|Have you got Jesus?|
Do you want to:|
-Know more about God, Christianity and Jesus?
-Find peace with God?
-Be forgiven and set free of all your sins?
-Be changed into new person?
-Not be afraid of death?
Keep reading if you said yes to any of the above.
In the beginning God made the world and everything in it, He made the earth, the sun and the moon. Every living creature was made by God, no living thing can be made by anybody else, neither can rocks and minerals turn into living things by accident. All life comes from God, for He is Life (John 5:26, Acts 17:28, John 6:48, John 11:25, John 14:6), and the fountain of life (Psalm 36:9, Jeremiah 2:13).
Everything God made was very good, there was nothing bad in the world, such as death, pain, sickness or sadness. The world and everything in it belongs to God (1 Chronicles 29:11, Exodus 19:5, Job 41:11, Psalm 50:12, Psalm 89:11, Psalm 24:1). He created everything for Himself and for His own pleasure (Isaiah 43:7, Proverbs 16:4, Colossians 1:16, Revelation 4:11).
The first two people God made were called Adam and Eve, God made them to reflect His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). God put them in a beautiful garden He had made called Eden (Genesis 2:8), there He gave them everything they needed. In the garden were two special trees that bore fruit, there was "the tree of life" and there was a tree which God said they must not eat fruit from called "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil", God said if they ate its fruit they would die.
Death Comes into the World
Adam and Eve were very close to God, but one day one of the creatures God had made called the serpent told Eve she would not die if she ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:4), but would instead become wise like God. Eve believed the serpent's lie instead of what God had said, and ate of the fruit, she also gave some to her husband Adam, who also ate of it.
Adam and Eve chose to disobey God by eating the forbidden fruit, disobeying God is called sin. This first sin caused people to become seperated from God, and this seperation caused death to come in the world, for people were no longer connected to the source of life. God threw Adam and Eve out of Eden and they could no longer get to the "Tree of Life".
Adam and Eve became like branches cut from a tree, they were separated from God the Giver of Life, so they began to die. Sin also caused the world to become a bad place, because the perfect harmony and balance that once existed was broken.
God Makes a Promise
But God is love, and He never changes, and like a perfect loving father He can never stop loving the people He made, even if they do bad things. God had made people to be happy and live with Him forever, He did not change His plans, He did not reject His people, or destroy them completely, He promised Adam and Eve that one day a child would be born that would crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15), this meant that one day somebody special would be born who would fix the problem caused by the serpent and sin.
The World is Flooded
Adam and Eve eventually died, but they had children, and their offspring multiplied so that there were many people on the earth. But when God looked down on the earth He saw that people had become very bad, they thought only bad thoughts and the earth was full of violence (Genesis 6:11).
God saw one man who was good, His name was Noah, He did what was right. God told Noah that the people on the earth had become so bad, that He was going to destroy every single person on the earth by sending a flood of water. God also gave Noah instructions to build a big boat, called an ark, which would protect Noah and his family of eight people.
God also told Noah to take on the ark a male and female of each kind of animal that couldn't survive a flood. Noah did as God had told him, and God helped him. A great flood came and water covered the whole earth, every single person was destroyed, only those inside the ark were saved. After the flood had gone away Noah's family and all the saved animals left the ark and began to fill the earth once again, all the people on the earth today are descendants of Noah's family, and are of the one same blood (Acts 17:26).
Abraham the Friend of God
One of Noah's descendants known as Abraham was called the friend of God (James 2:23). He was faithful and obeyed God (Nehemiah 9:7-8, Galatians 3:9, Genesis 15:6). Because God loved Abraham, God promised Him that He would be the father of a great nation, and his descendants would have a great land (Nehemiah 9:7-8, Genesis 15). God even promised Abraham that through his seed, He would bless all the nations and families of the earth (Genesis 12:3, Genesis 22:18).
Abraham became the father of the great nation called Israel, which became known as God's chosen people, God chose them because He loved their forefathers (Deuteronomy 4:37). The people of Israel went through many difficulties, they were even slaves for 400 years in Egypt, but God made them free by His great power.
