Part 3 of 3 part series:
God is real. His word is real. His love is real. His working in the world is real. He is real. God is near to any who would have Him. Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
He wants to offer you a relationship not possible with any person. Only God! No one else can offer you forgiveness of sins and eternal life. No one else can offer you a personal relationship with the divine Creator; only the Creator can do that. No one else can offer to touch you at the deepest level of your being and bring healing from heartache and despair. No one else can offer you the unconditional love we all crave. Reach out. He’s waiting for you.
I want to invite you to make Christ your Lord and Savior by repenting of your sins and calling on Him for forgiveness and eternal life, believing that He died for you and rose from the grave. The Bible says that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. That is very good news. Act on the words of God, will you?
The path to Heaven
1. God loves you and wants a personal relationship with you.
God has a wonderful plan for your life now and forever. The central theme of the Bible is God’s love for you and all people. Jesus said, “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).
God’s plan: Jesus said, ” The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10; 17:3).
2. We are all sinful and separated from God.
Because of sin we cannot know God personally or experience His love and plan for our lives. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”, (Romans 3:23). Man (Adam) was created to have a relationship with God; but, because of his stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin.
We are all separated from God because of sin. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). Heaven and Hell are real destinations and the ultimate choice is ours. There is a hell…but the good news is we don’t have to go there!
The diagram above illustrates that God is Holy and we are sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows show that man is continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through his own efforts, such as living a good life, doing good deeds, following philosophies, religions, cults etc. The next point explains the only way to bridge this gulf.
3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin.
Through Jesus Christ alone we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. “, (Romans 5:8).
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep” (I Corinthians 15:3-6).
Jesus Christ is the only way to God. “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). “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).
This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.
It is not enough just to know the above information. The next point is the most important.
4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
We must receive Jesus Christ by faith (i.e. by trusting or believing) so we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives. “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 1:12). “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).
We experience a new spiritual birth when we receive Jesus Christ. “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:1-8).
We can receive Jesus Christ by personal invitation. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
Receiving Jesus Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Jesus to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us the kind of people He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We must receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of will.
The two circles below represent two kinds of lives, the self-directed life and the Christ-directed life:
Which circle best represents your life? Which circle would you like to have represent your life?
5. How you can receive Jesus Christ right now by prayer and faith:
Prayer is talking with God. God knows your heart and is not concerned with your words. He is looking at the attitude of your heart.
The following is a suggested prayer. It is only an example for you. Dear God/Heavenly Father, I know that I have sinned. I believe You sent Jesus Christ to save me. I believe Jesus was crucified on the cross, he was buried, raised from the dead, and He ascended into heaven and sat down at Your right hand. I thank You Jesus for taking away my sins forever. I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and I am now born again and will have eternal life. Take control of my life and make me the person You want me to be. Thank You God, for forgiving me and giving me everlasting life. In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, pray one like it right now. It need not be the same and should be your own words. If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved (Romans 10:9). If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all wrong doing (1 John 1:9). Jesus said, ” I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance” (Luke 15:7).
6. How you can grow as a new member of God’s Kingdom.
Talk to God in prayer daily. Matthew 21:22,”And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive”. Mark 11:24,”Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
Attend church regularly. Hebrews 10:25,”Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Psalm 122:1,”I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
Read God’s Word, the Bible, often. 2 Timothy 3:16,17,”All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
Obey God always. John 14:21,”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.”
Be a good witness and live for God by your life and words. John 15:8,”Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
Trust God for every detail of your life. 1 Peter 5:7,”Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” Trust the Holy Spirit to help you daily. Romans 8:14, ”For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
*The illustrations were not created by me. Thanks go out to the artist whom I am unable to identify.
God bless you,