution, and of being hated for the Name of Jesus.
And when your hearers decide it’s time for Jesus to fix their problems, they will ask Him into their heart, rather than repent of their sin. That will certainly produce false converts. And that will add to the millions who have already fallen away and become angry that Jesus didn’t solve their problems.
Ray Comfort is the Founder and CEO of Living Waters and the bestselling author of more than 80 books, including God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life, How to Know God Exists, and The Evidence Bible. He cohosts the award-winning television program "Way of the Master," seen in almost 200 countries, and is the Executive Producer of "180," "Evolution vs. God," "Audacity," and other films. He is married to Sue and has three grown children, and hasn't left the house without gospel tracts for decades. You can learn more about his ministry at LivingWaters.com.