Selling Jesus?

Marketing experts will tell you that one of the best ways to sell a product is to focus on the greeds and needs of consumers. Psychologically, we are people of convenience. If there is a product at the right price that will either bring us pleasure or reduce our suffering (discomfort), the product is going to sell. The point is that selling is easy when we understand the selfishness of the consumer.

For example, beer commercials hardly market the virtue of their product, but rather the good time that you’ll have while drinking. The moral is that having beer at a party will bring the pretty girls and companionship one desires.

There are better hamburgers than McDonald’s or Burger King. However, they don’t focus on selling you on the quality of their product, but rather the convenience and low prices. How many times haven’t my kids wanted to go eat fast food just to get the latest toy in their kid’s meals!

Apple doesn’t really market the power or quality of their products. Their marketing makes their products “cool”—status symbols in our culture. When the iPad first came out I couldn’t wait to get one, not because of need but because the thing looked awesome. (Yes, the marketing worked on me).

However, when churches reduce Jesus to being a simple “product” that will alleviate pain or bring pleasure, we do a great disservice to the ministry. It’s not that Jesus won’t produce these things, but we cannot discount that being a Christian is one of the most DIFFICULT experiences imaginable.

Three things to consider:

1- Loving Jesus means denying self (e.g. Luke 9:23; 22:42, Romans 7)

If you want to serve Jesus, understand that self denial is part of the process. It’s basically an aligning process whereby you change in order to be the person God wants you be. You cannot be a Christian and continue to do whatever you want to do. As Proverbs 14:12 states:

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”

Choosing to do God’s will brings life, but we must start with doing His will over our own.

2- Loving Jesus means suffering hardships (John 15:18; 2 Timothy 2:3, 9-10; Philippians 1:29; Hebrews 11)

One of the most ignored topics in sermons (from my experience) is talking about suffering hardships for Christ. One of the identifying marks of the early church was intense persecution and suffering for the gospel. Although today’s modern culture is unfamiliar with this type of suffering, we must understand that rejection, insults, wisecracks, and the like are all things we must occasionally suffer.

If you want to come to Jesus to live a perfect, comfortable life, then I recommend you read the Bible again (or the verses above) to get a real glimpse into what being a Christian is about.

3- Loving Jesus means living the best life possible!

I always tell my church that if I had found a better life to live, I would be living it. However, in Jesus I have found everything I have been looking for.

Everything good has a cost associated to it. You cannot buy a Ferrari for the price of a mountain bike. You can’t eat a steak for the price of a pack of gum. And you can’t live the best life in Jesus without making sacrifices. That being said, it’s worth the price!

Just look at Romans 8, and you’ll see the following:

Through Christ we have freedom from self and condemnation (1-11)

Through Christ we are adopted into God’s family (14-15)

Through Christ we are made co-heirs of the riches of heaven (17)

Through Christ we gain perspective concerning the futility of this life as compared to the next (18-21)

Through Christ we have redemption (23)

Through Christ we have help in our weaknesses through the Spirit (27)

Through Christ we have the assurance that everything (including death) are working for our good (28)

Through Christ we have the possibility of being the best versions of ourselves (29-30)

Through Christ we understand that we will have victory over death, hell, and the grave (31-39)

You see, everything that REALLY matters in life, God is willing to give us—if we are willing to pay the price of obedience. Sure, you can live however you want, but in the end, will it be worth it?