Man Exist's Separated From God
Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they could come very close to God, but after they sinned, God only showed Himself to people from a distance. Because sin had made mankind imperfect, they could not come close to God or look at Him without dying (Exodus 33:18-23, Exodus 19:20-24, Exodus 20:19, Isaiah 6:1-5, Exodus 28:43, Leviticus 16:2, Leviticus 10:1-7, Deuteronomy 4:33).
God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5), He is also described as an all consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). Sin is like darkness, and if there is any darkness in us we cannot come close to God, we will die in the presence of His Light, just as darkness cannot exist in light. If we are to come to God we must be perfect.
The Prophets of God
Because God loved people He wanted to be close to them and speak to them. God spoke to people at different times, through many different ways, sometimes in dreams, and sometimes through angels, which are invisible spirits that work for God. One way that God spoke to people was through prophets (Hebrews 1:1-3, Amos 3:7), who were special holy people that God spoke to, the prophets spoke to the people on behalf of God. When the people forgot about God and did evil, the prophets reminded the people to do what is right and stop doing the things that God hates, so that God would be close to them, and bless them by protecting them and giving them all their needs.
One of the greatest prophets that lived was called Moses (Genesis 20:7), God spoke to Moses the way close friends speak together (Exodus 33:11). God spoke to Moses many times, and Moses told the people the messages God had spoken to Him. Moses taught that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4), and He has always existed (Deuteronomy 32:40), and God hates it when people love and worship other things more than Him. God gave the Isrealite people some rules to help them live right and not sin. God wanted people to not sin, because He loves people, and sin always hurts people. Each time the people of Israel wandered away from God and did evil things, like worship other gods, they suffered many troubles because the only real God was not with them. But God was patient, if the people stopped doing bad things and turned to God saying they were sorry, He forgave them, and began to bless them again.
God gave Moses instructions on how to build a special tent called the Tabernacle, it was to be a place for God's presence to be, it would be similar to God's real home in Heaven (Hebrews 8:2-5, Hebrews 9:11, Hebrews 9:23-24), it would be a place where people could come to worship God and pray to Him (Exodus 33:7). The tent of the Tabernacle was built and placed at the centre of where God's people lived (Numbers 2:1-34). God said that only men of a certain family line should do all the work inside the Tabernacle, and their sons over thirty should continue the work after them (Numbers 4:3-4,35,39,47), these special men were called priests.
The Tabernacle was divided into three parts, the largest area was the fenced off outside court, anybody could come inside it through the gate, inside the court was the Holy Place, which was an area inside the tent where only priests could enter, and hidden behind a special curtain inside the holy place was a small area called the holy of holies, where only the chief priest could go inside once a year. The Tabernacle also had special furniture placed inside it, inside the holy of holies was a wooden chest that was covered in gold, called the Ark of The Covenant.
God's is present everywhere, we live and exist in Him (Acts 17:28), He sees everything, and He knows everything. There is no place where God is not, he is bigger than the earth and the world, and not even the highest heavens can contain Him (1 Kings 8:27). But sometimes God's presence rests in certain place in a special way. After the tabernacle was built, God's presence rested inside it, and the ark of the Covenant was like God's throne among His people (Isaiah 37:16, Numbers 7:89, Exodus 25:8, Exodus 29:43-45). God's people came to the tabernacle to worship God and offer gifts and sacrifices to Him (Hebrews 5:1). They brought many kinds of sacrifices, some were animals such as lambs, goats, bulls and pigeons, they gave them to the priests who usually killed them on their behalf. There is nothing that God needs, for He is the giver of life and the source of all things (Acts 17:25).
Sacrifices to God
People brought sacrifices for many reasons, sometimes they were a way of saying sorry to God for the bad things they had done, sometimes people brought them to show their love towards God and thank Him for the good things He had done, the offering of sacrifices was also a way of admitting they were not perfect and needed God's help. The blood sacrifices also reminded the people that sin causes death, and the only way sinful people can come to God is by innocent blood, and because they were not innocent themselves they needed somebody innocent to save them from their sins.
