By S.C. Shaw
I really want everyone to understand the gospel truth as simple yet detailed as possible. Here’s my attempt.
In the Beginning:
This story starts with no beginning. Let me explain. There is a Creator. He has no beginning; He has always been, and He will be forever. We don’t know what he has done with all His “time”, but he decides to create an existence. He starts with creating the full expansion of time and space, and then he creates the world unique. He creates life on only this one planet because he’s got a special plan for it. He is so overflowing with love and glory that He wanted to share it. The rest of the galaxies and worlds all work together to hold this one little planet in an organized working function. He creates life in the world, both animal, and human life. He creates man special. He makes him in His image. Man possesses some of His qualities including love, hate, jealousy, passion, creativity etc. He wants a relationship with His creation. He desires to live in fellowship with man for all eternity. He is their God and wants to be glorified rightly. He creates man with the ability to make their own choices (not free will, but that’s another conversation), another grace from God. This allows us to love God with all our hearts, might, and soul. He creates man to live forever in perfect fellowship with Him.
But God sees that man was not complete. Even with His perfect creation, God sees how He can make it better. God creates a suitable partner for man. God creates woman! A perfect, God-ordained match for man. Man, and women equal in right but different in duty. Man was now complete. God himself knew the importance of fellowship; He is 3 in one. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One God in Three distinct persons. He has shared fellowship with Himself for all of eternity and blesses man with the same treasure. Now all three, man, woman and God living together in perfect fellowship. But it wouldn’t last long. Man wanted more (which is actually less). Let me explain.
At this point, after God creates all things good, God gives man the entire world to rule over under His authority. They can eat anything and enjoy everything, but one tree God has forbidden. God puts this option in their midst to know if they trust and love Him enough to obey. So, what does man do? Deceived by Satan, they eat of the fruit of that forbidden tree. Now sin has entered the world, the sin that will curse all of mankind and the whole of creation from now on. Man wanted more and that’s what they got. The knowledge of good and evil is not worth the curse of it. The very thing God was protecting them from is what man ran straight towards. The “more” we desired was the knowledge of good and evil. The evil that man previously had not known. Now there is a major disconnect between God and man. The perfect relationship that man and God had known is broken with no hope of reconciliation. Man, now deserves judgment and death. A perfect God that can’t deny Himself, demands perfection and must punish sin. There is no option B. He could have wiped out Adam and Eve and started over. And He would have been just in that decision. But God is perfect, good and knows best. God cares most about His own glory. And redeeming a fallen, rebellious people will be glorifying Him most, and show His love in the most spectacular way.
The New World:
Not only is man cursed by this rebellion, the whole world/universe is heading towards death. Now man sees his own sin. They feel shame and a distance from God they never knew, a distance that God never wanted. They chose their own path, and now they are under the wrath of God. Could God just have forgiven them? Only in his right and perfect way. Sin is a big deal because it is everything that is against Gods holy and perfect nature. An eternal nature that must punish sin eternally. Could He have wiped them out and started over? He could have done whatever He wanted, and it would have been the right choice, but He chose to save them instead. He chose mercy. To give them salvation they didn’t deserve. God is perfect and can’t do evil. He can’t deny Himself, meaning, He can’t do what isn’t right. What does that mean? Simply, when you have a perfect God that can only associate with perfection, He cannot be around imperfection. Just as light and darkness can’t be in the same room at the same time as a whole, God can’t be anything but perfect holiness. And whatever is not perfect cannot be with Him.
God gives man chance after chance to love and trust him, yet they fail and fail. God makes covenants to prophets of old and promises to His people. Now because of sin, there must be an atonement made. There can be no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood, but God doesn’t leave us to die, He offers a way to not be destroyed by Him. Sacrifice. He gives man priests to go before and offer animal sacrifices, he must take innocent spotless lambs to make a sacrifice for his people. They are killed for their sin, not a pretty sight. Bloodshed is not pleasant any way you slice it, but it must happen. God needs us to see the seriousness of sin, that’s with bloodshed. And endless death from imperfect priests sacrificing imperfect animals for a temporary atonement is made over and over again.
“Why are you telling me this?” because this is the point of the whole story. We are all in the same boat as the people of biblical times. We deserve wrath because that’s the righteous way for God to deal with sin. From birth, we are of a sinful nature. Sin being anything that is against this perfect and holy God. God must destroy us. That is really the only option it seems. He has created us and now must destroy us because we chose ourselves over Him. We chose death and spat on life. We chose to make ourselves God, how petty. But God being rich in compassion and love decides to save us from Himself. That’s right, He saves us from Himself. God must punish sin, and we all have sinned. We in fact are sin. Born in it and enslaved to it. From lust to greed, to adultery and murder. It doesn’t matter, all sin must be punished. So, what does He do? He sends His Son to this world in human form to live the perfect life we can’t live. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity. Jesus both God 100% and man 100%. Then He will take out His wrath on himself for us. Jesus comes as an innocent sacrifice, the perfect spotless Lamb of God. The sacrifice that could never be fulfilled through the blood of animals, must be fulfilled through God Himself. Christ living the life that we could never live. To save us and display His great love for us. By this, He will receive the most glory, which is His biggest priority. Jesus lived a life we would never choose to live. Our hearts and minds are so hungry for personal glory and pride that we would never live up to God’s standards. But Jesus did. Being tempted in every way, yet without sin. And because Jesus is God and lived the perfect life in human form, He was the only One that could take the wrath of God and satisfy God’s wrath. So, God as man dies in the form of Jesus. Now those who call Jesus Lord, find salvation and forgiveness with the holy and perfect God that created them.
