For years I toiled under the weight of a “works” oriented salvation. I believed that to please God I had to work to earn His favor and His grace. When I did good things I believed my deeds were pleasing to God and, for the moment, I had gained His favor. But, when I sinned (and I did. A lot) I believed, even when I repented, God would make me pay with some consequence or retribution. I considered it, “Waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
It was a miserable way to live. I went about my day trying to figure out what the
shoe would be. Would it hurt? Would it drop when I least expected it? Would it drop when I was enjoying pleasant times? Would it drop on my friends? When it dropped would my friends abandon me? Would it grieve me or cause me emotional pain? Would I suffer?
Then in August, 2000, I learned my true identity in Christ. God showed me His grace and taught me I didn’t have to pay for any or all the sins I committed. He told me, “They’re all already paid for. Stop waiting for that shoe and let me show you how much I love you.”
I’ve never worried about that shoe again.
Did you inow . . . Continue reading
I’ve read two emotionally-charged stories and received email this week suggesting that public libraries might ban the Bible.
Can you imagine what life would be like for us if God didn’t show us His grace and mercy each day?
Leftist, Feminist Lesbian Professor Now A Pastor’s Wife Continue reading
Anyone can call themselves a “Christian”.
I read some posts Tuesday on LinkedIn from a man who wrote a series called “Gay Christianity: My Tsunami” The gist of the series conveyed this man’s change of heart from someone who adamantly denied a Christian could be gay, to someone who could accept a homosexual claiming to be a Christian.
The discussion drew a number of comments, including one from me. Members who commented focused their responses on Continue reading
The Bible teaches us in John 3:16 that God loves everyone the same. “For God so loved the world that whosoever believes in Him will never perish but have everlasting life.”
God loves everyone in the entire world. He promises everyone who believes in Jesus as Lord and Savior will have everlasting life. The key word in that verse is “whosoever”. That means everyone who believes. Believing is the sole criteria.
The Bible also teaches us that while we were still living in sin, Christ came to earth to die for us. (Romans 5:8). That means God doesn’t care what you’ve done, how long you’ve done it, or where you’ve been. He sent His only son to die on a cross so that you and I might live forever.
The Bible also teaches us that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). the verb tense in this verse, “have sinned” means we started sinning in the past and will continue to sin until we die our physical death and go to be with Christ. Only one person, Jesus Christ, has ever lived a sinless life. As long as we are in the flesh, (alive and breathing) we will struggle with Satan for control of our hearts, minds and souls. We will always have a choice to follow God’s Truth. Sometimes we do. Sometimes we follow Satan and his lies instead.
In Romans 6:23 the Bible teaches us that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God (for us) is eternal life. Sin without Christ as our Savior will always lead us to death and we will spend eternity in @#!*% . However, if we accept God’s gift of salvation, (a gift means God is giving it freely and without any strings attached) and seek a personal relationship with Christ we will live forever with Him in heaven.
Then, how can you receive God’s free gift and begin a personal relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Romans 10:9-10 gives the answer, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he
confesses, resulting in salvation.”
And Romans 10:13 puts the icing on the cake, “For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Here are the ABC’s of salvation for us:
A — Admit you have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The punishment for all sin is death, as we’ve said, but the free gift of God is eternal life. (Romans 6:23).
B — Believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and your Savior. John 3:16 proclaims, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” God loves the world. He loves every man, woman and child on the earth. And He offers you eternal life with Him if you believe in Christ for your salvation.
C — Confess God knows everything about you: where you’ve been, what you’ve done, what you think, and what you’ll be doing an hour from now, a week from now, ten years from now. No secrets from God. If we admit we’ve sinned, if we believe Jesus is our Savior, we must then confess our sins before God. Tell God what you’ve done or thought that did not glorify Him. Jesus dealt with all your sins and died for your all your sins (the ones you have already committed, the ones you may be committing now and those sins you may commit in the future) on the cross.
God tells us in the book of 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (wrong behavior, sin).” Repentance (turning away from your sins) is extremely important. That’s why God says we must confess our sins. If we don’t confess our sins, we break our fellowship with God and we’ll be miserable. Don’t let any unconfessed sins cause you grief. The moment you know you have sinned, confess it to God, let Him know that you know your sin did not glorify Him.
Are you still here? Do you want to know Jesus as your personal Savior? Do you want to live in eternity with Him? Do you want to escape the wages of sin–death?
If you do, just pray this simple prayer:
God, I confess to you that I have sinned and I am genuinely sorry. I confess that my life has fallen short of your glory because of the way I’ve been living. I want to know you. I want a personal relationship with my Savior. I believe by faith in You that Christ died for my sins. I ask you now, Jesus, to forgive me of my sins and come live in my heart. I trust you as my Savior and receive you as my Lord. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me. Amen.”
That’s it. You have traded an eternity in @#!*% for an eternity in heaven. You have a new Father and a new Savior and a brand new life. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ (that’s you now) has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 1 Corinthians 5:17.
Let me offer you a few suggestions that will launch you with confidence into this new life you have chosen:
- Seek out someone you know who has already accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Share the life-changing decision you have just made with them and ask them to pray for you and encourage you in your new walk with Jesus.
- Seek a Bible-believing church that teaches the Truth from God’s Word. You may have to hunt awhile. Not all churches are the same. Avoid every church that does not proclaim Christ as the only Savior and the Risen Son of God.
- Speak with the pastor or some members in the churches you visit. Make sure that the pastor preaches directly from God’s holy Word. Lots of pastors don’t preach from the Word or mention the Word in their messages. Choose a church, a pastor and mentors with care.
- Begin reading God’s Word daily. I would suggest you begin with the book of John. It is the fourth book in the New Testament. In it you will read more than a dozen encounters Jesus has with skeptics and non-believers. Read how Jesus presents Himself to them, then note what happens in each case. Most believe. Some don’t. All feel the impact of Jesus words and actions.