Andrew Chochola: Hell is a real place of eternal torment, but God himself came in the person of his son to die for the sins of those who will believe in him and paid our debt with his blood for our sins, and arose from the dead for our justification and to set us free from the power and bondage of sin and death. Whether you realise it or not, as an atheist, you are a slave to the sinful nature that we all inherited from Adam and Eve and their sinful rebellion against their creator. We are no better. Because of our sins, the wages of sin is death. And now this is where John 3:16 comes in. The fact that we are all deserving of Hell, including myself and Otangelo Grasso and every human being on Earth, and the fact that we cannot save ourselves, while we were yet sinners, Jesus Christ died for the sins of the ungodly to that by faith in the power of his redeeming blood that was shed for our sins to pay the debt that we could NEVER pay, God himself, loved us so much, that he took on human form and became as one of us, and died our death, that we might live.
Do you know what kept Jesus Christ upon that cross, Allen? It was not the nails, it was HIS love for us. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. But God became a man and she'd his own blood and died a criminals death so that all who will believe in him will be redeemed. And because of his resurection from the dead, we can be justified and set free and become a new man through faith alone in Jesus Christ and what he did for us. We can do NOTHING to sage ourselves. Our righteousness is as filthy rags before almighty God. But through faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the son of God and is God himself in human flesh, and in his death on the cross and his redeeming blood, and in the power of his resurection from the dead, you will be saved. All you need to do is believe the gospel, that's all it takes. Just believe it. It is not a blind faith, Allen. Jesus Christ calls everyone everywhere to repentance, which means to change your mind, and follow him. And I lovingly suggest that you believe this message. Anyone who rejects Jesus Christ stands condemned, because they have rejected the only one who can save them from their sins. I will leave you with this and give it some honest thaught.
BOUGHT, PURCHASED, RANSOMED & REDEEMED
For you were BOUGHT at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 6:20
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He PURCHASED with His own blood.
"...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a RANSOM for many."
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a RANSOM for all, to be testified in due time,
1 Timothy 2:5-6
knowing that you were not REDEEMED with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
1 Peter 1:18-19
These are all terms used to describe a financial transaction.
When you complete a transaction at the store the cashier gives you a piece of paper that describes the details of the price paid
It's called a 'receipt'.
Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one gets to the Father but through Me.” No other has made such claims, not even the well known religious leaders such as Confucius, Buddha or Mohammed. Jesus is the only option through which one might receive forgiveness and eternal life. Jesus alone is our ticket to Heaven. Some call this narrow mindedness, but who’d buy a ticket to Tokyo and then argue later if the plane indeed goes to Tokyo and not Beijing? Do we see a psychiatrist when we have a tooth ache? So with something as important as our eternal destiny, why be casual? How can all ways be true ways, when Jesus said no one get’s to the Father but through Him? Someone or someones must by lying. Too many say Jesus was just a mere prophet when Jesus Himself accepted worship while He was on earth. Jesus was either a blasphemer or He was and still is God! There is no a “good prophet but not God” option.
Are you saved? Have you settled your eternal destiny? If not, consider reading on below. If God is tugging at your heart today, do not harden your heart, respond to His call. You don’t need to have all the answers to make the decision. God requires faith, have faith and I assure you, once you enter into a relationship with Him, He will share much of Himself with you. I mean, do you often go about telling strangers extra personal things about yourself? See, well in the same way, don’t expect to know everything before you make the decision to surrender. God wants fellowship, intimate fellowship with His creation. As we fellowship with Him, He will grow us in knowledge of Him. That is a privilege, He is not obligated to tell us anything about Himself, He is God and can do as He sees fit. But because of His loving nature, He wants to have a relationship with His creation. We cannot know everything about God, He is eternal and eternally good at that. What’s so eternally good about Him? Again, consider entering into a relationship with Him and find out all He wants you to know.
God Loves Me
You are God’s creation. You were created because God loves you. He doesn’t just love you, with an ordinary love, but with a love that will last forever. Love is not just something that God does, it’s what He is. He defines the true meaning of love: God IS love (1 John 4:8 ). He knows your name, He knows everything there is to know about you, your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses. God has a plan for your life. He loves you so much that “neither death nor life…nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God.” Romans 8:38-39 Do you believe that there is a God who loves you? Do you believe that He has a wonderful plan for your life? God desires us to draw near to Him and experience His amazing love and a life full of joy. However, He does not force mankind to follow His plan like robots. He created us to have the free will to choose whether to accept or reject His love and His guidance for our lives.
Do you wonder how there can be a loving God when the world is full of evil and suffering? Read on…
I Have Sinned
As we read earlier, God created us to have the choice to accept or reject His guidance. Much of the sadness of the world is due to mankind’s wrong decisions and rejection of God’s love, which is called sin. The Bible teaches that evil, pain and death entered the world because of a wrong choice, the disobedience of the first man, Adam. The Bible says, “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way, death came to all men…” Romans 5:12 Every person has sinned. Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” By sinning, we have chosen to live life our own way, rather than God’s way. God sometimes feels so distant because of the sin that separates us, and we fail to meet the perfect standard of God’s goodness. Even more serious is the punishment for our sin, which is eternal death, eternal separation from God. Even though we will each experience a physical death when our lives on earth come to an end, we all deserve to face a spiritual death, an eternal separation from God, what the Bible calls Hell. Hell is a real place that those who have rejected God go to for all eternity.
