What are you waiting for?

Eternal Life

Eternal Life

by Bob Holland


The Days of Our Lives Are 70 Years;

And If By Reason of Strength They Are 80 Years,

Yet Their Boast Is Only Labor and Sorrow,

For It Is Soon Cutoff, and We Fly Away.” Psalms 90:10


Do you have it?

This is the one issue you need to be sure about!

Do you dare to examine this subject?

You may have spent more time considering the last pair of shoes you bought than you have spent seriously seeking the truth on this subject.

What are you trusting in for your Eternal Life?

Would you rather know now, or later, that you might be trusting in the wrong thing? Later could be too late.

Are you ready for what your future holds?

No one is guaranteed tomorrow. What if today is your last day of life on this earth?  If you were asked right now to name your eternal destination, what would you say?

Did you know that before you go to bed tonight you could know, with total peace and assurance in your heart, that you have received Eternal Life and that you never need to fear this subject again?

PLEASE… Stop whatever you are doing. Find a quiet place and read this. There is nothing more important right now for you than this. Please take the time to consider and perhaps change your eternal destiny (your eternity is a really, really long time).

All we ask is that you be open and honest with yourself. Set aside any quick responses, opinions or excuses and seriously consider your eternal destiny. What you are about to read may challenge your present belief system, may make you angry, make you laugh, make you cry, or it may be exactly the hope you have been searching for all of your life. In any event, you are about to experience the true and powerful, life changing, eternity-making and bondage-breaking GOOD NEWS of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

There will be no accidental arrivals in Heaven. There is a transaction of the heart that must be made in this life between you and Jesus, or Heaven will not be your eternal home! This Biblically true statement is not meant to make you feel condemned or afraid, but to compel you to seek after the forgiveness, life and freedom from condemnation that can only be found in Jesus Christ the Son of God. Jesus said in John 3:16-18: 

“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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world throughHim might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Friends, right now God extends His grace to you and your families. Father God calls upon you to simply believe in His Son Jesus so that you will no longer be condemned by unbelief, but will enter into a new life and relationship with Him through faith in Jesus. Eternal life can be yours today by simply believing! It’s not a list of religious rules or whether you‘ve been good or bad. Eternal life is a free gift that can’t be earned or deserved, but must simply be received through faith.

But what does it mean to believe?

How can I know for sure?

These questions do have simple answers, but they may be different than you assume.

Please… find a comfortable chair; open up your mind and your heart as you proceed through the following pages. Your life may be about to change!

First, you must know that you are deeply loved by God the Father. His Son Jesus loves you more than you can comprehend. The Holy Spirit loves you and longs for you. My friend, you are wonderfully and marvelously loved by the God who created you for Himself, to be part of His family, forever. All He wants is a love relationship with you!

A letter was recently found that a respected Christian man had written. This man died in February 2003 and he intended the letter to be found after his death. In this letter, he describes a dream, or night vision that he had many years ago that changed his life. Here is a quote from that letter:

“I had this dream or night vision, which was more real than an actual happening, and I saw the face of my Jesus. We communicated in a way most marvelous, wherein He told me of His great love for me with a kind of communication without words, which I will not attempt to explain. He was assuring me of His great love for me, and when He thought about the possibility of losing me, He wept and pleaded with me not to let this happen. He knew all things; my past, my present, my motives etc., but the future seemed up to me…. I know a little how He loves me, and surely His love for you is just as great.”

Jesus loves you so very much and He desperately does not want to lose you, but without Him you will most certainly be lost.  Please proceed through the following pages and hear this same pleading from Jesus to you. See the tears that fill His eyes at the very thought of losing you. My friend, you don’t have to be lost. Jesus paid a great price to save you and to make Eternal Life a reality for you, but receiving it might be different than you think. God has done all that He can do not to lose you, but now your eternal destination is truly up to you!

Do you feel hopeless?….. There is hope!

Do you feel forgotten?….. You have been remembered!

Do you feel unloved?….. You can feel drenched in His love!

Do you feel condemned?….. You can be redeemed!

Do you need to be saved?….. There is a Savior!

There is a brand new life waiting for you. His name is Jesus and He is life. The Lord God said in Ezekiel 34:16, “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick…”  There is nothing you feel that He doesn’t know about. There is nothing you need that He doesn’t have. But of all the wonderful things He has to give you, there is one that tops the list — that without it — all else becomes worthless. This is the gift of Eternal Life through Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Question: If you were handed a potent medicine, would you blindly take it without question or would you want to know what health condition you had that would require you to take this strong medicine? Would you want to understand how this medicine is designed to help you? Of course you would! Likewise, before you can just blindly decide to receive Jesus’ death on the cross for your sins as your spiritual medicine (a very potent medicine indeed), you must first understand the spiritual condition you have that requires Him and only Him to save you.

The Bible says that “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12

Why do you need to be saved? Good question! Let‘s take a look….

The Condition… We were all born with a deadly spiritual disease called sin. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This sickness began in the Garden of Eden. Shortly after man was created, Adam and Eve rebelled against God‘s way and chose their own way, because they did not believe what God told them was true. God loved Adam and Eve. Before their rebellion He could walk and talk with them in a wonderful personal relationship. God clothed them with His glory, and His Holy Spirit actually dwelt inside of them, making them one with Him.

