A New Life

 

Complexity and design tells us there is a God

If a person takes time to really wonder about the world around them, they’ll stand in awe as in their heart they’ll know there must be a Creator. The miracle of life itself and the pinpoint precision and synchronicity of our immense universe point to a powerful Creator. To believe that the staggering complexity of the human body could have come into being without a powerful outside intelligence (God) really defies logic.

Got a feeling something is missing

Humans are different from other animals. We have been made in God’s image yet we have all disobeyed God and gone our own way. Deep down we desire to know God, to have a relationship with Him.  We’d also like to escape from the tangle of sin and the judgement that will come when we die.   Our wrong doing gets in the way of our relationship with God and clouds our understanding of these things. It creates a barrier between God and ourselves … a barrier that we alone cannot break down. Our sin separates us from God making Him seem vague, remote, and unknown. God tells us that the result of our sin, disobedience, and rebellion is death … in both a spiritual and physical sense. This separation from God makes us restless and gives us the feeling that something major is wrong and missing in our lives. We feel that way because something major IS missing and the missing part is an ‘in touch’ relationship with our Creator.

Only two possible destinations for eternity

We only get one life and when we die God Himself will hold us accountable for our thoughts, actions and our words. Imagine a video that showed everything we ever did and said and included our thoughts as subtitles! The Bible tells us that we only have two possible destinations when we die: Heaven or Hell.

Heaven and Hell

Heaven is the destination of those who have their sins forgiven by God. The bible describes heaven as a place where God will be with his people and there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain. However, some reject Jesus and His free gift of salvation from sin. Hell is the place reserved for those who refuse God’s forgiveness. Jesus refers to hell as ‘the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Filling the void

The good news is that there is a solution to this spiritual dilemma. Some people try to fill the void by doing good deeds, taking drugs, chasing money (in effect making money their ‘god’), or striving to ‘succeed’.  However, people invariably discover that these things are ultimately unsatisfying. The spiritual void we experience can only be filled when our sins are washed away (forgiven) and we come to really know Jesus as our Saviour and Lord. Only a relationship with Jesus Christ will fully satisfy this longing and give our lives a true sense of meaning.

Sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin

In Old Testament times (between Creation and the coming of Jesus), God set out His laws but the people failed to keep them. God’s laws demanded justice and detailed punishment for offences and restitution. But God also provided a way out for the people, forgiveness through the sacrifice of animals that were without ‘spot or blemish’. The animal’s blood was shed in the place of the person who had sinned.  Sacrifice, involving the shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins, is found throughout the Old Testament record. The bible states that there can be ‘no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood.’

Falling short

The reality is that we have all sinned. If we fall short of our own standards on occasion, how much more so do we fall short of God’s standards? We try to ‘be good’ and we try to do better but we so often fail to keep ‘New Years ‘resolutions and make those elusive breakthroughs for which we have hoped. We may not realise it and may even try to deny it, but each one of us needs God’s forgiveness.

Jesus – the one sent to rescue us

Throughout scripture God promised the Messiah (the Christ) would come. This Messiah would be perfect and without sin. He would suffer in our place for our sin so we could receive forgiveness. The Bible said regarding the Messiah: “He would be pierced for our offences, crushed for our wrongdoings; the punishment that would bring us peace would be upon Him. His wounds and injuries would bring healing to us. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and God would lay on Him the iniquity of us all.”

When the Messiah came and laid down his life for us, the sacrifices of the Old Testament would no longer be necessary. Further details in the Old Testament foretold that this Messiah would be ‘born of a virgin’ in the town of Bethlehem and ultimately betrayed by a friend for thirty pieces of silver. He would suffer and die for the sins of mankind, only to rise from the dead and heal the broken-hearted. He would be God Himself coming to earth on a rescue mission for mankind!

Just Who Is This Jesus?

Jesus loves you so much

Jesus fulfilled all these prophecies concerning the Messiah.  Jesus is this Messiah, the Christ … the one God promised would come. Jesus was without sin and He shed His blood to take away the sin of the world.  Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate.  Jesus loved us so much He laid down His life for us. His wounds have healed us. Jesus has freed us from our sins by His blood, as there is no punishment for those who have accepted His free gift of eternal life. Only Jesus, who had no sin Himself, could die in our place for our sin.  Jesus did not need to die for His own sin as He was without sin.

We cannot earn eternal life by our ‘good’ deeds. If we could be good enough to get into heaven by our own ‘good’ deeds, Jesus died and suffered on the cross for no reason.  Yes, Jesus died but He is alive today because He rose from the dead on the third day as the prophets before Jesus predicted and as He Himself said He would. Jesus voluntarily laid His life down for you because He loves you.

Forgiveness is free, but it’s not cheap. It cost Jesus Christ His life.

If a person chooses not to accept Jesus as their Saviour and Lord, they are effectively choosing to be separated from God while they are on earth. God will respect their choice and this separation will continue after they die. Hell is the place the bible says is reserved for those who do not receive forgiveness and where they will be eternally separated from God. To have eternal life and go to heaven after you die you need to accept God’s free gift of salvation before you die.

Wash away my sins

If you want to turn from your old life … your old ways … from the things you know are not right and turn towards God and give Him the control of your life receiving forgiveness and eternal life, the following prayer may help you. These words are not a magical formula but they may help you focus on what God requires from you. God knows what is going on in your heart.

“Lord Jesus Christ

Forgive me for the things I have done wrong in my life.

Help me to turn from everything, which I know is wrong.

Forgive me for not making you the centre of my life.

I believe you died for my sins when you died on the cross.

I believe you rose from the dead.

I open my heart to you … come in and wash me clean from my sins …

Thank you, Lord Jesus.   Amen.”

A visual picture of what Jesus did when He died on the cross for you and me

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