Are you a friend or enemy?

The New Testament speaks about two kinds of people; those who are saved by the blood of Jesus, and the lost, condemned to hell. Scripture makes no apology for the absence of a middle ground: you are either in (the kingdom of heaven), or you are not. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, meaning every human being is a condemned sinner in the eyes of a Holy and perfect God. From the moment of our conception in the womb, each of us is “out”; unworthy to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Humans have an inherent, fallen nature, going all the way back to Creation, and the original sin of Adam and Eve. Continuing in Romans 8:5-8, we read, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” ESV. The King James Version translates Verse 7 as, “Because the carnal mind is enmity (lit. ‘enemy’) against God: for it is not subject the law of God, neither indeed can be.” The Apostle James, says, “…whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4). So there you have it; are you a friend or enemy of Jesus?

Blessings to all,

 

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Government Is NOT in Control

 

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:13-14

These verses came to my mind, while listening this evening to the election coverage of our American friends to the south. As in Canada, the United States has, by and large, enmasse, willfully chosen to ignore our Creator God, to their peril. Our God will not be mocked; but make no mistake, He will have the final word on all things. Friend, will YOU, personally, respond to God’s calling? Is the time finally at hand for you to turn over everything to Him; it is all His anyway?

In the big picture, no government, social safety program, self-help program; nor anything the mind and will of man has created, will save you. Only the free, saving grace of Jesus Christ, is sufficient to rescue you from the festering evil all around. Over and over, God has promised in His Word to forgive the sin of anyone who repents, and turns fully to His saving grace and forgiveness. Whatever happens the evening, real hope is available; God is willing and able to bring hope, love, and forgiveness to your life, through Jesus Christ.

Blessings,

 

 

All are safe in safe in Jesus

O Lord, all are safe in thee. From the lowest commoner, to the mightiest of rulers, all are safe who trust in thee.  Will ye seek Him, who alone can give thee refuge? How long will ye delay in seeking safe harbour? Only in the arms of our Saviour are ye safe; only within His loving care do we find safety from the prowling lion. Outside of, and apart from Him, lies death and turmoil. Come to Him now, run towards His open arms; come to Jesus today, why will ye wait?

Blessings,

 

What is The Gospel all About?

 Dear Friend,

Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with us, my hope is you will come away with a clear, and fuller understanding of exactly what the Gospel Message is, and more importantly, is not. For anyone seeking to learn about the life and good news message of Jesus Christ, it is essential to have a solid grasp of some basic biblical background and terminology, which I have done my very best to outline for you below.

If you are looking for God or perhaps do not believe in God, searching, and so forth, I am so glad you came across our site and hope you will be blessed. While the discussion of Creation and Evolution will not be directly addressed here, I will ask you to at least acknowledge the possibility of God existing, so as to have a point from which to build from. Can we agree to this? May I ask you a simple question? Do you have absolute complete and total knowledge of everything in the universe? In other words, do you know everything which can be known? If not, how can you be certain God does not exist when you do not know everything yourself? As I will bring out a bit later, God has implanted knowledge of Himself within each one of us, so really, there is no basis upon which to deny His existence. Before we get started please know this; God knows you, loves you, and only wants what is best for YOU. A steadfast denial of Him does not change the fact of His existence, just the same as a denial of gravity does not change the certainty of its existence.

What follows is an imperfect discussion of the Gospel,  although I have done my best to convey this wonderful message of hope, redemption, and forgiveness. Take heart dear reader, if you are truly and honestly seeking God, He has promised to reveal Himself to you, and is not far from you. The fullness and riches of Jesus Christ cannot be approached on an intellectual, academic level; rather must be received by faith alone. My friend, we are not talking about normal, rational things, but those of the spirit, which cannot be seen. Please do not try to place limits in your mind of who or what God is; He is God, and MUST be approached on His terms, not ours! Yes, you can “know” Him, but only through His Son, Jesus Christ.

A BIG IMPORTANT WARNING – The GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST is very dangerous, with the power to bring radical and unforeseen changes in your life, which you cannot understand or predict. The Gospel is sharper than the sharpest sword, and more destructive than the most powerful atomic weapon. Once unleashed it cannot be stopped by any force on earth or in hell, seen or unseen. If you are willing and able to receive the Gospel as presented, your life will be radically and dramatically changed, as He seeks to accomplish His will in, and through your life. You must not respond to the Gospel simply out of a fear of hell, although, yes, this is a part of the message. Rather, salvation, redemption, and true peace, comes when we totally and irrevocably surrender ourselves to Him. The Scripture quotations herein are His (God’s) words, not mine, so your arguments and disagreements are not with me, but with God Himself. Are you ready?

In the Beginning…
God created a perfect universe including the stars, planets, and all life on the Earth. You can read all about it in the first chapters of Genesis in the Bible, which is literally a book of origins. If you are unfamiliar with the Bible, your worldview is very likely an evolutionary one. Once again and for the sake of our discussion today, can you admit the possibility of the existence of God, so we can have a common starting point? Although it is beyond the scope of this article to specifically discuss the fallacy and impossibility of evolution, both biological and inorganic, I will provide some items for further thought a bit later on, sound ok? See Genesis 1-2.

A Tragedy
God warned Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, however they could eat freely from everything else in the Garden of Eden. What you need to understand right now, is God gave both Adam and Eve, and their descendants free choice on whether or not to obey Him. Could Almighty God have forced them to obey Him or taken away their conscious free choice? Yes, of course, however this would not be characteristic of a true loving relationship, would it? In the 3rd chapter of Genesis we read the sad story of disobedience on the part of Adam and Eve, who opened the door for sin to pollute God’s perfect and sinless creation. “Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned.” Romans 5:12, GNB. 

This was the moment, the EXACT moment when everything went horribly wrong, from which time forward, God and mankind were separated and unreconciled. Blessedly, God understood this from the beginning of time, so He carefully put an intricate plan in motion for us to be redeemed through His Son, Jesus Christ – now this, is THE GOOD NEWS!! Read this story for yourself in Genesis 3, and Romans 5.



THE BIBLICAL METHOD OF SALVATION



“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9, KJV

The true Gospel may be likened to a lock which may only be opened when using a specific key; any changes to which will render it useless and the lock remains closed. The Gospel is very specific and cannot, must NOT, ever, ever, be changed or altered in any way. A careful search of the Scriptures leads one to conclude the core essentials of the Gospel include, faith, belief, repentance, sin, confession, and baptism, all of which will be thoroughly discussed.

Some biblical terminology

Faith – “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1, NLT. Expressed another way, faith is the “belief” in things which cannot be seen, touched, or experienced with our normal physical senses. *Although very similar, biblically, “faith” and “belief” are not the same thing. Perhaps, we could describe faith as “belief on a deeper and more personal level”?

Sin – Any action or thought, unintentional or deliberate which is contrary to God’s Law. Refer to the Ten Commandments.

Repentance – Confessing and turning away from sin is the first step toward receiving God’s forgiveness. *This means much more than simply saying we are sorry, rather is an “intentional change in direction”.

*Unless noted otherwise, scripture notations are from the King James Version. You may also wish to read our earlier post on Bible Versions, at http://www.learnthebible.ca

NASB – New American Standard Version
NLT – New Living Translation
NKJV – New King James Version
KJV – King James Version
GNB – Good News Bible
ESV – English Standard Version


~ The Bad News ~
GOD’S STANDARD OF PERFECTION


To “look good” in God’s eyes, you must never ever have sinned, not even one time! God’s laws are essentially summarized in the “Ten Commandments”; Thou shalt not murder, Thou shalt not lie, and so on. The two most important characteristics about God we must understand in order to comprehend the Gospel, are that God is both loving and just at the same time. In order for us to be saved by our own “goodness” and abilities, it is necessary for us never to have sinned. God’s perfect justice demands and requires sin to be punished.

God’s Laws are encompassed within the Ten Commandments, namely;

  1. Have no other gods before Me.
  2. Do not make idols of anything.
  3. Do not misuse or take in vain, the name of the LORD.
  4. Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and mother.
  6. Do not murder.
  7. Do not commit adultery.
  8. Do not steal.
  9. Do not lie.
  10. Do not covet. Exodus 20:1-17

Jesus further expounds on the commandments in the following verses. 

Angry thoughts = Murder
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” Matthew 5:21-22, NLT

Lusting = Adultery
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28, NLT

Dear reader, do you understand what Jesus is saying? God’s laws and standards are absolutely 100% true, and demands perfect adherence to avoid falling into sin. Therefore, being angry with another person, even one time, is sufficient to break His commandment, and condemn you for sinning against a Holy and Just God. Please understand, sin is evil, it is corrosive, suffocating and consuming everything it touches, whether it be the earth itself, or your eternal soul. All things are affected by it, groaning under its insidious effects. You cannot escape it, outrun it, outsmart it, hide from it, or take shelter from it. It is pervasive, all-consuming, destroys flesh, matter, and soul alike, and cannot be defeated by your efforts. 

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Romans 8:22, KJV; the NLT translates this verse as,”For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” 

Breaking one Commandment breaks them all!
“Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ But if you favour some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. For the person who keeps all of the law except one is guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, ‘You must not murder.’ So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.” James 2:8-11, NLT

Oh dear, if we break any of God’s laws, even one time, we are doomed! And you thought you were having good day today! Take heart my friend, there is real HOPE for you and I so do not despair; keep reading!

