"ONLY THE CROSS"
Artist Ron DiCianni
"THE ROAD OF LIFE"
Artist Ross Conklin
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!
"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".
"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)
"ABIDE WITH ME"
Artist Greg Olsen
* * * * *
"An excerpt from Bill Wiese”
The decision to accept Jesus as your Savior is extremely important, because Your Soul is Eternal! One second after you die it is too late. The common misconception is that if you’re good and do good works, you will enter Heaven. That’s what the majority of the people think. But entering Heaven is not based on being good, it’s based on a relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you think you need to be good to get to Heaven an analogy will help you understand this.
If you went and found the most expensive home in the country, and you knocked on their door, and you said, “Excuse me, I’m moving in with you because I am a good person”.
What do you think the people would say? “No!”
Right, you would not expect them to say, “Sure, come on in”, because you have no relationship with them.
Yet people go through their entire lives, they have nothing to do with God, they deny Jesus as the Son of God, which God said is the only way into His house, and then at the end of their lives they come and knock on His door and say, “Excuse me, I’m moving in with you because I am a good person”. What does “good” have to do with it? You see, God offers to be their Father throughout their whole life, but they push Him away. So God is their Creator, but He is not their Father until they invite in Jesus as their Savior. Then He becomes their Father and then they have the privilege of living with Him.
The second reason “good” has nothing to do with it is because our standard of "good" and God’s are two different things. God’s standard is perfect. If we lie once, steal one thing, Proverbs 24:9 even says one foolish thought is sin. That’s a really high standard, so we can’t stand up before a holy God and say, “I’m pretty good, let me in”.
No, thank God it is not based on being good or none of us could be saved, it is based on a relationship with Jesus Christ!
* * * * *
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 God, I know I’ve sinned, and I cannot save myself. I confess that I do not measure up to Your perfect standard. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to die on a cross for me. He was crucified, died and was buried, but He rose again, and His Precious Blood that flowed at Calvary, was shed to cleanse me. I repent, and I receive Jesus in my heart this day as my Lord and Savior, and I ask You to forgive me of all my sins, and to help me to walk daily in Your steps as I study Your Word, and strive to learn Your ways of righteousness. I thank You, Jesus, for the cross and for Your forgiveness and Your gift of Eternal Life. I confess that I am now a born again Christian, and Heaven will be my future home. I pray this in Your Holy Name, Jesus Christ. Amen
If you have said this prayer, let people know that you are a Christian. In the Bible Jesus said …
Matthew 10:32 "Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in Heaven."
"THE RESURRECTED LORD"
Artist Harry Anderson
"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!
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 Christ, 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 whosoever 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)
Jesus the Christ, welcoming us home, most of humankind has experienced some yearning for what might be described as a time of heavenly rest. These images represent that welcome arrival recorded in; Matthew 25:21"Well done thou good and faithful servant . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Artist Simon Dewey
I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believes in Me,
though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Artist Harry Anderson
"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.
"HOME AT LAST"
Artist Danny Hahlbohm
But God raised Jesus from the grave,
defeating sin's consequences and conquering death.
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 ONLY TWO OPTIONS
There are only two possible destinations when we die:
Heaven or Hell