But Adam And Eve believed the lie of satan, and rebelled (sinned) against God. They ate fruit from the tree that was forbidden from them, they no longer were a suitable dwelling place for His life giving Holy Spirit. Death came just as God said it would. Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life” (Genesis 3:17). However God continued to love Adam and Eve. It grieved Him that the death caused by their disobedience was not only pending physical death, but worse, it was a spiritual death that broke the relationship and intimacy between God and man, the Creator and His created. (Read Romans – 19.)

No longer could Adam and Eve be the dwelling place of God the Holy Spirit. No longer could God walk and talk with His precious ones because He is too holy and glorious to come so near a heart, which now contained sin. His awesome holy glory would now destroy them. After the sin, God once again came into the garden calling out to His beloved Adam, “where are you?” (Genesis 3:10). God already knew what had happened, and you can be sure that His calling out to Adam was a cry from a broken heart. Adam and Eve however, were hiding from God because they now were ashamed of their nakedness and sin. And so we still hide from God today because of our sin and shame.

God is crying out to you with a heartache that only a God of love could bear saying, “Where are you?”

But in the Garden, God immediately had a temporary solution. Nothing ever takes Him by surprise you know. In response to Adam and Eve’s sin, God immediately killed an animal whose skin would cover their naked bodies. More importantly, the animal’s death and blood became the first blood sacrifice for sin. This temporary sacrifice was symbolic of the permanent sacrifice for sin to come thousands of years later in His Son Jesus. There must be a sacrifice for sin because God is just, perfect and holy. He cannot simply ignore sin. Sin has a penalty and the penalty is death (Romans ). The Old Testament system of animal sacrifices was for the sins of the people to be symbolically put upon animals that were being sacrificed. This was to “cover” the sin, or in other words, to delay or put off the wrath of God and the penalty of the sin. It was like buying time, because Hebrews 10:4 says, “it is not possible that the blood of goats and bulls could take away sins.” It was a shadow, however, of what was to come in the New Testament when Jesus would be the sacrifice. He is the Lamb of God that actually did away forever with the sins of the people that He bore. God also gave the Ten Commandments and all the systems of law, not because He thought men could gain Eternal Life by attempting to keep them – – – He knows our weaknesses – – -but to expose our sinful condition so that we would see our need for a Savior.

Romans 3:20 says, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Have you ever broken God’s law and rebelled against Him? Have you ever lied, stolen, used the name of God in vain or lusted after another person? If so (we all have), then you are deserving of death as the just penalty for your sin because He has said, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). 

God loves you but cannot ignore your sin. God will remain perfect, holy and just in passing this sentence of eternal death upon you. In fact, the Bible says in Romans 2:5, “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath.” Does this scare you into wanting to try to keep the law better?  Remember what Romans 3:20 says: “by the works of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight.”

Wait a minute you might say; maybe if I go to church more, pray harder, be more kind, or give more money to the poor, maybe these good deeds will help? Sorry… according to the Bible, none of these good deeds can cancel out even one of your sins because they are not the right currency. Remember that the wages of sin is death, and death it must be! You must be eternally condemned to bear the just wages for your sin. 

Are you ready for someone to rescue you yet? Do you see how badly you need a Savior, one who will take the punishment of death that you deserve? Do you see that you are utterly doomed to death if you try to take care of your sins yourself? Even if you could stop sinning today, what about the ones you have already committed? If you have not put them upon Jesus, then they have not been forgotten, forgiven or put away; they are merely storing up for you God’s wrath for the Day of Wrath.  Yikes! I know this has been hard but it is absolutely true. Hold on, there’s Good News coming!

The Solution… Just imagine the position our loving Father in Heaven was in. He had lost the intimate relationship with man whom He loved and had created just for that purpose. Man sinned, so man was no longer a suitable dwelling place for His Spirit, preventing God from being one with His creation. God’s holiness and justice demands the penalty of death on all who have sinned (all of us), but His passionate, infinite love for us compelled Him to carry out a plan that was conceived before the foundation of the world (1Peter 1:20), where He Himself would give His life to rescue us from our sin. Did you catch that? Before God even created the world, He knew that He would need to die to save you. Sin did not take Him by surprise. How’s that for a real picture of how much you are loved? God is so mighty and powerful that He could have easily created a people who, like robots, could never disobey Him or turn away from Him. But He is a lovesick and romantic God who only wants love from those who by their own free will choose to love Him. That means you also have the free will to reject Him and His salvation. Although He won’t stop you from rejecting Him, He will however do all that He can to try to persuade you to change your mind. Remember that He desperately loves you and does not want to lose you!