Read this Psalm SLOWLY at least twice all the way through
“Only fools say in their hearts,
There is no God.
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!

The LORD looks down from heaven on the entire human race;
he looks to see of anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.

But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt.
No one does good, not a single one!

Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread
and wouldn’t think of praying to the LORD.

Terror will grip them, for God is with those who obey him.

The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed, but the LORD will protect his people.” Psalm 14:1-6, NLT

I have one, and only one question; are you included in the “all“? If so, please answer honestly in your heart; will the LORD protect me? Do you belong to the Lord? How do you know?

Every person has sinned – there are NO exceptions!
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10, KJV 

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23, KJV

“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23, KJV

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 53:1-3, KJV

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12, KJV

No one is righteous
“As the Scriptures say: ‘There is no one who is righteous, no one who is wise or who worships God. All have turned away from God; they have all gone wrong: no one does what is right, not even one.  Their words are full of deadly deceit; wicked lies roll off their tongues, and dangerous threats, like snake’s poison, from their lips; their speech is filled with bitter curses. They are quick to hurt and kill; they leave ruin and destruction wherever they go. They have not known the path of peace, nor have they learned reverence for God.'” Romans 3:10-18, GNB

By the Law we all have sinned
“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:18-21, ESV

So all the world would become guilty (so God could save us!)
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:18-20, KJV

Purpose of the Law (to bring us to saving faith in Jesus)
Starting with the Ten Commandments given to Moses at Mt. Sinai, God’s Laws dictated how the people were to worship Him, resolve disputes, treat diseases, and all manner of domestic, business, and civil life. As the centuries unfolded the people obeyed The Law in varying degrees, at times very strictly, while at others hardly at all.  The problem was the people of Israel, with the exception of the prophets and a few Kings, did not have access to His Holy Spirit, and were for the most part unable to “keep the law”.  If you will follow with me all the way through, you will learn how God’s Laws are fulfilled today through Jesus Christ!

“We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who their father or mother or commit other murders.” 1 Timothy 1:8-9, NLT

“Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were places under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.” Galatians 3:23-25, NLT

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” Romans 8:1-8, ESV

Going all the way back to the tragic entry of sin through Adam and Eve, our world has been cursed, which is the real reason society is in such a sad state.

Some manifestations of sin,

Abortion
Alcohol and drug abuse
Disease and sickness
Death
Broken families and marriage
Depression
Dysfunctional / broken relationships
Anger
Murder
Wars and violence
etc… the list is never-ending 

So where does this leave us? The really bad news is every human being has sinned against God, and is deserving of eternal damnation and punishment for our disobedience and rebellion. Now is a good time to state categorically, I do not care if you do not believe me, for it is by God’s standard you will be judged, not mine. [To be precise, I care a lot about YOU, not your objections and arguments!]. 

Our secular world says God does not exist, and especially hates the name of Jesus Christ. Why? Because every human being is born with the capacity to connect with, and know God on an intimately personal, spiritual level, therefore we all intuitively know God is real yet most of us choose to rebel anyway, how very foolish.

Not one of us has an excuse to reject God’s existence
“So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all aspects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands: nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, For we also are His children.” Acts 17:22-28, NASB

Re-read and consider this passage of scripture until you fully understand what Paul is saying. Each of us by design (creation), has an inherent, in-born, in-dwelling knowledge of our Creator which cannot be expunged. Our choices are to respond positively to His message, or reject Him, knowing subconsciously God (He) exists. On judgment day, you will not be able to say, “Lord, I didn’t know!” Yes, you did know, and the consequences of rejecting Him will not be very pleasant.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20, ESV

“All of this proves that God’s judgment is just and as a result you will become worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. God will do what is right: he will bring suffering on those who make you suffer, and he will give relief to you who suffer and to us as well. He will do this when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven with his mighty angels, with a flaming fire, to punish those who reject God and who do not obey the Good News about our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and from his glorious might, when he comes on that Day to receive glory from all his people and honour from all who believe. You too will be among them, because you have believed the message we told you.” 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10, GNB

Please ask yourself honestly, why am I still making excuses?


  ~The Good News!! ~
GOD IS LOVE!


Now what we just learned seems like really, really bad news, and it certainly is. By ourselves none of us can resolve our inherent sin problem with God, and blessedly, a solution does exist! Regardless of anything we have said or done in the past, God loves every one of us because we are made in His image. However, God despises our sin, which keeps us from receiving His forgiveness and healing. 

Apart from God’s love and redemption, we are lost, destitute, and completely unable to save ourselves from eternal damnation. As a loving Father, God loves us so much and wants the very best for us, but He must deal with our sin problem first.

God loves each human being to the ultimate, maximum possible extent, so much so, the human mind is incapable of fully comprehending His love for us. “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting  love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee”. Jeremiah 31:3, KJV 

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,…” Ephesians 2:4, KJV 

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:8, KJVThe love God has for us is so intense and powerful, He is compelled to forgive us of our sins. However, we also know that God is perfectly just and must see our sin punished.


~ What is God to do? ~
THE DILEMMA


God’s infinite and perfect love for us compels Him to forgive us of our sins, while His perfect justice demands that sin be punished. What is God to do? Please understand that God would like everyone to be saved, so in 2 Peter 3:9 we read “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Now there is no dilemma with God, but this will help us to understand why we need a Saviour to rescue us from sin.

Plan C: God will search the Earth for a single righteous man to take the punishment for sin for all mankind. “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back:they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 53:2-3, KJV  

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” Isaiah 53:6, KJV

“All have sinned, come short of the glory of God.” Plan C dies on the table, since Scripture makes it plain no human being is without sin. Romans 3:23, KJV 

Plan B: God will come to Earth Himself and accept the punishment for our sins. This plan also dies because God is spirit and we are flesh, therefore it is impossible for Him to take our punishment for us – He (God) is of a different substance and form. Scripture is very clear about the Old Testament animal sacrifices being unable to take away sin. Again, animals are of a different type of flesh that humans. 

“But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Hebrews 10:3-4, KJV  

Plan A: This is THE Plan God established from the foundation of the world as the only way to forgive mankind, while at the same time satisfy His judgement against sin. See Genesis Chapter 3.

A miraculous conception
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto here, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of Salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And  behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of this father David. 

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered  and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:26-35, KJV 


~ Only One Way to Salvation ~
NO OTHER SAVIOUR THAN JESUS CHRIST


Unashamedly, I must tell you without reservation, the only way to be reconciled to God the Father is through His Son, Jesus Christ. The bible is absolutely clear the only way to salvation MUST, and IS only through Jesus Christ; there is NO other way! We cannot save ourselves through the world’s religions, man’s efforts, our good works, being a “good person”, through power, wealth, fame, money, doing kind deeds, attending church, and so on. Salvation is only obtainable as a free gift to anyone who comes to faith through Jesus. 

While living among us as a human, Jesus was tempted to sin just like everyone else, but did not. Because Jesus was absolutely sinless and had the form of both God and man, he was able to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Christianity is both inclusive, open to every human being, and exclusive, restricted to only those who believe and follow Jesus. Foretold by the prophet Isaiah centuries earlier, Jesus was to freely and willingly sacrifice Himself to save us from eternal damnation, and separation from His Father. 

You see, this was The Plan from eternity past, for God to offer Himself has a perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Our first reference in the bible is found in the book of Genesis, specifically Chapter 3, Verses 13-15. “And the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ So the LORD God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this, 
You are cursed more than all cattle, 
And more than every beast of the field; 
On your belly you shall go, 
And you shall eat dust 
All the days of your life. 
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise His heel.”

Jesus is our High Priest
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15, KJV

Jesus  alone is the Way
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6, KJV

“I am telling you the truth: those who hear my words and believe in him who sent me have eternal life. They will not be judged, but have already passed from death to life.” John 5:24, GNB

Salvation comes through Jesus alone
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12, KJV

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believed in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18, NLT

 Jesus paid the penalty for our sins
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own was; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5-6, KJV

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24, KJV

All have sinned, but are redeemed by His blood
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”  Romans 3:21-25, KJV 

Jesus rescued us from damnation
“May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to have your share of what God has reserved for his people in the kingdom of light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us safe into the kingdom of his dear Son, by whom we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven.” Colossians 1:11-14, GNB


~We are not Automatically Saved ~
A SINGULAR PROVISION


What we have just learned would appear to say that every person is automatically saved, however this is not exactly the case. Consider the following illustration. You and your family have planned a spectacular holiday at an exotic tropical resort. Finally, after months of planning and waiting the big day finally arrives. 

After checking in at the airport and clearing customs, the call for passengers to begin boarding is announced over the speaker system. Everyone heads down the final connecting ramp to the waiting aircraft and boards, but you hesitate to cross the threshold due to an intense fear of flying.

Certain you will be able to ease your fears and take that final step, you tell the family to find their seats and you will join them shortly. After a period of 20 minutes or so passes, the cabin crew closes the aircraft door leaving you shut out of your flight. By faith, your family members trusted the airplane manufacturer, the airline, flight crews, pilot and so forth, to safely deliver them to their destination. 