Once a year the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies to offer a sacrifice of animal blood for his own sins and the sins of God's people, that they might be made clean of all their sins before God (Leviticus 16:30, Hebrews 9:7). But this had to be repeated every year because the sacrifices could not permanently fix the deeper problem of sin, for they could not completely take away sins or make people perfect (Hebrews 10:1-20). The high priest went into the presence of God on behalf of the people, but they could not remain there because every priest was imperfect.
God was more interested in what was in peoples hearts, than the sacrifices, and other activities the people did, for they were just ways to express what was in their heart. God made it clear, that He did not want or need animal sacrifices, more than anything God wanted His people to love Him and live right. (Proverbs 21:3, Hosea 6:6, 1 Samuel 15:22, Psalm 40:6-8, Hebrews 10:6, Luke 18:9-14).
Kings and the Temple
After many tests and trials God's people the Israelites finally came into the land God had promised Abraham their forefather, God was with them and He helped them grow into a great nation of people. There was no king in the land (Judges 21:25), for the tribes of Israel were ruled by elders and judges, and God was their chief leader. But the people said they wanted a king, like the other nations (1 Samuel 8). God told them He was their leader, but the people wanted a king anyway. So God gave them a king, who's job was to lead and rule the people. Some kings were good and some were bad. With God's permission, one king called Solomon built a stone temple for God in the city of Jerusalem, it was very similar in design to the Tabernacle which it replaced. It also became known as the house of God.
The Prophet's Speak of the Promised One
Prophecies are messages from God. Sometimes God told the prophets things about the future, for God knows everything, even the future. The prophets of God spoke of a day when a special child would be born that would set people free from sin, One prophet said He would be born to a virgin and be called "Immanuel" which means "God with us" (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23). One prophet said He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), another spoke about His hands and feets being pierced (Psalm 22:16). There were hundreds of other prophecies spoken by the prophets about the Promised One who would come one day, they were clues so that the people would recognise Him when He came.
Jesus is Born
Hundreds of years after these things where spoken and written by the prophets, it finally happened, God came to earth in a human body, as the man Jesus Christ, also known as the Son of God. Jesus was God the Creator of the universe inside a human body. He was the promised Immanuel, for He was God dwelling among people (John 1:14). He was born to a virgin women called Mary in Bethlehem, just as the prophets had promised. After Jesus was born the angel of the Lord came to some shepherds telling them He had some good news of great joy which would be for all people, the good news was that the Saviour had been born (Luke 2:10-11).
John the Baptist and Jesus Baptism
Six months (Luke 1:26,36) before Jesus was born, a prophet of God (Matthew 11:7-19, Luke 7:24-35, Luke 20:6, Luke 1:76, Luke 7:28) was born to an old priest (Luke 1:5) and his elderly wife called Elizabeth, who was also the cousin of Mary (Luke 1:36). The baby was called John and He was filled with God's Holy Spirit from his mothers womb (Luke 1:15). He belonged to the family of priests.
God had chosen John to prepare the people for Jesus (Luke 1:76). As an adult John lived in the desert, there he taught people saying "turn away from doing what is wrong, for the kingdom of God is near" (Matthew 4:17). Many people came to him in the desert, there John baptised them in a river, they were baptised to show that they where sorry for their sins and wanted to be clean from their sins.
To baptise means to submerge or immerse into something, just like a sunken ship is submerged in the sea, or a body is buried under ground. Baptism does not always involve water, for even John the baptiser told the people that he baptised with water but somebody much greater than him would come after him, who would baptise people with God's Holy Spirit, and with fire (Matthew 3:11). John said that He who had sent him, had also told him that "the One on who you see God's Spirit come down on and stay on, is the One who will baptise with the Holy spirit" (John 1:33).
One day when Jesus was about 30 years old (Luke 3:23), He came to be baptised by John, and when Jesus rose up from the water, God's Spirit came down from heaven and rested on Him. And a voice from heaven spoke saying "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16-17).
Jesus was perfect and had never done anything wrong, so he was not baptised to show He was sorry for sins. He was baptised so that people would recognize Him as the promised one.
