Friday, November 17, 2017

Accepting Christ

KThe Most Important Choice You Will Make

You will make thousands of choices throughout a single year in your life. Many are important and some are not so important. Some will impact your life forever. We speak of 'good' and 'bad' choices. We know how the good can create avenues of hope for our futures and the bad can literally destroy our future depending on how serious they are.

If you married you made a choice, and when you had children you made a choice. These choices would be forever followed by responsibilities - raising your children, taking vows to love and honor your wife or husband. Yes, we make important choices. You made a choice to go to a particular school or work at a particular job, choices are a life-long fact!

There is a saying which goes: "He who takes thought for a time and takes no thought for eternity is wise for a moment, but a fool forever". Many people give little thought to the eternal state of their soul.

If you are wondering, "does God care for me? Does He really Love me?" you can be sure that the answer is yes. You may be thinking, "My past is too sinful for God to care or even forgive me, or I am beyond hope". But Jesus came for the sinner and the hopeless.

We cannot earn our salvation with good works. Many today think, "Well, I am a good person, I never killed anyone or hurt any one, God will see that I have more good deeds than bad". While it is true that many may not have killed or done really bad things, in God's eyes, we are still sinful because of our rebellion against Him. God cannot tolerate any sin because God is Holy. If you get one ticket for speeding in life, it will remain on your record regardless of how good you drive in the future. The police do not let you off because your record from the past is good and your credit is good so ... go out a speed and rob ... you got credit. No, our laws do not work this way.

In God's eyes, one sin is enough to cause separation from His Holy presence. In all honesty, we all know that we are not getting better. Just look at the world around you. Human history proves that humankind will never learn peace. You may think, "I can go into my inner-god, my self, my transcendental state and find the god within", yet all the attempts at our modern day gurus of self-ism cannot wipe away the guilt simply by putting on a happy face or changing one's attitude.

The only one who can change our inner self is God through Jesus Christ. We will never be perfect and we can never satisfy God's demands to fulfill the laws He has placed before us. Consider this. You may say, "I keep, or try to keep, the 10 commandments, that is good enough". Is it? Have you ever lied? Have you ever looked at another man or woman and had sexual thoughts about them? Have you ever taken something that was not yours? Have you ever used God's name in vain? If so, and if you are honest, you would be breaking most of the commandments you claim , "is enough" to get to heaven.

It is evident we cannot keep the law. The good news is, Jesus kept the whole Law perfectly and therefore pleased God. He went to the Cross and fulfilled the law even unto death. Jesus died in our place as a sacrifice and a punishment for our sin so we would not have to die eternally and be separated from God. It is like a lawyer who stands between you and the judge. Jesus pleads your case while you are deserving of judgement, and says, "Judge (Father) I know (your name) is worthy of your just sentence against him, but he/she trusted in me, the One you sent, and because of this I ask that you accept my payment for this ones wrong doing (sin). The Judge accepts the payment not because you are so good, but because the lawyer/advocate is. (Hebrews 10).

Salvation is a gift freely given (Grace), through Christ Jesus alone. We do not work our way to heaven. Paul says in Romans, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God" Romans 3: 23. In a nutshell, Jesus did FOR you what you could not hope to do for yourself. Paul in Romans chapters 2-4 outlines the meaning of Justification. We are justified through our faith in Jesus Christ alone. This means we have Jesus' righteousness imputed (given) to us, that is ... his good and perfect credit is credited to us - like someone placing a huge amount of money in your account just because!!

So you see, salvation is a gift - why would anyone want to strive to impress God when God freely offers forgiveness? You might think, "Well, we do not have to be good or do good?". No. After we are saved good works are a sign of our Love for God and others and we want to serve others and God by helping others. But the order is important: first we get saved and then do good works to the glory of God. The world thinks good works will please God, but often they are to please ourselves and impress others. The difference is that the Christian wants to please God because all Glory belongs to God.

If you wish to accept Jesus Christ today as your Lord and Savior please take time to read these words and think them over. Are you tired of all the ploys and do-it-yourself hype out there? Are you frustrated when you feel you have been a good person but things still go wrong for you? God is not punishing you when your life is turned upside down - though He may be reminding you that the only sure foundation is in Jesus. Unfortunately war and crime, death and illness are here to stay. All must suffer death even Christians, because this is the wage of Sin (I Corinthians 15: 20-28, 50-58). While you have life in you, you can make a choice for Jesus today. After death, that choice will be made for you.

Today you can find peace knowing that God loves you and has demonstrated His love for you in Jesus' death on the cross. Simply Pray to God these words:

God I know I am a sinner in need of salvation and justly deserving your punishment.
I confess to you today that I have turned from you and have ignored you in trying to please myself over pleasing you.
I accept the death of Jesus Christ on the cross as a sufficient sacrifice, paid in full, for my sins.
I accept you as my Only Lord and Only Savior today and invite you into my life and into my heart.

I belong to you now Lord, give me strength to follow you.
I thank you for doing for me what I could not hope to do for myself. I give you the glory and honor for making me a son/daughter of the Most High. Change me Lord and slowly move me to become that person you would have me be. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Dear friend, Jesus Christ welcomes you into his family forever if you sincerely prayed to him. No, you are not perfect and yes you will continue to fail and sin, but you are justified before the Father through Christ this day. Pray for strength to serve God and turn away from those things that cause you to lose sight of His love for you. Though you will continue to struggle with sin and temptations, you will be also given strength to live better lives for Him. Today you have a chosen life and abundance through Jesus The Light of the World!

Knowing Christ as Savior does not end with accepting him as Lord and Savior. You may want to read your Bible and find someone who can help nurture you in faith. Solitary Christianity is not what our Lord desires; He desires that you be in communion with other believers for support. Find a Bible believing Church which teaches the Bible and holds firmly to the essential teachings of Scripture. These include: The Scriptures as inspired and without error in their original autographs, the Full Divinity and Humanity of Jesus Christ, The Blood atonement on the Cross for your sins, The Virgin Birth of Jesus, The Bodily resurrection of Jesus, and the Bodily return of Jesus Christ at the end of time. You may also check out our web page on Questions and Answers, Creeds and Statement of faith. If you would like to call or contact us through our website Pastor Dean will do his best to respond to you. Praise God for giving us a new beginning!

Pastor Dean