The most important thing in life is to be prepared for death. It's coming to all of us, whether we like it or not, whether we ignore it or embrace it. It's even more certain than taxes!
One of the most basic characteristics of all mankind through the ages is a common understanding that there is more to life than just our lives. Thousands of religions testify to that premise - our lives do not end with death. The problem is, those religions focus on what we can do for ourselves either by good works, meditation, or what have you.
It is also obvious to any honest observer that we have been created with a basic need to worship. People worship many things. For some it is power and influence, for others it is nature, for some it is family relationships, for others science. I believe this innate need was given to us by our Creator in order to draw us to Him, and that He has revealed himself to us through a Book, the Bible.
In the Bible we learn that God created all that we see around us.1 He made the first people to live in a special place with only one restriction on their behavior - don't eat the fruit of one tree.2 They chose to disobey and for this were punished, including physical death and separation from God, but even in the punishment God gave a glimmer of hope - that one day He would sent a Deliverer.3 All people since then have had this pre-disposition to disobedience and self-will. We are very clearly children of Adam! For the next few thousand years there were more promises given, promises of hope and restoration, until one day about 2000 years ago the Deliver, His Son Jesus, arrived.4
For about 30 years Jesus lived on earth like other people, but he never sinned (disobeyed God).5 That's an important fact, because it showed his purity. For about the last three years of his life he walked around the land of Israel, teaching people of the love God has for them, of his power over nature, evil, and death. But this didn't win him a lot of friends...
Again mankind rebelled. Those who rebelled were able to put Jesus to a cruel death after merciless torture,6 but even in His death God had the victory, for He had already declared that there would be no atonement for disobedience without bloodshed.7 The shed blood of Jesus made true atonement possible. His death made it possible for us once again to fellowship with the Creator! But that's not the end of the story...
After allowing Jesus to be buried for three days,8 God raised Jesus from the dead.9 He did that to show us that death had no power over Him,10 nor would it for those who would trust Jesus for salvation.
A few things we need to understand here:
So then how can we get back into that right relationship with God?
SIMPLE: Accept that what He has already finished was done for you. Trust Him!
How do you do that? (These aren't "magic words." This is an attitude.)
The Bible says that if we will confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, that we would be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness (good deeds), and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.20
What that means is that when we allow God to do this in us, we will talk about Him, we will back up our words with good deeds, and we show that we have been saved. [That is, what you really believe will affect the way you behave. What's inside always comes out, good or bad!] Saved from what? From never having the friendship of and fellowship with God, from eternal damnation in the fire of Hell.21 God loves you very much,22 enough that He would allow Jesus to go through a terrible punishment and death in order to satisfy the punishment you were due. I don't understand that kind of love, but I can trust that a good God would do it despite how I am.
I'm not a great wordsmith. I can't say enough words to let you understand all that God has done in my life. I only ask that you might consider that God would do this for you, and allow Him to work in your heart as He has in mine. I'm not the person I used to be, I'm not yet what I will someday be, but I look forward to it! If you decide to allow God to save you, please let me know. If you have any questions, please ask. I may not know the answer, but I'll be more than happy to point you to somebody who does.Andy