I always thought if I’d done more good than bad I’d be right with God and end up in heaven when I went belly-up. You know, be a good person. Earn my way there through my good works.
How tragic. Terrifying actually.
The Bible says it’s by grace you’ve been saved, through faith, and that not of yourself, it’s a gift from God and not of works lest anyone should boast.
The Bible also says we’re all sinners and what we earn from our sin is death, eternal separation from God. However, God’s gift (which cannot be earned) is eternal life through Jesus Christ.
According to the Bible, God loves you and me so much He sent His very Son Jesus to die for us. Jesus died a horrific, agonizing death on a cross to pay for your sins and mine. He took our sins, our punishment – so that all who believe on Him could be forgiven and made right before God the Father. We have forgiveness of our sins through His precious blood shed on the cross for us.
Jesus himself said we must be born again. It is through believing in Jesus, having faith in Him that we are born again. The word must means it is a requirement – it is essential – it is not optional. Jesus made that very clear.
Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me. This is an extremely exclusive statement. There are not many ways to get to God – only one. But at the same time, it is a very inclusive statement because the invitation is open to everyone!
Jesus said we are to repent and believe the Gospel. To repent means to confess our sins to God, turn away from them, and turn to Jesus. To believe the Gospel is to believe that Jesus is God’s Son and did indeed die on that cross for you and that He rose again after three days and is alive today. Gospel means good news. Jesus taking the punishment and dying for our sins so we don’t have to is very good news indeed.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes on Him will never perish but have everlasting life.
If you might be thinking – there is no way God could ever forgive me for what I’ve done, Jesus Himself spoke about that very issue. He said if anyone comes to Me, I will never cast them aside. He makes no exceptions, He will forgive you and accept you if you repent and call out to Him.
He loves you far too much to reject you. He paid too high a price to do that. He will forgive you and accept you right now, just as you are.
You have His word on it.
Romans 3:23 ; 6:23
John 3:7 ; 3:16 ; 6:37 ; 14:6