All you needed to do was take that step of faith and step onto the airplane, but you did not. Everything was prepared and ready for you, all parties had done their jobs correctly and you were ready to go. The final remaining but necessary step was to complete your part by getting on board, but failed to do so.

Just like this person who missed their flight because of their inaction to take the final step, anyone wishing to be saved from the fires of hell must consciously receive the promises of the Father through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross He paid the price for everyone’s sin, but to make it real you must make it personal. Let us look at another example to illustrate this vital point. 

You have contracted a lawyer to draw up your will to protect your loved ones when you die. Are the terms laid out in the will in force before you place your signature on the document? No. If you die before signing your will, its  terms and conditions are not enforceable and your family is left in a mess – your inaction has very real consequences.

A Thief on the Cross
“And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today, shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:36-43, KJV 

Both thieves freely admitted they were sinners and deserving of death. At some point one of them was moved to acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Could this man have saved himself? No, he was utterly incapable of doing anything to change his situation. Notice very carefully how after making a simple profession of faith, Jesus responded by assuring him he would go to heaven – he would be saved!


~ Faith comes by hearing the Gospel,
and
hearing by the Word of God~


Hear and believe the Gospel
“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:8-17, KJV

“And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15, KJV 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1, KJV

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6, KJV

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” James 1:17-20, KJV


~ Repent and be Baptized ~


Repent for the forgiveness of sin
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13-3, KJV

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19, KJV

“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou lamest, hath sent me, that thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose and was baptized.” Acts 9:17-20, KJV*Saul had earlier openly confessed Jesus as Lord on the road to Damascus. See Acts 9:3-9

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men, and brethren what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:36-38, KJV

Baptism commanded by Jesus Himself
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 27:19-20, KJV

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:15-16, KJV

“The the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understands thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 

And as they went on their way, they cam unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believes with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water. both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” Acts 8:29-38, KJV

Public confession
Another key aspect of true conversion is a PUBLIC CONFESSION OF JESUS CHRIST. Continuing in Verse 39 – “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”  Matthew 10:32-33, KJV


~ Abide in Jesus Christ ~


“So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.” Hebrews 5:5-10, KJV

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:21, KJV

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 10:22, KJV

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12, KJV

“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8, KJV 


 ~ Now is YOUR day of salvation, are YOU ready?~
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


Now that you have heard the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ, are you ready to take the next step? Great, this is wonderful news! If you are not quite yet, please continue reading as I have wrote some additional words of encouragement for you towards the end.

STEP #1 – YOU MUST ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR SIN BEFORE GOD
*You are ruined and lost because of sin.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23, KJV

“The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” Psalm 58:3, KJV

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 53:1-3, KJV

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:19, KJV

“But we are all as unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6, KJV


STEP #2 – YOU MUST REPENT OF YOUR SINS AGAINST GOD

* The first step towards healing the wounds.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19, KJV

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3, KJV

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9, KJV


STEP #3 –  YOU MUST RECEIVE HIS PROMISES BY FAITH
*Receiving the promises of God by faith alone.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1, KJV

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

“That is thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10, KJV

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13, KJV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16, KJV


STEP #4 – YOU MUST CONFESS THE NAME OF JESUS PUBLICLY
*Tell somebody how Jesus saved you!

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33, KJV

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”John 1:11-13, KJV

As soon as practicable and without unnecessary delay, you should be baptized as a public profession of your faith, and new life in Christ Jesus. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men, and brethren what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:36-38, KJV  

*This is important step and must not be neglected. Are we saved by baptism? No! However it was commanded by Jesus and practiced by the Apostles, so there is no valid scriptural reason for you not to be baptized. Trust me, it is a wonderful experience you will never forget!

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19, KJV



WHAT THE GOSPEL IS NOT



We have just read from Scripture what the Gospel IS, so now it is essential for us to clearly understand what it is NOT. This is critically important, for without a clear understanding of Scripture it is very easy for us to be led astray by others, both inside and outside of the “church”.  Biblical discernment is very important, for many churches, denominations, and assemblies have been infected with the doctrines of easy-believeism, prosperity teachings, evolutionary beliefs, and so on. This is very serious, and many, many otherwise well-meaning Christians have been deceived, and are teaching and preaching a distorted Gospel to their peril.

A)  The Gospel is not salvation by works
“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.”  Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV 

B)  The Gospel is not a feel-good message for our heart
“Who can understand the human heart? There is nothing else so deceitful; it is too sick to be healed. I, the LORD, search the minds and test the hearts of men. I treat each one according to the way he lives, according to what he does.”  Jeremiah 17:9-10, GNB

C)  The Gospel is not belief alone
“Do you believe that there is only one God? Good! The demons also believe – and tremble with fear.” James 2:19, GNB 

D)  The Gospel is not simply professing the name of Jesus Christ
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.” Matthew 7:21, NLT

E)  The Gospel is not subject to the opinions of men
“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.” Hebrews 1:1-2, NLT

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Timothy 3:16, KJV

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11, KJV

F)  The Gospel is not a “religion of man”
“Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them.'” John 14:23, GNB

“Jesus answered him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.” John 14:6, GNB

“For what me Father wants is that all who see the Son and believe in him should have eternal life. And I will raise them ti life on the last day.” John 6:40, GNB

G) The Gospel is not a “sinners prayer”
Sadly, many otherwise well-meaning Christians, Pastors, and Teachers have fallen for the lie of easy-believism, decisional evangelism, and so on. Essentially, their theology says all a sinner needs to do is invite Jesus into their heart and believe. Believe what, exactly? You must understand, a smattering of Gospel verses followed by a prayer will save no one, as I will attempt to illustrate below. 

This a misrepresentation of what THE TRUE GOSPEL is all about, and is a lie from hell. So, what dies this prayer look like? Although there are many variations, the typical prayer goes something like this – “I confess to God that I am a sinner. I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins in the cross and was raised back to life so that I could be made right with God. I now repent of my sins and receive and confess Him as my Saviour and Lord”.

There many books and on-line resources available on this history, implications, and dangers of the so-called “Sinners Prayer”, which you many find beneficial. The following was taken from Scriptures by the Gideons International in Canada, and is typical of what you will find elsewhere. *P.S. I love the ministry of the Gideons and applaud them for their efforts in evangelism and sharing God’s word.

Large Print New Testament – My Commitment
“I confess to God that I am a sinner. I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins in the cross and was raised back to life so that I could be made right with God. I now repent of my sins and receive and confess Him as my Saviour and Lord”.

New Life App – Making a Commitment 
“Pray to receive Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord. You can pray a prayer of your own or you can use this one: Father in heaven, I recognize that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I turn from my sin and everything I know is wrong in my life. Please forgive me for all my sins. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he died for my sins. Thank you. I now receive Jesus as my personal Saviour and Lord. I ask you to come into my heart by your Holy Spirit and give me eternal life. I commit my life fully to you. I want to live for you the rest of my life. I pray this in Jesus’ name. There is nothing magic in the words of the prayer. They simply reflect the attitude of your heart and express your deliberate decision to receive Christ as your Saviour and Lord. The important thing is your deliberate decision.”

Scriptural Evidence?
There is a total lack of scriptural evidence anyone prayed a “salvation prayer” to receive Jesus. This teaching is an invention of man and without Scriptural support. There is NO evidence in the New Testament of a prayer containing the words, “Saviour and Lord.” Specifically, where is the New Testament evidence for “inviting Jesus into my heart”?

The Unsaved cannot come to God
Since no man can confess Jesus as Lord unless he is called (drawn) by the Father, it is scripturally impossible to accept the phrase, “I confess to God that I am a sinner”,  without having heard the complete Gospel and repented first. Based upon the presented verses, does a lost person completely understand what sin is, and their need for a Saviour? We do not invite Jesus into our hearts, both He and the Father will come to us if, we love Him. An unconverted person cannot call the Father, “Father”! They are still lost in their sin and separated from God.

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” – John 14: 21, KJV

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”  John 14:23, KJV 

We cannot come to God on our own without first having ‘learned of the Father’. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up on the last day. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” John 6:44-45, KJV

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:6-8, KJV

Prayers of Sinners?
No scriptural evidence God hears (responds) to prayers of the unsaved. We must first be saved and worshipping God. “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doth his will, him, he hearth.” John 9:31, KJV

Repentance?
Barely a mention of repentance, which is repeated over and over in the New Testament – repent, repent, repent!

Baptism?
Why is this missing when scripture consistently upholds it? ‘Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins..’  “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16, KJV 

Abiding in Christ?
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:21, KJV

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23 , KJV

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
John 15:5-6, KJV – Scripture says we do not invite Jesus into our heart; He comes to us when we love Him. How can a sinner receive Jesus without first loving Him?

Does the lost person understand what “commit my life fully to you” means? Where is this thoroughly expounded upon? The sinners prayer makes no mention of continually abiding in Jesus, keeping His commandments, and living a holy life. What is the fate of those not abiding and enduring in Christ? Eternal damnation in hell.

