1) I’m an American
2) I was raised in a Christian home
3) My dad/uncle/grandfather was a preacher
4) I’ve gone to church all my life
5) I’m a good person
6) I’ve never committed a crime
7) I read the Bible and pray
8) I don’t hurt people
9) Someone told me I’m a Christian
10) I was born a Christian
I have heard every one of these statements from various people. None of them are what makes anyone a Christian.
Someone recently made the comment: “I’m no sinner. We’re not bad people.” Anyone who watches the news knows there are bad people in the world. If you aren’t perfect you’re a sinner. There is only one perfect person who ever lived: Jesus the Christ, the only BEGOTTEN Son of God.
John 3:16–For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:17–For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:18–He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:19–And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 3:20–For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
John 3:21–But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
These are words that Jesus himself spoke. He was fully God and fully man. These are copied from the King James Version of the Bible. We have many Bibles today, and all of them are supposed to be easier to understand. But if you compare them to the King James you find that most of the time, where the words are changed, the meaning is also changed. There has to be a standard. I would highly encourage anyone who truly wants to follow God to study how all of these versions came about. I have done so and have concluded that the King James is God’s preserved inerrant word for English-speaking people.
Isa_64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Think about this: how can any mere mortal be good enough for a holy, righteous, perfect God? How many good deeds would it take to deserve the cruelty that Jesus the Christ suffered WILLINGLY for our sakes?
The apostle Paul called himself the chiefest of sinners. I don’t know about you, but I know my faith and my walk with the Lord are not even close to his.
Rom 3:10—As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11—There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12—They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Rom 3:13—Their throat is an open sepulchre (grave); with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Rom 3:14—Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Rom 3:15—Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Rom 3:16—Destruction and misery are in their ways:
Rom 3:17—And the way of peace have they not known:
Rom 3:18—There is no fear of God before their eyes.
The above verses are what we were before we recognized that we were sinners and asked Jesus to forgive us and change us. Even if we’ve only done some of these things (at least in thought, if not deed), we are still guilty. Jesus took OUR punishment, yours and mine, on a cruel cross, after being beaten with a cat-o-nine-tails until he looked like 100 pounds of ground hamburger meat, had his beard plucked out by the handful, was spat on, punched or slapped in the face while blindfolded, had a wreath of 2-inch thorns thrust on his head, and finally nailed to a cross. He didn’t have to go through all of that. And on top of that, while he was on that cross, his Father turned his back, because God is so pure, righteous and holy that He can’t look at sin. Jesus didn’t just carry our sins. Scripture says he BECAME sin for us. It was the first time Jesus was ever spiritually separated from his Father. It was the first and only time he addressed his Father as God when he cried out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Rom. 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Does a sovereign God have the right to decide what’s right and what’s wrong? Guess what? No mere human is going to tell God what He can or cannot do. If you don’t think He’s being fair, your opinion isn’t going to change anything with God
Rom 10:9—That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10—For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:13—For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 10:14—How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15—And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The only way to be saved is to accept the fact that you are a sinner, (that means agree with God that this is a fact), ask God to forgive you of your sins, and invite Him to take control of your life. It must be done with a sincere heart, in humility. After all, you are addressing the Supreme Being: then find a church that is friendly and preaches from the King James Bible (so you get the truth, without omissions), attend Sunday School (yes, adults need teaching too), and read your Bible every day. I usually recommend starting with the gospel of John. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs: one for every day of the month. As you read and listen, ask God the Holy Spirit to teach you and help you understand. The more you read, the more you understand. Don’t try to absorb too much at once. Start with just a few verses a day. Then think about them as you go through the day, pondering what those verses mean to you, and how they apply to you. This is how you grow in the Lord. Have a great day. More tomorrow.