What’s most important?
Read on to find out!
This section is not something you find on most author websites or at the end of most books. But I am a Christian, and I just can’t help it.
Not a Christian? Your eternal future depends on understanding the astounding gift provided without cost to us by our loving God Jesus Christ on the cross.
See, none of this is a cosmic accident. God made the world “very good,” which is saying something from the perspective of a perfect being. But then we screwed it up by turning away from God. It wasn’t just Adam. It was me, as well. And you. Think about it. We’ve all done bad things. Worse, compared to the holiness of God, all our sins are horrible. Even the itty-bitty things. They’re all disgusting, terrible, and wicked bad compared to God’s perfect holiness.
God is also a perfect judge. Would it be right for a robed judge in a court of law to free a criminal because he’s the criminal’s father? It wouldn’t be right for God to set us free, either, not without paying the price for our crimes.
We all want into the kingdom of heaven instead of, you know, the other place. Heaven is in the presence of a perfectly holy God. He’s so holy His innate glory will destroy any impurity. To get to heaven, we need to be perfect and holy as well.
Have you felt perfect lately? How about holy? Yeah, me neither.
So, it makes sense. The price must be paid for justice to prevail and for us to enter heaven. What do we need to pay? Perfect justice has only one penalty for the worst crime. Our crime comes with the death penalty.
God knows our sins. He knows every little thing we’ve said, done, or even thought. God knows these things because He loves us perfectly as well. He pays attention to us. He knows we don’t deserve to go to heaven, yet He loves us perfectly and wants us to be with Him.
God is perfectly holy, loves perfectly, and is perfectly just. So, He did something awesome about our situation, something only He could do. Something perfectly holy, perfectly loving, and perfectly just.
He came down to earth, put on the body of a man, spent years living history’s only perfect life, then paid the price for us through death on the cross. Only He could do it. And He did, because He loves us so much.
There’s a catch. You’re not surprised. There’s always a catch. Jesus died once and thereby forgave everyone for anything they have ever done or ever will do, which only a perfect person could do. But, He will not let everyone through the gates into the kingdom of heaven. We must do our part.
Wait, what? Our part? You probably heard all this is free.
Yes, it’s a gift, and what an amazing gift! But we do have a part. Our part is simple. It’s also very difficult.
We must accept.
This is no light decision.
Accepting means believing. God hasn’t yet scrolled back the sky and peeked through so there would be no doubt. Believing means accepting God is real even though He is invisible to us. God really did create the universe. God really did create you and I. God really did come here as a man and die for us. God really did give us a book about history and about Himself, so we could know what He wants from us.
Accepting also means submitting to His way. We Americans love to believe the illusion we are our own masters, but not so for a Christ follower. We belong to Jesus. We try to follow His way, not our way. In other words, we accept He is Lord of our lives. That’s why we call Him that. We have a master and accepting means obeying.
Accepting also means being in a relationship with Him. We can believe. We can submit. But if we do not know one another, there is no relationship. This is where it gets fun. Relationship with God is awesome! He loves us, guides us, protects us, and calms us through the storms of this broken world. When I do wrong, which seems like all the time, He readily forgives when I ask and we’re friends again. Just for the asking! No one in your life can match it.
There is much to gain by acceptance and so little to lose. You get knowledge, guidance, character, and joy. You get eternal life in a place of love and wonder instead of a place of fire and tears. You get to know God, with time, and be in the most important relationship of all. But before you get any of it, you must accept.
Interested? Why wait? Like my mother always said, “There’s no time like the present.” Accept right now. There’s no magic hand gesture. There’s no televangelist’s number to dial. There’s no password. God is with you, right now as you read this. He’s knocking at your door. If you haven’t already accepted Jesus as your king, then He’s hoping you’ll do so right now. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. He loves you. He’s crazy about you. He wants you to know. He wants a relationship with you.
Just talk to Him. Tell Him you’re sorry you messed up so bad. Ask for His forgiveness; He’ll deliver it. Tell Him you want to be part of His family, a child of God. Admit to Him you cannot get into the kingdom of heaven on your own. Tell Him you’ll follow Him wherever He leads and mean it.
It takes faith in Him to take this step. It’s a faith that He is real. It’s a faith His way is better than your way. It’s a faith His promises are true.
But it’s not a blind faith. Read about His way in the bible. Try the book of John. Try the book of Romans. Try any of it, because His love has been steady throughout history.
Want to know more? Go to www.fayettebaptistchurch.org. If you’ve just accepted, email them and ask for more information. Someone there will reach out to you and help you find someone in your area who will walk with you on your journey with God.