Salvation is a work of God and not ourselves
There is nothing we can do to earn eternal life, it is completely a gift from God. “He was in he world, and the world knew him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:10-14, KJV

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6, KJV

The NLT translates v12-13 as, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn – not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” John is writing to make clear the spiritual birth of the converted is solely and singularly a work of God, and not of ourselves. Therefore, I must conclude the sinners prayer makes salvation a work of man, robbing Christ of His redemptive role saving sinners.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

We are saved by grace and not through a sinners prayer confession, the spiritually dead cannot make themselves undead. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins”. Ephesians 2:1, KJV



CONCLUDING THOUGHTS



Well, I have done my very best to convey the key points and essence of the Christian Gospel. If you are not quite ready or perhaps answered, ‘not yet’, please understand our LORD is merciful and will never give up on you. This is an incredibly important decision which cannot be made lightly or in haste. We are told in the New Testament each one of us has a singular opportunity to repent, and turn to God for our salvation – Hebrews 9:27. Following our physical death this opportunity is lost, and our eternal fate determined. This is not a joke, or something to be casually brushed off, as the consequences for those unsaved by the blood of Jesus is eternal damnation in hell.

Although outside of the parameters of our discussion here, there is plenty of evidence in Scripture about the infinite mercies of God, and He alone is righteous and qualified to judge the hearts and actions of men. Yes, there have been, and will always be people who have not had the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel while in this life. I firmly believe God addresses this in Scripture, and am not concerned they will not be given an opportunity to respond. Remember it is not our job to judge others as this is His responsibility, and His alone. God knows what He is doing, so we must leave all things in His loving and eternal hands. God is always merciful and just, He will do what is right according to His nature.

So here is the critical question you must ask yourself, “Am I ready to repent of my sins and commit my life to following Jesus Christ”? If you honestly answered ‘yes’ to this, congratulations, you are ready to follow the biblical method of salvation outlined above. If perhaps your answer is ‘no’, or ‘not yet’, please understand clearly the position you may find yourself in, should you suddenly pass away. Think about this very seriously, as of your own efforts, can do nothing to change your eternal status (heaven or hell) outside of this life. When we study the New Testament examples of people being converted, the overall general pattern is always the same.

Hear the Gospel.
Believe the Gospel by faith.
Repentance.
Confess Jesus publicly / Baptism.

Upon hearing the Good News of the Gospel, people responded straight away and without delay. They wanted to receive salvation and forgiveness, because they were convicted by the Spirit, and understood their need of a Saviour, Jesus Christ. In our confused modern world, wherein society has largely rejected Jesus, no, hates His Blessed and Holy Name. I know this may be very difficult to accept and seem “unfair”, but most people will reject Jesus, choosing instead to trust their abilities, wealth, possessions, or whatever; they will NOT save your soul. You are not a good person and have sinned against Almighty God. You must accept this fact in order to be healed by His shed blood – there is no other way.

Unless you come to God in humility and heart-felt repentance, trusting is Jesus alone, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I am sorry if this seems harsh or unfair, but it is truthful. As I said earlier, a delay in taking action is understandable, but very dangerous (I believe inaction or indecisiveness is the same as saying ‘no’). Further, we must not come to Jesus Christ simply out of a fear of hell. Remember, God knows our hearts and cannot be fooled, He knows us intimately, our thoughts, or actions, and everything about us. He wants us to love and cherish Him, follow Him, submit to Him, trust everything to Him, praise His Name, confess Him, and surrender all things to Him. This is the relationship our Father wants with us, to be one with us, abiding with us in a personal, intimate, Father-child relationship. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to the true Gospel Message. God loves you and wants to be with you for eternity, so what will you do now?

God bless,

The REAL Gospel Message

 Dear Friend,

Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with us, my hope is you will come away with a clear, and fuller understanding of exactly what the Gospel Message is, and more importantly, is not. For anyone seeking to learn about the life and good news message of Jesus Christ, it is essential to have a solid grasp of some basic biblical background and terminology, which I have done my very best to outline for you below.

If you are looking for God or perhaps do not believe in God, searching, and so forth, I am so glad you came across our site and hope you will be blessed. While the discussion of Creation and Evolution will not be directly addressed here, I will ask you to at least acknowledge the possibility of God existing, so as to have a point from which to build from. Can we agree to this? May I ask you a simple question? Do you have absolute complete and total knowledge of everything in the universe? In other words, do you know everything which can be known? If not, how can you be certain God does not exist when you do not know everything yourself? As I will bring out a bit later, God has implanted knowledge of Himself within each one of us, so really, there is no basis upon which to deny His existence. Before we get started please know this; God knows you, loves you, and only wants what is best for YOU. A steadfast denial of Him does not change the fact of His existence, just the same as a denial of gravity does not change the certainty of its existence.

What follows is an imperfect discussion of the Gospel,  although I have done my best to convey this wonderful message of hope, redemption, and forgiveness. Take heart dear reader, if you are truly and honestly seeking God, He has promised to reveal Himself to you, and is not far from you. The fullness and riches of Jesus Christ cannot be approached on an intellectual, academic level; rather must be received by faith alone. My friend, we are not talking about normal, rational things, but those of the spirit, which cannot be seen. Please do not try to place limits in your mind of who or what God is; He is God, and MUST be approached on His terms, not ours! Yes, you can “know” Him, but only through His Son, Jesus Christ.

A BIG IMPORTANT WARNING – The GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST is very dangerous, with the power to bring radical and unforeseen changes in your life, which you cannot understand or predict. The Gospel is sharper than the sharpest sword, and more destructive than the most powerful atomic weapon. Once unleashed it cannot be stopped by any force on earth or in hell, seen or unseen. If you are willing and able to receive the Gospel as presented, your life will be radically and dramatically changed, as He seeks to accomplish His will in, and through your life. You must not respond to the Gospel simply out of a fear of hell, although, yes, this is a part of the message. Rather, salvation, redemption, and true peace, comes when we totally and irrevocably surrender ourselves to Him. The Scripture quotations herein are His (God’s) words, not mine, so your arguments and disagreements are not with me, but with God Himself. Are you ready?

In the Beginning…
God created a perfect universe including the stars, planets, and all life on the Earth. You can read all about it in the first chapters of Genesis in the Bible, which is literally a book of origins. If you are unfamiliar with the Bible, your worldview is very likely an evolutionary one. Once again and for the sake of our discussion today, can you admit the possibility of the existence of God, so we can have a common starting point? Although it is beyond the scope of this article to specifically discuss the fallacy and impossibility of evolution, both biological and inorganic, I will provide some items for further thought a bit later on, sound ok? See Genesis 1-2.

A Tragedy
God warned Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, however they could eat freely from everything else in the Garden of Eden. What you need to understand right now, is God gave both Adam and Eve, and their descendants free choice on whether or not to obey Him. Could Almighty God have forced them to obey Him or taken away their conscious free choice? Yes, of course, however this would not be characteristic of a true loving relationship, would it? In the 3rd chapter of Genesis we read the sad story of disobedience on the part of Adam and Eve, who opened the door for sin to pollute God’s perfect and sinless creation. “Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned.” Romans 5:12, GNB. 

This was the moment, the EXACT moment when everything went horribly wrong, from which time forward, God and mankind were separated and unreconciled. Blessedly, God understood this from the beginning of time, so He carefully put an intricate plan in motion for us to be redeemed through His Son, Jesus Christ – now this, is THE GOOD NEWS!! Read this story for yourself in Genesis 3, and Romans 5.



THE BIBLICAL METHOD OF SALVATION



“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9, KJV

The true Gospel may be likened to a lock which may only be opened when using a specific key; any changes to which will render it useless and the lock remains closed. The Gospel is very specific and cannot, must NOT, ever, ever, be changed or altered in any way. A careful search of the Scriptures leads one to conclude the core essentials of the Gospel include, faith, belief, repentance, sin, confession, and baptism, all of which will be thoroughly discussed.

Some biblical terminology

Faith – “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1, NLT. Expressed another way, faith is the “belief” in things which cannot be seen, touched, or experienced with our normal physical senses. *Although very similar, biblically, “faith” and “belief” are not the same thing. Perhaps, we could describe faith as “belief on a deeper and more personal level”?

Sin – Any action or thought, unintentional or deliberate which is contrary to God’s Law. Refer to the Ten Commandments.

Repentance – Confessing and turning away from sin is the first step toward receiving God’s forgiveness. *This means much more than simply saying we are sorry, rather is an “intentional change in direction”.

*Unless noted otherwise, scripture notations are from the King James Version. You may also wish to read our earlier post on Bible Versions, at http://www.learnthebible.ca

NASB – New American Standard Version
NLT – New Living Translation
NKJV – New King James Version
KJV – King James Version
GNB – Good News Bible
ESV – English Standard Version


~ The Bad News ~
GOD’S STANDARD OF PERFECTION


To “look good” in God’s eyes, you must never ever have sinned, not even one time! God’s laws are essentially summarized in the “Ten Commandments”; Thou shalt not murder, Thou shalt not lie, and so on. The two most important characteristics about God we must understand in order to comprehend the Gospel, are that God is both loving and just at the same time. In order for us to be saved by our own “goodness” and abilities, it is necessary for us never to have sinned. God’s perfect justice demands and requires sin to be punished.