When people were baptised in the water by John, they came close to God's presence through the prophet, but because they were not spiritually perfect God's Spirit could not rest on any of them, just like water can't remain in a broken vessel. But Jesus was a perfect vessel, when He was presented before God by the priestly prophet, God's Spirit came on Him and stayed on Him. So John recognised who Jesus was and told the people, "This is the Son of God" (John 1:34). To be called the "Son of God" means Jesus came from God, was equal with God, and was God (John 5:18, John 10:33), Jesus later explained that "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), and "the Father is in me, and I am in Him" (John 10:38).
John called himself the "friend of the bridegroom" (John 3:29) which was a person who's job was to bring the bride to the bridegroom. John announced Jesus as the bridegroom of God's people. On the day after Jesus was baptised, John saw Jesus and said, "look the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
After Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, He began to travel the country, teaching and doing miracles, He healed all the sick people that came to Him for help, and He even made some dead people come back alive. At one time Jesus fed thousands of people with only a few small fish and a few loaves of bread. Jesus also told people that He was the bread of life, and those that come to Him and believe in Him will never hunger or thirst. Jesus showed people He was God, for He had power over everything including disease, nature, demons and even death. Jesus also taught people about God, and how to live right, He said the most important command is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and the second most important command is to love other people as yourself. Jesus also gave His followers a new command to love others as He had loved them.
Jesus came to earth to connect people back to God, to do this He needed to remove sin and defeat death, He did this by dying on the cross, and because He had never done anything bad He could defeat death and come back alive. Jesus was God in a human body, He knew before He was killed that He would come back to life. He also said He was the only way people can come to God.
Jesus Crucifixion And Death
Jesus came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10, John 3:17). He was the perfect lamb of God (1 Peter 1:19), He sacrificed Himself for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2, Hebrews 9:26, Hebrews 2:9) This one sacrifice was for sins for ever (Hebrews 10:12), Jesus died that through Him people could have the life of God. People were separated from God because of Adam's sin but people can now come back to God because of Jesus' sacrifice. When we receive Jesus we become one with Him, we are baptised into His body, His death (Romans 6:4), and His life.
When Jesus died, the curtain that separated the holiest place in God's temple supernaturally ripped in half from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51), this was a sign from God that there was now a new and better way for people to come close to Him. Today, people can meet with God through Jesus (Hebrews 10:19-22).
Jesus taught that God wants to live with people, for He said "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him" (John 14:23). When God comes to live inside us, our bodies become the house or temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19). If we are in Christ, we are a created into a new person, old things are gone, and all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Jesus was a living temple of God's Spirit, the perfect sacrifice for sin, a prophet, the perfect person, but He was more than all that, He was God. He is the King of the Universe, He is our perfect and eternal High Priest.
Just as the high priest went into the presence of God on behalf of the people, Jesus entered into God's presence on behalf of all people.
JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD
Because Jesus was perfect some people hated Him, for they were bad and didn't want to turn away from their bad ways, so they killed Jesus by nailing Him to a cross. But this was a part of God's plan, for Jesus came to earth to save the world from sin and death. In His death He took away the sin of the whole world, He died to save the world from being separated from God. Through Jesus we can be reconnected to God, by turning away from our wrong ways, and trusting Jesus with our life. Jesus taught that God wants to live with people, for He said "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him" (John 14:23). When God comes to live inside us, our bodies become the temple of God. If we are in Christ, we are created into a new person, old things are gone, and all things have become new.
Jesus died on a Friday, but because death only has power over sinners, the perfect Jesus could defeat death, and so He came back alive again on the following Sunday. No other person has been able to bring themselves back alive from the dead like Jesus did. After coming back alive, Jesus was seen on the earth for many days, and forty days after His death He rose back up into Heaven while many watched Him. But before He went He promised to always be with those that love Him and never leave them, for God's invisible Spirit called the Holy Spirit would come after He went back to Heaven. Jesus also said that He would come back to earth again one day, but this time He will come with a loud sound, in brightness and with many angels. Those that love Jesus will be very happy to see Him, but those that don't like Jesus will be very sad. Jesus taught that we must always be ready for His return, for it will be a surprise when He comes, because nobody knows when He will come.