The plan is set in motion… Galatians 4:4-5 says, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” And so to carry out this plan, God Himself, this Jesus, stepped down from His throne in Heaven, where He is worshipped and adored in great glory, and humbled Himself to be born on this earth as a baby. We all know the Christmas story of little Jesus, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary in a manager. He came and lived a sinless life in complete submission to His Father in Heaven, all so He could be as John the Baptist called Him “ The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (1 John 1:29).  Just as the sins of the people were put upon the sacrificial lambs in the Old Testament to cover sin, so our sins were to be put upon this perfect Lamb of God so that He could take them to the grave with Him when His blood would be shed on that cruel cross. Think of it! He came for the sole purpose of suffering and dying to bear your sins and mine to satisfy the just wrath of a Holy God against sin. Remember Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is Eternal Life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus, who is God, died the death that you should have died, to pay the penalty for sin He didn’t commit, all so that He could offer you the gift of Eternal Life.  Jesus understood that He was the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah, the only One who could save us from our sin. Isaiah 53:5-7 speaks of Him like this:

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;

We have turned, every one, to his own way;

And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,

Yet He opened not His mouth;

He was led as a lamb to the slaughter…”

What amazing love! Jesus was not murdered; He willingly offered His life to save all who would believe upon Him. But His death wasn’t the end of the story! On the third day, God raised Him from the dead and many saw Him before He ascended back to Heaven to His rightful place at the right hand of Father God. There He sits even now. His tomb is still empty today! And because He lives, you too can have Eternal Life through Him by simply believing upon Him and trusting that He purchased your Eternal Life with His blood on the cross. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have Everlasting Life.”

Do you see the good news? For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9.) God’s grace means unmerited favor, or in other words, getting something we don’t deserve (like Eternal Life). It all happens by faith – believing what God said is true and trusting Him in it. Eternal life is a FREE GIFT offered to all those who believe upon Jesus. Eternal life is free to you because you can’t earn it, bargain for it or buy it. Jesus paid the full price for Eternal Life on the cross. He owns all of it and it’s not for sale. He will only give it away to those who believe in Him, open their heart to Him and call upon His name as Savior. Jesus came to restore us into relationship with the Father, and in doing so, God can once again dwell inside His people by His Spirit and intimacy with us can resume. Do you see that He did it all because He loves you! He wants your love! He wants a love relationship with you!

There is an enemy of your soul. He is clever, ruthless, and the ultimate terrorist.  His name is lucifer or satan, the father of lies, that old dragon called the devil. His only goal is to keep you from inheriting the Eternal Life that Jesus purchased for you on the cross. If he can keep you from understanding the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, then he can keep your name out of the Book of Life and take you with him to the lake of fire. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 says,

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age (satan) has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

In other words, if this message of God sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on a cross to take away your sins so that you might receive Eternal Life through Him does not make sense to you, then satan has put a veil over your eyes. You must immediately ask God to remove it so that you might understand and receive this gospel of Jesus and be saved. Just say, “Dear God, please remove the veil the enemy has put over my eyes so that I can understand why you sent Your Son Jesus to save me. If You are real, please open my eyes and my heart to the gospel, and reveal Yourself to me, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Eternal life is not a thing — it is a person. His name is Jesus.

Eternal life does not come without Jesus, and Jesus does not come without Eternal Life. He’s a package deal. You see, He IS Eternal Life. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” To receive Eternal Life is to receive Jesus.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12.) There are many people who want what Jesus has to offer but do not really want Him. It is possible to merely acknowledge Him mentally while withholding your heart from Him. That is like wanting the medicine to work without taking the pill. It must be inside of you and flowing through all of your veins to do you any good. So it is with Jesus.

There may be many, perhaps even very “religious” people, who have a false hope of Eternal Life. They may have mentally acknowledged Jesus and observe religious practices, but never did the only thing that can save them, and that is to simply put their complete trust in Jesus and invite Him into their heart. Oh what a tragedy. My friend, it is Him that you want. He is your peace and your comfort, your best friend and the lover of your soul, your provider, counselor and healer. When you truly experience His presence in your life and begin to understand His great love for you, you’ll then know for certain that Eternal Life would be hell without Him.

Can Jesus really live in me? He not only can but He must. John 3:5-7 says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.” The words “born again” in the original language more literally mean “born from above” or “born of the Spirit”. What Jesus is really saying is, “if My Spirit doesn‘t dwell inside of you, then you can’t enter Heaven”. You see, when you put complete trust in Jesus for your salvation, it means you have chosen to make Jesus your Savior, no longer depending on your own goodness, merit or deeds for your Eternal Life. When you do this from your heart, at that moment several supernatural things happen:

1. You are saved! 2. Your name is written in Heaven in the Lamb’s Book of Life. 3. The Spirit of Christ, (the Holy Spirit) is sent to dwell inside of you; you have been born of the Spirit! Peace and joy will flood your soul as you know that all of your sins have been forgiven. You have been given a clean slate. For the first time in your life you’re in right standing with your Father in Heaven. You are now a suitable dwelling place for His Spirit because you are now righteous in God’s eyes as a result of having put your faith in Jesus and you now partake of His righteousness. When the Father looks at you, He doesn‘t see your sin; He sees the blood of Jesus covering you.

