"WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE TELL ME ?"
"And the disciples went everywhere preaching the Good News ........" (Acts 8: 4)
This is an
account of the enthusiasm with which the first followers of Jesus Christ spread
the Good News from
This is certainly the most crucial message from God for all mankind and the news is good because it reveals how God Himself has provided the healing for the terminal disease of sin that infects every member of the human race.
I pray that the following pages will unfold to you the enormity of Godís love for you and the price He was willing to pay to make the forgiveness of your sins possible: conditional only upon repentance, believing and trusting in what He has done for you.
This Good News is summarised in two verses of Scripture in the Holy Bible:
Christ died for our sins according to the Scripture and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Scripture.
(1 Corinthians 15 : 3-4
THE GOOD NEWS, OR GOSPEL, IS THAT WE DO NOT HAVE TO DIE FOR OUR SINS BECAUSE CHRIST DIED FOR US.
Although God did not create us to die but created us to live in an eternal loving relationship with Himself, the entrance of sin through the disobedience of our first parents, marred the Godly image in which we were created and brought separation from God and death into the world.
The Good News reveals how God has provided for that separation through sin to be annulled and the eternal loving relationship with the one and only God our Maker to be restored. This is the absolute ultimate expression of good news made possible by the absolute ultimate expression of love where God, through Christ, laid down His life for us to atone for our sin and save us from eternal death. There is no better news than this: there is no greater love than this.
Sin is the
biblical term used to define a violation of the law instituted by God who has
created the heavens and the earth and all the things that are therein. By observing the world around us we can see
the tragic effect that our violation of God's law has brought upon mankind and
We may think that we have led the good life and that sin is not our problem, but God makes it clear in His Word, the Scriptures, that all of us have inherited a sinful nature from our first father Adam :-
Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
(Romans 5 : 12)
When a lawyer asked Jesus Christ which is the great commandment in the law, He replied :-
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22 : 37- 40)
Have we always, without fail, perfectly observed these commandments which also include commandments such as not taking the Lord's name in vain; honouring your parents; not lying; not stealing; not coveting ? Jesus went further to say that if we hold hatred in our heart towards another, God sees it as murder or if we look upon a woman lustfully He sees it as adultery. If we are honest we will admit that we have failed miserably and other idols such as our career, possessions, pleasure, sport, money or self have taken a priority in our lives far above our love of God and so for a start we have violated the first and great commandment.
God gave us these laws for our own good but no one has ever kept them perfectly except Jesus Christ. As the scriptures say :-
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1 : 8)
For a true exposure of human nature we need only consider our response to God's love when He sent His Son into this world: we took Him and nailed Him to a wooden cross! For this heinous crime the whole world lies guilty before an angry God. As Scripture confirms :-
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3 : 23)
.......as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement: (Hebrews 9 : 27)
GOD'S LOVE COMES TO OUR RESCUE
But God, in His love and mercy, has opened a way for
us to be saved from our sin and its fearful consequence of eternal judgement
and separation from God in the lake of fire, which the Bible describes as the
second death, if we are willing to accept His provision. This provision is in His Son, the Lord Jesus
Christ, who in His love for us, took our judgement upon Himself when He bled
and died on the cross outside
For he (God) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5 : 21)
You may ask, "Why is God so severe regarding sin and admission to His presence or kingdom?" The answer is simple; would heaven be heaven if sin were present ?
From the dawn of human history, where the Christian faith has its origin, God promised a Saviour would come to free us from the dreadful consequences of Adam's disobedience which brought a separation between God and man.
(Genesis 3 : 15) .
The Hebrew prophets of the Bible precisely foretold details of this Saviour (Messiah) hundreds and sometimes thousands of years before His appearance and though many false christs and false prophets and false gurus have arisen claiming to show man the answer to his dilemma with their various religions, only Jesus Christ of Nazareth conforms perfectly to the very many predictions in the Bible relating to The Messiah's appearance. (Psalm 22 1000 BC etc)
MAN'S FUTILE ATTEMPT AT SALVATION
How foolish to imagine that sinful man can show sinful man the answer to man's sin problem ! Man's religion always teaches that by observing sacraments and rituals and good works we can attain a righteousness acceptable to God. God tells us that all our righteousness is as filthy rags in His sight and unless we identify with Christ and His righteousness we are lost. We need to be one hundred percent sure that we have "locked on" to the true Christ otherwise the result for us will be catastrophic.
