February 24th, 2007
It is our desire that you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you are uncertain about this, we invite you to read further.
Did you ever wish that you could start your life all over again? Have you made deep mistakes that you wish you could undo? Do you feel hurt or disappointed by what others have done to you or not done for you? Do you feel enslaved and trapped by habits you cannot break? Are there things in your life like uncontrolled anger, sexual lust, drug abuse, overeating, and overdrinking that control you? Do you have a deep sense of guilt that you cannot deal with?
Do you feel alone without anyone who truly loves you? Are you uncertain or terrified of what lies beyond death? Are you confused about trying to find your purpose in this world? How can you find an answer to these questions? You could ignore them. You could pretend they do not exist. You could try to drown them out by business or entertainment. But the reality remains; you know that something is not right.
Maybe, however, you might say that none of these things are true of me. I am living a moral life, I am trying to do the best I can, I am glad that I have not messed up my life. You may be able to say these things today, but when a major crisis comes, or you suffer a great loss, what will you say then? To whom will you go, and on whom will you depend?
There are many religions and philosophies that offer an answer. They offer a variety of fixes. All except one focus on what you must do. If you were to die tomorrow and appear before God, what explanation would you give for the life you are living?
The gospel of Christ is good news because it focuses on what God can do for you. In Jesus Christ, God has provided a solution for every one of your needs. Your guilt can be taken away. The habits that may now enslave you can be broken. Your loneliness and fear of death can be replaced with the joy of knowing Christ forever.
OUR DEEPEST NEED
Your deepest need is to be brought back to a right relationship with the One who made you. Ask God to show you how this is possible. Apart from Him we are lost in a world of excuses and self-deception.
We have all sinned against God. We fight against God by breaking His laws. We are ungrateful to God when we attempt to play God—by acting as though we were gods ourselves. We deceive ourselves into thinking that we can live without the need for anyone but ourselves. But, in fact, we are totally dependent on God for every aspect of our existence. Our true nature is that of a creature who was made in God’s image. Our delusion is that of a dependent creature who pretends he has no need of God.
“And you were dead through your trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1)
Because God hates all wrongdoing, He is separated from man by three wide barriers. But this is not all. God sees our sin and is indignant because He created us to be quite different. But He continues to require of each one of us perfect obedience. But there are many barriers that continue to separate us from God. First, we love sin more than we love God. Second, we have broken his commands time and time again. Thirdly, we are victims of our own deception and cannot escape the mess we are in.
What are the consequences? If you choose to go it alone you will continue to live alienated from your Creator and suffer eternal death when this life is over. But God has provided an ultimate solution to our problem.
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
By completely trusting in Christ as the only One who can get us out of the mess that we have made of our lives, we can begin again. Through believing what He said and trusting in what He did, God will forgive us for every sin we have ever committed. And He promises to make us new creatures, to purify our hearts, cleanse our minds, and free us from the bondage of sin.
You can have a new beginning as a free gift through Jesus Christ. Jesus removed the three barriers by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. Look how man’s sin is replaced by Jesus’ remedy:
Our Bad Record replaced by A Perfect Record—Jesus’ Own (Hebrews 7:26)
Our Bad Heart replaced by A New Heart (Ezekiel 36:25-26)
Our Bad Master replaced by The Good Master—Jesus! (Colossians 1:13, Matthew 11:28)
Jesus took the place of His people on the cross (John 10:15). He became their substitute. He was legally condemned as their representative. This solves God’s problem with man’s sin. The Father gave His only begotten Son to pay for the sins of His people (John 3:16).
REPENT AND BELIEVE
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord that He may have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7)
“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved and your household.” (Acts 16:31)
You receive the Lord Jesus Christ into your life by turning in sorrow from your sins and trusting Him personally as your Savior. Repentance is not our suffering or our good works to earn salvation, but a turning from our sins to the living God through Jesus Christ. Faith means believing in Christ and what he has done and said. Believing in Him as the Priest—that he has paid for sin and now prays for His own people. As Teacher—Jesus has sent His Spirit to teach me to come to Him. As Master and King—Jesus conquers sin and gives me a new heart so that I willingly surrender to Him as the Lord of my life.
PRAY TO GOD
You might pray a prayer like this:
“God, I know that I have sinned against You. I have not loved You with my whole heart, mind, and strength, nor my neighbor as myself. I am worthy of eternal death. But I am now deeply sorry for my unbelief and I ask You to forgive my ingratitude and proud rebellion, because Jesus shed His precious blood on the cross for sinners like me. Father, please forgive my sins and clean me up from them for Jesus’ sake. Please accept me as Your child. May Jesus now rule my life! Amen, I truly mean it.”
If you have done this, you will find that God is faithful to forgive you and cleanse you. You should now confess Christ before others and seek a church that is faithful to the Bible.