No matter how hard we try, we have all failed and turned away from God. Is there anything that can be done about this sin problem?
Jesus Died for Me
Eternal separation from God is not His desired plan for us. As we read earlier, God loves us. From this love, He provided a solution to our sin problem by allowing His Son, Jesus Christ, to be punished in our place. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus Christ is fully God in the form of a man. While Jesus lived on earth, He loved and healed people, and lived a completely sinless life. He was falsely accused and crucified on a cross.
He did all of this willingly because He wants to save us from judgment we deserve. When He suffered and died on the cross, He took all of our sin and the sin of the world upon Himself. He experienced spiritual death as well as physical death. He paid the price for all of our sins and victoriously rose from the dead three days later. He is alive today and waits for us if we choose to accept Him into our lives. God sent Jesus into the world to save it, to offer forgiveness of sin, peace, healing, joy and everlasting life.
God loves me, I have sinned, but Jesus died to save me…so what now?
I Need to Decide
God has done His part. Jesus gave His own life and received the punishment for OUR sins. We don’t deserve His gifts of forgiveness and promise of eternal life. If you believe that He exists, that He loves you and that He died for you, then you can start a relationship with God right now. The separation between you and God can be removed.
God created you with free will, and the choice is yours. You can surrender your life to God, the Creator of the universe who only wants the best for you, or you can walk away and face the inevitable consequences, paying for your sins eternally in Hell.
Salvation is a free gift from God, you cannot redeem your bad doings, your sin, by adding your good works, like giving to the poor. Many have a warped idea and hope to get a ticket to Heaven by trying to get their good to outweigh their bad. Remember the penalty of sin is death. Someone has to die for sin to be paid, there’s no other way. Jesus paid the price. He gives us eternal life if we acknowledge what He did and who He is.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God..” (Ephesians 2:8 )
If you are ready to make the decision to accept His gift of salvation and allow God to be the Lord of your life, you can simply ask Him by praying in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ.
But wait what does it mean to be ready?
I Am Ready
Our heart is ready when we are genuinely aware of our sin and need for a perfect Saviour, who is only Jesus Christ. A genuine confession of sin is called repentance. Repentance includes the change of mind and purpose. There must be a true sense guilt and sinfulness and an awakened hatred for sin. Our purpose must be now God-ward with a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with Jesus in the way of His commandments.
Now that you may be ready, and we hope you are, speak to the Holy God who loves you. Confess your sin, your need for a Saviour and accept Jesus to be the Lord of your life. Your prayer does not need any fancy words, just a sincere heart.
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” AND believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9 )
Your prayer, along with a sincere heart may sound like:
God, I know that I have sinned against You and against others. I am truly sorry and now I want to turn away from my sinful past and live a life that pleases You. I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, paid the price for my sins on the cross, and I believe that He conquered death when He rose from the dead. I receive Jesus as my Saviour and Lord. Please forgive me and help me now through Your Holy Spirit as I decide to live only for You for all eternity. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.
Is that all? Can I now go my merry own way?
My Daily Journey
You are now saved if you sincerely said that prayer and the Devil is not happy! You’re now a target because you no longer want to live in his wicked ways!! Now that you are saved, it is important that you tell someone close to you about your decision. You will need to communicate with God daily through prayer and allow Him to guide you in your decision making. Reading the Bible is important, you cannot make it without the Word of God. The Devil knows the Word and many times he twists the Word and uses it against his targets. When we are ignorant of Scriptures, we don’t know how to defend ourselves against the enemy’s tactics.
Christianity is not about any single human being, it is about Christ, who is the Lord and about His church, the body of all believers or Christians. So sharing and communicating with other believers is also important. Again I say it is important to pray and read the Bible daily, do not depend on others to preach the Word of God to you. As a new creation in Christ, you have the seal of the Holy Spirit living in you. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Word of God, we cannot recognize His voice if we do not know what He says in the Bible. So read it, meditate on it and live it!
Finally, Jesus commands that we be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is a public confirmation of our faith in His Death, Burial and Resurrection.
Jesus said: “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26 )
One more thing, as long as we are on earth, we are to share Christ with others. We are to tell others about His way of salvation. We are to do all of this in peace and love because the way of Jesus is peace and is love.
Jesus said: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19)
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples (followers or Christians), if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
“If you love Me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) Bearing fruit in keeping with our repentance is a daily thing. We are still in this earthly body, so we will have much struggle to do the right thing by God’s standards but by His grace we are able. People should see a difference in our attitude and in our actions. When we fall short of His glory, remorse should follow, because we should no longer have that desire to live in sin, which is in direct opposition to God and all He stands for. Jesus foretold us that we’d have much struggle in this world but has promised that it (tears, struggles [Revelation 21]) will all come to an end one day, and we will meet Him in glory, for He is our exceedingly great reward. (Genesis 15:1) So press on, and pray on, for God is your shield!
Go now in peace, to love and serve the Almighty God!