“Have you ever heard about Nelson Mandela?” someone might ask you.
“Sure, I know him. He was an amazing man who did great things for South Africa” you might respond.
But do you? Really?
Have you ever had a coffee with him? Did you phone him up on his birthday? Did you attend his wedding? Did he know you?
We use the phrase so easily. I know Einstein. I know Elvis. I know Jesus. What we really mean is that we know about them. Surely there is a world of difference between the knowledge I have of Elvis vs how well I know my husband.
When we read the Bible, REALLY read the Bible, we encounter a living God who loves and actively pursues people. We encounter the God who spoke to Moses, face to face, as with a friend. We encounter the God who gave up everything, came to earth, became a man and died on a cross for us to make a way so that we can enter into a personal relationship with Him. After all, He is coming back for a Bride. That’s pretty personal. He’s not coming as a President or Celebrity or Foreign Dignitary. He’s coming as a Bridegroom, desperately in love and longing for His Bride. Wow. Think about that!
So I ask you….Do you know Him?
Have you ever met Him?
Well, I would love to introduce you!
We all come into the world contracted with a incurable fatal disease called sin. God made this world absolutely perfect, and designed man to walk in a perfect love relationship with Him. But for it to be real love, there has to be choice, so He made us with a free will. We can choose to love Him or we can choose to turn away from Him. And so the very first man and woman made a choice, the wrong choice. And by disobeying God in the Garden of Eden they let sin and evil into the world.
God is perfect and holy, the ultimate Good and Righteous Judge. And just as we would expect a good judge on earth to punish a crime, the ultimate Good, Loving Judge in Heaven can not leave sin unpunished. Sin’s punishment is DEATH (Rom 6:23) But not just physical death, but spiritual death; eternal separation from God. This will be the outcome of our incurable disease because not one person on earth can claim that they have never sinned. (Rom 3:23) Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen something? Have you ever hated someone (The Bible tells us that this is equivalent to murder – 1 John 3:15) ? Do you think that a Good Judge should leave a Liar, a Thief or a Murderer unpunished?
Some of us might think that maybe we can outweigh our bad deeds by our good ones. But this is just as well as a Murderer pleading his case before a judge by saying: “Well, yes, I know I murdered someone, but look at all the good things I have done in my life. I gave to charities, helped the poor, took care of my family. I even went to church every week.” What do you think? Will a Good Judge turn around and say; “Oh, well now that I have taken that in consideration, you are free to go.” I am very sure that the victim’s family would not think him a Good Judge if he did.
No. The just Punishment is Death. But God has made a way. Jesus, the Son of God, who is pure, spotless, blameless and completely without sin, was willing to take the punishment on our behalf. Imagine that murderer standing before the Judge receiving the death sentence he justly deserves and just then, a young innocent boy runs into the courtroom and addresses the Judge. “Father, let this man go free. I am willing to be executed in his place.”
And that is just what He did.
Jesus, though innocent was crucified as a criminal more than 2000 years ago, taking all our sins on Himself. God the Father judged and punished Him for the sins of the whole world (past, present and future) But Jesus alone had the Power to completely defeat sin and Death and 3 days later He rose from the dead. He lives and right now is next to the Father’s throne as the Perfect Advocate, pleading our case before the Judge (1 John 2:1-2) and offering all of us Eternal Life with Him on earth now and in heaven after we die.
And here comes the cinch. We still have a choice.
God will never violate our free will. He has left us with the choice: Accept Jesus’ amazing Sacrifice for us or Take the punishment ourselves. Right now you are offered this choice. Right now Jesus is standing next to you, holding out His nail-scarred hands, asking you:”Will you accept my Sacrifice?”
This could be the day that you officially meet Jesus and start that intimate love relationship with Him. Remember it’s not enough to know about Him. He’s coming back for His Bride, not His acquaintances. Or this could be the day that you choose to turn away and face the eternal punishment of being separated from God in the flames of hell yourself. No one is promised the day of tomorrow. What if today is all you have left? (1 John 5:11-12)
The choice is yours. If you do choose to accept; you can do it through a simple prayer. Tell Him. Talk to Jesus. Tell Him that you accept His gift of Eternal Life and Forgiveness. Repent (that means starting to walk in the opposite direction of your old life without God) and confess your sins before Him, and ask Him to become not only your Saviour but your Lord as well.
And now? How glorious! Your life will never be the same again. You have the God of the Universe as your friend. But remember, it is a friendship. Get to know Him. Find out what is important to Him. Listen to His voice. Speak to Him about your doubts and fears. Invite Him to all your life events. Find a Bible-believing-and-living church and join His family. Read the Bible – His special love letter to us. And go, tell others of this decision you have made and introduce them to your New Friend as well.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matt 7:21-23
We would love to hear from you if you have made this decision or if you want to speak to someone about making it. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.