Are you certain that death is the end?
We all face two deaths, one physical and one spiritual. We cannot avoid physical death but we can avoid spiritual death. Those who feel that you are spiritually dead are wrong, at least for the present, because your choices remain before you.
Spiritual death comes, in this lifetime and for eternity, when you decide that you are simply flesh and that you reject the notion that God exists. Spiritual death accompanies a belief that you have no spirit and that when you die, you die. You are spiritually dead if God's Spirit has not embraced, enveloped and apprehended you. That is a big concept, to be sure, but His Spirit has either filled your heart, witnessing to your spirit, or it has not.
For the time being, we are trapped, as it were, in the flesh but most of us logically aspire to be with God as eternal spiritual beings. What drives us to seek to discover whether we have a spiritual side to our being? Well for one reason, death is a certainty. You say you do not fear death, you have had a lot of fun and you have enjoyed an abundance of God's blessings. Still, you sense or you are certain that death is not the end, it is the beginning.
We want to satisfy our inner desire to be like God, a desire He has placed upon our hearts (call it a conscience but it is much more complex than that, Romans 1:18-22, Romans 2:14-16, Hebrews 8:10-11, James 1:21, Colossians 1:20-23) but we also have fleshly instincts (sex, pride, selfishness and so on) that lead us to disobey God's laws.
The spirit of man will live on. The question is, will your spirit be united with the Spirit of God or be separated from His Spirit because of your failure to seek a personal relationship with Him? On the other hand, if you do acknowledge that there is life after death, are you obedient enough to make it into the Kingdom of God?
The answer is, no, you are not obedient enough to make it into the Kingdom of God, nor is anyone else. God's word says that He will not countenance sin. An uncleansed, sinful person will not stand in His midst. No man has ever been perfectly obedient. The Scriptures say that sin is sin and that there is no hierarchy of sin. If you say that you have only stolen something while another person killed someone, you are both in the same place because you have committed a sin for which atonement is required. This is why arrogance and self-righteousness have no place in our lives. We all need to be forgiven for huge sins and small sins. It is very easy to forgive others if you understand what the forgiveness of Christ has done for you. We are never to judge another man's sin or his salvation. We can observe his actions and see if he bears the kind of fruit he espouses but even then we can not judge the condition of his heart. You can and you should pray for sinners. The salvation of a sinner is a joy to observe. The Scriptures say …there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:7
Why are you telling me these things?
This message is a personal appeal, not sponsored by or affiliated with any organization. If you do not believe God exists or you do not believe that you have a spirit that will continue to exist after death, this information will seem to be or is in fact, irrelevant. Just set it aside. You may, at some point, want to rethink your position. If you do believe (or are not sure) God exists and that the spirit of those who have died before you are with the God that created them, then you should end up being encouraged and hopefully motivated to develop a closer personal relationship with God. In either case this message is intended to encourage you. I pray that you will find it worth reading and where possible, Lord willing, it may change your life now as well as the eternal destination of your soul.
As to my motivation, God's word says... " Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:15-16. It is the last part of that verse that has my attention. I can not remain silent if any of His children, including you, is in danger of being separated from the love of God and all those that love God, forever. I am not saying you are in danger. None of us are to judge the condition of another man's soul, but if you are not sure of your personal relationship with God, then read on.
Since I have sent out over a million copies of this message, I have some experience with initial questions and responses. Let me clear up a few of them now. If you received this message in the mail, I received your mailing address as part of a zip code directory of addresses which can be purchased by any person. No one asked me to send this message to you personally. Everyone in your area received this booklet. The booklet has a non-profit stamp on it because I complied with the Postal Services criteria for such status. I am the President of a California Corporation called The Sola Scriptura Project, a non-profit organization. I collect no fees, salaries or reimbursements from anyone. Proceeds of any kind (book sales, donations, etc.) go directly to the Sola Scriptura Project. With disclaimers aside, let's get to the issues.
I believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, thus the term "Sola Scriptura" which means "Only the Scriptures". I accept, by faith, that it is God's Holy Word. "As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?" 2 Samuel 22:31-32 Please focus on the phrase, "The word of the LORD is proven" Prophecy fulfilled is one of the most important verifications of the Holy Scriptures being the word of God.
If death is a certainty, how can I choose life?
God understands where you are in your thinking at this very moment and how you got there. In spite of all the good reasons that you may not have secured a personal relationship with Him, He still holds an open hand to you. That fact, in itself, is a miracle. If you have, for your entire life, failed to honor God and acknowledge Him before men, He still patiently waits for you. He also knows, this second, what your final response is going to be. Because God is omniscient, He sees the beginning and the end of your life. You make the decisions but God knows, in advance, what you will decide. Some refer to this as predestination because God knows if you will respond to His call, thus your final circumstance is known by God. But focus on this quotation of Jesus by the Apostle John. "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit..." John 15:16
First, God loved you and has called you. Then you choose to respond or not. As of right now, you have made a choice. The ramifications of your choice are of eternal significance. Listen to what God said about the consequences of your choice. "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days..." Deuteronomy 30:19-20
The choices you have made, that matter most, are reflected in your personal answer to these questions. Is there a God? Is the Bible the Word of God? Is Jesus Christ who He said He was? Is Satan a "fallen angel", given an earthly kingdom, that he might challenge the authority of God? Are Satan and his band of renegade angels a powerful group of evil spirits, constantly tempting you? Did God create man in His own image? Does man have a soul, a spiritual side of his being? The choices to believe or not remain before you, even if you think you have already decided.
Satan, the ruler of this world, John 16:11 was present in the Garden of Eden, tempting man to disobey God. The fact that Adam and Eve were disobedient was no surprise to God. It set in motion a series of historical events played out by both the obedient and the disobedient. The struggle continues today.
You may not want to hear what I am about to say because you may feel guilty about being caught up in a modern phenomenon that defies logic. Why on earth would people use God's name in vain and speak the name of Jesus as an exclamation mark or worse. Our culture now says "Oh my G-d" in the most unholy circumstances, attaching no sense of honor to God in what they are saying. God's name is Holy, Jesus' name is Holy and He is your only means of redemption. Your heart should ache when their names are dishonored, especially by innocent children who are imitating adults.
Satan, your accuser, wants you to fail.
Satan's role in all of this (the evil spirit) is to tempt you to sin and to be able to accuse you before the Father. I believe you would agree that sin abounds and seems to be worsening with time.
Sin, embedded in the very flesh of man, is the tool Satan uses as he seeks to control man. God hates sin. Our sin actually grieves Him, according to the Scriptures. He loves righteous, virtuous, loving behavior. God, who revealed His true nature and His expectations through Jesus Christ, the Embodiment of God, has provided that sacrifice is the means by which we are cleansed of sin. This may be one of the most difficult, yet significant concepts for any of us to grasp. Atonement for sin is a requirement of God. You and I can not enter into the presence of God, our Holy Father, as "sinners". Our sin must be atoned for in a manner acceptable to God. Only Jesus who took our sins upon himself can present us holy and blameless before God. When we pray to the Lord, we do not do so in our righteousness but instead we do so in the righteousness of Jesus.
Satan does not want man to worship and obey God nor to enter into eternity as His Saints. Satan's agenda is to have man fail in his efforts to serve God. The Scriptures teach that God has given Satan a large range of opportunity to try and bring man down. Satan would snatch you, this moment, from any further serious consideration of what I am saying to you. As you can learn in the first two chapters of the Book of Job, Satan is permitted by God, to tempt you and to try to defeat you.
If you accept the possibility that what I have described is true, also understand that God has made a wonderful provision for those who may have spent their whole lives being deceived by Satan. Satan's message basically says, "Come, eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Surely you shall not die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Ever since that line worked on Eve, its influence has continued.