Ten days after Jesus returned to Heaven, the Holy Spirit came, and through the Holy Spirit the followers of Jesus did many miracles, for Jesus was with them, in them and working through them. Even today Jesus is with His people through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes to live inside all those that love Jesus. The Holy Spirit helps people to know and do what is right, He teaches people about God, He comforts people, and gives people strength to tell others about Jesus. God promises to give His Spirit as a free gift to all that ask Him.
HEAVEN AND THE TREE OF LIFE
Since Christians believe Jesus defeated death and came back alive again, they do not need to fear dying, because they believe just as Jesus came back alive from the dead, they will also come back alive again even if they die. Heaven is God's home, one day it will also be the home of all of God's children. Heaven is very beautiful, it is a perfect place where there is no bad things like death, suffering, crime, sadness, crying or pain. The only way anybody can enter God's home is with the help of His Son Jesus, and Jesus has promised that He will help everybody. One day all things will be made new, there will even be a new earth. The perfection, peace and harmony that existed in the beginning of time will be restored to the world, for all things both in heaven and on earth will be reunited and restored to God through Jesus. Within God's paradise there is the "tree of life", and there, people will once again enjoy its fruit and live happily with God forever.
The Holy Spirit
Before Jesus went back to heaven from where He had come, He promised to always be with those that love Him and never leave them. Jesus also promised God's invisible Spirit called the Holy Spirit would come after He went back to Heaven.
At the time of a religious feast called Pentecost the followers of Jesus were all together in a house in Jerusalem. Suddenly the Holy Spirit came down from heaven with a great noise, they saw what looked like tongues of fire come to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages by the power of the Spirit.
There were people from many nations gathered in Jerusalem. They heard the believers speak in different languages, and were very amazed because each of them heard them speak in the language of the country they were born in. Some made fun of them saying, they are drunk! But one of Jesus closest friends called Peter, got up and said they were not drunk, he explained that this was what one of the prophets had promised long ago, that one day God's spirit would be poured out on all people (Acts 2:17).
Peter also spoke to the crowd about how Jesus was killed, but came back alive. Many that heard the things Peter spoke believed it to be the truth, and asked what they should do. Peter told them to turn away from sin, and be baptised into the name of Jesus, so that they might be set free from sin, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. To be baptized into Jesus, means to put on Jesus (Galatians 3:27) It does not necessarily involve water for it is a spiritual event. Peter later explained baptism was not an outward thing (1 Peter 3:21) but something that happened when we turned to God for help. So we are baptised or submerged into the body of Jesus when we turn away from sin and turn to Jesus for help. We don't need to be baptised in water to become a follower of Jesus.
Jesus is with His people through the Holy Spirit, when the Holy Spirit is with us, Jesus is with us, just as He promised. Even today the Holy Spirit comes to live inside all those that love Jesus. The Holy Spirit helps people to know and do what is right, He teaches people about God, He also comforts people, and gives people strength to tell others about Jesus, He also leads people, but people must choose to follow Him. God promises to give His Spirit to all that ask Him.
Jesus Promise's To Return
Jesus also promised that He would come back to earth again one day, but this time He will come with a loud sound, in brightness and with many angels. Those that love Jesus will be very happy to see Jesus, but those that don't like Jesus will be very sad. Jesus taught that we must always be ready for His return, for it will be a surprise when He comes, because nobody knows the day or the hour, except God. The Bible speaks of a time when all things will be restored (Acts 3:20-21).
After receiving the Holy Spirit the followers of Jesus did many miracles and signs, for Jesus was working in them and through them. Many became believers as the good news spread.
Everybody that believes in Jesus becomes a part of God's family called the Church, which is not a building or a place, it is a spiritual body made of God's people. A Church meeting takes place when two or more believers gather together in Jesus name (Matthew 18:20), people that love Jesus can meet together anywhere at anytime.
Every follower of Jesus has a job to do, they are a family, and like a good family they spend time together, sharing and learning.
The Bible: God's Written Word
The Bible is a collection of many writings, written by many Holy men of God over a time of 1500 years. Most of the writings before Jesus were written by prophets and kings. And most of the writings written after Jesus was on the earth were written by the close friends of Jesus and believers in Jesus. People wrote the Scriptures as God's Spirit guided them and told them what to write.