In the words of one writer who has so aptly condensed the Gospel message into a few short paragraphs :-
"On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He had lived your life so He could treat you as if you had lived His life: that's justification: that's imputation and any adulteration of that is an adulteration of the Gospel. When you put your trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, He is fully the substitute for your sins - all your sins placed on Him - all His righteousness placed on you.
That's why God can accept you into His heaven, because He treats you as if you had lived Christ's sinless life. That's justification, that's the Gospel.
If you do not understand the Gospel you cannot put your faith in Jesus Christ. If you cannot do that you cannot be saved. This all occurs by faith.
On the cross Jesus was not a sinner but God treated Him as if He were. And you are not righteous but God treats you as if you are - if you believe."
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4 : 5)
In response to our belief, God justifies the ungodly and man's attempts to justify himself apart from Christ are futile. There follows then this glorious truth, that if there is a willingness to accept God's conditions there is hope for the moral as well as the immoral sinner and that encompasses everyone without exception. This certainly then is Good News for you and me because the Bible clearly states that it is totally impossible for any of us to attain a standard of righteousness acceptable to God by our own works.
The divine currency which paid to God the debt for our sin and makes us acceptable to God is the precious shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, all that stands between a believer and the judgement of God is the blood of Jesus Christ and that alone. Nothing else can cleanse our sin and make us fit to enter God's presence.
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (Hebrews 9 : 22)
All scripture is given by inspiration of God through His holy apostles and prophets by the Holy Spirit. In them God tells us that His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, for whom and by whom we were created, demonstrated His love for us by coming to earth in a human body to take upon Himself the out pouring of God's righteous judgement against our sin by suffering and dying the death of crucifixion in our place on
of Calvary at
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15 : 13)
GOD'S GIFT TO MANKIND
The Lord Jesus Christ laid down his life for you and for me. The great Creator became our Saviour if we are willing to receive him.
Our eternal destiny hinges upon our reception or our rejection of God's gift of the Saviour, Jesus Christ, and on that alone.
We are told in the scriptures that,
..... the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Romans 6 : 23)
The Bible also goes on to say,
He that hath the Son hath life (eternal); and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
(1 John 5 : 12)
Like any gift which is offered to us we have the choice to either accept the gift or to reject the gift; a personal response on our part is required. If we do nothing it indicates that we do not want the gift and failure to respond is automatically taken to mean the rejection of the gift.
Whereas, reaching out and taking possession of the gift is clearly an indication of acceptance of the gift.
We can reject God's gift by not receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and so isolate ourselves from the protection of Christ's sacrifice. By doing this we expose ourselves to the full wrath of God's judgement of our sin where the verdict will be, "guilty'' and the sentence eternal punishment.
On the other hand we can repent or change our direction and accept God's gift by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour. By doing this we effectually shed or crucify our old Adamic nature which is under the curse of God's law through sin and we become a new creation in Jesus Christ with His Spirit indwelling us.
That is why Jesus made the paradoxical statement :-
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. (Luke 9 : 24)
GOD HAS GIVEN
Lord Jesus Christ tells us that we can choose to save our fallen Adamic
nature and go into eternal separation from God in hell or we can choose to lose
our Adamic nature by receiving Christ's righteous nature and go into eternal
union with God in heaven. That is the solemn reality of our situation according
to Scripture. That is the simplicity of
the true Gospel. We are warned not to
give heed to the false gospel that we
saved by fulfilling religious works and sacraments.
