What It’s All About

IMG_20151222_130953As I was praying about what my 2nd blog entry should be about, God immediately answered that prayer (literally right after I asked Him to show me what to write about). He revealed to me that He wants me to share the Gospel, because that is the most important thing I could ever share on here. It’s the foundation of all my other blog posts, and the one thing that has the power to give you LIFE!! Because if you don’t know the Truth of the Gospel…if it hasn’t transformed your way of thinking about God, yourself, and others, then all my other blog posts won’t really matter. The Gospel is THE MOST important thing I could ever try to explain/share, and the most important thing for us to grasp, know, trust, and have faith in.

So, here it goes.

If you live in America, it’s kind of “assumed” that everyone knows the Gospel. Where there’s a church on every corner, you would think people would have at least heard the Gospel at some point in their lives. The sad reality is that a lot of people—inside and outside the church—have never truly heard it. This is something I run into a lot where I work. Often times, even if our visitors have heard it, they have never quite understood what the big deal is. Or maybe it’s confusing to them. Or maybe they only heard it that one time and thought that was enough. That was me. The truth is, I grew up “knowing” the Gospel — well, knowing that Jesus died for me because He loves me — but I never knew exactly what that meant, why that was important, or how that could change my life or make me feel loved because I didn’t really understand why He had to die in the first place!

One day while I was in Haiti on a mission trip I started crying because I didn’t know if I was going to go to heaven or not. I was worried that I hadn’t done enough, wasn’t good enough, and didn’t really “get it”. That summer is when the Gospel truly became real to me for the first time, and my mind was blown…I grasped for the first time that God’s love for me isn’t based on what I had or hadn’t done. Me being in Haiti that summer wouldn’t save me, and neither would “following all the rules”. God used several people that summer in Haiti, as well as some friends I had from school to speak the Truth of the Gospel to me. I still have to remind myself of the Gospel every single day, because sin and the lies of this world easily cause me to forget the Truth of who Jesus is, who I am in Him, and what He has done for me. This is the greatest love story you will ever read. And the best part is that it is TRUE!!

The Gospel has 3 main parts. The very bad news, the very Good news, and then our choice to either repent and have faith/follow Jesus or reject Him. I’ll start with the bad news…just bear with me, because in order to truly appreciate the good news, you have to understand just how bad the bad news is. Romans 3:23 says,

“for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (emphasis mine).

That means that every single person that has ever lived, is still living, and is yet to come, has sinned. So from Mother Teresa to Hitler and everywhere in between, we have sinned.

Romans 6:23 says,

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Read that verse again. For the wages of sin is DEATH, but the FREE gift of God is eternal LIFE in Christ Jesus our Lord. I like how John MacArthur explains it in the MacArthur ESV Study Bible

“This verse describes two inexorable absolutes: 1) spiritual death is the paycheck for every man’s slavery to sin; and 2) eternal life is a free gift God gives undeserving sinners who believe in His Son.”

Even if we had all just sinned one single time (which I sin every single day so that’s definitely not true), but let’s just pretend we had just sinned 1 time…we deserve to be in hell eternally for that. Which means we deserve to be eternally separated from God and everything good. That is the price we are to pay for our sin. Now to the 2nd part of that verse

“but the FREE gift of God is eternal LIFE IN Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So it is a free gift to spend eternity in Heaven. It is a free gift to be forgiven of our sins. We don’t have to earn it in any way…not through following enough rules, or staying away from certain sins, or going on mission trips, or anything else. Okay, don’t stop reading yet!

John 14:6 says,

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus is the ONLY way to get to God. When the Gospel “clicked” for the first time, I realized that my whole life I had taken God for granted, because I didn’t realize Jesus had to live the life He lived, and die the death He died in order for me to have access to God. And thanks to Jesus I now have complete access to Him 24/7!

Romans 5:8 says,

“but God shows His love for us in that WHILE we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Jesus Christ died for us! His death paid for our sin! He took the complete wrath of God FOR US. Christ died for us WHILE we were dead in our sin. He didn’t wait for us to “clean ourselves up” before He came and died in our place. Because it is only through Him and what He has done that we are saved! This is how we know He loves us…He meets us right where we are and loves us. He loves us with a love we can’t even comprehend…He is the author of Love!

Romans 10:9-11

“because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Anyone who trusts in Him will not be disgraced.”

It is through believing in our heart and confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead, that we are saved and justified! Soak that in and really think about what that means. Jesus is the only answer. He is all we need. We are now justified in God’s eyes for our sins, because of Jesus. We can’t earn forgiveness and His love by doing works…it is strictly through faith in Him and trusting that His death was enough and is the full payment for our sins!

Romans 8:1,

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

and Romans 5:1

“Therefore since we have been justified by FAITH, we have PEACE with God THROUGH our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Now, because of Christ and His death and resurrection, we have PEACE with God and are justified for our sins. He nailed them to the cross. John 3:16 says

“For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever BELIEVES in Him may have eternal life.”

God loved you enough to give His only Son for you. For

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Jesus is the real “Prince Charming.” He came and died in your place because He wants a personal relationship with you. Rely on Jesus Christ for your salvation…you no longer have to rely on yourselves! And God will help you to live for Him!

One last verse I want to share is 2 Corinthians 5:15 –

“and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.”

Once we accept Jesus and the Truth of the Gospel, we are called to no longer live for ourselves and our sinful desires, but to live for Christ and give ourselves to Him. To see our life as a blank slate for God to fill and use for His glory. It takes a commitment. We are never going to be fully perfect in our bodies here on earth…we gotta wait to get to heaven before that happens. But every day it is a choice to give ourselves to God. To live for Him. To spend time with Him, get to know Him better, talk to Him, and do life with Him. And living for Him and with Him is the BEST life you could ever imagine. The best decision you could ever make. It really is for our GOOD that we live for Him. Just try it :). It doesn’t mean life will be easy, but God will get you through the deepest of waters, and will NEVER leave you or forsake you. When you have true faith in Him, you are now His child. He will take care of you, give you the strength you need to face each day…you just got to rely on Him!! Living for Christ (though I still have LOTS of growing and learning to do), is the best life I could ever ask for or imagine. Doing life with God and living in His freedom is a little glimpse of what Heaven will be like. It surely is an adventure, and it’s amazing to see God work. You’ll come to find that He is a very intentional and personal God. My joy comes from Him. Anything good that is in me or in my life is from Him and Him alone!!

Now, before you stop reading, please think about these verses I have shared with you. I encourage you to read over the verses again and let them speak to your heart. Take a moment to consider the following questions (taken from Share Jesus Without Fear):

  1. Are you a sinner?
  2. Do you want forgiveness for your sins?
  3. Do you believe Jesus died on the cross for you and rose again?
  4. Are you willing to surrender your life to Christ?
  5. Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life and into your heart?

If any of these questions even piqued a slight interest within you, feel free to contact me and I would love to talk with you more about it! If after going through the questions you felt they were all applicable to you….WELCOME SISTER/BROTHER IN CHRIST!!!! Jesus has been pursuing you, and I am rejoicing with all the angels in Heaven that you have decided to accept the free gift of Jesus, God’s love for you, and that you want to have a personal relationship with Him!!! I can assure you that you will NEVER regret it. The BEST is yet to come!!! This is only the beginning of an amazing journey ahead!!!! Jesus was born to die for YOU.