God gave us the Bible so that we can learn what He is like and to teach us how He wants us to live (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The Bible tells us where we have come from, and where we are going, it tells us how God has helped, taught, guided, punished, healed and related to different people in different times and places.
The Bible is like a signpost pointing people to Jesus. We can best know God, by knowing Jesus.
We can know the Bible is true and from God because when it has talked about the future, it has always come true, and only God knows the future.
The Resurrection of the Dead
All dead people will be brought back to life. People will be given a new body that cannot die. There will also be a judgement day, every person will be rewarded according to what they have done, those that have loved Jesus and obeyed Him will be blessed with heavenly riches. Those that have rejected Jesus, and lived bad lives will have no reward. Everybody will see how great and awesome God really is, and every person will bow in worship of Him.
Heaven is God's home, one day it will also be the home of all of God's children. Heaven is very beautiful, it is a perfect place where there is no bad things like death, suffering, crime, sadness, crying or pain. God's people will live happily there with God forever. We can't get to heaven by doing good things, heaven is a free gift God has given us.
God is perfect, and only perfect people can go to live with Him in Heaven, because if God let imperfect people into heaven, heaven wouldn't be perfect anymore. But everybody is imperfect, for all have done bad things. There was nothing people could do to reach God in Heaven, so God came to earth as Jesus to make a way for people to come to Him.
Jesus could enter Heaven because He was the perfect person. And the only way any other person can enter into heaven is with the help of Jesus, and Jesus has promised that He will help everybody. When Jesus is inside us and we are in Him, we are perfect, for our imperfections are swallowed up by His perfection.
Jesus on the Cross
Two criminals were also nailed on crosses with Jesus, one on either side of Him (Luke 23:32-33). While dying on the cross, one criminal spoke to Jesus with no respect saying, "If you are Christ, save yourself and us." But the other criminal disagreed with his disrespectful words. He instead admitted they deserved to be punished with death, unlike Jesus who had done nothing wrong. He said to Jesus "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom". Jesus replied to him by saying "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise". (Luke 23:38-43)
The criminal who was promised a place in paradise did three things: 1) He admitted he had done wrong and deserved punishment. 2) He respected Jesus by calling Him Lord. 3) He asked Jesus for help.
All of us are as helpless as the criminals crucified next to Jesus, there is nothing we can do to get into heaven. But we can be sure of going to paradise when we die, if we will do what the other criminal did, repent of our sin and turn to the Lord Jesus for help. Jesus has promised to help all those that call on His name (Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13).
Many of the good things God gives to us in this life are free gifts, such as the forgiveness of sins and a new life (Romans 6:23, Romans 5:15-16). These are gifts we cannot earn by doing good things (Romans 3:20), we can only receive them by receiving Jesus as King of our life, for if we receive Jesus, we also receive all He has.
If there was anybody that deserved punishment in the afterlife, surely it would be those that saw God in the person of Jesus, yet killed Him. But on the cross, Jesus showed forgiveness even towards them, saying "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). That is how much God loves each of us, and it is also an example of how we should love and forgive those that hate and hurt us.
Every person has done bad things, and doing bad things makes us dirty on the inside. Scripture speaks of sins been written into peoples hearts with a sharp pen (Jeremiah 17:1). The Good News is that no matter how many bad things we have done or how far away from God we feel we are, it is never too late to come to God for help and forgiveness. God never stops loving His children and His forgiveness is greater than the greatest sinner. God invites everybody to come to Him so that He can wash them completely clean of all their sins (Isaiah 1:18). We are made like new on the inside by admiting we are wrong and turning to Jesus for help.
God can't forgive people who just say they are sorry but don't mean it. God can only forgive people that repent of their sins, repenting is letting go of sin, so that God can heal and clean your heart. Just as a splinter must be first removed before a wound can be healed, we must first let go of sin before we can be cleansed of its deadly pollution.
If we love sin and continue sinning God cannot forgive us, for if we love sin we do not love God, for we can't love both sin and God, just as we can't love both light and darkness. If we love God we will not do the things He hates.
Repentance involves turning from our own selfish ways, and making God the most important thing in our lives.