How do we lose our lives you may well ask ? We lose our lives by identifying with the Lord Jesus Christ through baptism into His death, burial and resurrection:-
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6 : 3-4)
Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, died for the sins of the whole world. By the blood of His sacrifice He made salvation available to all people everywhere conditional only upon believing. Christís death, burial and resurrection becomes our death, burial and resurrection.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: ( Galatians 2 : 20 )
When we believe that God has justified us with the blood of Christís sacrifice God imputes His righteousness to us and seals us with His Holy Spirit by whom we are born again. Jesus describes this in His conversation with Nicodemus, the learned Jewish Rabbi:-
answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born
again, he cannot see the
By making Christ our choice we come under the protection of Christ's sacrifice; we are delivered from the coming judgement of God and receive the gift of eternal life.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15 : 22)
And the promise of God to all that believe :-
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy (God's) presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm. 16 : 11)
God, who knows our every thought, is awaiting our response to His message of Good News: to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour or to reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. These are the only two options open to mankind.
God tells us that we have no other options.
All the evidence that we need on which to base our decision is found in the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Holy Bible: God's revelation to mankind. As our eternal destiny hinges upon our response to this provision of God's love and mercy it is surely our first priority in life to study the evidence for ourselves and not to entrust the eternal destiny of our souls to a church or priest but to Christ alone.
THE PERFECTION OF CHRIST'S SACRIFICE
Jesus Christ by his own will laid down His life for you and for me when He died on the cross :-
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (Hebrews 10 : 10 -12 - 14)
What an affront to Almighty God for man to imagine that a priest can supplement the finished work of Christ's perfect sacrifice by perpetuating this once for all sacrifice through religious sacraments or by using good works as a means of self justification and thus denigrate Christ's sacrifice which in itself was sufficient for the sins of the whole world.
As Christ died on the cross His final utterance was 'It is finished' and He gave up the ghost.
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19 : 30)
Everything necessary for man's redemption had now been finished by His life, death and resurrection, a perfect work of redemption had been accomplished. God's righteousness and the demands of God's law in respect of sin have been satisfied. Finished means finished and it is not for man to use religious trappings to tamper with or to try and supplement a work which is perfect in the sight of God and which carries the stamp of God's approval by His resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Do we respond to Christ's love and receive Him as our Saviour, or do we despise His love and reject Him as our Saviour ?
The inescapable fact is that one day we will all stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, whom God has appointed the judge of all men, and on that day we will either know Him as our Saviour or we shall know Him as our Judge. We do well to ask ourselves, "Which will it be in my case ?"
"WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED ?"
There is a passage in the Scriptures where a man cries out, "What must I do to be saved?"
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved....."
God's plan of salvation has not changed and it is still the same today for you and for me.
"HOW DO I BELIEVE ON
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ?"
∑ BELIEVE THAT GOD LOVES US. IT IS NOT HIS WILL THAT WE PERISH.
John 3 : 16 For God so loved the world, (that's you and me) that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever (that's you and me) believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
2 Peter 3 : 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
∑ BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST WAS BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY.
Matthew 1 : 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Matthew 1 : 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
∑ BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD.
Luke 1 : 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
John 19 : 7 The Jews answered him, we have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
∑ BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS GOD THE SON.
Colossians 2 : 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Philippians 2 : 5 - 8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
∑ BELIEVE HE BLED AND DIED ON THE CROSS FOR OUR SINS.
Colossians 1 : 20 - 22 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
∑ BELIEVE THAT CHRIST'S SHED BLOOD HAS PURCHASED GOD'S PARDON FOR OUR SIN.
Hebrews 9 : 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Romans 3 : 23 - 26 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
∑ BELIEVE THAT APART FROM THE LORD JESUS CHRIST THERE IS NO OTHER SAVIOUR.
Acts 4 : 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
John 14 : 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me........ "
1 Timothy 2 : 5 - 6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all,
∑ BELIEVE THAT CHRIST DIED ON THE CROSS, DESCENDED INTO THE HEART OF THE EARTH AND ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY.
John 19 : 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
Matthew 12 : 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Mark 8 : 31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed,and after three days rise again.
