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Hope in the Dark

The Bible gives a lot of details about the final seven years that will occur before the second coming of Jesus Christ. It will be a time of great horror and deception. It is a result of the disintegration of everything that God created. It is also the judgment that God allows to come on the earth so that people will wake up to what all of our self-destruction and others-destruction has done. But He doesn't want humanity to wake up so that we will be destroyed. He will allow so much destruction, so that people will see their own sin, and understand that sin results in death. Once a person realizes this, accepts this and asks forgiveness for it, then God can apply the death of Jesus to their account. Jesus died as our substitute because He loves us and doesn't want us to spend eternity apart from Him in a place without life and love and peace and joy.

God forgives everyone for wrongs we done if we want it! There is no sin that God cannot forgive, and He is ready and waiting for you to simply ask!

I think as humans we sometimes have a tendency to look at one another and compare what we do or have done with others. But God’s standard is actually His own perfection. For us to get into heaven on our own after we die, we would have to be perfect to be with God and have a relationship with Him. But none of us are perfect. So none of us can get into heaven on our own. We are all in the same boat! Here are some verses from the Bible.

Romans 3:11 “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

We often try to be good enough to get into heaven and have a relationship with God. Many try to be a good person, or do certain rituals, or follow a set or rules or many many other things. But the Bible says there is nothing we can do that will ever be good enough.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

When we die, no one is going to be able to stand before God and say, “God you should let me into heaven because of all these great things I did.” No one will be able to boast or brag before God. Because no matter how much good we’ve done, we still have a debt we have to pay for all the wrong things we’ve done.

Because we can’t be with God in His presence as sinners, we have to be separated from Him after we die, and the place we go is a place of eternal death known as hell.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

But here comes the great news! Both Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 6:23 tell us the same thing. That God offers every person a free gift, that no one can earn! He offers this gift freely by His grace. Grace is something we can never earn and don’t deserve. It’s something He does because He loves us.

The only thing we have to do is accept the gift. And we accept the gift by faith. There is something we have to believe. More importantly, someone we have to believe in and what He’s done for us.

God sent His Son Jesus to die in our place. We deserved to die and go to an eternal hell because of our sin. But Jesus came to die in our place as our substitute. He was and is perfect. God accepted Jesus’ death for us.

Imagine a courtroom. You have been convicted of a crime. The judge is getting ready to sentence you to the electric chair for your wrongs in life. But at the last moment, Jesus runs in and says, “I’ll take that punishment for him!” I’ll serve the time that (fill in your name) deserves for her crimes. And the judge accepts Jesus to be executed instead of you. Jesus is hauled off to die. And the judge looks at you and says, “You are free to go. Justice has been served.” And you walk out of the courtroom into the sunlight a free person. This is exactly what Jesus has done for you and for me and everyone in the world.

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

But Jesus didn’t stay dead. He rose from the dead. That means He defeated death itself. Because Jesus is God, He had the power to offer each of us eternal life with Him in heaven when we die instead of punishment in hell.

There were many witnesses who saw Jesus after He rose from the dead, walked the earth, and then 40 days later, went up into heaven. Paul said this, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one untimely born”

I Corinthians 15:3-8.

Jesus came back to life so He can give life to us!

God loves us so much that He made a way so that we can be forgiven for all of our sins! He sent His Son Jesus to die for us! If we believe that Jesus died for us in our place, and that he took the punishment of our sins for us, then we are forgiven, and we are set free from all of our guilt and all of our shame. We don’t have to be punished for the crimes we’ve done (or will do), because Jesus served the time for us and took the punishment for us. And He rose from the dead, so that He could give us eternal life. And when we die, we will receive eternal life in heaven forever with God. It is a place of peace and rest. No more guilt and no more pain and no more tears for all time with a God who loves you so very very much!

If you want it, its really simple to accept this free gift for yourself! The Bible says,

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

There is a pastor I know of who likes to explain how to accept this free gift of eternal life for yourself in a way that he calls the ABCs of salvation. Simply talk to God. He loves you, He’s listening and He can hear you anywhere.

A - Admit you are a sinner - that you’ve done things wrong.

B - Believe that Jesus died in you place, and took the punishment that you

deserve. And He will forgive you for every sin right now -

past, present and future.

C - Confess with your mouth. Just pray and tell Him you are accepting His free gift,

and He will give it to you. It’s that simple.


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