But that’s not all! The miracle of your new spiritual birth begins to emerge. You will notice that you are changing. God begins changing you from the inside out, by first changing your heart and your desires. He is giving you a new heart! Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”  Your spiritual eyes will blink open like a brand new baby’s as you begin to see spiritual light for the first time. The Bible will begin to make sense to you. You begin to actually love this wonderful Jesus who saved you as you enter into your ever deepening eternal relationship with Him. You will start noticing that the sinful, selfish, lustful things you once enjoyed begin to lose their appeal. Your heart is being drawn more and more toward your Lord who is becoming more and more important and real to you. The power of sin and addiction in your life is being broken as you repent and surrender to the power of Almighty God who is setting you free. John says, Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Praise God! Jesus is now not only Savior, but is becoming the Lord of your life. Living your life for Him is not the burdensome list of rules that you once thought it would be, but it becomes your greatest joy. A wonderful, fulfilling new life becomes yours!  Your friends may say, “What happened to Mike, he’s become a new person?” My friend, this is a real picture of being saved and “born again.” This is what happens when you truly invite the Lord into your life. He comes in! He saves you! He changes you! You are different. It is the most wonderful thing that could ever happen to you. It is nothing to fear but is to be sought after with all of your heart. You can walk in the supernatural power of God!

Are you suddenly perfect? No, but you will no longer be able to intentionally sin against Him without feeling the Holy Spirit within you prick your heart, urging you to quickly repent – which you will do because you love Him so. And He quickly forgives. He is gracious and full of mercy!  Remember that it all happens by His grace! You don’t or can’t deserve it.

Do you see why Jesus said you must be born again of His Spirit? Only His dwelling inside of you can change you and make you one with Him. Can’t you see that merely observing religious ideas and practices is absolutely powerless to save you or to change your heart? All God wants is your heart. When He has your heart, everything else in your life will follow.

IMPORTANT! You are changed as the result of being saved by His grace. You can never be saved as the result of trying to change yourself first! 

We tend to get this all backwards. Dead religion condemns you and tells you that you have to clean yourself up before you can come to God. It asks of you what you cannot deliver, therefore you never feel worthy to come to God and you may not. God knows that you do not have the power to truly change yourself, therefore He says to repent (change your mind about resisting Him) and to come to Him exactly the way you are. It doesn’t matter whether you were born in a church or are a murderer, we all must come to Him the same way, as a sinner needing a Savior. It’s the only way you can honestly come to Him anyway. God does not look forward to the day when He must inflict His wrath upon the ungodly who have rejected His salvation.  He desires that all would come to repentance and be saved.  It does not matter what you have done, where you have been or how filthy or clean you think you are; He will accept you just exactly the way you are if you will only come to Him honestly, as a sinner needing to be saved.  The Bible says in Micah 7:18 “He delights in mercy.” God doesn’t grudgingly forgive you when you repent and call on the name of Jesus, but rather, “…He will abundantly pardon” Isaiah 55:7.

Do you realize how much Jesus desires a relationship with you? He created you, died for you, and pursues you with His love. He offers you the gift of Eternal Life so that you can live forever with Him as His child, complete with a full inheritance. His promise to you is to never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He has, by His grace, done all the work of initiating this relationship so far, but there is one thing that He requires of you. Because He has made you in His image He gave you a free will to choose. So you must choose Him. As much as He loves you, He honors you, and He will not force Himself upon you. Oh friend, that you could understand the importance of this one choice. This is the choice you were born to make. 

All Heaven is watching, perhaps in disbelief that this choice even needs pondering at all.  How could this be difficult? On one side you have forgiveness, grace, joy, peace and Eternal Life in the glory of Heaven, lavished upon you with love and acceptance as a child of the Most High God, with all its benefits and privileges. On the other side, your choice is selfish pleasure, guilt, shame, judgment, death and eternal condemnation, with no second chance or hope of relief from the torment of knowing that you absolutely blew it, forever…

Can you feel it? Can you feel the Holy Spirit pulling on your heart right now to be saved? It’s not too late for you. You can still choose Him.

Remember the enemy of your soul? Satan will use everything possible, even things that seem very good and religious, to keep you from entering into a real saving relationship with Jesus. Let‘s use this analogy:

Say you wanted to come to my house and you knew the general vicinity where I lived, but I didn’t want you to come to my house and I intended to throw you off to keep you from ever arriving. Since you know the general direction of my home I couldn’t blatantly tell you to go in the wrong direction right off the bat or you would immediately know that I was lying to you.  If I were clever, I would tell you a way that sounded like the right direction to make you think I was being honest with you, but then I would throw you off on the last couple turns, keeping you from ever arriving at your destination. This is how satan operates in deception when he uses “religion”. He makes it sound very good and even throws in talk of love, peace, spiritual knowledge, good deeds and religious rituals and practices. The direction sounds all right, like it will get you to God, but it never sends you in the final direction of surrendering your heart and life to Jesus, so you trust in Him and Him alone. Your faith will end up being in your practice of religion rather than in Jesus the Savior. Your heart will remain unchanged and your soul unsaved. God doesn’t want outward acts of “religion;” He only wants your heart!

What are You trusting in for your Eternal Life?

Our prayer for you is that you are trusting only in Jesus and His wonderful free gift of Eternal Life that He purchased on the cross for all who simply receive it and Him by faith. God is not trying to trick you out of Eternal Life with Him, but rather, He wants you so much He made it easy for you. Jesus did the dying!