∑ BELIEVE THAT HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN AND WILL RETURN AGAIN TO ESTABLISH HIS KINGDOM OVER ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Acts 1 : 9 - 11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Matthew 25 : 31 - 32 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
"WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE ?"
Is it logical to refuse the grace and free pardon offered us by our Creator and choose instead the fearful consequences of isolating ourselves from His mercy to face the full force of God's immutable law under which the whole world lies in condemnation and whose verdict for sin is the penalty of death ?
Isaiah 1 : 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Deuteronomy 30 : 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life.
God's will is that we choose life
When that fateful day comes and we step through into
eternity and the stark truth of God's word confronts us, will the anguished cry of many be,
"WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE TELL ME ?"
You can thank God that this does not have to be your cry.
ďTHE CHOICE IS LIFE OR DEATHĒ
Before making your decision carefully consider the disciplines that the Lord Jesus Christ requires of His followers. This requirement is a switch of motive from living under the control of self to a motive of living under the control of Christ. Jesus warns against making a hasty decision to become His follower before carefully counting the cost. Consider again the three elements of the gospel:
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that:-
(1) Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; (2) And that he was buried,
(3) and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Corinthians 15 : 3 - 4)
The Lord Jesus Christ took upon Himself our human nature yet without sin by virtue of the virgin birth: His holy blood was not contaminated by the sin of Adam. Then at His crucifixion he took upon Himself the entire sin of the world and consequently suffered the penalty of Godís judgement for all mankind thus making Godís forgiveness of our sins possible without compromising His righteousness. We receive this forgiveness by believing the truth that God has provided our justification by the blood of Christís sacrifice. After believing we identify with Christís sacrifice by being baptised into Christ where we acknowledge that our sinful nature has been put to death and buried and we have risen from death with the new life of Christ within us. Those who believe and receive Christ as Saviour are able to say:-
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in
the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2 : 20)
As Scripture says:-
I am crucified with Christ (Galatians 2 : 20)
Buried with Him in baptism (Colossians 2 : 12)
Risen with Him in newness of life (Romans 6 : 4)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5 : 17)
Again, the question we must ask ourselves, 'Do I choose to save my fallen Adamic nature, be my own master and go to a lost eternity or do I choose to lose my rebellious Adamic nature by obeying the gospel, submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and gain an eternal heaven ?' This is truly the greatest decision ever to face each one of Adam's fallen race.
said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and
looking back, is fit for the
WE ARE GOD'S AMBASSADORS TO YOU
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
(2 Corinthians 5 : 20)
If you have determined to choose life and to receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour, Jesus tells us that your decision has repercussions in the heavenly realm :-
Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15 : 10)
He also gives you the further assurance that your approach to Him will not be rejected under any circumstances.
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
(John 6 : 37)
MY DECISION TO RECEIVE JESUS CHRIST
MY SAVIOUR AND MY LORD
"HOW DO I ACTUALLY RECEIVE JESUS CHRIST AS MY SAVIOUR ?"
We sometimes hear the remark, "I receive that" as an indication that a particular statement has been believed by the one addressed. In like manner receiving Christ as Saviour is by believing Godís word stating that Christís sacrifice has provided justification for all who believe. Receiving is by believing.
God's Word makes this statement :-
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Chist died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
(Romans 5 : 8 - 9)
The statement of this verse tells us that while we were unsaved sinners God, in His love for us, provided for our justification by the shedding of Christ's precious blood. Justified means to be made as though we had never sinned.
God's Word makes this statement :-
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4 : 5)
The statement of this verse tells us that
when we cease from striving to justify ourselves by our own works and simply
accept by faith the truth that God alone has justified us at the infinite cost
of the sacrificial blood of His beloved Son the Lord Jesus Christ, God then honours that believing faith by
imputing His righteousness to us as a gift.
We, by grace, become the recipients of God's righteousness which He
freely bestows upon those who believe: a holy righteousness without which we
dare not and could not enter into the presence of the holy and righteous God. We
have thus passed from a state of being unrighteous to a state of being
righteous. We have passed from a state
of being without Christ to a state of having received Christ.