Satan's modern message is "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die". If physical death was the "end", Satan's message would make death an escape from responsibility, a quiet resting place for eternity, i.e. dust unto dust. But no, you will find Satan made a fool of you, just as he did Adam and Eve, and you will have bought into an eternal separation from God and those who love Him and serve Him. Read Luke 16:19-31. That is a powerful passage that should serve as a wake up call. Your spirit will live on, either joyfully blessed or forever burdened. And what gain did sin provide? What is the long term reward? Sin is always deadly in retrospect. When we serve evil we are fully aware of our guilt before God. If you choose to persist in sin, your prayer should be that there is no eternal Father and that you are only flesh, not spirit and flesh.
The Scriptures teach that God provided a final, excruciatingly painful sacrifice to allow the sins of man to be forgiven. He sent His only Son into the world, born of a virgin, to live a sinless life, to proclaim the Word, to suffer at the will of some of His own people because they rejected His claim of being "equal to God", and to die a humiliating death on the cross. Thus Jesus became the means by which believers are reconciled to God. There is no need for further sacrifice. Christ has taken on the sins of the world and because of His resurrection and His promised return, those who worship God and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, will spend eternity with Him.
The Messiah came that you might be reunited with God. You were His child at birth, innocent and unaccountable, and He desires that you be His child now. Your innocence, as an adult, can not be "achieved". It is a gift from God. When we acknowledge our sin to Him, and ask for cleansing and turn from the sin that separated us from God in the first place, we return, as an innocent child, to His eternal care and love. We were born God's children, even if we have not been serving Him. God is like any loving father, waiting for his child to return.
One of Satan's roles is to prevent us from understanding that message, or better yet, if we do understand it, to have us become "religious". Satan would have us believe that ritual, ceremony, good deeds, obeying the laws of man and God, will reconcile us with God. These are certainly appropriate behaviors but it is possible to do these things and still not experience a heartfelt, personal relationship with Jesus. Many well intentioned people strive for righteousness, to be like Jesus, but find they are impotent in the face of stress. They give in, getting caught up in lying, drunkenness, pornography, drugs, infidelity, jealousy and self worship and as a result they feel very unsaintly and very unworthy.
Heaven, a reward for high achievers?
Neither good deeds nor merit badges can help us earn salvation. If our "works" could deliver us into a personal relationship with the Holy Father, then Jesus Christ would have never needed to go the cross. We could have "earned" grace. Grace is defined as receiving unmerited favor from God. We do not deserve His forgiveness and the power of His Presence in our lives. Sin, in spite of our good deeds, deserves punishment but we have received grace because of what Christ did on the cross.
Christ would not have needed to go to the cross if man could "redeem himself" and know that God exists. If you have "proof", and a means of reconciliation, you do not need faith. The crucifixion of Jesus was a major turning point in the history of man (B.C. / A.D.). If one fails to grasp what God did for those who believe on Him, at the cross, one fails to understand atonement and forgiveness.
Since we are all sinners, admittedly I am sure, and since God will not and can not countenance sin (look upon or be in the presence of sin), God provided a solution. His sinless Son went to the cross on our behalf and now we can stand in the presence of God completely forgiven. If you are still suffering from guilt, which makes you feel unworthy, you are carrying a burden you need not carry. The Scriptures say:
"The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:8-12
To be forgiven, one need only ask. The act of confessing your sins and having them erased forever seems far too simple, yet the world is full of guilt-ridden persons who in their heart of hearts know that their sin has separated them from God.
God's Word, the enduring light: The Truth
The Word of God is our only reliable guideline in trying to understand God's will for our lives. It is an absolute treasure of inspiration, wit, instruction and advice. We dedicate our lives to certain principles, disciplines and activities. Do they include time with God's Word? What evidence will we offer when we are asked whether our lives demonstrated that we love God with all our heart, mind and soul? If you want to get to know God, read His Word! A Bible on a shelf, unstudied, may as well not exist.
No man, aside from Jesus, who existed from the beginning and will exist to the end (I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end), has ever seen God. We who believe God exists do so on the basis of "evidence". We see in all that was created, God's complex and perfect plan. The beauty and power of what was created is in God's hands and He controls all forces of nature. Man often gets angry at God's allowing tragedy to occur. The Scriptures teach that which was created with the potential for perfection, was desecrated by sinful man. God's Eden will be restored and Satan, at that time, and in that place, will be restrained.
