Please give me two minutes:
Jesus died for you…
…Because He loves you wildly.
He died for you because you’re a sinner and desperately need a Saviour, regardless of how decent or messed-up a person you think you are. This is what we call “the gospel – the good news!” (Read Romans 3).
Regardless of what country you’re from, what family you were raised in, what religion you were “born into”, regardless of what you may or may not have done, Jesus died for you that you could be “at peace” with God.
Jesus was crucified for saying things like,
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6).
And I fully expect to be accused of hateful arrogance for claiming a monopoly on the truth. So be it. That doesn’t negate what is and isn’t true. I have the words of eternal life and I’m compelled to give them to you if I’m to be an authentically loving witness.
There is no way to know peace or salvation other than by Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). Every other message, half-baked or disguised, and every other “religion”, is false.
And, if you put your hand on your heart and think about it, not everything can be true, can it? Can Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Atheism, Christianity ALL be true? Of course they can’t!
Listen to me, please! The distinctly, unique, grace-saturated message of the Bible is that Jesus was beaten to such an extent that he no longer looked like a human man (Isaiah 52:14). He was a Sacrificial Lamb torn into pieces for you and for me. Why? Because the punishment that brought us peace was laid on him (Isaiah 53:5). Ever watched Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion? This is what it is ALL about!
Jesus considered you and me to be of such value that for the joy set before him (you and me) He endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). The cross is an event in history that is utterly irrefutable. Google it. No-one argued about this then an no-one should be arguing about it now.
But then He was raised to life, smashing the power of sin and death! This is where you can’t hope to be saved without faith. You won’t eventually work this out after some more life experience or study. The issue isn’t whether Jesus lived and died (they’re complete givens) but, rather, whether he was who he said he was and whether or not he was raised to life!
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
You can call upon him now [in faith] (Romans 10:13) and he will save you and make you a brand new creation instantaneously (2 Corinthians 5:17). (Romans 10:9, Ephesians 2:8). This is what it means to be “saved”.
And not just for you and your household but for all those who you are also called to go to and tell.
Ever heard of a “Damascus road experience”? This is exactly what happened to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus and where the phrase came from. Check it in Acts chapter 9. Saul persecuted the Church zealously, big time, even to the point of extreme violence and murder. The resurrected Christ then encountered and transformed his life and he went on to turn the world upside down with this very same message – the gospel.
The Bible is often dismissed as being irrelevant, spurious, fictitious or distorted, but have you ever closely looked at the historicity and reliability of the manuscripts?
Again, Google it!
In our intolerantly tolerant world-gone-mad, this is the most wonderful AND highly offensive message you could ever hear.
In the words of C.S.Lewis:
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