Monday, January 6, 2014

In the Beginning...

In the beginning, God created everything, and the sun still shines down on all, both good and bad.  But man misused his freedoms in disobedience to his Creator, and the whole world fell under the curse of sin.  

People weren't stupid, there has never been an atheist civilization found.  They knew there was a God and couldn't deny that fact from creation and order in the universe.  

Yet, in their disobedience and rebellion, they denied the one true God of the Bible, and made up gods of their own, fashioned after their own image.  
Worthless idols without standards, who would not hold them accountable, that would allow them to rebel and sin without consequence.  

All of this, subjected all of creation to the curse, and all of sinful mankind to the danger of punishment in the eternal lake of fire.  

So, are you any better, do you think that you deserve anything different?   Let's find out. Do you think that you've kept God's Law?  

The Ten Commandments are God’s moral standard in outline form.  We've already shown that mankind in general has not kept God first in their lives and created idols for themselves, breaking the first two commands: 1- to have no other Gods and 2- no idolatry.

Let’s go through the rest and see how you do:  

3-No Blasphemy - Have you ever used the Lord's name in vain? OMG, JC or anything like that?

4-Remember the Sabbath (Col 2:16)  - Have you set aside one day in seven to give back to the Lord who has given you everything?

5-Honor Parents  - Have you always done this or have you been a bit of a brat at times like the rest of us?

6-No Murder - The Bible says that if you hate your brother without just cause, you have violated this one and are in danger of judgment.

7-No Adultery  - Jesus said that if you've looked with lust, you've already committed adultery in your heart.

8-No Stealing  - Have you ever stolen anything, regardless of value?

9-No Lying (Rev 21:8)  - Have you ever told an exaggeration, half truth or even a little white lie?

10-No Coveting - Even our thoughts will be judged, because that's where it begins, before we actually take any action.

So, how did you do?  Would you be found innocent or guilty if judged by this standard?  

You know you’d be found guilty, none of us have kept them all.  Being found guilty, would you be let into heaven or sent straight to hell?

God is perfect, He is holy, righteous and just.  And that is why He cannot overlook your sins and just let you, a guilty criminal, into heaven anyway. Because that would not be just.  

In order for justice to be satisfied, the fine must be paid - the wages of sin is death and eternal punishment in the lake of fire.
The punishment is eternal because you’ve sinned against an eternal God.

But God is loving and full of mercy, and He created a way - one way - for you to be saved from the lake of fire, while still upholding His righteousness and remaining just.  Do you know what He did?  

He paid the penalty for you, by sending His Son, Jesus Christ - God in the flesh - who lived a perfect, sinless life and then suffered and died, crucified on a cross to pay the fine for us.  

This wasn't just physical punishment, as horrible as that was, that paid your fine.  It was the wrath of God poured out, the wrath that you and I deserve.  

Now, someone might ask, "How can one Man, suffering for a few hours, dying and then rising from the dead, pay the penalty for all man’s sins?"  
I'll tell you how.  Because that one Man was fully man, yet fully God at the same time, worth more than all of creation, and He is the only One who could pay the fine for you.  

You cannot pay your fine, because it is your own sin that condemns you.  No one else can do it, because they've all got their own sins to deal with.  

Only God Himself could live a completely sinless life, and then pay our fine by laying down that life as a sacrifice for our sins.  If Jesus is not God, then we're all still in our sins and under wrath, because salvation is of the Lord!

Only through Jesus Christ, can we be saved from the flames and made into a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Now, what must you do in order to make this free gift your own?  This isn't some kind of automatic payment that allows you to continue in your sins, no, that would be trampling the blood of our Savior.

Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

There are two things that you must do in order for this sacrifice to pertain to you:

First, you repent of your sins, which means you stop committing them, turn away from them, forsake them.   You should hate those sins that you once loved as much as God has always hated them.  

Then we trust in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation, submitting to Him as Lord and obeying His commands.

Hebrews 10:26-27 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

You’ve received the knowledge of the truth, what you do with that now is up to you.

But keep in mind that 150,000 people die every day.  That's two people every second, off into eternity, and at that point, it's too late to change your mind. You’ve got to be made ready on this side.  The Bible tells us it is appointed man once to die and then the judgment, and it says that it's a fearful thing for a sinful man to fall into the hands of the living God.  Repent and trust in Christ alone!

Don't put it off until tomorrow because you may not have tomorrow.  Today is the day of salvation!

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