God’s Laws are encompassed within the Ten Commandments, namely;

  1. Have no other gods before Me.
  2. Do not make idols of anything.
  3. Do not misuse or take in vain, the name of the LORD.
  4. Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and mother.
  6. Do not murder.
  7. Do not commit adultery.
  8. Do not steal.
  9. Do not lie.
  10. Do not covet. Exodus 20:1-17

Jesus further expounds on the commandments in the following verses. 

Angry thoughts = Murder
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” Matthew 5:21-22, NLT

Lusting = Adultery
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28, NLT

Dear reader, do you understand what Jesus is saying? God’s laws and standards are absolutely 100% true, and demands perfect adherence to avoid falling into sin. Therefore, being angry with another person, even one time, is sufficient to break His commandment, and condemn you for sinning against a Holy and Just God. Please understand, sin is evil, it is corrosive, suffocating and consuming everything it touches, whether it be the earth itself, or your eternal soul. All things are affected by it, groaning under its insidious effects. You cannot escape it, outrun it, outsmart it, hide from it, or take shelter from it. It is pervasive, all-consuming, destroys flesh, matter, and soul alike, and cannot be defeated by your efforts. 

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Romans 8:22, KJV; the NLT translates this verse as,”For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” 

Breaking one Commandment breaks them all!
“Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ But if you favour some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. For the person who keeps all of the law except one is guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, ‘You must not murder.’ So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.” James 2:8-11, NLT

Oh dear, if we break any of God’s laws, even one time, we are doomed! And you thought you were having good day today! Take heart my friend, there is real HOPE for you and I so do not despair; keep reading!

Read this Psalm SLOWLY at least twice all the way through
“Only fools say in their hearts,
There is no God.
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!

The LORD looks down from heaven on the entire human race;
he looks to see of anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.

But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt.
No one does good, not a single one!

Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread
and wouldn’t think of praying to the LORD.

Terror will grip them, for God is with those who obey him.

The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed, but the LORD will protect his people.” Psalm 14:1-6, NLT

I have one, and only one question; are you included in the “all“? If so, please answer honestly in your heart; will the LORD protect me? Do you belong to the Lord? How do you know?

Every person has sinned – there are NO exceptions!
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10, KJV 

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23, KJV

“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23, KJV

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 53:1-3, KJV

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12, KJV

No one is righteous
“As the Scriptures say: ‘There is no one who is righteous, no one who is wise or who worships God. All have turned away from God; they have all gone wrong: no one does what is right, not even one.  Their words are full of deadly deceit; wicked lies roll off their tongues, and dangerous threats, like snake’s poison, from their lips; their speech is filled with bitter curses. They are quick to hurt and kill; they leave ruin and destruction wherever they go. They have not known the path of peace, nor have they learned reverence for God.'” Romans 3:10-18, GNB

By the Law we all have sinned
“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:18-21, ESV

So all the world would become guilty (so God could save us!)
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:18-20, KJV

Purpose of the Law (to bring us to saving faith in Jesus)
Starting with the Ten Commandments given to Moses at Mt. Sinai, God’s Laws dictated how the people were to worship Him, resolve disputes, treat diseases, and all manner of domestic, business, and civil life. As the centuries unfolded the people obeyed The Law in varying degrees, at times very strictly, while at others hardly at all.  The problem was the people of Israel, with the exception of the prophets and a few Kings, did not have access to His Holy Spirit, and were for the most part unable to “keep the law”.  If you will follow with me all the way through, you will learn how God’s Laws are fulfilled today through Jesus Christ!

“We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who their father or mother or commit other murders.” 1 Timothy 1:8-9, NLT

“Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were places under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.” Galatians 3:23-25, NLT

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” Romans 8:1-8, ESV

Going all the way back to the tragic entry of sin through Adam and Eve, our world has been cursed, which is the real reason society is in such a sad state.

Some manifestations of sin,

Abortion
Alcohol and drug abuse
Disease and sickness
Death
Broken families and marriage
Depression
Dysfunctional / broken relationships
Anger
Murder
Wars and violence
etc… the list is never-ending 

So where does this leave us? The really bad news is every human being has sinned against God, and is deserving of eternal damnation and punishment for our disobedience and rebellion. Now is a good time to state categorically, I do not care if you do not believe me, for it is by God’s standard you will be judged, not mine. [To be precise, I care a lot about YOU, not your objections and arguments!]. 

Our secular world says God does not exist, and especially hates the name of Jesus Christ. Why? Because every human being is born with the capacity to connect with, and know God on an intimately personal, spiritual level, therefore we all intuitively know God is real yet most of us choose to rebel anyway, how very foolish.

Not one of us has an excuse to reject God’s existence
“So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all aspects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands: nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, For we also are His children.” Acts 17:22-28, NASB

Re-read and consider this passage of scripture until you fully understand what Paul is saying. Each of us by design (creation), has an inherent, in-born, in-dwelling knowledge of our Creator which cannot be expunged. Our choices are to respond positively to His message, or reject Him, knowing subconsciously God (He) exists. On judgment day, you will not be able to say, “Lord, I didn’t know!” Yes, you did know, and the consequences of rejecting Him will not be very pleasant.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20, ESV

“All of this proves that God’s judgment is just and as a result you will become worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. God will do what is right: he will bring suffering on those who make you suffer, and he will give relief to you who suffer and to us as well. He will do this when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven with his mighty angels, with a flaming fire, to punish those who reject God and who do not obey the Good News about our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and from his glorious might, when he comes on that Day to receive glory from all his people and honour from all who believe. You too will be among them, because you have believed the message we told you.” 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10, GNB

Please ask yourself honestly, why am I still making excuses?


  ~The Good News!! ~
GOD IS LOVE!


Now what we just learned seems like really, really bad news, and it certainly is. By ourselves none of us can resolve our inherent sin problem with God, and blessedly, a solution does exist! Regardless of anything we have said or done in the past, God loves every one of us because we are made in His image. However, God despises our sin, which keeps us from receiving His forgiveness and healing. 

Apart from God’s love and redemption, we are lost, destitute, and completely unable to save ourselves from eternal damnation. As a loving Father, God loves us so much and wants the very best for us, but He must deal with our sin problem first.

God loves each human being to the ultimate, maximum possible extent, so much so, the human mind is incapable of fully comprehending His love for us. “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting  love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee”. Jeremiah 31:3, KJV 

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,…” Ephesians 2:4, KJV 

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:8, KJVThe love God has for us is so intense and powerful, He is compelled to forgive us of our sins. However, we also know that God is perfectly just and must see our sin punished.


~ What is God to do? ~
THE DILEMMA


God’s infinite and perfect love for us compels Him to forgive us of our sins, while His perfect justice demands that sin be punished. What is God to do? Please understand that God would like everyone to be saved, so in 2 Peter 3:9 we read “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Now there is no dilemma with God, but this will help us to understand why we need a Saviour to rescue us from sin.

Plan C: God will search the Earth for a single righteous man to take the punishment for sin for all mankind. “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back:they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 53:2-3, KJV  

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” Isaiah 53:6, KJV

“All have sinned, come short of the glory of God.” Plan C dies on the table, since Scripture makes it plain no human being is without sin. Romans 3:23, KJV 

Plan B: God will come to Earth Himself and accept the punishment for our sins. This plan also dies because God is spirit and we are flesh, therefore it is impossible for Him to take our punishment for us – He (God) is of a different substance and form. Scripture is very clear about the Old Testament animal sacrifices being unable to take away sin. Again, animals are of a different type of flesh that humans. 

“But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Hebrews 10:3-4, KJV  

Plan A: This is THE Plan God established from the foundation of the world as the only way to forgive mankind, while at the same time satisfy His judgement against sin. See Genesis Chapter 3.

A miraculous conception
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto here, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of Salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And  behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of this father David. 

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered  and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:26-35, KJV 


~ Only One Way to Salvation ~
NO OTHER SAVIOUR THAN JESUS CHRIST


Unashamedly, I must tell you without reservation, the only way to be reconciled to God the Father is through His Son, Jesus Christ. The bible is absolutely clear the only way to salvation MUST, and IS only through Jesus Christ; there is NO other way! We cannot save ourselves through the world’s religions, man’s efforts, our good works, being a “good person”, through power, wealth, fame, money, doing kind deeds, attending church, and so on. Salvation is only obtainable as a free gift to anyone who comes to faith through Jesus. 

While living among us as a human, Jesus was tempted to sin just like everyone else, but did not. Because Jesus was absolutely sinless and had the form of both God and man, he was able to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Christianity is both inclusive, open to every human being, and exclusive, restricted to only those who believe and follow Jesus. Foretold by the prophet Isaiah centuries earlier, Jesus was to freely and willingly sacrifice Himself to save us from eternal damnation, and separation from His Father. 

You see, this was The Plan from eternity past, for God to offer Himself has a perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Our first reference in the bible is found in the book of Genesis, specifically Chapter 3, Verses 13-15. “And the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ So the LORD God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this, 
You are cursed more than all cattle, 
And more than every beast of the field; 
On your belly you shall go, 
And you shall eat dust 
All the days of your life. 
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise His heel.”