There are no shortcuts or alternate routes to Eternal Life. Jesus said John 10:1, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” And in John 10:9, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.” There is no other means to eternal life but by faith in Jesus. Speaking of the name of Jesus, Acts says: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” That’s it! Only by the name of Jesus. There is no other name, religion, philosophy, belief system, activity or attitude that can save you. In fact, God the Father Himself will not save you unless you come to Him through the blood of His Son Jesus. You might say, “That’s pretty narrow minded; are you saying that no one will be in Heaven but those who call upon Jesus as their Savior?” Yes, this is exactly what the Bible teaches. According to God’s Word there will be no exceptions.

The Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 16:25. That’s pretty scary. We’re going to be really brave now. Take a deep breath and promise not to be offended as we examine some common statements of faith that “seem right“, but do not result in Eternal Life.  Please be open and honest with yourself and continue to the end. Remember that Jesus loves you and wants to set you free! He has made it easier for you than you may think!

So, what are YOU trusting in?

Here are some common statements….

1. “I believe that I’m a good and moral person, so I’ll go to Heaven…..”

Suppose you committed a crime and went before the judge. The evidence was presented and you were found unquestionably guilty. The time came for the judge to pass sentence on you and you said, “Please Judge, wait! I know that I have committed this crime, but I really believe that I’m a good person deep down. After all, I love my family, I’m compassionate and I even go to church. Yes, I believe I have a good heart and that you should let me go!” Will the judge let you go? Absolutely not! Being good or kind is not the right payment for the crime; in fact, it has nothing at all to do with it. Try to pay next month’s mortgage payment by telling the clerk that they should mark your account paid because you did some good things last week. It won’t happen.  

Or you may say to the judge “I have heard you are a good Judge and a good man.” For this reason I think you should ignore my crime and let me go. Will he let you go? Certainly not! He will surely say to you, “You’re right, I am a good Judge.  And it’s because I’m a good Judge that I must sentence you to the full extent of the law, otherwise I would not be a good Judge”. If he just let convicted criminals go free, what kind of judge would he be? As silly as it sounds, this is the way that God’s justice is often viewed. He tells us fairly and ahead of time that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). If you broke even one of God’s moral laws, and we all have, then you will certainly be found guilty before the Righteous Judge of the Universe. What will be your defense? Will you insult the King of Glory by telling Him that you didn’t need the death of His precious Son Jesus as payment for your sins because you were so good or nice? On your day of judgment when every secret thought of your heart or private deed you have ever done is played on a screen for the universe to see, will you then be able to convince anyone, much less Almighty God, that you are a good person deserving of a heavenly reward? The Bible says in Romans 3:19; “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” In other words, all of the excuses and inflated opinions you have today of your own worthiness will seem like utter foolishness on that day when you stand before the Righteous Judge.  If you attempt to answer for your sins on your own behalf, you will be overwhelmed by your own guilt and rendered speechless as sentence is passed upon you to bear your own sin penalty. Jesus could have borne it for you. You will know for all eternity that you rejected Jesus, the only One who could have answered for you and done away with your sin. It will be too late then, but it’s not too late for you now! You can right now repent (change your mind) about rejecting Jesus and call upon Him as your Savior and cast your sin upon Him. When you do you are forgiven; your sin is forgotten, your slate wiped clean by the blood of Jesus and your name is written in the Book of Life. Jesus will then say to the Father on that day, “Father, this one belongs to me!” That, my friend, is all the Father needs to hear. He will say to you “well done… enter in!” (Matthew 25:23)

“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him” Hebrews 7:25.

2. “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God; so I’m OK.”

It is not enough to simply mentally acknowledge the existence of God or Jesus. James 2:19 says that even the demons believe and tremble. Your belief must turn into faith, which can only come from the heart. Romans 10:19says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Believing from your heart will cause you to take the action of calling upon Him as your only Savior.

Let’s use this analogy… Suppose you lived downstream from the mighty Kinzua Dam in Warren County, PA. with 17 miles of water backed up behind it. If the dam should let loose, the downstream devastation would be great. Let’s say I came to you with the accurate knowledge that the dam is about to collapse. You could say, “Thanks for the warning sir, I believe you,” and then go about your business and be swept away and destroyed as the raging floodwaters overtake you. Did this type of belief help you? No, you were swept away the same as those who would not believe at all because your mental belief never made its way into your heart causing you to take the action of fleeing to safety. This is the way that many treat believing in Jesus. They say they believe in Him and know He is the Savior, but it never really makes its way into their heart where they truly believe enough to run to Him for safety and give Him control of their lives. It has been said that Heaven can be missed by 18 inches. This is the distance from the head to the heart. He doesn’t want you to merely have head knowledge of Him; He wants a living, loving, personal relationship with you. He’s just waiting for you to invite Him into your heart. He is knocking right now on the door of your heart, hoping above all hope that you will let Him in. Revelation says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him…”

3. “I go to church; doesn’t that please God?”

This answer may shock you, but if you are not in a personal relationship with Jesus but are merely attending church or taking communion to satisfy a religious requirement, then God is not pleased with your church attendance — in fact — He hates it! This was Jesus’ rebuke to the religious leaders of His time who practiced religion outwardly but their hearts were never surrendered to Him. He called them whitewashed tombs, full of dead man’s bones. This is what He said in Matthew 23:27-28, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” God is not interested in outward acts of religion; He wants your heart! He wants to have a real, living relationship with you.

