THE MESSAGE AT THE HEART OF CHRISTIANITY IS REALLY GOOD NEWS AND IS SIMPLE ENOUGH TO BE OUTLINED BELOW IN 6 POINTS. IT'S A MESSAGE FROM THE BIBLE ABOUT GOD AND HIS SON, JESUS.
IT'S ABOUT LOVE, LIFE, DEATH AND IT'S ABOUT YOU AND THE CHOICE THAT EVERYONE MAKES.
First Peter, chapter 3, verse 18
But because of Gods great love and generosity for us, He didn't leave us to suffer the consequences of our foolish rebellion. He did something to save us. He sent His own divine son into the world to become a man - Jesus Christ. Unlike us, Jesus didn't rebel against God. He always lived under God's rule. He always did what God said, and so didn't deserve death or punishment. Yet, Jesus did die. Although He had the power of God to heal the sick, walk on water and even raise the dead, Jesus allowed Himself to be executed on a cross. Why? The Bible rings with the incredible news that Jesus died as a substitute for rebels like us. The debt that we owed God, Jesus paid by dying in our place. He took the full force of God's justice on Himself, so that forgiveness and pardon might be available to us. All this is quite undeserved by us. It is a generous gift, from start to finish.
But that's not all . . .
THE RISEN RULER
First Peter, chapter1, verse 3
God accepted Jesus' death as payment in full for our sins, and raised Him from the dead. The risen Jesus is now what humanity was always meant to be: God's ruler of the world. As God's ruler, Jesus has also been appointed God's judge of the world. The Bible promises that one day, He will return to call all of us to account for our actions. In the meantime, Jesus offers us new life, both now and eternally. Right now, your sins can be forgiven through Jesus' death, and you can make a fresh start with God, no longer a rebel but friend. In this new life, God himself comes to live within you by His Spirit. You can experience the joy of a new relationship with God. What's more, when you are pardoned through Jesus' death, you can be quite sure that when Jesus does return to judge, you will be acceptable to Him. The risen Jesus gives you eternal life, not because you have earned it, but because He has died in your place and you are trusting in Him
Well, where does all that leave you? It leaves you with a choice of two ways to live.
John, chapter 3, verse 36
You can reject God, and try to run life your own way without Him. The end result is that God gives you what you ask for and deserve. He condemns you for your rejection of His rightful loving rule over your life. You not only have to put up with the messy consequences of rejecting God here and now, but you face the dreadful prospect of an eternity of separation from Him, without love or relationship.
But for those who realise that this option is hopeless, there is an incredible lifeline. If you turn back to God by believing in Jesus' death and resurrection, then everything changes! For a start, God wipes your slate clean. He accepts Jesus' death as payment for your sins, and freely and completely forgives you. He pours His own Spirit into your heart and grants you a new life that stretches past death and into forever. You're no longer a rebel, living against God, but you're now welcomed in as part of God's own family. As His adopted son or daughter. You now live with Jesus as your ruler.
The two ways to live could not be more different, and they present you, with a choice.
THE FIRST QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF
WHICH WAY DO I WANT TO LIVE?
If your answer to this question is 'my own way', then you probably don't believe some or all of the message we have been outlining. Perhaps you do not believe that God is going to judge those who reject Him in this life, or that you really are a rebel.
If that's the case, then please think carefully. It would be a good idea to investigate thoroughly the claims that have been made here, because if they are true, the consequences are life and death. Perhaps you could get a modern Bible translation and read about if for yourself (Mark's gospel is a good place to start). Or you could talk to a Christian friend or contact us.
You are at a fork in the road. It's the choice that we all face. There are only two ways to live. Your way or God’s new way. However, if you know that you have rebelled against God, and chose to live His way, the next obvious question is: What can you do about it?
GOD IS THE LOVING
RULER & CREATOR
Revelation, chapter 4, verse 11
The first point of the Christian message is that God lovingly created the world. Like a potter with His clay, God fashioned the world into just the shape He wished, with all its amazing details. He made it, and he owns it, making Him ruler and King.
He also made us, by love and for love.
God lovingly created people who were something like himself, and put them in charge of His world - to rule it and care for it. To be responsible for it, and to enjoy its beauty and goodness. He appointed humanity to supervise and look after the world He made and to live in a close and loving relationship with Him, under His good and wise authority, honouring Him and obeying His good instructions. Unlike human rulers, however, God always does what is best for his subjects. He is the kind of King you'd like to be ruled by.
It all sounds rather ideal - God in heaven, people ruling the world according to His directions, and everything right with the world. But everything is very obviously not right, with us or the world. So what has gone wrong?