Jesus is our High Priest
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15, KJV

Jesus  alone is the Way
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6, KJV

“I am telling you the truth: those who hear my words and believe in him who sent me have eternal life. They will not be judged, but have already passed from death to life.” John 5:24, GNB

Salvation comes through Jesus alone
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12, KJV

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believed in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18, NLT

 Jesus paid the penalty for our sins
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own was; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5-6, KJV

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24, KJV

All have sinned, but are redeemed by His blood
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”  Romans 3:21-25, KJV 

Jesus rescued us from damnation
“May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to have your share of what God has reserved for his people in the kingdom of light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us safe into the kingdom of his dear Son, by whom we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven.” Colossians 1:11-14, GNB


~We are not Automatically Saved ~
A SINGULAR PROVISION


What we have just learned would appear to say that every person is automatically saved, however this is not exactly the case. Consider the following illustration. You and your family have planned a spectacular holiday at an exotic tropical resort. Finally, after months of planning and waiting the big day finally arrives. 

After checking in at the airport and clearing customs, the call for passengers to begin boarding is announced over the speaker system. Everyone heads down the final connecting ramp to the waiting aircraft and boards, but you hesitate to cross the threshold due to an intense fear of flying.

Certain you will be able to ease your fears and take that final step, you tell the family to find their seats and you will join them shortly. After a period of 20 minutes or so passes, the cabin crew closes the aircraft door leaving you shut out of your flight. By faith, your family members trusted the airplane manufacturer, the airline, flight crews, pilot and so forth, to safely deliver them to their destination. 

All you needed to do was take that step of faith and step onto the airplane, but you did not. Everything was prepared and ready for you, all parties had done their jobs correctly and you were ready to go. The final remaining but necessary step was to complete your part by getting on board, but failed to do so.

Just like this person who missed their flight because of their inaction to take the final step, anyone wishing to be saved from the fires of hell must consciously receive the promises of the Father through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross He paid the price for everyone’s sin, but to make it real you must make it personal. Let us look at another example to illustrate this vital point. 

You have contracted a lawyer to draw up your will to protect your loved ones when you die. Are the terms laid out in the will in force before you place your signature on the document? No. If you die before signing your will, its  terms and conditions are not enforceable and your family is left in a mess – your inaction has very real consequences.

A Thief on the Cross
“And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today, shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:36-43, KJV 

Both thieves freely admitted they were sinners and deserving of death. At some point one of them was moved to acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Could this man have saved himself? No, he was utterly incapable of doing anything to change his situation. Notice very carefully how after making a simple profession of faith, Jesus responded by assuring him he would go to heaven – he would be saved!


~ Faith comes by hearing the Gospel,
and
hearing by the Word of God~


Hear and believe the Gospel
“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:8-17, KJV

“And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15, KJV 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1, KJV

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6, KJV

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” James 1:17-20, KJV


~ Repent and be Baptized ~


Repent for the forgiveness of sin
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13-3, KJV

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19, KJV

“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou lamest, hath sent me, that thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose and was baptized.” Acts 9:17-20, KJV*Saul had earlier openly confessed Jesus as Lord on the road to Damascus. See Acts 9:3-9

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men, and brethren what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:36-38, KJV

Baptism commanded by Jesus Himself
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 27:19-20, KJV

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:15-16, KJV

“The the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understands thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 

And as they went on their way, they cam unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believes with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water. both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” Acts 8:29-38, KJV

Public confession
Another key aspect of true conversion is a PUBLIC CONFESSION OF JESUS CHRIST. Continuing in Verse 39 – “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”  Matthew 10:32-33, KJV


~ Abide in Jesus Christ ~


“So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.” Hebrews 5:5-10, KJV

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:21, KJV

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 10:22, KJV

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12, KJV

“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8, KJV 


 ~ Now is YOUR day of salvation, are YOU ready?~
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


Now that you have heard the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ, are you ready to take the next step? Great, this is wonderful news! If you are not quite yet, please continue reading as I have wrote some additional words of encouragement for you towards the end.

STEP #1 – YOU MUST ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR SIN BEFORE GOD
*You are ruined and lost because of sin.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23, KJV

“The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” Psalm 58:3, KJV

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 53:1-3, KJV

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:19, KJV

“But we are all as unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6, KJV


STEP #2 – YOU MUST REPENT OF YOUR SINS AGAINST GOD

* The first step towards healing the wounds.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19, KJV

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3, KJV

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9, KJV


STEP #3 –  YOU MUST RECEIVE HIS PROMISES BY FAITH
*Receiving the promises of God by faith alone.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1, KJV

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

“That is thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10, KJV

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13, KJV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16, KJV


STEP #4 – YOU MUST CONFESS THE NAME OF JESUS PUBLICLY
*Tell somebody how Jesus saved you!

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33, KJV

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”John 1:11-13, KJV

As soon as practicable and without unnecessary delay, you should be baptized as a public profession of your faith, and new life in Christ Jesus. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men, and brethren what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:36-38, KJV  

*This is important step and must not be neglected. Are we saved by baptism? No! However it was commanded by Jesus and practiced by the Apostles, so there is no valid scriptural reason for you not to be baptized. Trust me, it is a wonderful experience you will never forget!

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19, KJV



WHAT THE GOSPEL IS NOT



We have just read from Scripture what the Gospel IS, so now it is essential for us to clearly understand what it is NOT. This is critically important, for without a clear understanding of Scripture it is very easy for us to be led astray by others, both inside and outside of the “church”.  Biblical discernment is very important, for many churches, denominations, and assemblies have been infected with the doctrines of easy-believeism, prosperity teachings, evolutionary beliefs, and so on. This is very serious, and many, many otherwise well-meaning Christians have been deceived, and are teaching and preaching a distorted Gospel to their peril.

A)  The Gospel is not salvation by works
“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.”  Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV 

B)  The Gospel is not a feel-good message for our heart
“Who can understand the human heart? There is nothing else so deceitful; it is too sick to be healed. I, the LORD, search the minds and test the hearts of men. I treat each one according to the way he lives, according to what he does.”  Jeremiah 17:9-10, GNB

C)  The Gospel is not belief alone
“Do you believe that there is only one God? Good! The demons also believe – and tremble with fear.” James 2:19, GNB 

D)  The Gospel is not simply professing the name of Jesus Christ
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.” Matthew 7:21, NLT

E)  The Gospel is not subject to the opinions of men
“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.” Hebrews 1:1-2, NLT

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Timothy 3:16, KJV

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11, KJV

F)  The Gospel is not a “religion of man”
“Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them.'” John 14:23, GNB

“Jesus answered him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.” John 14:6, GNB

“For what me Father wants is that all who see the Son and believe in him should have eternal life. And I will raise them ti life on the last day.” John 6:40, GNB

G) The Gospel is not a “sinners prayer”
Sadly, many otherwise well-meaning Christians, Pastors, and Teachers have fallen for the lie of easy-believism, decisional evangelism, and so on. Essentially, their theology says all a sinner needs to do is invite Jesus into their heart and believe. Believe what, exactly? You must understand, a smattering of Gospel verses followed by a prayer will save no one, as I will attempt to illustrate below. 

This a misrepresentation of what THE TRUE GOSPEL is all about, and is a lie from hell. So, what dies this prayer look like? Although there are many variations, the typical prayer goes something like this – “I confess to God that I am a sinner. I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins in the cross and was raised back to life so that I could be made right with God. I now repent of my sins and receive and confess Him as my Saviour and Lord”.

There many books and on-line resources available on this history, implications, and dangers of the so-called “Sinners Prayer”, which you many find beneficial. The following was taken from Scriptures by the Gideons International in Canada, and is typical of what you will find elsewhere. *P.S. I love the ministry of the Gideons and applaud them for their efforts in evangelism and sharing God’s word.

Large Print New Testament – My Commitment
“I confess to God that I am a sinner. I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins in the cross and was raised back to life so that I could be made right with God. I now repent of my sins and receive and confess Him as my Saviour and Lord”.

New Life App – Making a Commitment 
“Pray to receive Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord. You can pray a prayer of your own or you can use this one: Father in heaven, I recognize that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I turn from my sin and everything I know is wrong in my life. Please forgive me for all my sins. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he died for my sins. Thank you. I now receive Jesus as my personal Saviour and Lord. I ask you to come into my heart by your Holy Spirit and give me eternal life. I commit my life fully to you. I want to live for you the rest of my life. I pray this in Jesus’ name. There is nothing magic in the words of the prayer. They simply reflect the attitude of your heart and express your deliberate decision to receive Christ as your Saviour and Lord. The important thing is your deliberate decision.”

Scriptural Evidence?
There is a total lack of scriptural evidence anyone prayed a “salvation prayer” to receive Jesus. This teaching is an invention of man and without Scriptural support. There is NO evidence in the New Testament of a prayer containing the words, “Saviour and Lord.” Specifically, where is the New Testament evidence for “inviting Jesus into my heart”?

The Unsaved cannot come to God
Since no man can confess Jesus as Lord unless he is called (drawn) by the Father, it is scripturally impossible to accept the phrase, “I confess to God that I am a sinner”,  without having heard the complete Gospel and repented first. Based upon the presented verses, does a lost person completely understand what sin is, and their need for a Saviour? We do not invite Jesus into our hearts, both He and the Father will come to us if, we love Him. An unconverted person cannot call the Father, “Father”! They are still lost in their sin and separated from God.

