Inherit Eternal Life

God so Loved the WorldWhy Do You Exist?

“God is love” 1 John 4:8b.  Love is a complex concept but I will discuss two attributes of love that greatly pertain to our creation.  One attribute of love is that it involves choice, without choice it is simply not love but a series of robotic mechanics.  Another important element to love is that it must have exchange; love involves more than one party; it involves both a giver and a receiver.  God created us because He is who He is.  He is love, and we are an outpouring of Him, created in His image; He is the giver and we are the receivers.  “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you visit him?”  Psalm 147:4.   God Almighty created us because it glorified Him to do so; our creation fits ideally within His attributes, He is love and we are an expression of His love.  “For I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yes, I have made him” Isaiah 43:7

And so, humanity was created to glorify God and to love Him forever. “…for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” Revelations 4:11.  “Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment'” Matthew 22:37,38.

Love Involves Choice

By any definition of love, the receiver must have the choice to love or not to love.   Unfortunately, humanity chose selfishness & enmity with God, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23.  God is absolutely righteous and perfect.  Would a righteous and perfect God permit evil, even if it’s only a little bit here or there?  He is absolutely righteous, utterly, beyond human comprehension, so much so that even “the heavens are not pure in His sight” Job 15:15.  Evil is such an abhorrence to Him that it is impossible for Him to even look upon it.

Gap ProblemAll Have Fallen Short of God’s Glory

Consider here your own evil.  Have you ever, even once, lied?  You have broken the 9th commandment.  Have you ever, even just once, desired longingly for something that someone else owned?  You have broken the 10th commandment.  If you think of yourself as a pretty decent human being, that is because you are comparing yourself to other human beings.  You are not seeing yourself as God sees you.  Jesus said “there is none good but one, and that is God” Mark 10:18.  And he calls His own disciples evil, “If you then, being evil….”  Luke 11:13.  You, along with all of humanity, stand condemned in His sight; being evil in comparison, and utterly unworthy of your holy Creator.

Try to count the stars.  Now try to count the number of times you have lied in your lifetime.  Both are uncountable, yet God “tells the number of the stars, and calls them all by name” Psalm 147:4, and as infinite His knowledge, so is His righteousness.  Anyone, including yourself, who says you aren’t so bad in God’s sight is not acknowledging God’s immeasurable knowledge, righteousness, and holiness.

God’s Courtroom

If you were in a courtroom, guilty as charged, you couldn’t say to the judge, “Hey, I’m really sorry. I know you’re a great guy so how about you just let me off this time?” What kind of a judge would be so unjust to simply let you go? A wicked one maybe, but God is good. Hebrews 9:22 says “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” Punishment is absolutely necessary for justice.

And don’t make the mistake of counting on your good behavior to get you into heaven.  What would that look like in the courtroom?  There you are, guilty as charged, and you plead with the judge, “Hey, you’re a good guy, and so I bet you’d be impressed that I just helped an old lady cross the street yesterday. Oh, and I give regularly to charity, judge, did you know that? Don’t you think my good outweighs my bad?”  A righteous judge would be offended if asked to overlook the crimes committed.  God Almighty is far more righteous than any earthly judge and His standards are exceedingly higher.  Justice is sure to come and we stand guilty as charged, all of us. “They are all under sin” Romans 3:9b.

JesusGod Made a Way For Reconciliation

And yet, God is love, full of grace and compassion.  He made a way!  Who loves more?  The one whose love is quickly returned, or the one whose love is consistently denied and yet continues in the pursuit?  And so it is with God, though we chose to deny His love, He chose greater love still.   Instead of leaving us to face our just punishment, God provided a way back to Him.  He chose to love His enemies (us) by offering His only Son as the punishment for our sin.  “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight” Col 1:21,22.  It was the only way, and though it hurt Him in ways which we could never comprehend, God chose it.

And here is the eternal wonder of the gospel.  God made a way to uphold both His own perfect righteousness as Judge who rights all wrongs, who cannot overlook sin, and, at the same time, provide remission of the charges against us.  This is why we fall on our knees in adoration, marveling at God Almighty; His love, His amazing grace, His compassion, His righteousness, His pain, His sacrifice, His goodness, His mercy, His meekness, His humility, His resourcefulness; Him.

Jesus Became Repulsive to God for Our Sakes!

