The result of sin and rebellion against God is a world where we frantically seek pleasure, relationships, possessions, pursuits hoping to feel happy and satisfied. And nothing works, nothing lasts, nothing satisfies. So are we without hope?
When we look for spiritual rest in worldly pleasures, we are running from the only One who can satisfy our soul and give us true peace.
Romans 6:23b …the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
The essence of sin is turning FROM God and turning TO self. So what is the essence of salvation? It is turning FROM self and turning back TO God. Sin is living in rebellion against God’s authority, and salvation is living in submission TO God’s authority. Turning FROM sin TO Jesus Christ. Believing in Him, having faith in Him, trusting Him… and OBEYING Him as Master and Lord. Nothing else will satisfy your soul.
How will you be most satisfied? Most joyful? Most at peace? By submitting and living in obedience to the One who created you and loves you. The One who knows you better than you know yourself. He IS Lord, whether you choose to acknowledge Him as Lord or not. He has rightful reign over your life. The only issue is, will you submit to Him and follow Him, or will you remain in defiant rebellion against Him?
Jesus Loves Us, But Do We Love Jesus?
God’s love is revealed to us throughout Scripture, from beginning to end. God the Father loves us so much that He was willing to send His Son to die for us.
John 3:16 [Jesus] For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
That is the most profound expression of His love. And Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to voluntarily die for us to pay the penalty for our sin.
John 10:11, 15 [Jesus] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. … As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”
John 15:13-14 [Jesus] “Greater love has no one that this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
1 John 1:9-10 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and send His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Propitiation is the atoning sacrifice to appease God’s wrath… the acceptable payment for sin.
Who Do YOU Say Jesus Is?
It’s very easy to say “I believe in God”. Our society encourages every person to define “god” however they choose. This is just one of Satan’s incredibly effective schemes to deceive people. The “god of your understanding” can be anyone or anything… or nothing at all!
The real question is… can that god you say you believe in actually save you? Does the god you believe in have the power, the authority, and the willingness to save you?
Man has done the same thing with Jesus as we have with God. There are many “Jesus’s”. I found websites describing some of the different views of Jesus. The Jewish people view Jesus as a blasphemer, a fraud, and not the promised Messiah. The Muslim view of Jesus is that he was a prophet, who they claim was not crucified or resurrected and is not God. The Mormon Jesus is a brother of Satan, not born in Bethlehem, born after God the Father came to earth in a glorified physical form and had sex with Mary, and their “Jesus” is not One with God the Father. There is also what I call “Jailhouse Jesus”. That is the one that inmates run to while they are incarcerated, but they leave behind as soon as they walk out the doors. And there are thousands of other imaginary, false representations of Jesus Christ. The problem is, none of these are the Jesus described in the Word of God. These false gods can’t save anyone!
Jesus asked His disciples the most important question that each one of us must ultimately answer: “Who do YOU say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15, Mark 8:29, Luke 9:20) That is THE critical question, and the question that will determine your eternal destiny.
The One, True God is who HE says He is, not who WE say He is! If we believe in and “love” a false Jesus, that “god of our imagination” can never be our Savior. There is only One actual Jesus – the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus is exactly who He claimed to be – King of kings, Lord of lords, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, Messiah (Savior), and Immanuel (God With Us).
It is only when we believe, follow and obey the REAL Jesus that we will have His incredible gift of forgiveness of sin and His gift of eternal life. If you follow a false Jesus, you will follow him all the way to hell.