Look at it this way; suppose the person you loved to be with the most in this world didn’t really like to be with you. Your heart aches and longs to be with him or her all day, every day, but the most they will give you is an hour or two once a week, and this they do out of duty. There they sit on your couch, anxious for this dutiful time to be over, speaking a few monotone words to you, unmoved at your even being in the room. Would this be pleasing to you? As your heart was aching to hold them, love them and share everything with them, wouldn’t their attitude toward you cause you more pain than joy?  My friend, this is how God is often treated! He loves you and wants to be a part of every detail of your life. He anxiously longs for you to glance His way with a heartfelt, “Jesus, I love you so much.” He died for you! For God’s sake, He died so that He could be in relationship with you! He wants your heart. Jesus said in Mark 7:6-7, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me…” Jesus wants your heart 24/7 and will settle for nothing less. He wants to be so near you that He insists on living inside of you! Outward dutiful religious practices dishonor Him and deceive you into thinking that you are OK, but inside you are dead if Christ does not dwell within you. If your church going is merely a family tradition or a weekly ritual that makes you feel better about yourself, then you would be better off staying at home so that you would have no false hope to trust in. This may sound harsh, but it is Jesus you need to save you. The act of going to church or having communion apart from the act of receiving Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior will save no one. Trusting completely in what Jesus did for you on the cross is your only hope.

4. “I’m saved because I was baptized as an infant….”

If you were baptized as a child or had your children baptized, then that is a wonderful way to have been dedicated to the Lord. However, that is all that it was. Being dedicated to the Lord simply means that it is your desire that one will come into a personal trusting relationship with Jesus. The “act” of baptism, like any other “religious act” plays no part in the personal surrendering of your heart to Jesus or coming into relationship with Him. It is Him you must trust for your salvation, not your baptism. Mark says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Your belief must be in Him and His death on the cross for your sin. You must trust Him, surrendering your heart and life to Him; then He will come in and bring His salvation with Him. Look at what Jesus says in Matthew 7:21-23, Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”  The words, “I never knew you,” still ring. A person can do many wonderful and seemingly spiritual things in the name of Jesus but never be in right relationship with Him or have a life surrendered to Him. This includes baptism. Let’s take a liberty in what Jesus said and re-phrase it like this to make a point: Many will say to me in that day, ‘Hey Jesus, remember me? We’re friends, right? Remember when I was a baby and baptized in Your name? How about all the times I attended church and gave money to charity?’” He most surely will say to you in that day “Depart from Me, I never knew you. You used My name but ignored Me. You never invited Me into your heart or pursued a relationship with Me.”

Jesus is saying that all the “religion” in the world cannot save you. Only trusting in Jesus’ death on the cross for you can save you. When you put all of your trust in Jesus as your personal Savior rather than in yourself or in your religious beliefs, then He sends His Spirit to dwell inside of you, bearing witness with your spirit that you are a child of God (Romans 8:16). Romans 8:9 says, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” He goes on in verse 11 to say that “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Do you see it? Your eternal life and resurrection power is the indwelling Holy Spirit when you put faith in Jesus! It is Jesus dwelling in you, not faith in any act or observance. It all happens the moment you repent and put faith in Jesus and ask Him into your heart to be your Lord and Savior. That’s it! Now you can be baptized as your public confession of the transaction that has taken place between you and Jesus. Baptism represents the death, burial and new life in Jesus that took place the moment you trusted in Him and Him alone as your Savior.

5. “You say Eternal Life is a free gift, but what will it reallycost me?” 

Eternal life is free gift (Romans 6:23) because you can’t buy it, earn it or make a deal for it. It can only be given to you, but you must receive it as your own. Suppose I went to a local car dealer and bought you a brand new beautiful car, paid in full. All that would be required of you was to go to the dealer, trade in your old beat up car, and have the title and registration put in your name and drive your brand new car home. Would you not call the car a free gift because you had to take the step of going to the dealer and complete a transaction to make it legally yours? Certainly not! Would the new car do you any good if you never went to complete the transaction to make it yours? No, it would just sit there all bought and paid for but never claimed. That is like it is with the Eternal Life Jesus purchased for you on the cross. He paid the complete penalty for your sin. He purchased you a free ticket to Heaven with His own blood by dying your death for your sin. All He asks is that you make the Eternal Life that He wants to give you legally yours by completing a transaction of faith with Him.  Just believe and trust Him because He cannot lie. He loves you!

What will it cost you? You must surrender your heart and life to Him. Your life will no longer belong to you but to Him. The new abundant life of peace and joy He gives you lasts forever and is no comparison to the worn out temporary life you are trading in. Matthew 16:25-26 says, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” Once you receive Him into your heart and get to know Him, it will be your greatest joy to offer your life to Him. Your only regret will be that you can’t offer Him more. Remember that you can’t fix your old life up to make it appealing to Him. He takes the trade-in of your old sinful beat up life in “as-is” condition and gives you brand new Eternal Life on the spot. How wonderful is that?

6. “If God is love and He loves me, then I’m OK, right?”

