The Good News
How did we get to where we are today?
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1v1
"And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Genesis 1v31
God made everything and everything that He made was “very good”. He created everything simply by commanding things to exist. “Let there be light, and there was light”. The earth brought forth plants and animals in all their variety and the complexity that causes us to wonder at creation today. Finally, He made man and woman (named Adam and Eve). Unlike the animals, God breathed into the man and it says that he became a living soul.
The Fall of Mankind
"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2v16-17
"And to Adam [God] said, Because you ... have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’, ... by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return unto the ground; for out of it were you taken: for you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Genesis 3v17-19
Man was given all that He needed in a specially created garden, the Garden of Eden. He was given the responsibility to look after the garden and God was able to enjoy the company of Man for it says that God walked in the cool of the day and called for Adam. He was given one commandment that He was not to break. Man and his wife broke that commandment and so God imposed the penalty of death upon them and their descendants.
We have all continued in sin...
"Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” Romans 5v12
Every one of us has continued in the way of our parents. The whole human race from Adam and Eve down to today has been characterised by self-will and a desire to satisfy themselves rather than live righteously. Every selfish action and every selfish thought has condemned us. This is called sin. We have all sinned. All of the wrongs we see in the world around us is as a result of mankind’s sinful nature.
We are unable to save ourselves...
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3v23
"And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4v12
God has evaluated mankind and all our efforts and He has pronounced that everyone of us has fallen “short of the glory of God”. The Bible even tells us that “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” (Isaiah 64:6). All our good deeds cannot remove the sins already committed and so God has given the only way of salvation that He will accept; one that removes all our sins forever.
So God gave his son...
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3v16
God had a son. His only son. His beloved son. He was born from virgin, the Holy Spirit having overshadowed Mary. Jesus Christ was the delight of God’s heart and God tells us this twice in Jesus’ life. He was, in fact, “God manifest in flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). As a result, He never sinned. He was perfect and didn’t even have the capacity to sin.
"Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly." 1 Peter 2v21-23
He "who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4v15
"without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” Hebrews 9v22
However, it was this perfect son of God that offered Himself up as a sacrifice to save us from the judgement we faced for our sins. God gave the one He loved most so that He could righteously save us.
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5v6
"When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished”, and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19v30
"Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.” Luke 23v46
Such was the hatred of the human race against Jesus that they put Him to death by nailing Him to a cross of wood. This crucifixion was the most brutal death the Roman Empire had devised for killing those it condemned to death. Before they nailed Him there they made sure that He suffered by whipping Him, mocking Him, beating Him and beating a crown of thorns on His head. Once He was on the cross, God brought three hours of darkness upon the whole earth during which time God turned His back on the sins that had now been placed on His only begotten Son. Jesus suffered alone. At the end of the three hours Jesus gave up His own Spirit and voluntarily went into death. This was the fate that we should have faced. Some who loved Him took His body down from the cross and laid it in a tomb wrapped in linen cloths.
...and rose from the dead.
"The men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words.” Luke 24v5-8
"That Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time" 1 Corinthians 15v3-8
Jesus lay in the tomb for three days and three nights. On the third day, the first day of the week, some woman came and found that the tomb was empty. Jesus appeared to His disciples, including on one occasion to more than 500 at once. He was with them for 40 days before being taken up into heaven to sit at the “right hand of the majesty on high”. He is a living man and has broken the power of death forever. We can now be saved because He has died instead of us and therefore we will be raised out of death just like He was.
Jesus is in heaven.
"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." Hebrews 1v1-3
"And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2v8-11
Jesus is coming again for his Church...
"For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4v16-17
Every person who has been saved by the Lord Jesus is a member of ‘the Church’. The Church is made up of every person who has repented of their sins and therefore been saved. God takes away our sins and clothes us in Christ’s righteousness and therefore we become one with every other person who has been saved. The Lord Jesus is coming soon to take every person who is in the Church up to be with Him. The dead in Christ and the living who are His will be taken up to meet Him in the clouds. It will happen in an instant. At that moment, the door of mercy will be closed.
But the world will be judged...
"And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it ... And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20v12-15
Those who have rejected or ignored God’s appeal of love to be saved by the Lord Jesus will then have to be judged for their sins. This is because they never repented and asked for those sins to be removed. They ignored the good news and refused to repent. All their works will be read out in absolute detail and then the book of life will be checked to show that their names were not written in it, i.e. they had never taken the offer made to them to remove their sins. They are then cast into the ‘lake of fire’.
You can be saved...
"God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2v4
"but now [God] commands all people everywhere to repent” Acts 17v30
"The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1v7
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1v9
"Believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved" Acts 16v31
God does not want you to be judged and end up in the ‘lake of fire’. He cannot allow sin to go unpunished but in His love He ahs provided a way of escape for you through the death and resurrection of His own Son. Such was His love that He went to great lengths to give you an opportunity to be free from the judgement on sin. Instead, He wants to bless you with all the blessings that He has given to the Lord Jesus. All you have to do is repent, confess that you are a sinner and ask God for forgiveness. He will save you.
Do it in your own words. Will you accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour? If not, why not?