As recorded in the Holy Scriptures, 2,000 years ago God humbled Himself by entering into His creation as one of us, a man called Jesus of Nazareth, and was tempted by Satan like man is, but lived a perfect, sinless life.  Though He did nothing but love others, man convicted Him and killed him by torture.   While he was being tortured by crucifixion, the unthinkable occurred.  He and the Father were separated.  The constant communion of the Trinity was broken because our sin, yours and mine, was smeared all over Christ; He became repulsive to God for our sakes!  He shed His blood for ours, paying our debt in full.  “For He made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”  2 Cor 5:21.  Eternal justice was accomplished on the cross at Calvary. “It is finished” John 19:30.  After His work on the cross, He rose bodily from the grave and ascended into heaven.  “Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” 1 Corin 15:20.

SolutionNo Other Name Under Heaven by Which Men Can be Saved

And this is why there is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved.  It is simply not about religion or being a good person.  I don’t care if you’re Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, or a boy scout, or a convict in a jail cell for that matter.  Salvation is offered to all who simply repent (turn from sin), and trust in this free gift of God, the blood of Christ that was shed at Calvary.  It is about Jesus clearing your account before a righteous Judge by serving your sentence for you.  He paid your fine and you can walk out of the courtroom, not only dismissed, but actually declared righteous.  Jesus sacrificed Himself by covering Himself in our vile behavior (our sin), and receiving God’s punishment for this vileness, so that He can present us as pure and blameless before God; God must see the blood sacrifice of Christ covering us if we want to pass as righteous on Judgement Day.  Jesus is the Gate; you can not come to the Father except by the Son because He was the only one who paid your fine.  “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

What Do You Need to Do to Go to Heaven?

Repent (turn from your sins) and Trust the risen Christ.  Both are done at once, in an instant, the moment we come to God in true faith and humility through prayer.  Prayer is simply speaking to God from your heart and can be done anytime and anywhere.

  • Repent: “He commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to Him”  Acts 17:30b.  Humble yourself before God by agreeing with Him that you have sinned grieviously against Him, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” James 4:6.   Ask God for the Holy Spirit, for He “will give the Holy Spirit to them who ask.” Luke 11:13b   This gift of the Spirit will light your path so you see plainly both the repugnance of sin, and the attraction of God, and your desire will change from yourself and your will, to Christ and His will.  Yield to the Spirit by letting go of your old ways; dethrone yourself and enthrone Christ.  Change your mind about your darling sins, see them as God sees them, “do not be conformed by this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Romans 12:2, and put on your new self, for Christ has purchased you at a great price, and He has made you a new creation.
  • Trust:  Stop trusting in your own goodness.  Instead live in thankfulness, indebted to God for His gift. “For you have been saved by grace, through faith, and this not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not by works, lest anyone should boast” Ephesians 2:8,9.   Trust in Christ alone, who paid your sin-debt in full on the cross, having faith that after finishing His work, God raised Him from the dead.  “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved” Romans 10:9.   God has done it all; giving His Son, and giving you His indwelling Spirit, which will raise you up on the last day. “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you” Romans 8:11.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” Rev. 3:20.  No one knows when their appointed time will come.  If you hear His knock today, what is keeping you from speaking to God right now?  Ask Christ to come in and He will.

wheatThe Holy Spirit Provides Power to Please God

You are not alone.  We are saved once for all our sins, past present and future, but the decision to carefully follow the commandments of Jesus is chosen daily.   We can do nothing of eternal value without Him who strengthens us, so we must keep in step with the Spirit if we hope to please God.  God speaks through His word, the Holy Bible, so savor it daily, like one would savor an expensive meal, and pray as much as possible.  “Always pray and never give up” Luke 18:1.  He is so gracious; if you pray a little, God will greatly bless you.  If you pray a lot, even greater will He greatly bless you.  You will know what to pray as you continue in His word.  Hunger for righteousness and it is promised that you will be filled.  Mat 5:6

If you stumble, examine what you are pursuing & where your heart is.  Did you know you can pray while ironing, or doing the dishes?  Is the TV really worth your free time?  And what joy you miss if you wait to praise God for big things; praise Him continually, for all things.  Stumbling often comes from trying to do things right without properly nurturing the Spirit.  “Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.  For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” Gal 6:7.  Earnestly confess your sin directly to God, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9, and then determine to make diliberate choices that nurture the Spirit and starve the flesh.

As a follower of Christ, you will still have a sinful nature, but by the power of the Spirit, you will not be a slave to sin as you once were, because you will greatly desire to pursue holiness.  You will soon see measured growth, even from one week to the next, which is your evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work, giving you a more Christlike heart.  “But whoever keeps his word, in him is the love of God perfected; by this we know that we are in Him.” 1 John 2:6

If You’d Like To Talk…

If you’d like to talk on the phone to a real person about this, call 888-NEED-HIM, or go here http://needhim.org/ .  Alternatively, you are welcome to contact me if you have questions and/or if you are moved after reading this page; your feedback would greatly encourage me because my constant desire is to be used of God.