The Bad News and the Good News

 

The Bible teaches:

Eternal life is a gift – it can not be earned, it cannot be deserved.

There are two reasons why eternal life has to be a gift:

1.) Each of us has a moral problem – the Bible calls it sin.  We may squirm a bit at that word – it may sound condemning.  And we would be right on both counts.  I think we squirm because intuitively we know that our moral failures (rebellion against God or ambivalence towards God are BOTH sins) are crimes against God.  Jesus said, “Be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  None of us would want to be judged according to that standard, yet, that is exactly the standard by which we will be judged according to Jesus.  We may think, “I am not all that bad!”  And that may be true – if God graded on a curve.  Imagine that you have a new, white, button down shirt.  The ink pen in your pocket lets loose and you have a 2″ ink stain on your shirt.  It is 98% good, but the 2% bad is important and so you have to throw away the shirt.  So it is with us.  We may be 98% good, but the 2% sin (and that is WAY low) is important and enough to disqualify us from heaven.

2.) God is holy, righteous and just.  He must punish sin and He cannot allow unrighteousness to stand.  Someone says, “I thought God was love!  Why is anyone condemned?”  You would be right in saying that God is love, but He is also just and He is also righteous.  If God didn’t judge sin and condemn unrighteousness, He wouldn’t be just, He wouldn’t be righteous and He wouldn’t be God!  The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death!” The awful thing is that there is nothing we can do about it in and of ourselves.  Our default mode is to get busy and do good deeds in order to counterbalance our sin.  We do this naturally.  There is nothing wrong with doing good deeds, but they can’t erase our sin debt.  The Bible says, “By good deeds shall no man be made right with God” (translation mine).  so that creates a dilemma . . . How can we get to God?

The good news is that God did for us what we could not do for ourselves!  Before there was even time, God put in motion a plan whereby Jesus Christ, the second of the Holy Trinity would become a baby, born in a manger. He would live a perfect life, and at a time a place of His own choosing, Jesus would surrender Himself.  He was put on trial, convicted, condemned and ultimately crucified.  While on the cross, God the Father imputed (credited is close) to Jesus every one of the sins of every one of His people.  Ironically, on the cross Jesus becomes the most sinful person ever on the planet for He was bearing sin for so many people.  He died, but on the third day emerged from the tomb.

But God doesn’t forgive sin capriciously, only to those who respond to Him in faith and repentance.  What amounts to a surrender.  We die to ourselves exchanging our agenda for Gods agenda and believe that Jesus is the One provided as a substitute for the punishment our sin deserves.  i implore you to believe in Jesus today!  We will all meet our Maker – and at a time we don’t expect.  Jesus said to “Be ready!”

 

 

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