Eventually there will be a New Jerusalem, perfect in every way. This world, (our testing ground and Satan's domain) and everything in it will be destroyed. Heaven will be a place of joy and peace for God's children, only, not for Satan or Satan's allies. It was not God's will that man would fail to abstain from sin, but God did and does give us a choice. Sin leads to judgment, sometimes by God directly and sometimes by the laws of nature or the laws of man. Man has choices and some of them lead to bad consequences, even when innocent yet unaccountable people are involved. One does not want to ever be in the position of harming a child or someone whose mental state is as a child. God loves the children and would have us exhibit the faith that a child exhibits in those they trust.
God went so far as to point toward very specific prophetic events, which did occur, in His effort to help us with our faith. But what is faith? The Scriptures say, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1. In other words, faith is a product of observing God's wonderful manifestations of Himself and His plan, then "believing" and acting on that belief.
God wants to reconcile you to Himself. He created you in His own image. He loves you. He knew you before you were in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13-16 "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; …Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them." Abortion, in the light of the Scriptures, is a very bad choice; forgivable but not consistent with what you just read. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you and give you His counsel in this matter.
God's expectations (requirements) of His children.
If you do not know the definitions of the following words, please study and understand them: OMNIPOTENCE, OMNIPRESENCE and OMNISCIENCE. No god is as our God. Simply said, God is all powerful, always present and knows all things. He is in control. He sees you now, He is present with you now and He knows all things, including the choices you will ultimately make. God gave you volition, the right to choose. You are not a puppet but volition is fraught with risks. It makes you accountable for your choices and it makes the shepherds who lead us very accountable for the counsel given.
God has two key commandments which are imbedded in the 10 Commandments. 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. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:37-40.
If you love God, you should, in all humility and contrition, decide to repent (to turn away from your sins), be baptized, be obedient and to seek His will for your life. In the Scriptures, He asked us to recognize and acknowledge who Jesus was, why He came and what action we are to take. The action required is basically incredible. If we accept Jesus Christ as the propitiation (stand in) for our sins, confess our sins and turn away from those sins, God will cleanse us, draw us near to Him in this life and promise us eternal life.
We honor Christ, our sins are forgiven and we are "in the kingdom". What price did we pay? Confession, a changed life and a decision to worship Him and to honor and obey His Word; what price did God pay? Even yet I can not stand to see one of my children or grandchildren suffer. I would always rather suffer in their place. God sent His Son to save us, while we were yet sinners. The passion endured by Jesus was for you and me. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".
Life is extremely short if you measure it against eternity. The span of our life can not be mathematically compared to eternity. One is finite (has a point at which it ends), the other is infinite (has no end point). Life is a very short test (since you are reading this, the test isn't over), but if we fail the test, we are eternally separated from God. The Scriptures teach that when we accept Christ we become a "new creation, behold old things pass away and all things become new" 1 Corinthians 5:17. Accepting Christ means discarding the dominance of the "flesh" in our life. We can not do that easily. Understand this; when you decide to cling to Jesus, Satan will have lost control of a soul, your soul! He then attacks with "seven other spirits more wicked than him and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first" Luke 11:26. Do not vow to love God and then go back to serving Satan. It takes spiritual strength, the power and presence of Christ in you, to deal with sin. Is there some powerful sin that won't let go of you? God will, by the presence of the Holy Spirit, empower you to resist and to defeat that sin. Pray unceasingly for deliverance from sin and take steps to avoid sin.
Do you recall the story of Noah and how God brought the flood to destroy all but the righteous few (Noah, his 3 sons and wives, 8 people)? How sinful could the people in Noah's time have been? Do you think they had invented more ways to sin than we have in these days? I doubt it. In our time, sin abounds. Measure it any way you want, but God could not be happy with what is going on. I doubt that an hour goes by in which ideas, words, publications, and broadcasts do not bring sin into our homes. An unfiltered Internet connection is one of Satan's most potent new weapons. Take personal and political steps to stop the uninvited solicitation and advocacy of sin. Your children and many of you are tempted by Satan, daily. Flee from such material and commit yourself to taking steps to escape from its influence.
