A Message for Everyone
A Message Everyone Needs to Hear
The message of the Bible is really a simple message. Sometimes Christians add confusion to the message by talking about morality, culture or politics. Sometimes the media gets it all wrong because they prefer the sensational stories of fringe people or groups. But the story of the Bible is remarkably simple. So, let's try to keep it simple and get to the main points. This is a message everyone needs to hear.
The Bible starts with the story of creation in order to make one main point: we are not here by accident. God created us for a purpose and that main purpose was to have a relationship with him. God loves us. He created us to glorify Him and to enjoy him forever! That means he wants to meet all our needs and show us how to live the most fulfilling life possible. He created us, so he knows how we work and what is best for us. A perfectly fulfilling life is not possible apart from God.
God gave us a choice regarding our love for him, and early on in the Bible we see that our choice was to disobey God and to trust ourselves rather than trust him. That choice has horrible consequences. God is perfectly good (holy) and perfectly just, so our disobedience means that we can not have a relationship with him. Our decision to trust in ourselves and to reject God's plan means that we are separated from a relationship with him unless somehow a payment for that disobedience can be arranged.
God, because of his love for his created ones, was quick to provide a plan for reconciliation. Faith became the key! Here's how it works. God established a system of sacrifices that would allow people to atone (make a payment for) their sin (disobedience toward God). So, God's people followed his plan and offered these sacrifices. They key, however, was not their act of sacrifice, but their faith in God's provision for forgiveness. If they believed in God and his provision for forgiveness, they would be considered sinless and be able to have a fulfilling relationship with God.
This system of making sacrifices could have gone on and on, but God made a promise that he would send a final sacrifice that would be for all people. God made a provision for a final, once for all sacrifice. He sent his own son, Jesus, to live with us. Jesus was the son of God and long-awaited sacrifice. He lived a perfect life and was crucified (a Roman method of capital punishment). To prove his power over death, he rose from the dead and spent weeks with his followers before going back to be with God in heaven.
Today, every human being has a choice. We can trust in God's provision and choose to have a relationship with Him or we can reject him. To be reconciled to God for this life and for all eternity, we must admit that we are disobedient people who have rejected God and lived for self. We need to ask for forgiveness. Then, we have to choose to turn to God by trusting his provision for our sin (Jesus Christ). Not trusting in Jesus means that you will remain separated from a relationship with God in this life and for eternity.
To the people who are pretty good people....
Some people think that being good is good enough to satisfy God. I think I'm a pretty good guy, but if I acted immorally only three times a week (a feat I'd be proud of!), I'd rack up 11,700 immoral acts by age 75. Ouch. So, pretty good is really not good enough. We need to be rescued from our sin. Let me explain this another way. All other religions rely on being good to get them to heaven. But being good doesn't work because we can never be good enough. In fact, just one act of disobedience is enough to keep us from God's standard of pure goodness. Instead, God's provision is the only thing that will qualify us for a relationship with him. When I choose to trust God for that provision, he restores my relationship with him. This is what the Bible says in John 3:16 says: "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."
To the people who have been pretty bad....
Some people think that there is no way God could forgive them for what they have done. However, God went to great lengths to secure the opportunity for forgiveness for EVERYONE. He sent his own son to die for us. The Bible is full of stories of very immoral people and how God sought them out for a relationship. Paul, an early Christian leader and author of several Bible books, was leader of a team that killed Christians before he realized who Jesus was and asked for forgiveness. God forgave him and made him one of the greatest heroes of the Christian faith. Today, churches are full of people who have lived immoral lives. They are not perfect, but they have been forgiven according to God's promise and their lives have been radically changed.
A Prayer for Forgiveness
If you want to know more about this message, please contact me and I'll be glad to answer your questions. If you want to trust in Jesus and receive God's forgiveness, you simply need to tell God by praying a prayer like this: "God, I know that I am disobedient and that I need your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus, your son, died as a sacrifice for me. Forgive me for all that I have done against you and others and restore my relationship with you." If you prayed that prayer today, let me know and I'll give you some more resources and help for your journey with God.