Out of all the many gifts that I have received throughout my life, one most definitely exceeds them all! This gift was not a material or an object, but a gift of love! Perfect love! A love that can never be measured or even comprehended. A love that is given freely and can only be accepted. This perfect, unconditional love that I am talking about is not limited, does not have 'terms and conditions' and is available to EVERYONE! Let me tell you how I received this amazing gift.
I have grown up in a good, strong, Christian family that has always been centered around God. We have always been involved in Church and served God in many different Church ministries. My whole life I have been in Church. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about the life that God has given me. Quite the opposite! I am blessed to have such a life! I'm just taking my time to get to the point. After all, it's not easy to sum up so many years in a few paragraphs, so please bear with me. :)
For the longest time I couldn't remember getting saved. I would try really hard to, but could not. I had asked my parents if they knew when I got saved, they told me that I was saved when I was three. Then proceeded to tell me the story. So, there you have it. I was saved when I was three......all was good, right? WRONG!! I still didn't have peace about it. I would sit in Church and felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest. Especially during invitation. Why? Because I was under conviction. See, since my family was so involved in Church, we were pretty well known. I was embarrassed to go forward and admit that I WASN'T GOING TO HEAVEN. No, my parents didn't lie to me when they told me I was saved. From what they knew, I was. But I didn't know that for myself.
Years went by. I convinced myself to believe that I was saved when I was three. I even made up images in my mind of how it happened. But deep down, I knew I was wrong.
Every year my Church held a Teen Conference. I was 15. The preacher was preaching about hell. Let me tell you, I was pretty much scared to death! The invitation came and I just stood there, gripping the pew in front of me with sweaty palms. Then, I just couldn't take it anymore and told my friend beside me that I wasn't saved. She went forward with me and it was then that I received Perfect Love, God's Gift of Eternal Life, JESUS AS MY SAVIOUR!!!!! Phew! I was so relieved. It was like a huge burden had been lifted from me. Because it had!
Wait, the story gets better! Little did I know, but at the same time, my "big, lil'" brother (He is younger than me, but much taller!) got saved too! How exciting is that? I get to share my Spiritual birthday, July 15, 2005, with my brother! Isn't God amazing? Definitely! In more ways then one! For 15 years, I pretended that I was saved, thinking that I was protecting myself from embarrassment. But in reality I was hurting myself, in the worst kind of way. I was letting my pride send me to hell. How dumb and stupid! Don't be like me. If God had decided that my time on earth was up before July 15, 2005, I wouldn't be looking in His face, but screaming out my anguish in hell. Thank God that He still had plans for me! Thank God for second chances! Don't wait another minute! Receive Jesus as your Saviour right now!
1. WE ARE ALL SINNERS.
Who is good? Romans 3:10, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." That word righteous, means perfect. We must realize that we are not perfect.
Who has sinned? Romans, 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." This means that I'm a sinner and you're a sinner. Everyone is a sinner. Sin is something that we do that is wrong. Even the least little thing like saying something we shouldn't, is a sin. No matter how hard we try to be good, it's not good enough!
2. WHERE SIN CAME FROM
Romans 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." (One man - the first man, Adam) Since we are all descendants from Adam and Eve, we are all sinners. When they sinned, they made us sinners.
Revelation 20:14, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." (The word death in this verse means hell.)
3. GOD'S PRICE ON SIN
Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." That word wages means price or penalty. Our penalty for our sin is death. We don't deserve to go to Heaven. No one does.
4. GOD'S GIFT TO US
Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Even though we are sinners and we do wrong, God still loves us! He doesn't want anyone to go to hell. That's why God sent His Son Jesus to die for us. Jesus was willing to die on the Cross for you, for me! He paid our penalty for us! Like the second part of Romans 6:23 says, "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Going to Heaven is a gift! It's absolutely FREE! We can't work for it, pay for it, pray for it, or be good for it. All you have to do is accept it! Just like all the gifts you receive at Christmas, you don't work for those gifts; you just receive them. If we worked for gifts then they're not gifts. It's as simple as that. Going to Heaven is a GIFT! All you have to do is receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour!
Ephesians 2:8&9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
5. JESUS ISN'T DEAD!
Jesus says in Revelation 1:18, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, was buried, and arose three days later. He is now in Heaven waiting for us!
6. ACCEPT GOD'S GIFT.
Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
The word whosoever in this verse, means anybody and everybody. ANYBODY AND EVERYBODY CAN GO TO HEAVEN! The Bible says in 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." The first part of that verse says that God loves the WORLD. That includes you!
1. We are all sinners.
2. There is a price for sin and that price is eternity in hell.
3. God made a way for us to go to Heaven when He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the Cross.
4. Going to Heaven is gift. Absolutely free!
5. All we have to do is ACCEPT Jesus as our personal Saviour!
Romans 10:9-11, "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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
Now, if you believe and understand these things then please pray this prayer. This prayer DOES NOT take you to Heaven. As I have already mentioned, prayer does not take us to Heaven. You see, I could pray "God is good. God is great. Thank You for the food. Amen." Because I prayed that prayer does that mean I'm going to Heaven? No. If we trust in prayer to take us to Heaven, then we are not trusting God, but ourselves. We are trusting what we say to God to take us to Heaven. Nowhere in the Bible does God say if we pray we are going to Heaven. What prayer does do is get us spiritually closer to God.
This prayer below, is a sample prayer. (Romans 10:10, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.") These words below ARE NOT going to take you to Heaven, but the belief and the meaning that you have in your heart.
"Dear Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner. I know that I deserve hell. But I'm trusting You, and You alone to take me to Heaven when I die. Thank You for saving me and dying on the Cross for me. Amen."
7. ONCE WE'RE SAVED, WE'RE ALWAYS SAVED!
I John 5:13 "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
Nothing we do can take our Salvation away from us. Jesus is now living inside you! Of course, that doesn't mean that we are now perfect. We are now a child of God! He is never going go leave us! I tell my Sunday School class to remember it this way: Hold your hand in a fist, then stretch out one finger for each of these words: Jesus-will-never-leave-me. Simple!
Hope to see you in Heaven! :)