If you want to break God's Word (the Bible) down to the ridiculously simple, it's that God said to the very first man and woman He created, "Adam, Eve...you two can do everything on the planet except eat from that one, single tree over there." Well, what did Adam and Eve do with a little encouragement from pride incarnate, Satan? They disobeyed God's ONLY rule.
It all went to hell in a hand-basket after that.
Since God is perfectly Holy, He cannot be in the presence of sin. Accordingly, "man" lost their direct relationship with Him (thanks Adam, thanks Eve). But, He set up a methodology (pre-Jesus) for humanity to say "Mea culpa...I'm sorry"...to receive forgiveness. The process had to do with offering animal sacrifices to God (basically, skinning an animal before eating it and praying to God while it cooked – the skinned animal became the "burnt offering").
This skinned animal that was sacrificed to become "our food" represented Jesus. This was how all the people who were born before Jesus were saved...by apologizing for their sins before every meal that was cooked. It was basically acknowledging "God, you are real and holy, we have sinned, and we desire your forgiveness."
To settle the separation problem once and for all for the entire lot of us, God the Father sent His only Son Jesus, also God, through the impregnation assistance of the Holy Spirit, also God, to become "fully man" and live a perfect sinless life "on our behalf" so that HE could be the Lamb of God ultimately sacrificed for all of mankind, including you, your children and their's. He lived a sinless life, was crucified, died, was buried (satisfying an eternal sacrifice for all of mankind) and the GOOD NEWS is, He was raised from the dead to prove He wasn't just another nut-job with a God complex. Those of us who believe this story are like those, pre-Jesus, who prayed to God during their grillouts apologizing to God for their sins – that "act of faith" counted, and counts, to God.
So when you think of the extent to which God the Son went to restore our original perfect relationship with God the Father, Himself and The Holy Spirit...taking on all the sins of every single human being that ever lived or ever will...JUST becauseHe loved us so much, why would you not be grateful?
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in himshall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. " John 3:16-18
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
Jesus is a magnet – the Gospel (Good News) is His polar force. His sheep have iron filings in their souls, and when they hear His Gospel, they are attracted by it and speed home.
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." John 10:27
If you are not attracted to Jesus, it most likely it means that you have never truly listened to His Gospel. You may have heard it, but hearing is a far cry from listening to it. You know exactly what I mean, too – how many times have you talked to a friend who hears, but does not listen to what you are saying. Imagine the frustration Jesus must feel in trying to get YOU to actually LISTEN. Do I have your attention now? Would you like to listen with your eyes right now and determine if your soul carries in it iron filings?
THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
The Lord Jesus is the Son of God who became man. He is fully God and fully man. He was crucified, He died and was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures. This same Lord Jesus Christ ascended into the heavens, is ruling and reigning even now, and will come again to judge the living and the dead.
"Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved," Paul told the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:31).
Jesus made a startling claim: that He was the Son of God, and that He had come tosolve the "problem of sin". Believe that, you go to Heaven; don't, you go to Hell.
THE CHOICE IS FREELY YOURS
God permits your heart to be broken in two – 'my' will and 'Thy' will – and forces you to choose sides. On one side of the decision you find 'I AM', on the other, 'you ain't'. Your selection carries with it eternal consequeces.
Everyone in Heavenand Hell will have CHOSEN to use their free will ON EARTH to say "Yes" or "No" to Jesus (please, read John 3:16-18 again).
The difference between the believer and the unbeliever is that the unbeliever is willfully determined to go a certain direction. If you are bent on silencing the voice of God in your life, do you know what God will do? He will step aside, and second your motion, if that’s what you really want, because He CANNOT violate your will and still call you free.
If you are a free being, God cannot overrule your freedom in the most ultimate sense, and still call you free. He can lure, He can woo, He can plead, He can beg, He can put the pressure on, He can even orchestrate a website like this one to engage you, but He cannot violate your will and still call you free. God GIVES your spirit this earthly life, and YOU make the choice. The whole purpose of this Universe is to eliminate the POSSIBILITY of evil once and for all. Once we ALL bow and confess Jesus as LORD, and once He honors the choice we ALL made during our short sprint of a life, then God will "lock in" our decisions, eternally.
How will you respond to this man Jesus and his claims? Your answer to the question, "Who is Jesus?" is the single most important one you will ever make. It's worth considerable thought. Will you bow down before Him and be saved forever? Or will you follow Satan's counsel and rest in your own self-sufficiency?
"May God give you faith to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and particularly in the fact that God raised him from the dead. May you come to know that Jesus Christ is the only Savior and there is no other. May we all remember that Jesus is the Judge whom we will all face, because it is appointed to man once to die and then comes judgment. May God have mercy on us, that we will beg for mercy and pardon from him and be saved. Amen."
P.S. After fully considering all of the above, my last question to you (the unbeliever) is this, "Why would you NOT WANT Christianity to be true?" Please seriously think about this question. If you have a good answer to this, I would appreciate receiving it. You can contact me at todd(at)iLoveAtheists.com. Thank you.
If Christianity is true, and we hold that it is, we are to share our faith in Jesus Christ and all He represents, and are to always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks. (1 Peter 3:15)
Conservative Christian leaders unveiled a declaration Friday calling on
Christians not to comply with rules and laws forcing them to accept abortion,
same-sex marriage and other ideals that go against their religious doctrines.