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            The brochure How We Can Be Sure reminded us that Repentance is when we are inwardly humbled and outwardly reformed. Being willing to admit our sins; to confess them; and to forsake the sins of the past, are what repentance is all about. We are not comparing ourselves to others; but to a perfect and holy God who says Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

            If we will do our part of admitting, repenting, confessing, and forsaking—God will do His part—because 1 John 1:9 “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” Isaiah 55:7 “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

            Only Jesus can bring change—if we want change—which can take place when we decide to trust Him for that conversion of heart. Jesus alone can atone for our sins. The apostle was Acts 20:21 “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” If we will do what he told them to do, We Can Be Sure of Heaven!

            We will all stand before Jesus at some point. Hebrews 4:13 “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight—Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight—Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

            Even if we could repent of all the sins we committed, and from this point forward, never sin again, we still have to do something about the sins of the past. The answer is from the One we answer to. Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Pointing to Jesus, the apostle said John 1:29 “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

            Jesus is the Messiah, long predicted in time past, and He is the only One who can erase all the sins we have ever committed. Sin is repulsive to God and fatal to us. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” If God has a gift for us, we should want to accept it.

            In the Old Testament, millions of animal sacrifices were offered for the people’s sins, because God requires a blood sacrifice for sins committed. The crucifixion of Christ is enough to satisfy the requirement of God for the sins of the world. Ephesians 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

            Jesus began His ministry by saying Mark 1:15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” It is everyone’s choice to believe and be saved; or refuse and be lost—forever. Sin has a price tag, and there are consequences. 

            Not only are there consequences for sins on earth, but we could be paying for them in eternityunless we let God pay for them—for us. The death of Christ on the Cross, is sufficient payment for all the sins we ever committed. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

            It says Psalm 7:11 “God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day.” If God is angry with the wicked every day, we do not want to be in that category. We must define the word wicked. It is good that God is patient and ready to forgive, when we are ready to repent and confess our sins to Him. Psalm 145:8 “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.”

            Everyone recites the following verse, but they must believe to not perish. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

            God has a loving side that we want to see for all eternity. Gospel means good news, and the good news is that all sins of the past can be forgiven by the atoning Blood of Jesus—all of them—but we need to trust in faith on that sacrifice, for the Blood of the Cross to be effective.

            John 3:18 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” To believe in the Name of Jesus, is to trust on the sacrifice of Jesus—for divine healing without medication; to trust God every day for the needs of that day without borrowing money; and it means forgiving every one of every wrong done to us without holding resentment.

            The resurrection of Jesus is of utmost importance, because if that did not happen, none of our sins could be forgiven—they would still be charged against us. If over 500 people said that an event actually took place, and they testified that they experienced that event personally, anyone would believe that such an event really did happen just as they said it did.

            There are over 500 witnesses who said Jesus lived on earth; that He gave the Gospel to all who would accept it; that He was nailed to a cross; and He then rose from the dead three days later. It is important to believe this happened, as our eternal destination is riding on it happening. Jesus is the only One who can forgive our sins, and we all stand before Him at some point.

            Jesus said that a new birth is necessary to enter His kingdom. John 3:3 “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Being born again is what the jailer needed—who asked the apostles: Acts 16:30 “What must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

            This new birth can only be received by faith in what Jesus accomplished on the Cross. Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” The only thing we can do with a gift is accept it, or reject it—that is the choice we all have.

            Everyone stands guilty before God, because of a multitude of sins, mistakes, wrong attitudes, and offenses toward God. Someone must pay for our sin debt. We will either pay the debt for eternity in hell, or we let God pay it with the Blood of His Son. It seems like an easy decision—just accept a gift, but it costs our whole life. John 12:25 “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”

            After giving our life to God, for His will to be done, we should not expect smooth sailing, because 2 Timothy 3:12 “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” When we are born again to a new life of faith and trust on God, our sin-debt has been paid in full. We owe nothing to God for those sins—except our entire life that is given to Him.

            Time is something we have to think about, because none of us has as much time as we once did. The clock is ticking from the day of our birth, and with the world in the condition that it is, we now know that time is running out. There is no guarantee of a tomorrow—that is why 2 Corinthians 6:2 “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

            Jesus told the story of a rich man in hell who said Luke 16:27 “I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”

            Those in hell are pleading: Don’t come to this horrible place of suffering! They know that no alcohol, no drug, no dollar, no lust, no pride, and no possession would ever be worth going to the place where they are for all eternity—nothing is ever worth that dreadful fate!

            Everyone will graduate from this life to the next. The question is, will they graduate into Heaven or Hell for an eternity. Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Eternity is too long to serve anyone but the Lord.

            God does not send anyone to Hell—they send themselves to that horrible place by their stubborn refusal to believe, turn away from the world, and begin trusting God who graciously accepts anyone who sincerely repents. John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” The decision to return to God is ours! 

            The story goes that a stone cutter walked through a cemetery and saw a tombstone that said: All you people passing by; As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you must be; prepare for death and follow me unquote. The stone cutter then chiseled these words: To follow you, I will not consent, until I know which way you went; did he trust God, is the issue.

            Heaven is way too glorious to miss it by being stubborn and rebellious; Hell is far too dreadful to go there by following the world; and eternity is way too long to be in the wrong place, due to making excuses on earth. Simon Peter said to Jesus John 6:68 “Thou hast the words of eternal life.”

            The best part about Heaven—that is where God lives; that is where Jesus is; and we will see Them face to face for all eternity. We should be yearning to go there—Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” The next life is permanent and eternal—it has to be the right one of two.

            John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”


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