The Bible says that God is love. His love for you can never be questioned because He loves you unconditionally.  This means that He loves you whether you deserve it or not, or whether you love Him back or not. This means that everyone is going to Heaven then, right? Wrong. You must understand the following truth. God’s love for you is unconditional, but His saving grace is very conditional. His love can be found everywhere but His saving grace is found only in one place, and that is in His Son Jesus. The sobering truth of the matter is that God will deeply love, with tears in His eyes, the very ones whom He must sentence to eternal condemnation for not receiving the salvation offered only in Jesus Christ. John says, 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.” This is how much He loves you. He loves you so much that He offered the life of His Son, and it is the only means by which you can be saved. Please don’t think for a minute that God’s infinite love turns Him into some sort of big, puffy, good-natured marshmallow God who would never harm a fly, even if provoked. He is an awesome, righteous, holy God who is to be feared. Luke 12:5 says, “But I will show you whom you should fear; fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.” 

God the Father loves His Son Jesus more than you can comprehend, and He takes Jesus’ death on the cross to save you very seriously. Please do not treat lightly Jesus’ death on the cross to save you because it is your only hope of escape from the certain wrath of an awesome God on the day He will judge the earth. No my friend, the fact that God loves you will not save you, but His love for you provided the way in which you may be saved. The way is Jesus. He loves you and longs for you to turn to Him so that you can be saved.

7. “Believing that Jesus is the only way to God is narrow minded and intolerant….”

God is very specific about the only way to Eternal Life through His Son Jesus. Why is He so specific?  Recently, a commercial pilot made a very profound remark. He said “the more serious the consequences, the more specific the instructions.” For example, if you were giving instructions to someone to go across town for a loaf of bread, you may say, “It’s just on the other side of town near such and such. Don’t worry; I’m sure you’ll find it.”  The consequence of not finding the particular store is not very severe, perhaps a little delay or inconvenience, or they can always find another store. On the other hand, when a pilot is instructed on how to land a plane full of passengers, his instructions are painfully detailed and very specific. The consequence of not landing the plane according to the instruction could be the loss of hundreds of lives. The consequence, dear friend, of not receiving salvation through Jesus and Him alone will cost you the eternal condemnation of your soul in hell — FOR ALL ETERNITY!! This is why Gods’ instructions to you in the Bible, though not difficult, are very, very specific as given in the Word of God:

1 John 5:12: “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

John 14:6: Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Acts 4:12: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Romans 8:9: “And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”

The list could go on and on. The enemy of your soul, satan, has tried to convince mankind there are many ways to God, but there is only one empty tomb. Mohammed’s tomb is not empty, nor Buddha’s, nor any other one who has come claiming to be someone who can save men or provide another way to heaven. There is One Savior and one only. He’s the one who split time from B.C. to A.D. He’ll be the only One to split the eastern sky open when He returns in great power and glory very soon to take us home with Him. Anyone trusting in anyone or anything else on that day will be crying for the rocks to fall on them so they don’t have to face the One they rejected.

Revelation 6:15-17 says, “Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks,’ Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!’ For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

What more can He do to prove His love for you?

What more can He do to save you?

Even now, this moment, He is pleading with you to open your heart to Him so that He can come in, forgive you of your sins and give you Eternal Life. My friend, He weeps even now at the thought of losing you, at the possibility of your rejecting His salvation. He has prepared a place for you to be with Him forever, if you would only receive it. He has taken all the steps toward you in initiating this relationship with you, but there is one step that He cannot takeHe has honored you to be created in His image, and in doing so, He gave you the free will to choose or reject Him. He loves you, honors you and will not force Himself on you. He did, however, humble Himself to the point of dying a bloody naked death on a cruel cross to prove His love for you. He sent His Holy Spirit to lovingly pursue your heart everyday, everywhere you go, constantly pleading with you to turn to Jesus and be saved. Have you felt Him? Will you humble yourself enough today to trust in Jesus and receive the gift of Eternal Life that He wants to give you?

What has been keeping you from God? Have you, like Adam and Eve, been hiding from God because of your sin? Have you tried to find pleasure and purpose for your life by turning to drugs and alcohol, lust and pornography, your job, sports, or whatever, and now find yourself a slave to these things? Is it the guilt and shame from your sin that keeps you running from the God who loves you? My friend, God has prepared a sacrifice for you! It is for sinners like you and me that Jesus died! You will find no comfort without Him. If you are tired of living the way you have been living, and if you are tired of rebelling against God, then turn to Him and cry out to Him to save you. Cry out to Jesus like a drowning man crying out for his rescuer. Jesus said in John 6:37,“…and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

What have you been trusting in? There may have been a time in your life when someone talked you into repeating a quick prayer for salvation and you repeated it, but you know in your heart that you never really meant it, Jesus doesn’t live in you, and your life today proves it. This is your chance to make it real with Him. Invite Him to dwell in you. Honestly repent of your sin and surrender your life to Him. Cry out to Him for mercy and throw yourself at the foot of the cross. He won’t turn you away; He’s been waiting for you! Isaiah 55:7 says, “Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”

Perhaps you are the one who has trusted in your own righteousness, goodness, your church going, or your religious zeal. I hope you now know that it all counts as nothing toward your salvation. You may even be a Pastor, Priest or church leader who has done nothing more with Jesus than a practice of religious ceremony all these years. Maybe you realize at this moment for the first time that you have never truly been saved. It’s not too late. Jesus just wants a real relationship with you if you would only surrender your heart and life to Him and receive His salvation. He doesn’t want ceremony; He wants His Holy Spirit to dwell inside of you.