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” – John 14: 21, KJV

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”  John 14:23, KJV 

We cannot come to God on our own without first having ‘learned of the Father’. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up on the last day. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” John 6:44-45, KJV

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:6-8, KJV

Prayers of Sinners?
No scriptural evidence God hears (responds) to prayers of the unsaved. We must first be saved and worshipping God. “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doth his will, him, he hearth.” John 9:31, KJV

Repentance?
Barely a mention of repentance, which is repeated over and over in the New Testament – repent, repent, repent!

Baptism?
Why is this missing when scripture consistently upholds it? ‘Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins..’  “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16, KJV 

Abiding in Christ?
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:21, KJV

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23 , KJV

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
John 15:5-6, KJV – Scripture says we do not invite Jesus into our heart; He comes to us when we love Him. How can a sinner receive Jesus without first loving Him?

Does the lost person understand what “commit my life fully to you” means? Where is this thoroughly expounded upon? The sinners prayer makes no mention of continually abiding in Jesus, keeping His commandments, and living a holy life. What is the fate of those not abiding and enduring in Christ? Eternal damnation in hell.

Salvation is a work of God and not ourselves
There is nothing we can do to earn eternal life, it is completely a gift from God. “He was in he world, and the world knew him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:10-14, KJV

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6, KJV

The NLT translates v12-13 as, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn – not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” John is writing to make clear the spiritual birth of the converted is solely and singularly a work of God, and not of ourselves. Therefore, I must conclude the sinners prayer makes salvation a work of man, robbing Christ of His redemptive role saving sinners.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

We are saved by grace and not through a sinners prayer confession, the spiritually dead cannot make themselves undead. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins”. Ephesians 2:1, KJV



CONCLUDING THOUGHTS



Well, I have done my very best to convey the key points and essence of the Christian Gospel. If you are not quite ready or perhaps answered, ‘not yet’, please understand our LORD is merciful and will never give up on you. This is an incredibly important decision which cannot be made lightly or in haste. We are told in the New Testament each one of us has a singular opportunity to repent, and turn to God for our salvation – Hebrews 9:27. Following our physical death this opportunity is lost, and our eternal fate determined. This is not a joke, or something to be casually brushed off, as the consequences for those unsaved by the blood of Jesus is eternal damnation in hell.

Although outside of the parameters of our discussion here, there is plenty of evidence in Scripture about the infinite mercies of God, and He alone is righteous and qualified to judge the hearts and actions of men. Yes, there have been, and will always be people who have not had the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel while in this life. I firmly believe God addresses this in Scripture, and am not concerned they will not be given an opportunity to respond. Remember it is not our job to judge others as this is His responsibility, and His alone. God knows what He is doing, so we must leave all things in His loving and eternal hands. God is always merciful and just, He will do what is right according to His nature.

So here is the critical question you must ask yourself, “Am I ready to repent of my sins and commit my life to following Jesus Christ”? If you honestly answered ‘yes’ to this, congratulations, you are ready to follow the biblical method of salvation outlined above. If perhaps your answer is ‘no’, or ‘not yet’, please understand clearly the position you may find yourself in, should you suddenly pass away. Think about this very seriously, as of your own efforts, can do nothing to change your eternal status (heaven or hell) outside of this life. When we study the New Testament examples of people being converted, the overall general pattern is always the same.

Hear the Gospel.
Believe the Gospel by faith.
Repentance.
Confess Jesus publicly / Baptism.

Upon hearing the Good News of the Gospel, people responded straight away and without delay. They wanted to receive salvation and forgiveness, because they were convicted by the Spirit, and understood their need of a Saviour, Jesus Christ. In our confused modern world, wherein society has largely rejected Jesus, no, hates His Blessed and Holy Name. I know this may be very difficult to accept and seem “unfair”, but most people will reject Jesus, choosing instead to trust their abilities, wealth, possessions, or whatever; they will NOT save your soul. You are not a good person and have sinned against Almighty God. You must accept this fact in order to be healed by His shed blood – there is no other way.

Unless you come to God in humility and heart-felt repentance, trusting is Jesus alone, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I am sorry if this seems harsh or unfair, but it is truthful. As I said earlier, a delay in taking action is understandable, but very dangerous (I believe inaction or indecisiveness is the same as saying ‘no’). Further, we must not come to Jesus Christ simply out of a fear of hell. Remember, God knows our hearts and cannot be fooled, He knows us intimately, our thoughts, or actions, and everything about us. He wants us to love and cherish Him, follow Him, submit to Him, trust everything to Him, praise His Name, confess Him, and surrender all things to Him. This is the relationship our Father wants with us, to be one with us, abiding with us in a personal, intimate, Father-child relationship. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to the true Gospel Message. God loves you and wants to be with you for eternity, so what will you do now?

God bless,

Does God love me?

Absolutely, YES, God loves YOU! Isn’t it wonderful to know this? Our collective problem is that God does not “love” our sin, which is separate and distinct from Him loving “us”. You may perhaps be familiar with the phrase, “Love the sinner, hate the sin”. It is our sin addiction which keeps us from a personal, intimate, and loving relationship with our Creator. When Jesus Christ willingly sacrificed Himself upon the cross, He took upon His own body the entire sins of all humans, including yours. The Bible is absolutely clear that salvation is the free gift of God, which cannot be earned, it cannot be bought, and is available through no other name but Jesus. While you may feel lonely and unloved, God has already declared His perfect and unfailing love for you, His cherished and most precious creation.

God’s Everlasting Kindness  God’s love is absolute and unending.
“Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.”  (i)

“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.”  (ii)

“I shall mention of the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, According to all that the LORD has granted us, And the great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which He has granted them according to His compassion, And according to the abundance of His loving kindnesses.”  (iii)

Psalm 106:1 (i)
Psalm 118:1 (ii)
Isaiah 63:7, NASB (iii)

God is Faithful in His Love for Us – Jesus came into the world with the message of free forgiveness (grace).

“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in truth. But is we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”  (i) 

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”  (ii)

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments.”  (iii)

“Jesus replied, ‘All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.”  (iv)

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”   (v)

1 John 1:8-9  (i)
1 John 4:9-10  (ii)
1 John 5:1-2  (iii)
John 14:3  (iv)
Romans 8:38-28, NLT  (v)

Jesus died to Save Us from Sin You may receive the free gift of eternal life simply by asking Jesus to forgive your sins.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”  (i)

“The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believed in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”  (ii)

“For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,

The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.

There is salvation is no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”  (iii)

John 3:16-17  (i)
John 3:35-36  (ii)
Acts 4:11-12  (iii)

The Love of God brings Eternal Hope – All earthly hope in our money, health, employment, etc.. will ultimately fail; only the true hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ endures forever.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance – an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, purse and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”  (i)

“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchases our freedom and forgave our sins.”  (ii)

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But will eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must patiently and confidently).  (iii)

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”  (iv)

1 Peter 3-4  (i)
Colossians 1:13-14  (ii)
Romans 8:18-25  (iii)
Romans 5:1-4  (iv)

Pray to God for peace, forgiveness and hope. If you are truly sorry for committing sins against Him, and freely and wholeheartedly repent, God’s Word declares He will hear you and extend free forgiveness. If you have Bible, why not pick it up and start reading, what can it hurt? Should you not have a Bible, make it priority to obtain one today, His Word will change your present and future life – guaranteed!

Blessings,

 

Where is Your War Room?

Last Sunday evening, my wife and myself saw the new movie, War Room, which I easily give a 10/10 for it’s adherence to solid biblical teaching and doctrine. Time and time again in scripture, we see the results of dedicated, persistent prayer. Friends, prayer is our best, and only effective weapon against this world, who is being overrun by the Prince of Darkness, Satan. As Bible-believing Christians, we need to be on our knees in fervent prayer each and every day, crying out to God for intercession and healing.

The real ENEMY
Are you angry with your spouse? The real enemy is Satan.
Are you jealous of your neighbour? The real enemy is Satan.
Are you impatient? The real enemy is Satan.
Are you selfish? The real enemy is Satan.
Are you struggling with an addiction? The real enemy is Satan.
Are you full of pride? The real enemy is Satan.
Are you apt to hurt others by speaking sharp words? The real enemy is Satan.

Turning worries into prayer – “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”  Philippians 4:6

Prayer brings answers – “I cried out to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy mountain. O lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.” Psalm 3:4-6

Jesus prayed to His Father – “One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.” Luke 6:12

Do not cease praying – “So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Colossians 1:9

Pray for all people – “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by goodness and dignity.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Pray for endurance – “We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need.” Colossians 1:11

Pray without ceasing – “See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18

Pray early.
Pray always.
Pray for all things.
Pray with conviction.
Pray with confidence.
Pray with assurance.
Pray having faith.
Pray with your whole heart.
Pray, pray, pray. Pray with urgency – do it now!

Blessings,

*Scripture quotations from the New Living Translation.

The time for delay is over

I have a question for you. Are you a Christian? If the answer is yes, then are you living a full life for Jesus Christ as best you are able? When we come to Jesus in repentance and faith, Jesus says He wants all of us, not just part, but our entire being. The time for sitting on the sidelines is long past, what are you doing to share the Gospel in your community?

Jesus Christ Himself commands us to GO!!

