Most people who accept the Bible as true understand that we need a savior to rescue us from going to Hell when we die.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Notice though that the word “sinned” is past tense, but “fall short” is present tense. I do fall short. I continue to fall short. I continually need a Savior to cover my sins not once but continually.
So, yes, the work of the Savior allows us to go to Heaven instead of Hell.
But many people don't feel the weight of their sin. We live in a very relativistic culture in which there are very few moral absolutes in society anymore. There's very little shame.
Most of us are also fairly comfortable here in America and in the Western World. We don't look to Heaven because life here isn't so bad that we need to look for our escape. We don’t need what Karl Marx thought of as the opiate for the people.
So, without much shame for our sins, or desire for a better life, how we can reach people and convince them that they need a Savior? What can we offer as the benefits of believing in Christ?
Meaning in Our Lives
What do people without Christ live for? How do they find meaning?
They might say that their family or legacy, or work, or hobbies gives meaning to their lives. And while good, these things "fall short" of what God intends for us. Our family members can disappoint us. Our legacy and how people will remember us will only last so long. Our work life only lasts until retirement and can't satisfy our inner longings. We can only engage in our hobbies as long as we have the time, resources, and ability to do so. And what if we tire of what used to give us fulfillment?
Only Christ gives us the lifelong and afterlife fulfillment that we’re all looking for. Only being a part of His family and His mission brings ultimate meaning to our lives.
Unconditional Love and Forgiveness
There are many people who love us in this life. There are many who will forgive our mistakes. But who else will truly love you unconditionally and forgive you no matter how many times you commit the same sin?
Only God can do that. No human can show perfect love like that because no human is perfect.
The people of the Old Testament didn't believe in an afterlife for everyone. They knew that some people went to Heaven, but they had no concept of a coming judgment in which everyone would either go to Heaven or Hell. There are hints of the afterlife in the Old Testament, but not many. Jesus is the one who taught the most about the topic.
So, the Old Testament believers didn't have an afterlife to look forward to and yet, they still followed God in this life. Why?
The reason is that they believed that God would either bless or punish them in this life. And God still does bless and punish us. His promises of blessings still stand for believers. And though bad things may still happen to us, we can also rely on God’s good gifts coming to us.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Comfort and Strength
What do people rely on or hope for when their normally comfortable lives are turned upside down by tragedy, loss, and bad luck? How do people rise to meet challenges beyond their capabilities?
People without God are forced to rely on themselves or other people, and it is in those times that people often find how inadequate, broken, and lost they are. People can only pull themselves up by their bootstraps so far.
Christians have the advantage of leaning on the Lord in the hard times. He gives us strength beyond ourselves and carries us through more than we thought we could handle. As the familiar verse says,
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
Being of the same species or even fellow countrymen doesn't cut it in this world. We still war and argue.
But our relationship with our Savior gives us peace with one another, beyond the bounds of race or nationality. It unites us and helps us work together for something beyond ourselves as individuals.
Morality and Peace of Mind
Everyone has a conscience. And most people are bothered when they know they’ve done something wrong. People want to know that they're doing the right thing, whatever they understand "right" to be.
By submitting ourselves to God's law, we can have peace of mind that we are acting rightly. We don’t have to guess. We don’t have to try to justify our actions or figure out where the line is. We can have the assurance that if we’re following Scripture, we’re within the bounds of God’s Law, and that gives us great peace of mind.
So, why do we need a Savior in this life? He’s the only one who can give us all of these benefits in this life.