John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Everyone who knows any scripture or anything about the bible knows this verse by heart. It is the verse that establishes the very foundation of all Christianity. It also establishes for us a greater part of the very will of God. It tells us about the character and nature of God from the perspective of His Son, Jesus the living Christ. Jesus understood the act of God sending Him into the world was an act of Mercy that would one day redeem all of creation and reconcile every one of us humans to the previously unapproachable Father of Heaven, our God.
Okay, that’s a lot of big churchie words. Let me break it down. Lots of people say God must have been evil and cruel to murder His own Son rather than find another way to redeem creation. From the very start, we are told that when Satan puffed up with pride, he was thrown out of the presence of God. That same pride and desire to somehow become greater than God is what tempted the first two sentients, Adam and Eve, when the world was perfect and all things were immortal. Eve heard the words of the serpent, tested the fruit, found it was really good, and then persuaded Adam to eat some too. That disobedience didn’t make them equal to God, but it sure caused them to know things they should not have. Sin enters the world. Sin is disobedience to God that creates an absence of God. If God is there, sin is burned up and destroyed by His holiness and pure perfection. So if sin is present, you know that God isn’t there.
Since sin is also called the curse of the land (Genesis 13:7-10).
And it is also written that the end-result of sin is always death:
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We can safely figure that everyone dies from an overdose (for the finished work of sin is always death)! But sin has another nasty side effect. It doesn’t just kill your flesh; it blackens and taints your soul, your spirit, that invisible part of every human that cannot be explained. Everyone knows that there’s just some super special sense about people, that people pick up on things somehow that logically they shouldn’t. That inexplicable power and cognition is really one of the effects of spirits meeting in a whole separate realm that gives insight into the truth about others through the story told by their spirits. I know sounds creepy; sounds like I’m a kook, perhaps. But please, read on. There are lots more funny stuff to laugh at in this if you read to the bottom and still don’t get it! 😀
We can also determine from Romans 6:23 that the will of God is to keep us alive, not to punish and kill us. The gift was Jesus Christ, already given to us. We just need to take the gift given, open it, thank God for it and treasure it for all our lives!
Let me blow your mind a bit here:
This destruction is not a part of God’s plan for us! He WANTS us to live! Jesus volunteered to go to the cross! Nobody killed Him! Christianity has failed to teach people this! Christianity believes this! Christians should never blame the Jews or the Romans for killing Jesus, nor should anyone outside of the faith accuse Christians of blaming a culture for killing their Savior! PROOF:
John 10:15: As the Father God knows me, even so I know the Father (says Jesus): and I lay down my life for the sheep (His people, His Church).
Matthew 20:28: Even as the Son of Man (another name for Jesus) came into this world not to be ministered unto (served by servants, waited on hand and foot by supplicants), but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many.
GIVE His life…not FORFEIT to the enemy. Minister to US, heal us, serve us, and care for our needs, all of us, EVEN the most wretched, pathetic, evil sinner! A ransom for many, a ransom, PAID in FULL what debt is owed to get something back that was stolen from Him. We were stolen from God by our own disobedience. And like any treasure that is stolen from us, God wants His treasures BACK! US! We are the treasure Jesus longed for; died for; went through Hell itself for; and was resurrected for!
Romans 5:6: We were all living against God!
Isaiah 53:6: We have all rejected the love of God, our Father, and we have each gone our own way!
Romans 3:10: There is not one righteous, good person; not even ONE!
Romans 3:23: All have sinned (disobeyed) and fallen short of the glory of God (worthiness of God’s gift that is!)
Some people say God isn’t perfect ’cause everything He makes … dies. Maybe that was George Carlin who quipped about that. But that’s not true. God made everything to live forever. WE killed it by inviting death through disobedience. We broke the rules that broke the engine of eternal life that God intended for all of us. So God made a new blueprint to compensate for our mishap; one that is fool-proof. Yes, we’re all fools, really. Only the wise will admit it. Sin is disobedience which leads to death. We die because of sin. We sin because it feels good, and we don’t sin because it feels right. We sin because the stuff ROMANCES us into loving it! We die in the sensuous arms of the enemy that seeks to destroy us. That’s like being deathly allergic to chocolate, but eating it until it kills you because it tastes so good; and then blaming God for being unfair to you for making chocolate so delicious!
God didn’t make temptation:
James 1:3: Let no one say when they are tempted that they are tempted by God: for God cannot be tempted with evil (another word for chaos and destruction), and God doesn’t temp anyone, ever!
James 1:14: But everyone is tempted when they are drawn away by their own lusts and desires, and enticed.