So, what now?
As we once stood under God’s wrath, now we stand righteous in front of God through the power of what Jesus has done on the cross if you truly believe and follow Him. God doesn’t see His children as filthy sinners anymore. He now looks at us and see’s us holy and blameless because of Jesus. And this is not by your own power. It is the work of the Holy Spirit within you. Jesus gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, to give us power in this life. Jesus took off His robes of glory, put them on us and put on our rags of wretchedness. Now our salvation is as sure as His life. Jesus died for us, but more importantly, He rose for us. That ensures He will fulfill His promises and come back for us. Once slain by us as a spotless lamb, now returning as conquering King. Not coming to forgive sin but to bring His people home, and deal with the people who have decided to live apart from Him. If you live your life without Him, then He gives you your eternity without Him. We who call Him Lord will be with Him for all eternity. We have been adopted into His family and the rest is eternity. Life with Jesus is our point to this life. We are practicing our eternity here. Namely, worshiping Jesus forever. And the gift that was paid for by an ultimate sacrifice is offered to anyone who receives it.
Is God Really Going to Send People to Hell?
God won’t let us rebel forever. Rejecting Him isn’t a free ticket away from Him. It is a one-way ticket to the judgment seat of God. This is where you will receive the very life you have chosen, a life without God for eternity. The worst thing God can do is take His presence away from you. That is a life in hell. Hell, simply put is a life without God. A life where God’s presence isn’t seen. And sorry to burst your bubble, but hell is not party time. Hell wasn’t created for you. That is the place that God will destroy Satan and his angels. It will be no good. It’s a place or loneliness, pain and fear. The only goodness and joy you’ve ever experienced is from God. Yes, even in your rebellion there were uncountable graces in your life, like breathing. Cursing Him with the mouth that He formed and sustained. That’s called common grace. You want a life without Him, that’s what you’ll receive. He won’t force you to be with Him. And it will be no life at all. With God, it’s called eternal life. Peace, joy, love, happiness, complete and utter paradise. “Life” without Him will be an eternal hell, eternal death. Think of dying forever. Sounds odd, but that’s the best way I can say it. The opposite of what’s going to take place in heaven. In heaven it will be the unending face to face time with the One who has shown His children love and mercy.
If you desire to turn from your rebellion and turn to God, then it’s never too late (while you’re alive) to do so. No, I’m not asking you to pray some magic prayer. And no, this isn’t something you “try.” You can try every religion out there. But Christianity is not just a religion. You either are in 100% forever, or you’re out forever. If you truly believe and have faith, you’ll know the truth of the Gospel firsthand. Trying it out doesn’t work. When you are chosen by God, there is no turning back. If you’re still unsure, you should pray for God to soften your heart and open your mind to who He is. Belief is a gift from Him anyway. There is no hope of truly believing without His divine choice. But if you’re ready, then turn from your sin and turn to God. How? Get involved in a Bible teaching, God-fearing, Christ-exalting church. Read your bible to discern if your church is teaching the Bible faithfully. If you need a starting point and a prayer seems right, then pray this.
“Father God, you are good, and I’ve been rebellious. Thank you for sending Your Son to live the life I never could, and thank you, Jesus, for choosing to live and die for me. Forgive me for my sin and create in me a new heart. Give me the Holy Spirit that I may live a life submitted to You. Use me however you chose. I want to live a life dedicated to glorifying You.”
This is just an example of a good prayer to start your new life. And that’s exactly what it is and should look like. A new life. Not that you have to start pretending to be someone else. But a truly transformed heart, mind and soul can’t help but live in a different light.
Contact me if you need more info or help. This blog is in hopes that you will pick up a Bible and read. You need to behold the glory of God so you will fall on your face in humility and worship Him. That’s the only way to salvation. It is found in Christ alone, through faith alone by grace alone. Know the power of God revealed in Christ through the Bible. Leave the world behind and follow the only Truth, that is Christ. Everything else is built on man’s authority alone. You are either believing yourself, or someone else who claims to have the answers. It is evident that our Bible is something special. Our world is more deeply rooted in it. Our only sense of right and wrong comes from God Himself. It’s time to listen and submit to that One and only true authority.
Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” (because it’s easy to understand), read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
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