Saturday, January 24, 2009

Are You An Heiress

How to Become an Heir of Christ

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Roman 3:23

Several years ago I took a discipleship class about learning to share your faith. So, of course - during the course of the class we were to go out and share our faith and put to practice what we were learning. The first question we were encouraged to ask the people we met was this, "What do you think that a person must do to go to heaven?" Many times people would say - "I just need to be a good person." They would continue by letting me know that they thought they were "good". The people I talked to would claim to be "good" parents, friends, and neighbors. They would tell me a lot of what they didn't do, such as steal, do drugs and so on.

But the verse above reminds me of my contrast with God. In regards to salvation, this verse is making us aware of how we are ALL SINNERS - we were not born "good", and we do not become "good".

You know, if a doctor suddenly announced to us in an exciting voice that he had a cure for the Paraguayan Flu, would we really care about it? In order for his discovery to impress us so deeply that we would seek a vaccination, the doctor would first need to prove to us the terrible dangers facing us of the unknown virus. People will not seek a cure until they know they are ill. Our illness is sin, and our cure is salvation. Jesus said in Matthew 9:12, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick."

So I've mentioned how we can not get to heaven by being "good", but did you know that you don't go to hell just because you are bad? Do I have your attention now??? People go to hell because they reject Christ, and they go to heaven because they accept the free gift of eternal life.

Read this scripture, John 3:16-21 and then we will talk about it. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

Look again at the part I've put in BOLD. The Bible does not say that he was condemned because he got drunk, or because he committed adultery, gambled, or even murdered. He was condemned because he did not believe in Christ. Listen, Jesus' blood on the cross atoned for all those sins. And Christ CAN and HAS and WILL forgive them. However, hear me on this ---- far worse than gambling, adultery, or murder - is rejecting Christ. Matthew 12:31-32 "And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven."

Someone reading this needs to hear right now that Christ died for you. As crazy as that sounds in our selfish world - it is true. I will never forgot when "Passion of the Christ" by Mel Gibson was out and my heart broke one night watching TV. I was watching a show called "Politically Incorrect with Bill Marh". You can tell that Bill Marh has some head knowledge of the Bible and he was debating with those on his show that night about the accuracy of the film. Bill had seen the movie. He had read the scriptures that related to the movie. BUT, he said this - "I see the passion Mel Gibson has for this film and I'm moved by how he truly believes what he created on film is the true Gospel. But, I can not image that someone, who doesn't even know me - would ever die for me, a sinner. That is incomprehensible." My eyes just filled with tears and I prayed for Bill Marh that very moment. He was so close to believing, but could just not understand the truth of God's love. John 4:10 "This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

So, now what? Did you know that Satan believes in God. It is not enough for us to believe that God exists. Since we are a "Christian Nation", most Americans believe themselves to be "Christians" because they live in America! I John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Are you needing to do that today? Confess with your mouth your sins and ask God to forgive you? I've had the need to write about salvation on my heart for some time - and I couldn't put it off any longer. If you have more questions OR make this decision - please contact me. If you aren't even sure what to pray - I have a prayer below that you can pray. I would love to know if you prayed this prayer and send you some resources to encourage you in your walk with God. I hope to hear from you soon:)

"Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I have been a sinner from birth and there is no good thing in me. But God today, right now - I am believing Your Word, the Bible. I want to confess my sins to You and ask You to forgive me. I know that You died on the cross for me. And, I want to accept the free gift that You want to give me, which is the gift of eternal life. God I want to know more of You while on this earth. And, I want to spend eternity with You in heaven. Amen."

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