There's only one reason
why we would ever ask someone to read an article like this...
Because we care about YOU!
We're very interested in what happens to you now, and we care about what happens to you in eternity. That's why we're asking you to please carefully read this brief article, as though your life depends on it....
Because it Does Concerning Jesus!
Please listen to what God's Son, Jesus the Messiah, said about WHO HE
IS: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father
but through Me" (John 14:6). He claims to be the exclusive way back home to God.
Without "the way," there is no going. Without "the truth," there is no
knowing right from wrong. Without the life, there is no real living. Jesus claims to have
the key to your life and destiny. "He who has the Son has life. He who does not
have the Son does not have life" (1 John 5:12).
Either He is telling the truth and is, indeed, the Lord of the universe, or He is a blatant liar or a deluded lunatic. Concerning Jesus, these are the only three alternatives. There can be no neutrality with Jesus. "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters" (Matthew 12:30).
Jesus Cares About You
The Son of God stood at the creation of the world and helped to bring all things into being (John 1:1-3). Therefore, He knows exactly how we tick and what we truly need. He had "compassion" for the downcast and was a "friend" to everyone, even the down and out (Mark 6:34; Luke 7:34).
Because He is interested in you, Jesus offers you His personal invitation to an intimate, living relationship: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20). He offers the greatest quality of life known to man. No one else can honestly claim or fulfill these life-changing promises that Jesus offers you:
REST: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28-29).
THE BEST LIFE: "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" (John 10:10).
ETERNAL LIFE: "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life" (John 4:14).
SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT: "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst'" (John 6:35).
SACRIFICE FOR SIN: "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
SALVATION: "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved. He who believes not shall be condemned" (Mark 16:16).
LASTING PEACE: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful....These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world" (John 14:27; 16:33).
LIGHT TO LIVE BY: "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12).
FREEDOM: "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
HOPE BEYOND THE GRAVE: "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25f).
What Did Jesus Really Say?
There're many popular ideas about how to be right with God and go to heaven. Yet, they simply don't square with Jesus' teaching.
Jesus never said just being a fairly nice person is all that is necessary to go to heaven. If this was true, we wouldn't need a Savior. If we could be right with a holy God by our own efforts, His agonizing death on the cross would have been a needless, senseless waste (Galatians 2:21). Note, Jesus once turned away a good, morally upright man who trusted in his own good works and refused to repent of materialism (Matthew 19:16-26). God says, "all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). All accountable people have failed to perfectly live up to God's law. God's moral justice demands the guilty be punished. Therefore, we're lost sinners at God's bar of justice in need of a Savior.
Jesus never said a profession of faith in Him was sufficient. A 1988 Gallup poll found 74% of Americans say they have belief in Jesus as God's Son. Yet, Jesus warns those deceived by the "cheap grace" of "easy believism": "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter (Matthew 7:21). A true Christian renders life-service, not lip-service, to Jesus. He pointedly asks us: "Why do you call me, `Lord, Lord,' and do not the things that I say?" (Luke 6:46).
Jesus never said being merely an active religious person was all that was necessary. In fact, Jesus said the opposite: "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock" (Matthew 7:22-25).
Many active religious people will be shocked on judgment day. All their religious efforts were not authorized in Christ's word. The only "rock solid" way to be saved is to have book, chapter and verse for everything we believe and practice. Every religious practice must pass this acid test of religious origin: "from heaven or from men?" (Matthew 21:25). The religious teachings and practices of men are shifting sand. They do not please God and cannot save (Mark 7:5-13).
Jesus never said that a loving God would never condemn anyone to be lost forever in hell. Although God is perfect love, He is also perfectly just and holy (Psalm 89:13). "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). His perfect justice makes it impossible for Him to allow sin to go unpunished. Jesus died as a substitute offering for our sins on the cross to satisfy the demands of justice. Those who refuse to accept this grace must suffer the consequences of their rebellion by God's judicial wrath. "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36). Jesus said we should fear Him who can cast us into hell (Matthew 10:28). Someone has well said, "Everything is wrong until God makes it right."
Are You Interested?
We're interested in you because God took a loving interest in us by giving His Son to die in our place. This love has drawn us to the Savior (John 12:32) and has changed our lives for the better. We do not know what is going on in your heart right now. Yet, we do know that the transforming truth of Christ is important enough to us to risk possible rejection or anger by you by dealing with this very personal subject. In religion, it is not who is right but what is right that ultimately matters.
You can know how to be right with God through Christ by the "obedience of faith" (Romans 1:5). If you're interested, I'd love to talk to you soon about the "steps of faith" (Romans 4:12) into Christ to be right with God, which are: (1) trust wholeheartedly in Jesus as the divine Savior (John 20:31), (2) repent of past sins (Acts 2:38), (3) confess Jesus as the your divine Lord (Romans 10:9-10), (4) be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-5). You can know that you are God's child, "raised to walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). Then, you can know the peace of forgiveness, the joy of living and the hope of heaven.
Thanks for reading this far. We hope and pray that God will do for you what He has done for us through the power of Jesus Christ. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
By W. Frank Walton