Jesus is the only way for us to have our sins forgiven and be reconciled back into God’s family…
Give me Jesus
Are you dedicated to a religion or to the Kingdom of God?
“God’s Law, or his Word, is meant to penetrate the secret chambers of the heart, not merely be displayed externally like words chiseled in stone or written on parchment.”
— R. C. Sproul
On the way to betrayal and death in Jerusalem, Jesus met people in need physically and those in need spiritually.
He kept trying to show them that their current religious practices and attitudes could not help them.
They must repent or perish, produce fruit or be cut down, value humans more than traditions, laws, and animals, make every effort to enter the Kingdom of God, rather than keeping people out of it; and they must obey God, rather than protecting their own life and living for self.
If we are dedicated to God’s mission, then it will show in our love for people, not in our protection of some religious system.
Jesus speaking: “…you have nullified the word of God by the tradition you have handed down. And you do so in many such matters.”
Jesus said that we, “…must be born-again or we can’t even see the Kingdom of Heaven” (John 3:3).
Our dedication to God’s mission begins with our repentance (Grk: metánoia – changing the way we think).
The word repent means to change one’s will, mind, or purpose for the better; and as an act of God’s will and the power of the Holy Spirit, we then turn back to God and seek His will and destiny for our lives (Jer 29:11).
The mere feeling of regret is not repentance, but it can lead to repentance.
When we repent, we are turning back to God, turning away from sin, and are changing our actions to conform to God’s will and purpose for our life.
The fact that we fail to do this, going forth in this world doing only what seems right in our eyes, is exactly what the nature of sin is all about.
To be born-again requires a whole new paradigm shift in our way of thinking, for all of us; where after having encountered the love and forgiveness of Jesus, having obeyed the gospel message by faith, and the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit, your life is never the same again!
The Bible is very clear that the only time we have to receive God’s grace; have our sins forgiven; and be reconciled back into God’s family, is sometime between the date of our birth and prior to the time of our departure from this life.
Tomorrow is guaranteed to no man, hense this opportunity to be reconciled back into God’s family gets more narrow with the passing of each day.
Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14 tells us to,
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Once you have made that transition from this life, without Jesus, having ignored Him or rejected Him all your life, then that decision will be set in stone for all eternity.
This is the message that Jesus is giving in the following verses:
Luke 13:1-5, 22-30
Repent or Perish
13 1-5 About that time some people came up and told Him (Jesus) about the Galileans Pilate had killed while they were at worship, mixing their blood with the blood of the sacrifices on the altar.
Jesus responded, “Do you think those murdered Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans?
Not at all. Unless you turn to God, you, too, will die.
And those eighteen in Jerusalem the other day, the ones crushed and killed when the Tower of Siloam collapsed and fell on them, do you think they were worse citizens than all other Jerusalemites?
Not at all. Unless you turn to God, you, too, will die.”…
The Narrow Way
13:22 He went on teaching from town to village, village to town, but keeping on a steady course toward Jerusalem.
23-25 A bystander said, “Master, will only a few be saved?”
He said, “Whether few or many is none of your business.
Put your mind on your life with God.
The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires your total attention.
A lot of you are going to assume that you’ll sit down to God’s salvation banquet just because you’ve been hanging around the neighborhood all your lives.
Well, one day you’re going to be banging on the door, wanting to get in, but you’ll find the door locked and the Master saying, ‘Sorry, you’re not on my guest list.’
26-27 “You’ll protest, ‘But we’ve known you all our lives!’ only to be interrupted with his abrupt, ‘Your kind of knowing can hardly be called knowing.
You don’t know the first thing about me.
28-30 “That’s when you’ll find yourselves out in the cold, strangers to grace. You’ll watch Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets march into God’s kingdom.
You’ll watch outsiders stream in from east, west, north, and south and sit down at the table of God’s kingdom.
And all the time you’ll be outside looking in—and wondering what happened.
This is the Great Reversal: the last in line put at the head of the line, and the so-called first ending up last.”
May I get specific for a moment? May I talk about sin?
Dare I remind you and me that our past is laced with outbursts of anger, stained with nights of godless passion, and spotted with undiluted greed?
Suppose your past was made public?
Suppose you were to stand on a stage while a film of every secret and selfish second was projected on the screen behind you?
Would you not crawl beneath the rug?
Would you not scream for the heavens to have mercy?
And would you not feel just a fraction . . . just a fraction of what Christ felt on the Cross?
The icy displeasure of a sin-hating God? . . . Christ carried all our sins in his body . . . See Christ on the Cross?
That’s a gossiper hanging there. See Jesus?
Embezzler. Liar. Bigot. See the crucified carpenter?
He’s a wife beater. Porn addict and murderer.
See Bethlehem’s boy? Call Him by His other names—Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, and Jeffrey Dahmer. Hold it, Max. Don’t you lump Christ with those evildoers.
Don’t you place His name in the same sentence with theirs!
I didn’t. He did.
Indeed He did more. More than place His name in the same sentence, He placed Himself in their place. And yours.
With hands nailed open, He invited God, “Treat Me as you would treat them!”
And God did.
In an act that broke the heart of the Father, yet honored the holiness of heaven, sinpurging judgment flowed over the sinless Son of the ages.
And heaven gave earth her finest gift.
The Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world.
(From Next Door Savior by Max Lucado)
Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
Come join the Adventure!