Anyone who supposes being a Christian in an easy fix for salvation will get a wake-up call reading this book. When we consider everything our God is offering us when we believe in His son, the operative word is 'believe'.
Doctor MacArthur points out that this word is more complex than just saying; "I believe" and not considering what it is that believing really means and what is required of us.
Consider the rich young ruler who wanted to know what he needed to do to have eternal life and the decision he ultimately made.
It is an insult to God to water down the Gospel. He who surrendered the life of His Son in order to fully reveal His mercy and grace to sinful man deserves to have His Gospel proclaimed "in full." John MacArthur writes to a culture that tends to reduce the narrow message of salvation to one of inclusivism or "anything goes." If, as an earlier reviewer puts it, the author is "in your face," it is because "the high cost and infinite value of following Jesus" has been replaced in the contemporary church by marketing ploys that attempt to make Jesus more appealing to the masses. Such strategies have forgotten that the way is narrow that leads to eternal life. Although salvation is a free gift to those who receive it, it came at an infinitely high price to God, who demands that we too "count the cost." Years ago, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote condemningly of the "cheap grace" that many professing Christians prefer. In truth, what really counts really costs, and we must never forget how much it cost Jesus. What's more, we must give heed to His call to die to ourselves daily if we are to be His followers! MacArthur warns us that anything less than the denial of self, the recognition that our sin was paid for at the cross, and the appropriation of the righteousness of Christ as our own falls short of the true Gospel. The message proclaimed by Jesus and expounded by the New Testament writers is an exclusive one. MacArthur forces the reader to take a long hard look at oneself in light of the Word of God to make certain that he is indeed in the faith. For one believing that "all roads lead to heaven" or that the clear message of the Scriptures can be tweaked to one's preference, the author points to the cross and the open tomb and all they mean. As the title of the book suggests, the Gospel is "hard to believe." But it is essential that its content be clearly presented and responded to in faith in anyone is to be saved.
I do not like this writer's style at all. This book has many Biblical truths in it and I wanted to like this writer but I felt like he was 'in my face' the entire time. If I was not a born again Christian already, it would have totally turned me away from Christianity. I will never read or buy another one of his books.