Maybe You’re like me when I was a kid? When I didn’t want to hear what a person was saying, I would stick my hands over my ears, start humming or saying I’m not listening. I’m not listening. Hoping that the person would shut up and leave me alone.
This blog post is part 6 of the series Eight Steps to Experiencing His Victory
It seems somewhat childish to do such a thing, but I think it takes place each and every day with not only kids but adults too. We might not put our hands over our ears and start humming. We simply ignore and reject anything that we don’t want to hear hoping it will go away.
The problem with ignoring the truth is that it doesn’t go away and the consequences still remain. For example, you can feel uncomfortable about being sick with cancer and ignore it while it slowly kills you Or you can acknowledge the bad news and attack it with prayer and medical help.
Ignoring reality does not make it go away or change things. It only ensures that what is taking place will happen. It is when you acknowledge the truth that you can do something about it.
In this post, I am going to speak about some bad news, very bad news. The good thing is that I am going to tell some very good news before and after the bad. The bad news is very bad but the good news is very, very good.
God Loves You
The good news is that God loves you. He loves you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 says:
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
God created you to be in fellowship with Him. He wants to be your God and for you to be His child. He wants to be your heavenly Father.
His love for you is endless. It will never run out. His love for you is forever because He is eternal. His love for you never changes, because He is unchangeable.
God is for you. He wants to see you succeed and prosper. God cares for you and wants to touch you with His life and power. He desires that you walk in wholeness. He is looking for you to respond to Him in faith and receive the fullness of His abundant life.
The Bad News
If God loves you so much and wants you to have a relationship with Him, how can there be bad news? The bad news entered in when sin entered the world. The Bible is pretty clear about how you stand before God. It is the worst news you could ever hear.
This is what the Bible has to say about the standing of every person on the face of the earth (except those who have responded to the Good News at the end of this post). I am only going to give a very brief description of each aspect. Each item could be a separate post. The goal is to get you see what the Bible has to say about the condition of a person apart from God.
You are a Sinner
Oh yeah, here it comes, You’re going to tell me how bad I am. You going to try and give me a guilt trip and beat me with the Bible. I thought you said God was love.
No, I’m going to tell you what the Bible says so you will know the truth and be able to understand what it takes to get right with God. He has made a way. There is good news, but you must accept the bad first. You are a sinner.
THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NO ONE THAT UNDERSTANDS. THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE. (Romans 3:10-12)
For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Sin is not just a mistake. Oops, I sinned. A biblical understanding of sin is that it is always a willful, conscious choice to rebel against what God has revealed as truth. Sin is not an accident, it is a rebellion against God’s way.
You are Spiritually Dead
God warned Adam and Eve not to rebel against Him and eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He said that if they chose to do it, they would die. We see this in Genesis 2:16-17:
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.
The day that Adam and Eve rebelled and ate of the fruit they did not die physically, they died spiritually. They were instantly separated from God and realized that something had radically changed.
Physical death is a separation of life from the body. Spiritual death is separation from the life of God. Adam and Eve’s spirit died the day they chose to sin. Sin kills.
You are Separated from God
A person who sins is not only separated from the life of God but also separated from a relationship with God. When we choose to go our own way (sin) then the Bible describes our relationship with God with words like alienated, hostile, and enemies:
And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds. (Colossians 1:21)
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)
Romans 5:10 describes those who have sinned against God as enemies. We are separated from God because of our sin. We are separated from God because we choose to oppose the way of truth and walk in our own strength and ability. Sin Separates.
You are Guilty
In our modern thinking guilt focuses mainly on feelings. In the Bible, guilt is a legal term used in a court of law. There are three aspects to the idea of guilt.
- The act that brings guilt (our sin)
- The condition of guilt because of the act (we are guilty)
- The punishment that is right for the act.
If you sinned against God you are guilty, even if you don’t feel guilty. God judges you on the basis of what you have done in response to His commandments. Society may say that things are right but God is the ultimate judge and He will judge righteously. Sin brings guilt.
You are Condemned
Feelings of condemnation generally accompany feelings of guilt, but we’re not talking about feelings. Condemnation is another word used in the court system. It describes someone who is already judged and awaiting the sentence to be carried out.
Here is what Jesus says in John 3:17-18:
17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
This verse shows us that Jesus did not come to judge the world. The world is already judged. Everyone in the world is already condemned by God because of sin. Sin brings condemnation.
You are Under the Wrath of God
The Bible clearly says that God is the righteous judge that will bring justice in the world. A judge is responsible to bring justice. God will judge righteously according to what each person deserves.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. (Romans 1:18)
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. (Galatians 6:7)
He who believes in the Son has eternal life: but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)
Sin brings forth the wrath of God.
You Will Be Separated from God Eternally
This is the scariest and worst truth of all. Everyone who refuses Christ will be judged by their own works and be separated from God forever. Many people make fun of hell and think that it is going to be a place of partying and fun, but it is not. It is a place of torment.
The following verses from Revelation 20:11-15 describe the judgment that will take place on those who refuse to believe God and accept Christ:
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the]books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
This is a tragic end for all of those who refuse to accept the grace and mercy God has made available through Jesus Christ. Sin damns.
Have you had enough bad news yet? I sure have. Let’s get to the Good News of Jesus Christ and see how His death and resurrection deals with every aspect of the of the bad news.
The Good News
We started with the good news that God loves you with an everlasting love. He is for you and not against you. He has made a way for you and provided everything that you need for life and godliness.
