An Important Question:
Why should I think about God?
• God made us and wants us to be his friends and have fellowship with him.
• God is pure and perfect and absolutely free of anything sinful; we call this ‘holiness’.
• A holy and just God cannot tolerate sin or ignore the punishment it deserves.
• Sin includes all selfishness and disobedience and rebellion against God. All human beings are naturally sinful and held responsible for their sins.
• So, our sin prevents our fellowship with God and has to be punished. The final punishment is death and everlasting separation from God.
• Because God loves humankind, he’s made a plan for us to be saved from such punishment.
• Because God is a just God who cannot go back on his warnings of severe punishment, the punishment for our sins, consisting of death, has to be somehow meted out.
• Amazingly, God sent his son, Jesus, to take the punishment on our behalf!
That explains why Jesus was put to death on the cross that first Good Friday. No-one else was good enough to die on our behalf. Only Jesus had no sin; all other people had sinned and were already under condemnation of death and therefore were not in a position to die on anyone else’s behalf. When Jesus died on the cross, he paid in full the penalty that our sins deserved as long as we admit our sins, are sorry for them and trust that Jesus was the son of God and died on our behalf. When we admit our sins, are sorry for them, and trust in Jesus’ death on the cross, we are forgiven and God treats us as if we had never sinned. We become children of God, we can have fellowship with him, and we have a place prepared for us in heaven when we die. All this is called salvation.
How do we know that Jesus’ death on the cross was sufficient for salvation?
Because God raised Jesus from death on the first Easter Day we can be sure that Jesus was who he said he was and that God found his sacrifice on the cross acceptable for our salvation.
How do we know all this about Jesus and the Plan of Salvation?
All this is clearly described and explained in the Bible. Where else, but the book that God has provided for us, would we look?
How do we know that the Bible is true?
Well, we can’t prove that the Bible is true. Christians down the centuries have simply trusted that the Bible is true. It is an act of faith. However, it is compatible with the observations of science (even if not with all the speculations of scientists), and to those who have placed their trust in the Bible it has proved to be a wonderful and sufficient source of information, instruction and encouragement for living the Christian life. What is the alternative? The alternative is to trust what other people say or work things out for ourselves – both very unsatisfactory and unreliable.
What must I do if I want to be saved and become a child of God?
Your conscience has probably already made you aware of things you have done wrong and of your wrong attitudes. Ask God to show you your sins even more clearly. Admit these sins before God and ask his forgiveness, bearing in mind that all your sins are offensive to a holy God. Realise that your sins are so serious that it took the suffering and death of Jesus to pay for them — a measure of God’s love for you. Then trust that when Jesus died, he died for you and paid the penalty that you should have paid. Tell him that you trust him. Then yield your life to him as a child of God, which you then become.
What’s wrong with a life without God?
A life without God lacks ultimate purpose, satisfaction and security. As children we are keen to grow up and leave school. What then? We may get qualifications and a job. What then? We may work to get a house and car and go on holidays. What then? We may look forward to retirement. What then? We will eventually die. What then? Without an ultimate purpose we will live for temporary diversions and pleasures which have no lasting satisfaction. Without God we can have no hope of heaven.
If these questions raise further questions, or if you want clarification, or if you would like to discuss them, e-mail us at Brian.Scott@bailgatechurch.org