Most likely, we don’t know each other personally. You’ve just stumbled onto my website somehow while out for a surf on the world wide web. I write about a good many topics, from gardening to grocery shopping, from loving my husband and children to loving art, passionately cooking to passionately serving.
There is one Person in my life Who is foundational to all of what I write. None of what I do is worth anything at all without my Jesus. My Jesus is my reason for everything that I do. I do it all for Him. Who I am, my very being, I owe to one day also receiving this beautiful, free gift — salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone. At the end of this article, you’ll find a link to read my story, of how Christ changed my life with His love.
Still, before your leave my humble home on the internet, I would like to tell you about this free gift available to you today.
The gift isn’t from me directly, but from Someone very important to me, Who loves you and me both very much. That Someone I am speaking of is God, and the free gift is the gift of eternal life with Him in heaven.
What stands in our way?
The problem is, there is one thing that can never be in the presence of a holy and just God, and that is a sin. Our sin is anything we do, say, or think that displeases God. Because of our sin, we all deserve hell, not heaven, when we die.
Most of us think that we are pretty good people. The questions we should be asking is, “Am I good enough for heaven? Am I good compared to God’s standards?”
If we are honest, we know that we don’t measure up to God’s perfect, holy standards. Think about God’s standards for a minute:
The Measuring Stick
- Which of us has never put anyone or anything else before a love for God? Which of us has never taken the name of the Lord in vain? How about setting apart one day of the week just for God?
- Let’s bring it down a little more personal. Which of us has never dishonored our parents?
- Most of us think that we are pretty good people if we’ve never murdered anyone, and most of us have never committed murder, but Jesus said that becoming angry with someone is the same as murder, because sins like murder start in the heart, just as even if we’ve never committed physical adultery, we’re guilty if we’ve ever looked at someone else with lust.
- How about stealing? Which of us has never stolen anything, not even walking away with a pen from the grocery store cashier? Or lying? Have any of us never told a lie? Which of us has never been envious of what someone else has?
Each of these things is covered in God’s standard, the Ten Commandments.
You may say that it’s hopeless because no one can obey all of those ten commandments all of the time. I know that I felt very hopeless at one point in my life because I knew I had done things that displeased God. I figured that since I had already messed up too much, God couldn’t possibly still love me. Could He?
As hard as it was for me to believe, I came to find out that I was wrong. My Jesus loved me so much that He chose to die for me! God shows us that He loves us, “in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
It’s true that none of us can obey all of those ten commandments all of the time. The Bible teaches that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). That was the whole point of God giving us the Ten Commandments in the first place (The Lord writes about this in Galatians 3 and 4, where He teaches us that the Law was a Schoolmaster, directing us to our need for Christ). He gave us those commandments to show us that, without Him, none of us will ever be good enough for heaven on our own. No one can ever work hard enough, be disciplined enough, or try hard enough to be good enough by God’s standards.
Instead, God sent His Son, Jesus, to live as a man, to obey His law for us, and then to die for us on the cross. Because Jesus was completely innocent
and without sin, He was able to pay the penalty of sin for us by dying on the cross. The Bible teaches that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Essentially, we had earned the death penalty because of our sin, but Christ chose to die in our place.
Jesus teaches us in a well-known verse:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus Christ didn’t just stay dead, though. On the third day, He rose from the dead, to show that He really is who He said He was. His Apostles went from cowering in an upper room to boldly preaching the risen Christ, and each of them but John was martyred for their message. If they hadn’t really seen the risen Christ, why suffer so horribly?
If Jesus didn’t really rise again, why didn’t the Jewish and Roman authorities quash the rumor by parading the dead
body of Jesus around Jerusalem? No, He really did rise again.
Now, the free gift of eternal salvation is available to anyone who puts their trust in Christ for salvation. What does that mean? It’s as easy as A-B-C.
- admitting that you are a sinner, and have displeased God.
- believing that Jesus is the sinless Son of God who died for your sins
- calling on the name of Jesus in prayer, praying to Him to become your Savior
and Lord of your life.
To grow in your walk with God, look for a local church (a church near you) that teaches and preaches the Bible. Get a Bible and read it. I suggest starting with the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and also the letter of 1 John.
If you’ve accepted Christ today, I’d like to hear about it. Let me know.