Who is going to want to follow Christ if it means that persecution, suffering, hard things are going to come my way?If I were to answer that from my flesh, my sin nature, with a limited and earthly perspective, then I would say without even pausing to take a breath or think -- NO ONE.
Alas, praise God for that He has put eternity into our hearts (Ecc. 3:11), and some of us cannot quench that deep hungering for spiritual truth. While everyone has that spiritual desire, they shut it up with earthly desires, stuff, riches, temporal cares and worries (Mk 4:19). Maybe mine is extra strong or loud because I cannot keep it quiet with the mores of this world. [This is why there is a so-called "prosperity gospel" that has no real understanding of The Gospel. It says, "You can follow Christ and have your best life now, with health and wealth!"]
Let me address all the benefits of accepting, trusting, loving, knowing, and following the one and only True God -- the only way to eternal life -- Jesus Christ: eternal security, the promise of Heaven, real peace, abiding hope, unshakable joy, intimate acceptance, understanding, courage, newness, discernment, direction, boldness, compassion, all of mercy, fearlessness, righteousness, having a purpose, eternal vision, light, limitless grace, clarity, comfort, heavenly wisdom, help, freedom from slavery (to self), community, encouragement, friendship, companionship, the other fruit of the Spirit, agape love... and more. [Let me just say that all these benefits are from and in Christ, and no true good thing can be found in me by myself.]
Now, there are the seeming disadvantages like persecution, suffering, and other hardships (that I think He chooses which things He will allow to afflict each individual); however, in each hard thing, He promises to not only be with you but to use each hard thing for your eternal good and bring about some benefit even now (like suffering producing character and Christlikeness)! And, on top of that, any disadvantage is momentary. short-lived, temporal, just for a set time not to exceed your short, little lifespan on this present earth!
Now if we are children, then we are heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)So... Benefits are benefits. And disadvantages are delayed benefits. It's a win, win.
Who is going to want to follow Christ if it means that persecution, suffering, hard things are going to come my way?If I were to answer from my spirit, by the Spirit, with an eternal perspective, with the written Word for guidance, then I would say without even pausing to take a breath or think -- EVERY ONE.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. (Rev. 22:17)