The last couple of blogs looked at three strategies enemy uses to attack our understanding of God’s Word, God’s punishment for disobedience and God’s moral authority respectively. These raise the question: why does the enemy go to so such lengths to turn you away from your Creator?
“She saw it was good to the eye… so she ate…”
The serpent’s ultimate goal is to tempt you to disobey God’s commands.
If you turn away from God and turn to gratifying Self, you begin following the enemy of your soul – the devil. This has always been your adversary’s desire. Jesus tells us that our enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. Nowhere is this more evident than in Satan inciting you to disobey God so that you reap death and destruction.
Disobedience becomes the inevitable result of doubting God’s word, denying the consequences of sin and living for Self. It encapsulates everything that stands against God and it takes away your ability to walk with him.
The Bible makes it quite clear that all people have missed the mark because of sin. Unresolved sin not only separates each of us from God but also earns you a spiritual death penalty. You have no hope if this problem is not fixed.
Why is knowing this so important? In the words of Mark Twain, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Many people think or ‘know’ the Bible is just a book of myths and fairy tales. What they ‘know’ allows them to justify their rejection of God.
They live in denial of God and pursue personal fulfilment often through pleasure, power or prestige. Yet this warning comes to all who try to live according to their own terms: “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”a
So how do you respond to the truth that God has revealed?
The truth is that Jesus alone is the solution to your spiritual insolvency. He has the power to pay for your transgressions and have the accusations against you by the devil withdrawn if you allow him step in your place. It’s your choice. You see “for God so loved that world that he sent his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”b
A real and rewarding life that goes on forever is yours when you trust Jesus. It is a gift that God wants to give you. Knowing this is not enough though. As with any gift, you have to actively receive it. Everything else becomes insignificant if you haven’t settled this issue in your life once and for all. If you are not convinced that you need Jesus then I pray he would speak to your heart and reveal your condition without him.
If you’re still reading, great. I assume you have or are ready to take the next step.
The Bible says that, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”c
It’s that simple.
Believing and accepting that Jesus has paid the price for your transgressions saves you and gives you eternal life. It is like accepting a free gift to have your debts paid so you avoid bankruptcy. It requires none of your own effort; only your willingness to receive the gift and have faith in your benefactor’s ability to do what he has promised.
If you want to receive God’s free gift of salvation, take moment and say this prayer:
“Dear Jesus, I confess that I have sinned against you. I believe that you died for my sins and were raised from the dead to save me. I receive your free gift of salvation. Thank you for paying every debt I owe to God and the people I have wronged. Thank you for saving me and giving me eternal life. Amen.”
If you prayed those words and truly believe what you said then congratulations, you are now and forever a child of God – you have eternal life!
What happens now when you accept and receive the truth?
Surrendering to Jesus is the most important decision you have made. In 1 John 5 it says “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him… For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
When you believe in Jesus you have overcome everything the world can and will throw at you. You have, in the most significant sense, won in life because you are no longer a slave to sin and are destined to conquer death itself through Jesus.
What now? Well if getting saved was God’s sole purpose for your life then he would immediately beam you up to heaven where you would no longer have to deal with the problems of this broken world. Unfortunately, that’s not his plan.
God keeps you here because he desires for everyone to get saved. There are people you know who need to hear this good news but won’t unless someone tells them. How can someone tell them unless God sends a messenger?
God now calls you to use your life and what you receive from him in the most rewarding and significant endeavour there is. You and every person who believes in Jesus are called to spread his message of reconciliation with God. You are called to share the good news.
Over the coming weeks, I will look at what that entails. Subscribe to this blog by entering your details below to be notified of future blog posts.
a Proverbs 14:12, b John 3:16, c Romans 10:9-10