Pragmatism and Obedience

This past week, the message looked at obedience in the life of a Christ-follower. In fact, obedience to the commands of God is one of the key themes for all of John’s writing, including 1 John. He seems to make it very clear that there is a connection to genuine faith and a person’s desire to obey God. On the other hand, the person who willfully chooses to reject the commands of God “is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

The question I wrestled with all week is the one of “why”? Why would God demand that I obey His commands. It’s actually a bit of a tough question. Why won’t God allow me to live my own life and leave me alone. The easy answer is that “it works”. You have probably heard some form or another… “God has a plan”… “It will all work out”… “Your life will be better in the end”… Please don’t mishear me. I am not saying that these statements are not true. It’s just that if the real reason for obedience to God is pragmatism (pragmatisim is the belief that what is real and true is that which works for me), then what do I do when my obedience does not work? What should you do when the very obedience to God makes life more difficult, leads to more persecution and suffering, and causes more struggles? Christians throughout history have had to wrestle with this issue. Heroes of the faith have lost homes, their reputation, family, their freedom, and even life itself as they obeyed God.

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