We Were Made For It, Now & Forever!
1. GOD'S DESIGN
Out of love and a desire for friendship and intimacy, God designed us to have a relationship with Him. God doesn't need us, He is complete in Himself. But He loves us and wants us to spend eternity with him.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." ~ Genesis 1:1
"So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them. And all that God made was good." ~ Genesis 1:27
Part of being made in God's image means that we all have eternal souls that will continue on after we physically die.
2. BETRAYAL HURTS
We rejected that relationship and pursued our own satisfaction and pleasure.
"The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain." ~ Genesis 6:5-6
If you have ever been betrayed or despised and dishonored by a friend or relative you have a small taste of God's pain; to love someone deeply and be despised, rejected or mocked in return is quite trite compared to what God has received from every one of us in so many different ways.
Reconciliation takes love, forgiveness and sacrifice.
Out of love for us, God chose to provide a way to restore the original intimate relationship with Him.
"Christ died for our sins once for all time; the just dying for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God." ~ 1 Peter 3:18
"Look, your Savior is coming...In that day he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth. He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears...The Lord has spoken!" ~ Isaiah 52:11; 25:7
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed."
~ Luke 4:18
In spite of the pain we have caused God by rejecting and dishonoring Him, still He chose to make the ultimate sacrifice to restore the relationship we severed. Out of love and at great expense he offers that redemption to us. It is a if a perfectly just judge fined us justly for a crime we deserved to be punished for, then came off the judge's bench and paid the fine himself.
4. OUR CHOICE
You have a choice
Our relationship with God is fully restored only if we, desiring a restored relationship with him, choose to turn from our offenses against God and receive the gift he is offering us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Will you receive God's lavish gift of love to you, or will you reject it?
"God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." ~ 1 John 5:11-12
Your choice will decide where you will spend your eternity.
If you accept this offer, when you die physically your eternal soul will spend eternity in the presence of God. If you reject this offer of reconciliation, when you die your eternal soul will receive the consequences for your choice and be eternally separated from Him, in a place where "their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:48), and there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Luke 13:28)
For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, the "right time" is now. Today is the day of salvation. (II Corinthians 6:2)
So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus Himself and then delivered to us by those who heard Him speak? (Hebrews 2:3)
And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him. (Hebrews 9:27-28)
Look, God's home is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. (Revelation 21:3-4)
What choice will you make?
If you choose to receive God's gift to you, you can express that to God right now through prayer. Here is a suggested prayer, but it is the ideas expressed in the prayer, rather than the specific words, that God needs to hear from your heart.
Lord Jesus, I want a restored relationship with you. I admit that I have wronged you and rejected that relationship with you in many ways, by not caring about you, by not listening to and obeying the things you have made clear are wrong. I realize that even one little lie, or one mean thought is enough to separate me from your perfection and love. Thank you for living a perfect life which made your death on the cross able to pay the price for my betrayal of your love and friendship and bring me back to God. Thank you for offering me a restored relationship with you that will last through all eternity. Take control of my life and make me the person you created me to be. Amen.
And Finally, NOW WHAT?
If you choose God's gift, then you will be beginning a restored relationship with God through Jesus Christ! Here are a few suggestions to grow in that relationship. It is like any relationship, when you first meet, there is still a lot to learn about the other person.
- Try spending a few minutes each day reading the Bible and praying. The Bible is often how God speaks to us. Prayer is just talking to God, it is how we speak to Him. God speaking to us and us speaking to him is how we grow in our relationship with him and understanding of who he is.
- Start by reading the gospel of John and then move on to the rest of the New Testament. There is so much more to the story of God's love for us! And in repenting to God of how you wronged Him, and receiving his covering for your wrongs that have separated you from Him, you have in some ways plugged in the electrical cord or turned on the light switch to begin to understand things that were unclear to you in your former condition. It is the Holy Spirit that helps you in this way, He becomes your guide as your grow in your new relationship with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
- Check out these online resources that may help with questions you might have:
geteternalanswers.com, startingwithGod.com, everystudent.com
- Find a local church and get connected with other Christians.
All Bible verses quoted from Today's Living Translation, except Mark 9:48 from the NAS.
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