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Important! Please Read!
Would you like to know the secret of how to live forever? This may sound like a question that is easy to answer, but first ask yourself these few questions. Do you consider yourself to be a good person? Do you think you have kept the Ten Commandments? Have you ever told a lie? What does that make you? (A liar) Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you? What does that make you? (A thief) Have you ever looked at someone with lust? Jesus said to even look at someone with lust is to commit adultery with that person in your heart. If you have, what does that make you? (An adulterer) Have you ever said the Lord’s name in vain (3rd Commandment)? That’s only four of the Ten Commandments. On judgment day, if God judges you by the Ten Commandments, will you be innocent or guilty? You would surely be guilty. If you don’t think so, then think about this: If a man commits a crime, let’s say rape, and goes to jail and tells the judge, “I only did it once and it was a long time ago.” Will the judge free him? No! That would be ridiculous! God also has to judge us for our sins, because He is good and just. Every lawless act must be brought to justice. His very nature demands it.
Heaven or Hell?
Now knowing this, do you think you deserve to go to Heaven or Hell? If you DIDN’T answer Hell, then you need to rethink those questions. If you have broken one of God’s Commandments, you deserve to go to Hell. This may sound unreasonable at first glance. But it’s not necessarily about the crime that’s been committed as much as it is about the one who the crime was committed against. If you lie to a friend, there may be a rift in the relationship. If you lie to a boss, you may lose your job. And if you lie to the government, you may go to jail. Each situation deals with the same offense, but has totally different consequences. When we break God’s commands (sin), we are not sinning against some inferior prince, but the very Lord of Glory – The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. This is no small thing, even if in our minds a little lie is no big deal. The Bible says that “all liars will have their part in the lake of fire.” If we are honest with ourselves and our conscience, we must agree that a good God must punish law-breakers.
Do you know what God did for you so that you wouldn’t have to go to hell? He provided a way for you to be forgiven. God loves you so much that he sent his only son to suffer and die in your place, taking your punishment for you so that you could live. You broke the law, and Jesus paid your fine. Jesus took the cup of God’s wrath that has been stored up against sinners and drank down every last drop on behalf of all who would one day come to Him. If you will repent (experience true sorrow and turn away from sin), and place your trust in Jesus Christ as your savior, God will forgive you and grant you everlasting life. He can do this, because Jesus was the spotless lamb of God. The whole Bible has pointed to a coming Messiah, and the shedding of blood has always been a requirement to cover sins. This old covenant always pointed to one day when a perfect sacrifice would once and for all cover sin, and there would no longer be a need to offer blood sacrifices continually. This perfect sacrifice had to be spotless. It also had to be fully man, because man had sinned. The sacrifice also had to be fully God, because only God could atone for the sins of multitudes of people.
Jesus, the Son of God, stepped down from His throne in heaven 2,000 years ago and clothed Himself in flesh and blood, was born of a virgin, lived the perfect life you and I could never live, and died an unjust death that you and I deserved to die. It wasn’t the physical torment that He suffered that saves sinners like us. The Bible says that it “pleased the Father to crush Him…” When Jesus was crucified, the sins of His people were placed on Him. God, the Father, crushed Him under the full holy wrath that we deserve. Does this make sense to you? We have stored up wrath for ourselves on the day of Judgement through each act of disobedience against God. Each lie, lustful thought, ungrateful attitude, and selfish act has stored up God’s holy anger against us. Jesus steps in front of us, takes the cup of God’s wrath that we deserve to drink for eternity, and drank down every last drop. He then turns the cup over and proclaims, “It is finished.” The debt has been paid. Perfect justice and love were demonstrated on the cross of Jesus. Now anyone who comes to Him trusting in His finished work on the cross can find peace with God and eternal rest. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” says Jesus.
The Sufficient Sacrifice
He rose from the dead three days after being crucified, proving that His sacrifice was sufficient and accepted by the Father. Come to Him. He will change you from the inside out and make you a new person in Christ. Now is the time to act! Do not wait. You can’t fix yourself. Only God can wipe away your sins and make you a new creation. Cry out to Him. Don’t let your head hit the pillow tonight without knowing that you are right with your Creator. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble…Submit yourselves therefore to God…Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” Church isn’t just for the saved. Church can help sinners to learn and accept that they are not without sin. Jesus will help you through all of your trials and help you with the sins you struggle with.
If you are not sure if you are saved or have any questions please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abide in the Vine
Jesus said we can bear fruit only if He "abides" in us (John 15:4-5). How is this possible? It is through the gift of God's Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is a changed heart. A heart changed by the Holy Spirit has the attributes mentioned above in Galatians 5:22-23: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control.
2 Corinthians 13:5 says “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
Some good questions to ask are:
What is my attitude toward God? Do I gladly acknowledge my dependency on Him and my accountability to Him?
What is my attitude toward sin? Am I concerned or indifferent about sin?
What is my attitude toward Jesus Christ? Do I trust Him as the one who died for my sin on the cross?
What is my attitude toward the Bible? Do I truly want to grow in it’s application to my life?
What is my attitude towards prayer? Do I want to grow or do I just occasionally call out for help?
What is my attitude toward other Christians? Do I enjoy and learn from being with them or do I prefer the company and lifestyle of my non-Christian friends?
Do I have evidence that I am a new creation?