God Doesn’t Want to Judge You
After reading the bad new above some people may think that God is filled with anger and wrath and delights in destroying the wicked. Some see Him as harsh and cruel and hateful, but that is an inaccurate picture. Listen to the good news.
“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.” (Ezekiel 18:3)
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4)
God Sent Jesus to Save Us
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did; sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:3-4)
She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6)
God has proved His great love for you in sending Jesus to pay for your sins. Jesus came, lived a sinless life, offered Himself as a sacrifice on the cross taking the penalty for your sins, was buried, rose from the dead on the third day, ascended to heaven and sits at the right hand of God.
Jesus paid it all. He took the judgment that you deserve. He died for your sin so that you can be reconciled to God. Let's look at the Good News of how Jesus provides everything we need to deal with the effects of the bad news. The bad news is very bad, but the Good News is very, very good.
Look at all the wonderful things Jesus has done for you.
Jesus Died to Save You From Your Sin
You are a sinner and are unable to save yourself, therefore God sent Jesus to save you from your sin. This is called forgiveness.
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:7-10)
Jesus Died to Raise You From Spiritual Death
You are spiritually dead and there is nothing you can do to make yourself alive in God. Look what God and Jesus did for you:
But God being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have you been saved) (Ephesians 2:4-5)
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile toward us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)
Jesus Reconciles You to God
Your sins separate you from God. Jesus died to forgive sin and reconcile you to God.
Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:14-15)
18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 4:18-19)
Jesus Acquits You of Your Guilt
You were guilty before God. Through the sacrifice of Jesus you have been justified. Just like guilt is a legal word used in a court of law, so it the word justify. It means “to acquit” or “to pronounce righteous.” When we accept Jesus our sins are forgiven and God declares us righteous.
Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. (Romans 5:8-9)
Jesus Removes Your Condemnation
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand, the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. (Romans 5:16)
Jesus Saves You From the Wrath of God
We already saw in Romans 5:9 that we are saved from the wrath of God through Jesus. Here are a couple of additional verses that affirm that truth:
9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)
For God has not destined us to wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
Jesus Came to Give You Eternal Life
God’s plan for your life is not to send you to the lake of fire and eternal condemnation. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus tells us that that the lake of fire was created for the devil and his angels. It was not created to contain men, but some have chosen to reject God and they will end up in the lake of fire.
The good news is that Jesus has made a way for us to escape eternal separation and gain eternal life. What a wonderful blessing. Listen to what the Bible has to say:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)
The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. 11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 John 5:10-12)
But these things have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)
What Do You Need to Do to Get Saved?
That is a great question that a couple of people asked in the Bible. The first ones to ask was the crowd listening to Peter on the day of Pentecost. They heard him preaching the word of God:
37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”
The second person was a jailer in Philippi that experienced a miraculous earthquake that open the doors to the prison and caused all of the chains of the prisoners to be unfastened.
27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. (Acts 16:27-33)
Hear the Word of the Lord
You have to hear (or read) the word of God proclaimed in a way to help you understand the Gospel. The Apostle Paul said:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Acknowledge That You Are a Sinner in Need of a Savior
This is a very important step in the process. You must acknowledge that you are a sinner. If you are counting on your good works or any other thing than Jesus you can’t be saved. The Bible makes it clear that Jesus came to save sinners, not the righteous.
It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. (1 Timothy 1:15)
I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. (Jesus in Luke 5:32)
Repent to God and Turn to Christ
Many people think that repentance is feeling bad for your sins. It may include some remorse, but true repentance is a change of mind to agree with what God says and turning from sins to God. According to Larry Richards, “True repentance is to make a decision that changes the total direction of one’s life.” True repentance comes into agreement with God on what He calls sin and the decision to turn from it to God.
From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
Therefore, return and repent, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19)
Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the whole world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. (Act 17:30-31)
How I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house to house, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:20-21)
Confess and Believe in Christ
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 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; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)
The Choice is Yours
You have heard the Good News of how Jesus has come to save you from your sins and the wrath of God to come. Now it is time to make a choice. Will you acknowledge your need and come to Jesus Christ as Lord and be saved?
If you pray the prayer below and let me know of your decision to trust in Christ. I would like to send you more information about who God is and who you are in Christ. If you are ready, pray the following prayer and tell God anything else that is on your heart.
Father, I come to you and acknowledge that I am a sinner and helpless to save myself. I need a savior.
I come into agreement with You that I have sinned against you. I have gone my own way and done my own thing. Please forgive me for my sin.
I repent and turn away from my sin to come to You. I acknowledge that Jesus Christ is my only hope of salvation. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is my Lord. I believe with my heart that You raised Him from the dead.
I receive Your gift of salvation knowing I can do nothing to earn it. I thank you that the blood of Jesus cleanses me from all sin. I thank You that in confessing Christ my spirit is born again and I am at peace with You.
Thank you for accepting me. I acknowledge that You are Lord and I give my life to You. Lead me in Your way of life.
You Want to Learn More
The first link is for you if you did not accept Christ today, but are interested in learning more about God and His plan for your life.
If you click on the link, you will be taken to a page on my website where you can sign up to receive a series of emails that go into more detail about who God is and His plan for your life.
You Accepted Christ
The second link is for you if you accepted Christ into your life today.
If you click on this link, I will rejoice with you in the decision you made to follow Christ and send you a series of emails that will tell you who you are in Christ and how you can grow in your relationship with God.
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