Make disciples of all nations 
“Jesus came and told his disciples, I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20, NLT

Go and preach 
“As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go. But Jesus replied, Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head. He said to another person, Come, follow me. The man agreed, but he said, Lord, first let me return home and bury my father. But Jesus told him, Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”  Luke 9:57-20, NLT

Preach the good news
“So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.”  Acts 16:10, NLT

Preach Jesus is the Messiah 
“And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: Jesus is the Messiah.”  Acts 5:42, NLT

The Holy Spirit speaks! 
“For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness – timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.”  Acts 2:2-5, NLT

God does not expect you to “do it all” yourself, there are millions of Christians alive today who are called to spread the Gospel. However it is true how God gives each person certain spiritual gift(s) upon receiving the Holy Spirit, we are to use for His glory, to share the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ with others. See 1 Corinthians 12.

A sober warning
“Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.”  Galatians 1:8-9, NLT

Everyone going out to preach the Gospel Message, needs to know clearly in their heart and mind precisely what the Gospel is, and equally important, what is it not. Carefully read the warnings from Paul again, letting it sink down into your soul. If you intentionally preach a distorted Gospel, God says you will be cursed – take Paul’s admonition seriously!

The Gospel Message is NOT,

  • a promise of wealth and prosperity.
  • a guarantee of an easy, worry-free life.
  • dependent upon the opinions of sinful man.
  • negotiable, debatable, or changeable.
  • to make us feel good about ourselves.
  • for our glory.
  • to be altered to fit your personal opinion.
  • a works-based message of salvation.
  • an “all religions are equal” message.

Do NOT,

  • change the Gospel message in any way!!!
  • think you are big and important.
  • shift the focus and glory away from Jesus.
  • water down, dilute, alter, massage, twist, or do anything to change the Message – There is only ONE GOSPEL!
  • back down or shy away from preaching the truth, pray diligently for strength and guidance.
  • say, infer, imply, or lead people to anything other than the cross, and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel Message IS,

  • permanent, eternal, and everlasting.
  • all about Jesus Christ.
  • good news for everyone who hears, believes, and obeys.
  • salvation through faith alone.
  • about the virgin birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • finding forgiveness, redemption, and a new life through Jesus.
  • perfect, absolute, unchanging, non-negotiable, everlasting, eternal, holy, wonderful, and free!
  • the message of salvation through Christ alone.
  • our free “ticket” to heaven.
  • the only way to avoid eternal damnation in hell.

Now go! Be the hands of feet of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Using the abilities, gifts, and talents, God has given you, go unto all the world and share the Good News! Pray for guidance. Pray for instruction. Pray for strength. Pray for protection. Pray for the words to speak. Pray for humility. Above all else, pray. May God bless you!

 

Good Looks Can Save You

How to be saved

Come for a visit soon

 

 

Abortion vs Cecil the Lion

With all of the recent media coverage and public outrage over the killing of Cecil the lion I have a very simple question ask. Where are the public protests and media outcry over the millions of babies murdered at the hands of abortionists every year??? Nothing, zilch, zero. A society who devalues human life is totally and absolutely morally bankrupt. How much longer will God endure these wicked, daily abominations to His Holy Name? Woe to those who were perpetrated these heinous crimes against Almighty God, they will not escape the judgment of our LORD, JESUS CHRIST.

I did a quick internet search earlier today using the phrases, “killing Cecil the lion is wrong” (29,800,00 results) and “abortion is evil” (18,500,000 results). Unsurprisingly, there was a lot more traffic looking for information on the lion, Cecil. I guess innocent human lives are not as concerning.. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-4XjlUm31CNH8QprDAFUYmUUhTMwj_ABZvt6bFoqtqs/edit?usp=sharing

Although the bible does not use the word, “abortion”, directly, it is abundantly clear that God places a very high value on human life. Every human being is formed inside the womb in His image, so there is absolutely no difference between a newly-formed fetus, and a baby just delivered. God is involved directly and personally in the conception, development, and growth of every human being.

Behold, I formed thee
“Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet to the nations.”  Jeremiah 1:4-5, KJV

Covered in the womb
“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.”  Psalm 139:13, KJV

Knowest not the works of God
“As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.”  Ecclesiastes 11:5, KJV

Formed thee in the womb
“Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb,which will help thee…”  Isaiah 44:2, KJV, and also, “And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him…”  Isaiah 49:5, KJV

Folks, ABORTION = MURDER – those are the true facts, and says volumes about the moral state of our country and society. Do not be deluded into believing an unborn baby is not fully human, this is a lie of the devil. If God notices when a single sparrow dies, how much more does He notice when a helpless, innocent baby is killed? The eternal consequences to those who participate in, and support this “industry”, is not going to be very pretty.

 

Blessings,

 

Good Looks Can Save You

Come for a visit soon

 

 

Original Sin

Contained within the pages of Genesis, is the true account of how our world became cursed by sin. It is here we are told Adam and Eve first sinned against Almighty God, and how the fate of all humanity was decided on that day, 6000 years ago. Although the story has a tragic beginning, the ending is simply amazing and wonderful!! God in His unending mercy, sent His Son, Jesus Christ to be sacrificed on the cross for our sin, so we may once again have true and everlasting fellowship with Father and Son.

In The Garden Of Eden

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Indeed, has God said, You shall not eat from any tree of the garden? The woman said to the serpent, From the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die. The serpent said to the woman, You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, Where are you? He said, I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.

And he said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat? The man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate. Then the LORD God said to the woman, What is this you have done? And the woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I ate. The LORD God said to the serpent.

Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more then every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.

To the woman He said,
I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.

Then to Adam He said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat from it;
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust shall you return.

Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever – therefore the LORD God sent him out from the Garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”  Genesis 3:1-24, NASB
God’s original plan was for Adam, Eve, and their descendants to live forever together with Him in the Garden of Eden, in a perfect, pristine, sin-free world for eternity. God exists outside of time and space, and knew in advance they would disobey Him when He said, “Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”  Genesis 2:15-17,  NASB.

Did you get that? God said they would die if they ate from the forbidden tree, clearly implying they would live for ever if they obeyed! Well, the “serpent”, who represents Satan the Devil, a fallen angel who rebelled against God, knew God’s plan and decided to get Adam and Eve to disobey, thereby denying them the blessings of fellowship and eternal life God had promised.

BIG IMPORTANT WARNING – The devil, while very smart and crafty, really has a limited bag of tricks to ensare mankind, and uses the same old lies to tempt each of us – BEWARE! By planting doubt in their minds that God had not really meant what He said (GOD SAYS EXACTLY WHAT HE MEANS!), both Adam and Eve (please don’t get me started on who sinned first, it is irrelevant), disobeyed God’s commandment not to eat fruit from the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. It is at this precise moment in history when sin first entered into the world, caused by the disobedience of Adam and Eve against God. The consequences of their mistake continues to manifest itself today, such as,

Death
Disease
Sickness
Mental disorders
Broken families
Drug and alcohol addictions
Abortion
Murder
And on it goes…

You may not realize there are environmental effects as well,

Extreme cold and heat
Weeds – thistles, thorns, etc..
Poor soils, lack of nutrients
Etc..

Today, we have no concept of what a perfect sin-free world upheld by God’s power is like, as only Adam and Eve, before they sinned, experienced. Ever since that critical moment in time, the earth and it’s systems have been running down and decaying.  “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pain of childbirth together until now.”  Romans 8:18-22, NASB

All creation is decaying and suffering the effects of original sin. The root cause of every hurricane, earthquake, volcano, garden weed, and so forth, is caused by SIN.  Our world is NOT what God intended to create, and is being destroyed by the lasting and corrosive effects of sin. In actual fact, this earth, our world, is terminally ill and cannot be saved. During the soon-coming future judgment of mankind, our “beautiful world” will be utterly, completely, and absolutely destroyed by fire, and it is our fault. As in the days of Noah we have done wickedly in the eyes of God, and judgment upon us will not be restrained forever.

“They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They re being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed. But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.

Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God, and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.”  2 Peter 3,5-13, NLT  – (Emphasis added)

No amount of recycling efforts can truly clean up our world, it is beyond saving and ultimately temporal and worthless. While the Earth cannot be saved from judgment, YOU can be! You have one and only ONE choice, to repent of your sins and confess the name of Jesus Christ, asking for His forgiveness. Unless you willingly and freely do this with your whole heart, you will end up being tormented in hell for eternity.

The sin of one man allowed death through the door

“So you see, just as death came into the world through a man…”  1 Corinthians 15:21, NLT

“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.”  Romans 5:12, NLT

“For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one;…”  Romans 5:17, KJV


Showing death the door

~ Sin came through Adam ~ Romans 5:18, NLT
“Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new lives for everyone.”

~ The reign of sin is over! ~ Romans 8:3, NLT
“God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.”

~ Sting of death is no more! ~ 1 Corinthians 15:53-57, NLT
“For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory. O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 ~ Jesus takes away sin ~ John 1:29, KJV
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

~ Jesus bore our sins ~ 1 Peter 2:21-24, KJV
“For  even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.”

There you have it, the sad story of how sin gained entrance into our world, and what is in store for us. My hands are clean and my conscience is clear, I have told you the truth. What you do with this knowledge is up to you, please make the right choice; come to the feet of JESUS CHRIST today!! May God bless you.