Will there be another great judgment? The Scriptures say "yes". The world will fall into such sinful disarray, that only a "remnant" will be pleasing to God (hopefully more than 8 people). When God sent Jesus to us, it was to reconcile ourselves to Him. Jesus was not only the solution to our need for forgiveness, but through Him the Father provided the gift of the Holy Spirit. When Christ was crucified, He said that unless I go to heaven to be with the Father, the Holy Spirit, the Helper, the Counselor, the Comforter, could not come.
The Holy Spirit, God's love and power in you.
We can not, of our own power, overcome the influence of sin, by adhering to God's law. That is where the Holy Spirit is the only answer. Our battle is against an evil spirit, a powerful, deceptive force that can even appear to be "for good".The Scriptures say, "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" Matthew 24:24. If you do not study the Bible I do not know how you will be able to identify false teachers and leaders who will guide you into bad decisions and alliances.
I am convinced that many today suffer failure in their effort to "do the right thing", not because they do not understand how to define righteous behavior, but because they do not understand the gift of the Holy Spirit. To believe in God and to believe in Jesus is good. But the Scriptures teach that the devil also knows whom God and Jesus is, and trembles. A relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is not an "intellectual assent". It is more than saying "yes, I believe God exists". It is the acceptance of a new heart and a new start. It is that moment in which you are born again and the Holy Spirit and your spirit are made as one, united as intended by God, forever. When that happens, The Spirit of God and our spirit become intertwined. We are no longer captives of the flesh, our physical nature.
If we are in Christ, these are the characteristics our new nature should reveal: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control Galatians 5:22. Read those over carefully. Which of us would not want those words to characterize our nature and the quality of our daily experiences? Try listing the opposite characteristics and you will see what I mean, i.e. angry, depressed, anxious, impatient, unkind, without faith, lacking in self-control, etc.
Telling people about your faith helps you sustain your commitment. You will find that every moment of every day allows you to experience God's presence. The Scriptures say that His thoughts toward you exceed number Psalm 40:5. Not a hair falls from your head of which He is unaware Matthew 10:27-31. You will learn that your thoughts and actions can be "as unto the Lord" Colossians 3:23-25. He knows your thoughts and observes your actions. You never are doing a good or bad deed privately. If you claim Jesus as your Savior, His desire is to empower you to be His good and faithful servant.
We are not able to intellectualize our way into an understanding of God's word. The wisdom and discernment we can gain from the Scriptures is beyond the reach of any that are not earnestly seeking a relationship with Him. In 1 Corinthians 1:18 it says, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God". A pastor I know once said that man is about 12 inches from being saved, the distance from his head to his heart. God wants you to know Him and to respond to His call but He knows, even this moment if you will love Him in return for the love He has shown you. No one is forced to respond. God gave man volition, the power to choose.
A stern but loving warning
If you want to serve Christ, you will be "out of step" with the deteriorating standards of this world. If you are actively serving Christ, Satan is after your soul. You and I, in our own flesh, can not conquer sin. We are taught in 1 Corinthians 10:13, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it". This world is Satan's playground. We are "in" it but do not have to be "of" it. We can, through the power of the Holy Spirit, endure any temptation (always from the devil, never from God) and come out the other side, victorious. God allows us to be tested, but God does not "tempt" His children.
I believe that the most dangerous religious sects are those whose claims include a great deal of truth. One of Satan's best tools is a very attractive religion that almost has it right. That usually means they have added to or subtracted from the Holy Scriptures, some key elements of truth. Listen to what God's Word says: Deuteronomy 4:2 "You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you."
Do not cling to a group that claims new, additional truth has been revealed to them, especially if it supersedes or conflicts with Scripture. God's Holy Word is the whole truth.
What is so terrific about Christianity is that what you are asked to do makes sense. Don't sin, love God, love your neighbor, obey, out of love, all of the commandments and when you stumble, and we will, ask for forgiveness and renewed strength. There are, according to Scriptures, two judgments. First the judgment based upon our acceptance of Christ, which places us in the kingdom and second the judgment of believers.
