A central element in the Christian message is an appeal to the reader or hearer to become a Christian. This link site is designed to help you in that task.
The Apostle John recorded in his gospel account the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17: 3). If eternal life should be a desire of yours, knowing God is the only way to it. Jesus said, also in John’s account, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Our invitation to you is to respond to Christ in the same manner as the first century Jewish and Gentile converts; to know Jesus Christ and to know God in the way described in the Bible. But such an appeal presumes that the reader sees the need to become a Christian. Whether you do not yet see that need, or you do and want to become a Christian, or you think that you are already a Christian, it is essential to discuss several truths about life, Divine purpose, and eternal destiny before we describe the response that brings man into harmony with His God.
Sin separates me from my Creator!
The Bible contains the letter of the Apostle Paul to the church in Rome. In this letter Paul writes, “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”” (Romans 3:23). He also writes in the same chapter of that letter, “There is none righteous, no, not one(Romans 3:10). Many people will at this point hit the back button, the close button, the delete button, or whatever button that will take them out of this site, because they do not like to talk about sin, think about sin, or admit that they could have sin in their lives. Stop! Please do not exit this site. Read on, at least for awhile. You can always exit later.
Understand from the outset, we are not declaring you to be a sinner! But, God is. Just as He has declared us to be sinners, He has declared you and all mankind to have fallen short of His glory. He has pronounced us all as sinners and, as God, He has the wisdom and authority to make such a declaration. The question is not whether we are all sinners, but what are we going to do about the fact that we are?
Most of us do not like being told that we are wrong about anything. We dislike this so much that often we cannot accept it even when God proclaims it. If we could compare ourselves only to other human beings, we might not look too bad. For that matter we could look rather good, depending upon to whom we might be comparing ourselves at that moment. But, it is not ourselves that we have to satisfy. Our problem is, how are we going to satisfy God?
The Apostle Paul, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, declares in the second chapter of his letter to the church at Ephesus that we are dead in our trespasses. The word trespass is a synonym for sin; and death, as it is used here, is spiritual, not physical. Spiritual death is eternal separation from God. Thus, the consequence of sin is separation from God. Sin creates the defining problem for man. The ultimate challenge before us is how are we to overcome this separation from our Creator caused by our sin.
Why do I need a Savior?
If there were no God, I would not need a savior. If this life and this world encompassed all there is, I would not need a savior. If life had no purpose and, consequently, no meaning, I would not need a savior. But, there is a God. Life, in the spirit, continues after physical death. And God created us for a divine purpose.
Given the above conditions, I still would not need a savior if it were in my power to bridge the gap between myself and my God. But, I do not have that power. No man has that power. We have difficulty enough trying to grasp good and evil, sin and righteousness, life and death, purpose and destiny, and a multitude of other challenging concepts. Neither you, nor I, nor all of mankind combined, can span the gulf between ourselves and our Creator. We, who are not holy, cannot construct a bridge to a Holy God. The thought alone that I could do that is presumptuous and makes me unworthy to come into His presence. Any thought that empowers me to place obligations upon God, proposes that I act as my own judge, or presumes that I can prescribe my own remedy is an act that, in itself, demonstrates my unworthiness to come before Him. Only God can prescribe the sentence for my sins. Therefore, I not only need a Savior, I desperately need One.
Why cannot God let me into heaven with my sin?
Even if I can get myself to think that “yes, maybe I have sinned,”I can still have difficulty in accepting that I need someone to save me. Possibly I do not believe in Hell or I think that my sins are not so bad that God would bar me from heaven. Maybe I see God as so loving, kind, compassionate, and abundantly forgiving that I cannot conceive that He could condemn me to an eternity in Hell. The problem lies in my perception of God. If I think that I, with my sins, can come into God’s presence without a remedy and with no cost to myself, I minimize the holiness of God. A God who could accept me the way I am without a payment for the sins I have committed would be a God who would be much like me.
It is not that God so much condemns me to Hell, but because of His great holiness He cannot accept me into his presence with my sin. I sort of separate myself from God, rather than He casts me away. God and sinners are somewhat like oil and water; the two cannot mix because that is simply the nature of their being. If I think that God should accept me with my sins, however small I perceive them to be, I think of God as not being holy. He would be a Being of a stature not much greater than myself if He could allow me into His presence without a way of cleansing the stain of sin from me. I would not even wish to worship a God of such little significance. It is because of God’s great and infinite holiness that I cannot enter heaven with my sin.
Why did the Son of God have to die for my sins?
If I can be brought to the point that I confess that I have sin in my life, that I cannot enter heaven because of that sin, and that I need a remedy to rid me of that sin, I may still wonder why God sent His Son to die for me. Is that not some kind of “overkill,” so to speak? Could not God have devised some other kind of remedy that was not so dramatic, that did not carry such an emotional impact as God sacrificing His own Son? Could not something else be paid to redeem my soul? The answer is “No!”
God created man at the pinnacle of the creation. That should not be a very difficult concept for us to accept. We like to think of ourselves as important. [Those who remove God from the picture are in effect putting themselves, man, at the center of the universe. No creature and no thing can have supremacy over man if God is removed.] If man were to pay a ransom to redeem himself from the control of Satan, what would be valuable enough to warrant the exchange? Not animals or plants. They are not as valuable as man. Not precious jewels or minerals or any inanimate thing can compare to the value of human life. If non-human life is insufficient to be given as payment for man’s redemption, then certainly inanimate objects serve no better as a ransom.
Most of the time we go about thinking that we are far more important than we are. But when it comes to paying a ransom for our escape from the grip of evil, we want to pay it with inferior goods. Any old thing would do to pay the price for our sins. Our value, while normally over-stated in our own eyes, nevertheless becomes our own un-doing. There is nothing that Satan would take in exchange for all of human-kind that has fallen into his grasp. There is nothing we can offer to God to buy His intercession on our behalf.
Fortunately, because of God’s great love and mercy, there is one thing that can be offered. There is one thing that is greater than all of mankind, greater than all the human souls that live, have lived, or ever will live on this earth. That one thing is God. Thus, by the mercy and grace of God, God came in the flesh in the form of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and offered Himself as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind. At the behest of the Father, the Son provided a payment great enough to cover not only my sins, but the sins of anyone who chooses to come to God under the terms of His covenant. This is why the Son of God had to suffer and die for me…there is nothing great enough to cover the sins of all mankind except God Himself.