We must see that we need help, for we can't cleanse ourselves of our sins. It is like trying to clean dirty clothes with dirty hands.
Some wrongly believe they can clean themselves of sin by doing lots of good things, that is like trying to clean a pile of dirty clothes by covering them with clean clothes. It may hide the dirty pile, but it will never clean it.
Repentance is admitting your guilt and sinfulness before God, it is an abandoning your love of sin. Repentance is removing what ever is at the center of our life, and replacing it with God.
Many people call themselves Christians, but a real Christian is a person that loves Jesus, and because they love Jesus, they follow Him, trust Him, obey what He taught and tell others about Him.
Christians are people that have come to know how lost, broken, empty and weak they are without God in charge of their life. Knowing this they have turned away from loving and doing the things God hates, and have turned their lives over to Jesus.
When people turn to Jesus and trust Him with their lives, Jesus comes to live inside them, and they become one with Jesus, as though they were a part His body. With Jesus inside them they become a new person on the inside, for they are set free and washed clean of all their sins, and because they are joined to Jesus, they also have His life inside them.
Being a Christian is a life long journey with Jesus. As Christians follow Jesus and continue to give Him control of their lives, they grow and are changed through God's Holy Spirit and the truth.
Christians believe Jesus defeated death and came alive again, that is why Christians do not need to fear dying, because they believe just as Jesus came back alive from the dead, they will also come back alive again even if they die.
When a person chooses to make Jesus the Lord of their life they are saying to Jesus: I will do what you want not what I want, I will obey you, I will follow you, everything I have is yours, I am your servant, I love you more than anything in the world.
Christianity is about putting Jesus in control of your life, after all He made us, owns us and loves us. Christianity is about being friends with the King and Creator of the universe. Christianity is not about following a list of rules, it is about loving and following Jesus.
So becoming a Christian involves:
-Knowing that without God you are lost and helpless
-Turning away from the things God hates
-Asking Jesus for help and trusting your life over to Him.
When we surrender to God, by admiting and rejecting our wrong ways, and turn to God for the help He offers in His Son Jesus Christ, we will be accepted by God and He will cleanse us of all our sins, we will become a new person on the inside through a spiritual transformation, and we will enter into a relationship with God, of which the fruit will be a completly new and transformed life.
Two Spiritual Kingdoms
There are two spiritual kingdoms in the world, the kingdom of hate, death, and darkness which is ruled over by the prince of darkness called Satan. Then there is the kingdom of love, life, and light, which is ruled by Jesus the king and creator of the universe. There are only two types of people in the world, those that obey Jesus and those that disobey Him. Each of us is either a servant of God or a servant of Satan, we are either working with God or fighting against Him. If we are not obeying God, we are obeying the prince of darkness. Who's team are you on?
The good news is if you are an enemy of God, you can become His friend by surrendering to Him and rejecting your old leader. If you are to be a soldier in God's army, you must listen to and obey the commands of Jesus the king. Nobody can serve two masters.
Jesus also provides spiritual armour for all His followers, for Satan is always seeking to steal, kill and destroy the good things that come from God. Jesus gives us the truth to fight Satan's lies, He gives us His peace to fight the fears Satan tries to plant in our mind, He gives us His powerful Spirit so we can be like Him, and He gives us everything else we need to fight the lies and temptations of Satan. We ourselves must put on the armour, we must pray and obey God. Scripture says when we have given Jesus control of our lives the devil will flee from us when we resist him (James 4:7). Jesus is far more powerful than any evil spirit and every spirit must submit to the Name of Jesus.
Becoming a Christian is a commitment to follow Jesus, rather than our own selfish ways. When faced with descisions and choices a Christian should ask himself, what would Christ their leader do?
Christians may sometimes fail, but doing what is right is easy for Jesus is always helping, comforting and giving strength to His followers, and even when Christians sin, Jesus has promised to forgive them when they repent and admit their mistakes to Him.
Prayer is talking with God, anybody can pray, anywhere at any time. God hears our prayers. We can talk to God about anything, He is our heavenly father, we can thank Him for all the things He has given us, we can ask God to give us the things we need.
