Touching lives with the truth of God's Word.

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama, United States

Friday, February 15, 2008


People have many different opinions about who goes to heaven. Some believe ethical behavior and moral character bring automatic acceptance by God. Others, while acknowledging they have bad habits and behavior, claim a self improvement plan will gain them admission into heaven. A third group, assumes because they have made bad choices in life, they will be disqualified from heaven. None of this thinking lines up with what the Bible teaches. Scripture tells us that character and good works do not determine our eternal state. Rather, the barrier between us and a holy God is our sinful nature. Romans 5:12 teaches that Adam and Eve’s sin caused all mankind to begin physical life dead to spiritual things and under a sentence of judgment. No amount of good works or moral behavior can change our sinful nature. Nor do bad choices make our nature worse.
Without direct intervention and help from the Lord, we would be a people without hope. We would find the entrance to heaven closed and would face an eternity of separation from God. But the Father had a plan to deal with our corrupt nature so we could spend eternity with Him. He sent His Son as our willing substitute; Jesus took our sins on Himself and received the punishment we deserved. What we were helpless to do, Christ accomplished for us. Through faith in Christ alone, we have assurance that we will live in God’s presence forever.
An earnest desire for salvation begins with the recognition that we have sinned against a holy God. We must be aware that there is no hope for salvation apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. Having understood these two facts, we need to place our trust in His sacrifice for the payment of our sin debt. Some people use the terminology “ask Jesus to forgive your sins” or “ask Jesus into your heart.” It does not matter how we describe the experience, if we repent of sin and make a decision to receive Christ as Lord and Savior; the Bible says we are saved. God promises to respond to a humble acknowledgement of His Son’s sacrifice.
Do you desire to have a personal relationship with the One who created you and loves you unconditionally? If so tell Him in your own words, or use this sample prayer. Dear Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that I am a sinner in need of Your forgiveness. I believe in my heart that Jesus fully paid the penalty for all my sin by dying at Calvary, and that He rose from the dead. Thank You for Your grace to save me even though I am undeserving. Please show me how to start living for You. Amen.
If you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, be sure to tell someone, and join a Bible believing church where Christ is exalted, the Bible is taught, and love for Christ, and others is demonstrated.
God has not promised us immunity from the trials of life, however, the Bible affirms that God’s power is greater than any problem or situation we face.
Difficulty prepares us for future blessing, and hardships redirect our thinking so that we are focused solely on Christ.
We can trust God to guide us into His perfect will as we yield our lives to Him.
God’s comforting presence can and will sustain us during difficult situations and uncertain times.
The Lord already knows how His own will respond to test of obedience. He challenges us because He wants us to know the truth about how well we submit. A believer’s willingness to obey, or disobey reveals the state of his or her commitment to Christ.
In God’s eyes, proper motivation is necessary for sharing the gospel. The right reasons for sharing the gospel include love for Him, love for the lost, and a desire to be obedient.
There is no self-help in the believer’s life. We are to surrender to the work and way of God’s Spirit.