Friday, November 4, 2016

The God Who Designed You Wants to Know You

A close up of the human eye, photo by Soren Manvelvan.
"I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."

The opening words of this verse, in Psalm 37, could have been written by any of us - for they speak a truth that each of us knows all too well. “I have been young and now I’m old.”

Whether we want to admit or not, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second, you and I are getting old! It’s a reality that many people try to escape or run away from.

Life and death aren’t easy things to think about. But we have to ask the tough questions in life. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Where will I go when I die?

If you’re a Christian you know that when you die you’ll be brought into the presence of God and your life be judged, based on how you lived, and what things you did.

Assuming that you’ve personally believed and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, then the life of Jesus will be substituted for yours. And God will judge you based on the perfection of Jesus Christ. That’s how it works. When we call Jesus Christ our savior, the meaning is that Jesus Christ has given his life to us, to help us escape from judgment.

Jesus lived a perfect life. And for his trouble, he was falsely accused of a crime, put before the authorities and sentenced to die by being nailed to a cross. Which was a fairly common, though terrible punishment in the ancient roman empire. Jesus did something on the cross that we refer to as “penal substitionary atonement.” What this means is that Jesus paid the price of the sins of the world on the cross. And for those who believe in Jesus and trust in Him for their life, they will live forever.

God will bring all people into judgment, to deal with the sin problem.

2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV says “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

The world has a sin problem. That’s why the world stinks, and terrible things happen. Recently police officers were shot and killed by an unknown assailant in Iowa.  A series of terrorists beheaded Christians on video recently.  And the corruption just keeps flowing out in the news cycle about Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. I’m glad that God is a righteous judge. Because there are a lot of evil things in this world. And it’s right for God to set those things right.

Yet this isn't a problem simply on a mass scale, but more importantly on a personal level.  God will also judge us, based on how we lived. The truth is we’re all sinners, we’ve all made mistakes, and we’re all in need of a savior.

As it says in Matthew 12:36 ESV “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.”

Now there is only one way to heaven, to have eternal life. And it is believing on Jesus Christ. And personally receiving Him as your savior. That’s the only way to be saved.

The Bible describes the day of judgment like this: Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. -Revelation 20:11-15 ESV

Most people when you ask them: Will you go to heaven? They say yes. And you ask them why? And they say, well I’m a pretty good person. I’ve done many good deeds. And that isn’t enough. That’s not the way to heaven. The only way to heaven is Jesus Christ. Trusting in him as your savior. And following him and obeying his teachings. His teachings are in the Bible. Which is why we study it. And pray to him daily.

John 3:16-17 says “John 3:16-17 ESV “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

And again Acts 4:12 says “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

And Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

And finally, Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."

I love God’s word. God’s book is the truth. It’s the only book I’ve ever read that has really had the power to change my life.

Many of you here today are already followers and believers of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if your not, I’d like to invite you to do that, today. It's a journey.  Start it today.  And if your ready, commit your life to him. Join a good church.  Start a Bible study if your saved today.  You may be the only hope you area has of knowing Jesus, whether your state-side or in Europe, or elsewhere.  The world needs Jesus, so let's get to work.  

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