Our relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ determines where we will spend eternity. God created the first man and woman in perfection, but when faced with temptation they chose to rebel against God, thus forfeiting their personal relationship with Him. Their sinful natures were inherited by all mankind who came after them so that all are sinners and stand guilty before God. His merciful plan of salvation is best explained through the holy scriptures. (The New International Version of the Bible is used for clarity unless otherwise noted.)
The Pervasiveness of Sin – All Have Sinned
Romans 3:10 – “As it is written: There is no one righteous, no, not even one.”
Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Isaiah 53:6 – “We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way…”
Ecclesiastes 7:30 – “There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.”
The Penalty of Sin – Spiritual Death
Genesis 2:17 – “But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
James 1:14-15 – “People are tempted when their own evil desire leads them away and traps them. This desire leads to sin, and then the sin grows and brings death.” (NCV)
Ezekiel 18:20 – “The soul who sins shall die.” (NKJV)
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death….”
The Place of the Penalty – A Burning Hell
Luke 16:23-24 – “In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'”
Matthew 25:41 – “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Isaiah 66:24 – “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched.”
Revelation 20:14-15 – “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
The Mercy of God – He wants all to be saved
2 Peter 3:9 – “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Ezekiel 33:11 – “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.”
Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Acts 17:30 – “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent.” (NASB)
The Master Plan of God – A Substitionary Death
John 3:16 – “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.”
Romans 5:6-8 – “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Matthew 20:28 – “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
1 Peter 2:24 – “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”
The Master of the Plan – Jesus Christ, Resurrected
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Revelation 1:18 – “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
John 11:25 – “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”
Consider A Decision
♦ Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” This means that in order to become a real Christian one must be willing to deny himself sinful pleasures, dying to ‘self’ daily, and strive to be like Christ. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, for it means a real change within one’s heart and life. 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” When one makes this decision, his spirit is made alive again and can have fellowship with God. This is called the new birth, or being born again. John 3:3 – “Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.'” The Holy Spirit of God indwells and empowers every follower of Christ. John 14:26 – “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Acts 4:31 – “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
Make The Decision
♦ If after careful consideration you decide to make the decision to follow Christ, it is simply a matter of prayer, asking God to forgive all your sins and asking Christ to come into your heart and be your Savior. He stands ready and waiting for all those who will come to Him. Revelation 3:20 – Jesus said, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” You can rest assured that He is always with you. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
♦ After The Decision
BAPTISM – God’s word tells us that followers of Christ should be baptized. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) Water baptism is symbolic of the believer identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.It is also a public profession of your trust in Christ, showing that you are not ashamed of Him.
UNITE WITH A LOCAL CHURCH – Believers are instructed to regularly meet together with other believers.
Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” The Day that’s approaching is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ! We should be preparing to meet Him face to face.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH – Every living thing must be fed and nurtured in order to grow. Your new spiritual life is no exception. Through Bible reading you will grow in the knowledge of God and His word. 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” When we read the Bible, we listen to what God has to say to us. A good place to start is in the book of John.
In praying, we speak to God, giving Him thanks and praise, and bringing our needs and requests to Him. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” You can talk to God as if you were talking to a friend…because He will be your very best friend!
If you have made a decision for Christ after reading this or would like to know more about it, please call our church office at 502-367-0218.