We have passed from a lost condition to a saved condition. We are no longer separated from God by sin as we were by nature but have been reconciled to fellowship with God and have the joy of knowing our sins are forgiven. We know the joy of having our relationship with God restored and that we are no longer His enemies as we were by nature but are now adopted into His family as His children; His sons and daughters. We have passed from death to life: as we keep the faith through this life we are saved for all eternity.
God offers no other means by which we may be saved other than believing that He alone has justified us. Our exercise of this belief is the only ground upon which God will impute to us His righteousness. Making a decision for Jesus Christ in itself does not make us righteous. Asking Jesus into our life does not of itself make us righteous. It is when we by faith believe that God has paid for our justification and made atonement for our sin through the shedding of His beloved Sonís precious blood and that we of ourselves can do nothing to justify ourselves we then, by God's grace, become the recipients of God's righteousness. The provision of our salvation is entirely the work of God. The receiving of this salvation is entirely conditional upon our repentance and believing the Good News. (Gospel)
To believe or not to believe, that is the question that will govern our eternal destiny.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out Ö(Acts 3 : 19)
Furthermore, as believers, we are no longer under the condemnation of sin but have been reconciled to God by faith and made perfectly righteous with His righteousness we now know a peace with God we had never known before:
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (Romans 5 : 1)
This marvelous truth inspired the hymn writer to pen these beautiful words as the chorus to a hymn:-
Oh, the peace my Saviour gives,
Peace I never knew before,
And my way has brighter grown,
Since I learnt to trust Him more.
We see then that our salvation is entirely of God and nothing of ourselves. It is totally a demonstration of God's love for mankind.
Not only are we reconciled to God by His grace but when we receive or believe or trust or keep God's Word in this manner God indeed puts the seal of His Holy Spirit within us as a guarantee that we are His people under His care and under His protection.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1 : 13)
This truth is further borne out by the Lord Jesus Christ :-
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14 : 23)
When we by faith believe God has justified us by the shedding of Christ's precious blood and thus have God's righteousness imputed or accounted to us we are keeping the words of scripture as stated in the above verse from John's gospel and thereby receiving the Lord Jesus Christ who, with God the Father, will make their abode with us.
Know ye not that ye are the
What more could we ask of God and what more could God do for us ? The simple and obvious answer to this question is, 'Absolutely nothing.'
The emotional impact of knowing God's forgiveness and His peace and presence in our hearts can be quite profound. Nevertheless, we do not walk with God by our emotions but by faith; that is, by taking God at His Word. Not to do this is the sin of unbelief: the submitting of our will to Satan's lie rather than God's truth - man's original mistake in the Garden of Eden !
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1 : 17)
A simple prayer such as the following is sufficient to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour :-
A PRAYER OF REPENTANCE AND RECEIVING JESUS CHRIST AS LORD AND SAVIOUR
Almighty God I confess that I am a sinner and that I have violated Your laws. I ask Your forgiveness as I now strive to turn from all sin.
I believe your word that in your love for me you have saved me from my sin by taking it all upon yourself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and suffering the penalty in my place by your death on the cross.
I believe your word that whilst in my lost ungodly condition you have justified me by the blood of Christís sacrifice and on the grounds of my belief you have imparted the gift of your righteousness to me and sealed me with your Holy Spirit thereby making me your child and a member of the family of God.
In obedience to your word I will be baptized into Christ Jesus my Lord and in accordance with your word I will seek to be guided by your Holy Spirit to do your will on earth as it is in heaven.
"LORD, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE ME TO DO ?"
Having committed yourself as a follower of Jesus Christ there are certain disciplines which Christ requires of His disciples.
Without doubt your most important discipline is to apply yourself to the study of God's word, the Bible. For English language readers the Authorised Version - King James Bible is recommended due to its superior textual background and translation technique. Begin with the New Testament and then make it a regular practice to keep reading the Bible right through from beginning to end.
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby:
( 1 Peter 2 : 2 )
But he (Jesus) answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.
(Matthew 4 : 4)
God's word, which is Spirit and Life, is our spiritual food. Neglect it and we will die spiritually just as neglecting natural food will cause us to die physically.