You can’t blame Him for making the chocolate so delicious, or the sin so pleasurable and desirable. Blame yourself for lacking moderation! Ain’t that the truth! What woman hasn’t heard a man say it was “her fault” for looking so good? 😉
Proverbs 16:25: There is a path that is set before each person that seems to be right, but leads to death.
We must be cautious, because the enemy is GREAT at deceiving us. We must trust completely in God along the way to know that we are on the right path. We know we can trust God because having understood His nature, character and desire for us from the other verses here; He would only ever lead us down the right path.
We’re all responsible for our own actions:
Revelation 20:13: And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and Hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works (actions).
It all boils down to MOTIVE and ATTITUDE. What inspired you to do what you did, and how did you feel about it? Did you do it because it was the right thing to do and when you did it, did you grumble about it or approach it happily?
More churchie word break-down. Salvation is a big word for accepting the truth. What is the truth? Simply that Jesus Christ came as the Son of God, the Son of Man, in the flesh, the avatar of God Himself, to give us the good news. What is the good news? The churchie word for good news is, “gospel”. So if you hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it just means, the good news about Him. What is the actual good news about? It is that Jesus Christ came to earth, God in the flesh, paid off all our debts to God for our disobediences when He willingly gave His life as payment for our kidnapped souls; then, after conquering death which no man ever did before, and releasing all the captured souls in Shiloh (the church-name for the underworld) and was raised back from the dead by God the Father as a witness to our redemption.
So the good news in short:
II Corinthians 5:21: God cause all sin throughout all time, past, present and future, to be placed upon Jesus, His Son, so that we might be made right with God through the acceptable sacrifice of the life and blood of Jesus.
Jesus, God in the flesh, lived a sinless perfect life (wow!!!), but chose to take ALL of our evils and sins upon Himself so that when He died at the Roman cross of crucifixion on the hill of Golgotha near Jerusalem in Israel 2000 years ago, the debt of sin, the cost of sin, the wages of sin, was all paid off. Not just for people before who were dead already…not just for people alive in the time of Jesus…and not just for believers to come in the future…EVERYONE was included! Jesus then swung a jail break in the underworld and set THOSE people free to go to Heaven. Nothing could stop Him! His power was far too great! God saw all of this greatness being done, and when Jesus finished, God resurrected Him and took Him back to His home in Heaven as Lord of all Creation! God gave Jesus that title, giving Him also the leadership of everything in Heaven and in Earth, everything spiritual, everything physical.
That’s the good news! Now, how do you take the gift offered to you freely? You have to realize something first.
No matter how wicked you were, no matter how bad you screwed up all your life…God wants you back! He’ll forgive it all! And the debt…all paid for by His Son, Jesus! Your obligations to this …NADA! You ask God to set that sin under the blood (the payment made by) Jesus and God will overlook it as paid in full for the rest of eternity. It’s still in the record book like any good accountant keeps a good ledger of transactions for their store…but marked as paid in full!
Here’s the big catch though. Once you accept this gift, and are all paid for, you need to get cleaned up right away! How do you get cleaned up? Full submersion Baptism! Why full submersion? Well, that was a lot of mud you were wallowing around in when you were caught up in all the filth and of sin. You need a full deep cleansing scrubbing! Go all the way under and let everyone know that you are now bought and paid for by God, belong to Him now, trust in Him fully because He is no slave master…but a Father who rescued you from evil kidnappers by paying a HUGE ransom!
Now another catch! You thought it was over? Nah! Here’s the best part. You get a full make-over! Once you are all cleaned up and ready to serve the King of the Universe (now THAT is prestige!!!!) you have to start looking your best. That doesn’t mean wearing expensive clothes…it means you have to allow God to change you. Sometimes He changes you physically, sometimes emotionally, sometimes spiritually…but the changes are guaranteed to always be GOOD, will always improve you not make you worse off, and always cause you to resemble the nature and character of His Son. No, Jesus is not all into Himself and likes little Jesus clones running around everywhere! It’s a change that matters, inside you, in your heart, your mind, the parts that control your behaviors. You learn from the best how to live a more perfect life. You won’t be perfect…you don’t have to be. You just have to be trying. The harder you try, the more of your time you spend with the Father, that happier you make Him. Just like a human father is happy to see his kids love Him and show him attention, only a trillion times more than any human ever could, God loves it when we tell Him about everything in our every day and just sit with Him, learning and sharing. Nothing is beneath sharing with God the Father; and nothing is ever hidden from Him no matter how hard we try to think we aren’t being caught.
Making it simple:
I John 1:19: If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.
He will forgive it ALL! It’s never too late and it’s never too big or small to be important to God. Trust Him to forgive you, allow Him to forgive you, and then let Him help you to forgive yourself.