Just because Jesus is willing to continually forgive us, don't think there is no judgment of continual sin. Jesus asks us to "repent", which means to turn from our sin. We are not to continue doing that which Jesus went to the cross to cleanse us of. Think about it. Are we asking Him to go to the cross, again and again, for our sins? Not a logical request. Jesus wants to strengthen us, to give us the gift of the Holy Spirit and to help us deal with temptation, a circumstance that will not go away in this life.
As to the position that Jesus Christ is the only way to God, the Scriptures leave no alternative. "..there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 Christ said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me." John 14:6 That may seem harsh to those who seek to know God by other means, however, that is what the Scriptures say. It has been said that you can think that Jesus was a lunatic, a liar or the Lord. He did not offer the option of being considered "only" a good guy, a righteous man, a teacher, and a prophet. As of this moment, you have made a choice. The ramifications of your choice are of eternal significance. There is no way except for the shed blood of Jesus, covering your sins and mine, to enter into the presence of God.
Apprehending eternity: Finish well!
I pray that you consider the following commitment. We all make time for those things in life that are important to us. In Jesus' life, he frequently separated Himself from the people to spend time with God. We have the gift of the Scriptures, something of pivotal importance. Please consider reading the Bible, at least a few minutes, every day. Read in a quiet place of peace if possible. What could be more important than spending time with God? We faithfully listen to a lot of other communications and many of them are a complete waste of our time.
God wants you to listen to His Word and to talk to Him, bringing all of your needs, the needs of your family and friends and your desires to Him. The answers may not always be yes but they will always fit perfectly into His plan for your life. Learn to be patient and to wait upon the Lord. He knows your needs and His Spirit intervenes for you in ways that you do not even perceive Romans 8:26-27.
If you start reading, for instance, in the Gospel of John or in the Psalms for 5 minutes each day, I can promise you it will go well beyond 5 minutes. The Holy Scriptures is a great treasure. The Scriptures say: Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You. Psalm 119:11.
Some of the Psalms are the most beautiful words ever written and the wisdom of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes is unmatched. Go to a Bible, highlight key verses, look up parallel references and join a fellowship support group. Pray that God will direct you to a Bible centered church. Although Christianity is a very personal thing, it flourishes when it is shared. Let the love of God and the Light within you, shine before men. Let the joy of your salvation be evident to all. Be an encourager, a witness and an ambassador for Christ. The Great Commission that Christ called us to is "To go into all the world and preach the gospel." Mark 16:15
Perfection in Christ eludes us all. We strive, we endeavor to serve, we seek His will for our lives and we commit our resources and our family to His care, but the Christian walk is a journey, full of challenges. Listen to the words of the apostle Paul. "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14, NKJ
I meet many people who think that their history of sin has indelibly "tattooed" them, that they are beyond God's reach and God's love. If that is you, you are a perfect example of why Jesus went to the Cross. God promises to forgive murderers, terrorists, sodomists, homosexuals, pornographers, child molesters, liars and thieves, cheaters, prideful persons and on and on. The Scriptures tell us that God hates the sin but loves the sinner. Jesus came to pay the price for such sins and to reconcile all who will repent, not a select few, but all. Listen and understand: Luke 23:39-40 "Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."
Jesus just taught you a key principle; finish well! None of us deserve to have a lifetime of sin wiped away, but that is the offer. While you are finishing well, listen to some wonderful promises of Jesus: "I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly". John 10:10 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 The Apostle Paul said: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Additional resources and encouragement:
I compiled a web site of Family Bible Studies, Daily Devotions and Topical Readings, www.solascriptura.com that may be helpful. I also authored the "End Times" web site that you are currently visiting "ISRAEL - THE CHOSEN - OR THE ENEMY". Both web sites have feedback buttons that send your comments or concerns directly to me. You are able to use those links to comment on this message as well. Feedback is more than welcome.
I pray that God will richly bless you and your family, forever.
Bruce Caldwell, Ed. D.