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"ONLY THE CROSS"
Artist Ron DiCianni
Eye has not seen,
nor ear heard,
neither has it entered into the heart of man,
the things which
God has prepared
for them that love Him.
1 Corinthians 2:9
"THE ROAD OF LIFE"
Artist Ross Conklin
Randy Alcorn, author of the book "Heaven" explains that
Heaven is not our "default destination" and that
specific preparation must be made if we are to safely arrive in Heaven.
A recent poll indicated that for every American
who believes he or she is going to Hell,
there are 120 who believe they are going to Heaven.
This optimism stands in stark contrast to Jesus words written in the Bible:
"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and
the way is easy that leads to destruction,
and those who enter by it are many.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life,
and those who find it are few."
* * * * * * *
The truth is that according to the Bible we don't automatically go to Heaven.
In fact, Hell - not Heaven - is our default destination.
Unless our sin problem is solved once and for all,
we can't enter Heaven. That's the bad news.
But once that's straight in our minds
we're ready to hear the good news.
Jesus Christ took upon Himself, on the cross,
the Hell we deserve so that we could experience
for Eternity the Heaven we don't deserve!
The Only Two Options
There are only two possible destinations when we die . . .
Heaven or Hell
Can we really know in advance where we will go?
John, one of the writers of the Bible, said this:
"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God
that you may know that you have Eternal Life."
(1 John 5:13)
We Can know for sure that we'll go to Heaven when we die!
Do You Have This Assurance?
To sin means . . . to fall short of GOD'S Holy Standards.
Sin is what ended Eden's paradise.
And all of us, like Adam and Eve, are sinners.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God."
Sin separates us from a relationship with God.
"But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,
and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear."
Sin deceives us and makes us think that wrong is right and right is wrong.
"There is a way which seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death."
Sin has terrible consequences, but God has provided a solution:
"For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is Eternal Life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Jesus, the Son of God, loved us so much
that He became a man to deliver us from our sin.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have Eternal life."
Jesus came to identify with us in our humanity and our weakness,
but He did so without being tainted by our sin, self-deception, and moral failings.
"For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but (He) was in all points tempted like we are, yet (He) was without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help (us) in times of need."
Jesus died on the cross as the only One Worthy to pay the
penalty for our sins demanded by the Holiness of God:
"For our sake He (God) made Him (Jesus) to be sin Who knew no sin,
so that in Him we might become the Righteousness of God."
(2 Corinthians 5:21)
"They brought Him to the place Golgotha . . .
And at the third hour . . . they crucified Him.
And the superscription . . . written over was,
THE KING OF THE JEWS.
And with Him they crucified two thieves..."
When Christ died on the cross for us,
He said, "It is finished." (John 19:30)
In those times "It is finished" was commonly
written across certificates of debt when they were canceled.
It meant "Paid in full".
Christ died so that the certificate of debt,
consisting of all our sins, could once and for all be marked
"Paid in full".
But God raised Jesus from the grave,
defeating sin's consequences and conquering death.
"For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received,
how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that He was buried, and that He rose again
the third day according to the scriptures."
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
"So when this corruptible (body) shall have put on incorruption,
and this mortal (body)shall have put on immortality,
then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written,"
"Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law."
"But thanks be to God, Who gives us the
Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
(1 Corinthians 15:54-57)
The Critical Decision
Only when our sins are dealt with in Christ can we enter Heaven.
We cannot pay our own way.
Jesus said "No one comes to the Father except through Me."
"There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name
under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
Because of Jesus Christ's sacrificial death on the cross on our behalf,
God freely offers us forgiveness.
To be forgiven, we must recognize and repent of our sins.
Forgiveness is not automatic. It's conditioned upon confession:
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
(1 John 1:9)
Christ offers to everyone the gifts of
Forgiveness, Salvation, and Eternal Life.
"The Spirit and the Bride say, Come.
And let him that hears say, Come.
And let him that is thirsty come.
And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
"There's no righteous deed we can do that will earn us a place in Heaven.
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to His mercy He saved us."
We come to Christ empty-handed.
We can take no credit for our salvation.
"For by grace are you saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
not of works, so that no man may boast."
This gift cannot be worked for, earned, or achieved.
It's dependent solely on Christ's generous sacrifice on our behalf.
Now is the time to make things right with God.
Confess that you are a sinner and
accept the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on your behalf.
You were made for a Person and a Place.
Jesus is the Person, and Heaven is the place.
They are a package - they come together.
You cannot get Heaven without Jesus or Jesus without Heaven.
"Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near."
For all Eternity you'll be glad you did!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
If you understand what God has done to make forgiveness and Eternal
Life possible for you, you may want to express it in words similar to these:
Dear Lord Jesus, I confess that I do not measure up to Your perfect standards. I know You died for me, and Your Precious Blood that flowed at Calvary, was shed to cleanse me. I accept it Jesus, I accept You in my heart this day as my Savior, and I ask You to forgive me of all my sins, and help me to walk daily in Your steps as I study Your Word, and I strive to learn Your ways of righteousness. I thank You for Your forgiveness and Your gift of Eternal Life, and I place my trust in You as My Savior. I pray this in Your Holy Name, Jesus Christ. Amen
"Whom the Lord sets free is free indeed.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free,
and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Galatians 5:1)
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:36)
Psalm 119:130 "The entrance (revelation) of Your Words gives light (wisdom); it gives understanding (discernment) to the simple (straightforward person)."
Jesus the Christ, welcoming us home, most of humankind has experienced some yearning for what might be described as a time of heavenly rest. This image represents that welcome arrival recorded in
"Well done thou good and faithful servant...
enter thou into
the joy of thy Lord.”
Artist Simon Dewey
the Resurrection, and the Life:
he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: ~ John 11:25
Hell is a real place, it does exist. But sadly people make the choice
to go to hell everyday,
simply by doing nothing.
Artist Harry Anderson
They brought Him to Golgotha ... And at the third hour ... they crucified Him.
"ABIDE WITH ME"
Artist Greg Olsen
"HOME AT LAST"
Artist Danny Hahlbohm
"THE RESURRECTED LORD"
Artist Harry Anderson
How Can We Know For Sure
That We'll Go To Heaven?