Enough has been said…  You can make this the day Eternal Life begins for you!

Isaiah 55:6: Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call on Him while He is near.” At this moment the Lord is near to you and there may never be another time in your life that you are this close. You can choose to receive Jesus into your heart right now. You can go to bed tonight knowing that you are forgiven, born of the Spirit and an eternal child of God. You may have been walking away from God all of your life, but today is the day to turn around (repent) and walk toward Him. Jesus will accept you – today — just exactly the way you are. Don’t wait until you clean yourself up because you can’t do it and you will die in your sins trying. What will you choose? Your eternal destiny is at stake right now! Will you choose Jesus and live? Or will you reject Him and face the certain eternal wrath of God for your lifetime of sin?

It is time to get serious with God. Don’t put this off until tomorrow because you may not have tomorrow. This could be your last chance, forever.

Won’t you here and now, with all of your heart, throw yourself upon His mercy and grace and pray to Him

“Father God, I need Your Son Jesus to save me. I know in my heart that I have sinned against You and I deserve death, but I am now choosing Jesus to be my Savior and the Lord of my life. I am sorry for my sin and I don’t want to sin against You anymore. I receive the free gift of Eternal Life that Jesus purchased for me on that cross and I put my sins upon Him now. Please forgive me and make me whole. I invite You Jesus to come and dwell in my heart as I give You full control of my life. I give You permission to change me into what You desire me to be. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I will have power in my life to live for You and to be Your witness.  By simple child-like faith I now believe and trust that I am saved and born again of Your Spirit. I love You Father God. Thank You Jesus for saving me. I love You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

If you just prayed this prayer and meant it with all your heart, then congratulations! Your name has just been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation ). You are an eternal member of the family of God and your eternal destination is Heaven! All your sins have been forgiven; your slate has been wiped clean. Joy and peace should be flooding your soul RIGHT NOW! All of Heaven is rejoicing and I’m sure that Jesus is singing and dancing over you at this moment. Zephaniah says, “The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty one, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Your life will never be the same! Hallelujah!! Just praise and worship Him all the time for all He has done for you. You are free from condemnation!  You belong to Him forever! He will never leave you or forsake you! (Hebrews 13:5)

It is very important that you get a Bible and read it to see what God wants to say to you. He will begin speaking to you through it and will give you great insights and revelations through His word as the Holy Spirit begins to open your spiritual eyes. It is good to begin reading your Bible in the New Testament Book of John. You will love what it says. It is important to find a church, and other believers who believe this same gospel of Jesus. Also, tell someone that you have been saved and what Jesus has done for you! Jesus says not to be ashamed of Him (Luke ). He will become your very best friend.

There is yet another promise! When Jesus ascended back to Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father, He said in Acts 1:4-5,“Wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” This is the promise of the baptism in the Holy Spirit on those who believe. This is a special, wonderful promise that is available to all who have been saved and born again by faith in Jesus. This precious infilling of God’s Holy Spirit will give you supernatural power to live your life for Jesus and to be His witness. He is most wonderful.

How do you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Just ask! Jesus said in Luke 11:11-13, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in  Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” God wants you to live an abundant life in His Spirit. Just love Him and ask for His Spirit to be poured out upon you, and my friend, when you receive this blessing you will thank Him forever.

There are times in history where God has visited His people in a very special way when they have cried out to Him. This is often referred to as a revival, an awakening or an outpouring. My friends, we are living in such a time and place, right here, right now, because God is visiting us in this region. We are experiencing the outpouring of His Holy Spirit and we believe that we all are on the very cusp of a great revival that is going to change our entire region and bring many into the Kingdom of God. We are already seeing incredible miracles of salvations, physical healings, deliverances from addictions, restored lives, restored marriages and signs and wonders. These are manifestations of the glory of God as He draws near by the pouring out of His Spirit as in Joel 2:28. This is what was experienced in the early church as documented in the book of Acts. These signs can be expected to follow the bold preaching of the gospel of grace as said in Acts 14:3, “… speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.”

We believe that God wants you to be saved, healed and restored! He wants you to know His wonderful forgiveness and His powerful loving presence in your everyday life. Our prayer for you is that you have received the Eternal Life that Jesus has offered you. We also pray that you go on to ask God for the baptism of His Holy Spirit that will empower you to be His witness with power in this great (maybe last) move of God before the return of Jesus. World events and Bible prophecy are lining up to show us clearly that Jesus’ return is very near.

Our prayer is that every Church who names the name of Jesus would experience a great outpouring of His Holy Spirit as evidenced by salvations, healings, restoration of broken lives and passion for Jesus. The important thing is that YOU experience this awesome move of God by surrendering your life to Him and seek out a church that is full of life, because Jesus is alive! He wants you to have a real encounter with Him.

If you have just received Jesus as your Savior it is important to tell someone. This is confessing Jesus with your mouth. Romans 10:9-11says that, “…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”.

Get a Bible and read it every day and obey what it says.  Talk to God simply like you would talk to your closest friend – and worship Him with songs of thanksgiving for all He has done for you.  May God bless you as you walk with HimFOREVER!

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