Romans, chapter 3, verse 11-12
The sad truth is that, from the very beginning, men and women everywhere have rejected God by doing things their own way. We all do this. We don't like someone tellings us what to do or how to live - least of all God - and so we rebel against Him in lots of different ways. We ignore Him and just get on with our own lives; or we disobey His instructions for living in this world; or we shake our puny fists in His face and tell Him to get lost. However we do it, we are all rebels, because we don't live God's way. We prefer to follow our own desires, and to run things our own way, without God. This rebellious, self-sufficient attitude is what the Bible calls 'sin'. The trouble is, in rejecting God we make a mess not only of our own lives, but of our society and the world. The whole world is full of people bent on doing what suits them. We all act like little gods, with our own crowns, competing with one another. The result is misery. The suffering and injustice that we see around us all go back to our basic rejection of God.
By rebelling against God, we've made a terrible mess of things. The question is: what will God do about it?
OF OUR CHOICE
Hebrews, chapter 9, verse 27
God cares enough about humanity to take our rebellion seriously. He calls us to account for our actions, because it matters to Him that we treat Him, and other people, so poorly. In other words, He won't let the rebellion go on forever. The sentence God passes against us is entirely just, giving us exactly what we ask for. In rebelling against God, we're saying to Him, "Go away. I don't what you telling me what to do. Leave me alone." And this is precisely what God does. His judgement on rebels is to withdraw from them, to cut them off from himself - permanently. But since God is the source of life and all good things, being cut off from Him means death and hell. God's judgement against rebels is an everlasting, God-less death. This is a terrible thing, to fall under the sentence of God's judgement and it's a prospect we all face, since we are all guilty of rejecting God.
Is that it then?
Are we all destined for death and everlasting ruin? If not for God's own miraculous intervention, we would be.
MY NEXT STEP
If want to live God’s new way, believing in His son Jesus Christ, your first step is to Pray.
PRAY Talk to God. You need to admit before Him that you have rejected Him, that you deserve punishment, and that you're asking for mercy on the basis of Jesus' death in your place. You'll also need to ask God to help you change from being someone who lives as ruler of your own life to being someone who lives with Jesus as their ruler. You could pray something like this:
Dear Heavenly Father, I know that I am not worthy to be accepted by you. I don't deserve your gift of eternal life. I am guilty of rejecting you and ignoring you. I need forgiveness. Thank you for loving me so much that you sent your son to die for me so that I may be forgiven. Thank you that Jesus rose from the dead to give me new life. Please forgive me and with your help, change me, so that I live with Jesus as my new ruler. Amen.
So, now you've prayed, asking God to forgive you and change you, realise that Jesus is now in charge of your life.
SUBMIT Submit to Jesus. Having prayed the sort of prayer above, you will want to start learning to live God's way. There will no doubt be all kinds of areas in your life in need of change. You'll need to get rid of old rebellious habits (like greed, anger, selfishness, and so on) and start some new ones that please God (like generosity, kindness, love and patience). This will go on for the rest of your life, but God will be with you, helping you all the way. He'll be speaking to you as you read the Bible; He'll keep listening to you and helping you as you pray to Him; He will empower you to change and to live His way by His Spirit who lives within you now that you believe in His son Jesus; AND He will provide brothers and sisters in God's family - His church to encourage you along the way.
TRUST Keep trusting. This is also ongoing. You need to keep putting your trust in the right place. It's only because of Jesus (and His death and resurrection) that you can be forgiven and made right with God. You'll need to keep coming back to this again and again, because as you start to live God's new way, you will still fail and do the wrong thing. We all do. We all need to keep looking back to the death of Jesus on the cross as the only grounds for our forgiveness. We must never stop relying on Him - and Him alone - as the means by which we are forgiven and granted eternal life.
If you’ve made the decision to believe in Jesus and follow Him, then please contact us. We were never created to do this amazing faith voyage alone.
Email, text or call so we can help you get you off to a great solid start.
The Bible is telling one unified story that leads us to JESUS. The Bible is also known as God’s Word and when we read His Word it’s like God is speaking directly to us. The Holy Spirit makes HIS Word come alive in our hearts, revealing His love, truth, guidance and correction for the best way to live in relationship with Him and others. The bible is not a book you read once, rather God's Word becomes alive in our hearts and has the power for us to experience Gods presence and transform our lives.
THE BIBLE IS BRILLIANT!
If you're taking steps to learn more about Jesus, start reading John in the New Testament section of the Bible.
Great bible verses to read: Matthew 24:35; Matthew 5:17-18;
Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 30:5; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Tim 3:16-17
GOOD NEWS - THE GOSPEL
G | GOD created us to live with Him
O | OUR sins separate us from God
S | SINS cannot be removed by good deeds
P | PAYING the price for sin, Jesus died on a cross and rose again
E | EVERYONE who trusts in him is forgiven and given the gift of His Spirit
L | LIFE with Jesus starts now and lasts forever
Great bible verses to read: John 1:14; John 3:16-18; Philippians 2:6-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-7; Acts 10: 36-48; Romans 3:20-29;
Romans 5:5-21; Acts 2:38-40; Ephesians 2:8-10