Romans 10:9: If you confess with your mouth (say it out loud) that “Jesus is Lord” and that “God has raised Him from the dead,” you will be saved (from the penalty of sin which is death).
This is all about accepting the gift of God, accepting the payment Jesus made for your ransom to be free, and leave the criminals who had captured you.
Acts 4:12: Salvation is found in no one else (only through Jesus), for there is no other name by which we MUST be saved.
This is how we can say that Jesus Christ is the only way to reach God, to be forgiven, to enter Heaven. This scripture reiterates what Jesus Himself said:
John 14:6: (Jesus) I am the way, the truth, and the life: none comes unto the Father except through me.
Ephesians 2:8-9: For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by your works, so that no one can boast.
Remember that this salvation, this redemption, this reconciliation, is a gift from God. You can’t earn it, you can’t buy it; it’s already paid for and given to you freely if you will take it.
John 1:12-13: To all who received Him, He gave the right to become the children of God. All they needed to do was trust Him in order that He might save them! All those who believe this are reborn – not a physical birth, but a spiritual birth from the Will of God.
You are part of the family now! Not adopted, not just grafted into an inheritance, but a full-fledged family member! Just remember, you don’t get to CHOOSE your family the way you do your friends…but you are still family. The family is huge and probably contains a few people you might find it difficult to get along with. But never allow there to be a gap between any two children of God; for the Lord’s sake, and for His joy, keep building bridges and keep receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit to renew your faith and your charity. 😀
Just another reminder:
EVERYONE is welcome in God’s Family! Everyone is welcome at the supper table of Jesus!
Revelation 3:20: (Jesus exclaims) “Here I am! I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in!”
Can just anyone’s name save you? Nope! Only the name of Jesus:
Acts 4:12: Jesus is the only One who can save a person! His name is the only power given by God by which to save people. We must be saved through Him.
There is no other way but Jesus; no other price worthy than the blood of the innocent Lamb of God, Jesus, the willing sacrifice of Love that buys all who will accept His truth; THE truth; and be freed!
John 8:36: If the Son (Jesus) therefore should make you free, then you shall be free indeed!
Now, expect the Holy Spirit, the comforter and educator sent by Jesus, to come and fill your heart, heal your emotional wounds, work the mystery of spiritual healing and sanctification in you, and guide you into all righteousness!
In other words, expect a serious CHANGE for the better! Don’t be afraid. Let it happen! Let God work on you and clean you up. You will see it is worth ten thousand times over what you must give up for what you get in return!
The sinner’s prayer is nice, but it’s only a starting point, and it’s not actually in the Bible. If you say the sinner’s prayer, do so out of belief, faith, trust, desperate need! Don’t walk away from saying it until you are changed! Find a church that teaches the Love and the Power of the Blood of Jesus Christ, acknowledging the full Gospel, Old Testament and New! Grab a Bible and take it with you everywhere you go to keep reading it (and pray before you open it up that the Holy Spirit will translate the TRUTH into your heart…every time!), and let the change keep going and growing for the rest of your life. There’s no greater joy than this in this world!
Believe, Confess, be Baptized, Receive the Holy Spirit, be Discipled and Sanctified, and likewise disciple and sanctify others unto the Lord Jesus Christ only,(never unto yourself or other mere people) and continue on the narrow, well-lit path unto the return of our Lord in glory! Love others, pray for them, then reach out to them in the attitude and motive of Jesus’ heart to establish a relationship as a friend or authority or whatever form God would choose for each situation individually, deliver the good news once all these conditions are met and the heart of the person is tilled into rich good soil for the seed of the Word of God to be planted deeply for strong roots and wondrous growth. Follow the example of Jesus Christ when He met the Samaritan woman at the well when reaching out to others with the truth. Jesus was empowered by God the Father because of His great LOVE for all people and because He prayed constantly to God for the power to heal them; for their sake, and for the glorification of God, and yes, for the joy of the Lord God whose smile is so great when we remember Him and talk of Him out of our love for Him, and do His will.
The will of God is also easily deduced. Go unto all people teaching and preaching the good news. Tell others what God did for you. It’s called the Great Commission.
Matthew 28:9: You, go, therefore, unto all nations and peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
God would have that ALL of creation enjoy life abundant (seeing many come into the joy of freedom and serving God) and that all have good health (richness of spirit, closeness to God, and physical fortitude to travel with the good news to whatever distance.
John 10:10: The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; but I come so that the sheep might have life, and that they have it more abundantly.
God bless you richly.
Follow Him closely and may we all be united in the presence of His glory some day beyond the world’s rebirth.