We can ask for spiritual things like the Holy Spirit, wisdom and power to live right. We can also ask God for help in getting everything we need to live, such as food, clothing, money, work, good health and safety. We need to remember God is bigger than any problem we may face.
Because God is the maker and creator of everything, He can also heal and fix peoples bodies. So when we are sick or suffering we can pray for God to heal and help us. Nothing is too difficult for God.
Sometimes we go through the storms of life, and we pray for God to remove the storm or problem, but God doesn't always do that, but He has promised to always be with us through every storm and struggle we face.
Christians can trust God for all things in this life, God is like a loving father that wants to care and look after His children. Faith is trusting God and believing all His promises, and not worrying or being afraid of anything. Faith is trusting God and entrusting ourselves to him.
Jesus is looking for people that have faith. Without faith we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6). Scripture says God rewards those that seek Him. Faith is more than just believing God exists, for Scripture says even devils believe there is only one God, and tremble (James 2:19).
Jesus could do many things so that everybody believed He was God, such as write His name in the sky or something else great so that nobody doubted that He was God.
But Jesus is looking for faithful people that will love Him not because of selfish reasons, fear or force, but will love Him for who and what He is.
Its like the old story of the prince who pretended to be a pauper, to see who loved him for what he was, not what he had. As a prince all women loved him, but as a pauper only one. And of course he married the one that loved him for what he was, and lived happily ever after. Jesus the prince of peace came as a pauper to seek for Himself a people of faith to be His bride.
Jesus did come to the earth showing off all His heavenly beauty and glory, instead He came as a common man with no beauty (Isaiah 53), so that people might not love Him for what He has but for what He is.
Jesus did enough miracles and revealed enough truth, to prove He was God but did not make it so clear that people didn't need faith. Those that recognised Him because of the love, truth and holiness that
Jesus desires followers that will follow Him because they are attracted to Who He is, He is love, He is truth, He is life. God want's His children to love Him more than the gifts He gives.
Make the Decision
Do you admit you are guilty of doing bad things? Do you admit you need the help of Jesus to reach God? It is never too late to ask God for help. Remember Jesus loved you so much he died that you could live forever. Will you love Jesus and make Him your friend and the most important thing in your life? Is Jesus the king of your life? or are you the boss of your own life? Are you a follower of Jesus? or are you following your own ways?
If you want to follow Jesus, tell Him right now. If you want God's help, ask Him right now, If you are sorry for the things you have done wrong, and want Jesus to make you clean on the inside and come and live inside you, you can ask Him right now. The best words to use are your own, God doesn't care about words, He looks at the heart.
If we surrender our lives to God, He promises to forgive and cleanse us of all our sinful past, He promises to give us power over sin in the present, and He promises us a great future with Him. If you will give Jesus everything you have, He will give you everything He has.
If you are not yet a follower of Jesus, but deep down in your heart you know Jesus is the Truth, it is because God's Spirit is calling you out of the darkness into His Light. Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). He also said "I am the way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Nobody is guaranteed a tommorrow, that is why Scripture says "Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." (Hebrews 4:7). There may never be a better moment than right now! Why would you want to wait? Why go on in your spiritual rags, when you can be clothed with the holiness of Jesus? Why continue being a slave to self and Satan, when you can be a child of God? Why follow the path that leads to death, when you can have life? Why continue to be burdened by sin when Jesus offers freedom? Jesus says "Look, I stand at the door, and knock, if anybody hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will feast with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20). There is great joy in heaven among the angels of God, when one person turns away from sin (Luke 15:10).
Learn and Grow in the Truth
Christians share a common mission in life, they seek to know the Truth, live the truth, and spread the truth. If you want to learn more about God, you can do so by reading what God has said in the Bible and by meeting with people that follow and love Jesus, His followers are known by their holy lives, and how they love one another. You can also get to know God better by talking with Him in prayer. But remember, while in our physical body we will not know everything, but the good news is we can be friends with Him who does.
Spread The Truth
Jesus told those that loved Him to go and tell other people about what He had done so that those don't know the good news, might also share in the blessings that come from being God's friend. If Jesus has done something good for you, go and tell others about it!
|www.truth.info||Brought to you by Terje Ronneberg||Top of Page|