∑ TELL SOMEONE YOU TRUST THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOUR
Romans 10 : 8-10 The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
WITH GENUINE BIBLE BASED BELIEVERS. MANY
Hebrews 10 : 24 - 25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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.
∑ BE BAPTISED INTO CHRIST BY TOTAL IMMERSION
Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Galatians 3 : 27 For ye are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
∑ MAKE BIBLE READING A DAILY PRIORITY
1 Peter 2 : 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Acts 17 : 11 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
∑ PRAY (TALK) TO GOD WITH THANKSGIVING AND REQUESTS
Philippians 4 : 6 - 7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto
God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
∑ MAKE FINANCIAL OFFERINGS TO GOD
Deuteronomy 8 : 18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth,
2 Corinthians 9 : 6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
∑ SHARE WITH OTHERS THE GOOD NEWS
Romans 1 : 6 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Gentile)
∑ SEEK GOD'S WILL OR PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE
Ephesians 5 : 15 -17 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Romans 8 : 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
∑ REALISE THAT GOD WILL TEST YOUR FAITH
1 Peter 1 : 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth,
though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 4 : 12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
∑ REALISE THAT SALVATION IS A FREE GIFT BUT THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP IS SELF DENIAL
Luke 9 : 23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Galatians 2 : 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
∑ IF WE DO SIN AGAINST GOD HE FORGIVES US WHEN WE REPENT AND CONFESS OUR SIN TO HIM
1 John 1 : 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
On one occasion the disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Lord teach us to pray."
Jesus then provided them with what has now become known as the ĎLordís Prayerí as a model upon which we
can base our approach to God in prayer. We do well to commit it to memory.
MATTHEW 6 : 9 - 13
After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts (sins), as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
DRIVE CAREFULLY - HAZARDS AHEAD !
Jesus tells us that to be His follower is not the easy path through life but that it is nevertheless the one and only path that leads us to eternal life. We are on a pilgrimage through hostile territory and we have an unseen enemy who strives to discourage and divert us from following the Lord Jesus. However, this same Jesus is the strength of our life and He has promised never to leave us nor to forsake us.
As we approach the time of Christ's return, scripture clearly indicates that deception will intensify and that what you see amongst professing Christians will frequently not align with what you read in your Bible. When questioned regarding His return, the Lord Jesus would inevitably preface His reply with the warning, "Take heed that you are not deceived !"
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (Matthew 24 : 3 - 4)
Our sole benchmark to distinguish truth from falsehood is the Word of God - nothing else. "Sola Scriptura," or "Scripture only" was the benchmark used by the Christians of the Reformation to liberate many nations from the cruel grip of the superstition and terror of the Dark Ages engendered by a false church professing a false gospel which holds out nothing but a false hope.
With these warnings in mind we take courage from the fact that we have an all powerful Father in heaven who loves us
and watches over us night and day. A faithful High Priest, the Lord Jesus, who ever lives to make intercession for us. The constant presence of the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us. Holy angels who minister to us. God's word to instruct and correct us and the fellowship of the saints to support us .
We can truthfully say that, regardless of circumstances, God is causing all things to work together for our good.
ROMANS 4 : 3 & 23 - 25
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
PROVERBS 11 : 4
Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
The Word of God
(The Authorised Version Ė King James Bible)
ďThe Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers.
Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe and practise it to be holy.
It contains light to direct you, food to support you and comfort to cheer you. It is the travellerís map, the pilgrimís staff, the pilotís compass and the Christianís charter.
Here paradise is restored, heaven opened and hell disclosed. The Lord Jesus Christ is its grand Object, our good its design and the glory of God its end.
Read it slowly, frequently and prayerfully. Let it fill the memory, rule the heart and guide the feet. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory and a river of pleasure.
It is given you in life, will be opened in the judgment and remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the highest labour and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
: 24 - 25)
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"WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE TELL ME ?" by PETER LEWIS
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Endtime Ministries...Christian Resource Centre
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