LifeBristol.com

An outreach to Bristol Virginia, Bristol Tennessee, and the surrounding communities of Southwest VA and East TN.

Are you right with God?

Are you right with God?

The God of the Bible is real and He cares about what you did yesterday, what you’re doing right now, and what you will do tomorrow. Does that worry you?

SOME THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW.

Who is God?

God is the Creator. He is eternal, holy, righteous, and good. He created the world and everything in it, including you. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…” (Gen. 1:1).

Who are you?

You are a created being. In the beginning God created the earth and everything in it, and He created mankind in His own image (Gen. 1:27).

Being created in God’s image is what sets human beings apart from the animals. You have innate value because God created you to bear His image in a way that fish and monkeys do not. God created mankind male and female and He said that His creation was good.

You didn’t create God, God created you. As a creature in God’s world, you are accountable to your Creator for your actions whether they are good or bad.

God created man in His own image.

Do your actions please God?

We often compare ourselves to other people to judge our own behavior and decide if we are good people. That is not how God judges people. God doesn’t grade on a curve or compare one person to another and let the better one into heaven. That isn’t how God operates.

God is completely good and He is unchanging. His standards for goodness that He will use to judge mankind flow from His unchanging character and are also unchanging. The only way to know if your actions please God is to compare them to God’s standards.

What are God's standards?

God doesn’t hide His commands from us. It isn’t a big secret or mystery that He is waiting to reveal to us on judgment day when He’ll say, “SURPRISE, here are all the commands I didn’t tell you about!

God wants human beings to know His will and understand His commands. He has given us everything we need to know in the Bible to understand how we should behave.

The Bible tells us that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16). This means that the Bible isn’t just a mysterious book of religious sayings. The Bible is the Word of God given to mankind as practical instruction for how to live in the way that pleases Him.

If we want to know what God’s standards are we should read His Book.

We can, and should, learn from all of the Bible, but a summary of God’s commands is found in the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:3-17):

1. “You shall have no other gods before me.

2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them…

3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain…

4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…

5. “Honor your father and your mother…

6. “You shall not murder.

7. “You shall not commit adultery.

8. “You shall not steal.

9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10. “You shall not covet … anything that is your neighbor’s.”

The Lord comes to judge the earth.

What is sin?

The Bible says that, “Sin is lawlessness” (1 Jn. 3:4).

This is talking about breaking God’s law. In the Bible sin is often called lawlessness because when people break God’s law they are living as though there is no law at all. Sin is when people do what their own hearts desire instead of being obedient to God and His commands.

What happens to sinners?

The Bible says that, “The wages of sin, is death,” (Rom. 6:23) and warns us that, “It is appointed for men, once to die, and then comes the judgment” (Heb. 9:27).

Everyone will eventually die and stand before God for judgment. God will judge us based on His law which He gave us in the Bible, not on man made laws. God is a good Judge and He always judges righteously. He doesn’t use false or uneven standards. That means God doesn’t just brush sin under the rug and ignore it.

Jesus taught that not everyone who claims to know Him will enter the kingdom of heaven:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matt. 7:21-23).

Again we notice that Jesus says “lawless” ones will be rejected by God.

This means we are in trouble. We deserve God’s judgment because we are sinners who have broken His commands. We are lawless.

And when God judges, the Bible says that He will send some away to eternal punishment and some to eternal life (Matt. 25:46).

That’s the bad news.

It is appointed for men to die once and after this the judgment.

Are YOU a sinner?

The way to figure that out is to compare yourself to God’s commands.

Have you ever stolen anything, no matter how small? Have you ever said something false about someone else? Have you ever coveted something that wasn’t yours? Have you always honored your father and mother?

Most people agree that they have not done these things perfectly. In fact, Jesus taught that in order to keep these commands our obedience must go deeper than just our actions.

The Ten Commandments say: You shall not steal, you shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery. But Jesus explained that if we even hate our brother in our heart we are guilty of the sin of murder or if we have lusted after anyone we have already committed adultery in our heart (Matt. 5:28).

The Bible also warns that, “Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17). So we sin when we do the things that are wrong AND we sin when we don’t do the things that are right.

The Bible says, “there are none who are righteous, no not one” (Rom. 3:10) and that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). God’s standard is high, it is perfection, and we have all broken His commands. 

So, yes, you are a sinner. I am a sinner. We are all sinners.

What is the Good News?

The Good News is that God made a way for sinners to be reconciled with Him and saved from the judgment they deserve.

Has anyone ever explained the Good News to you?

How may sinners be saved from judgment?

The wrath of God against sin is real. Because God is good and loves what is good and holy, He also hates evil. The Bible says that God is, “a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day” (Ps. 7:11).

So, we know that God doesn’t just forgive sin by overlooking it.

God lets no sin go unpunished.

Because God is good He hates evil. He must judge sin. There must be justice.

The Good News is that because God is merciful, He sent someone to bear His wrath and judgment as a substitute so that sinners could be saved. One who was sinless became a substitute to bear the wrath of God in the place of sinners.

This wasn’t just any substitute.

Who is Jesus?

Jesus is the ONLY way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through Me.” (Jn. 14:6).

The Bible says that God the Father, “has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14). God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, as a substitute to bear God’s curse for sin so that those who deserve judgment could be free.

Buddah cannot show you the way. Muhammad cannot save you. The virgin Mary cannot be your mediator. Crystals and incantations cannot remove your guilt. Christ is the only Savior and Mediator between God and mankind. He is the ONLY one who can deal with your guilt because He is the ONLY one who could take your punishment.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He took on human flesh. He was fully God and fully human.

He lived a sinless life on earth and met all the requirements of God’s law. He never sinned once.

Though He didn’t deserve God’s judgment, He offered Himself up as a sacrifice for sin anyway. He substituted Himself in the place of sinners when He was punished on the cross to receive the wrath of God against sin.

He suffered and died on the cross.

He was placed in the grave.

Three days later He rose again from the dead, defeating death and sin. His perfect life and sacrificial death accomplished salvation for those who believe by paying the penalty for sin.

After He arose from the dead, He ascended to Heaven where He is seated on His throne.

The Savior Jesus Christ lives today and He is powerful to save!

I am the way the truth and the life.

How do I know if I am saved?

Jesus said, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish,” (Luke 13:3).

Repentance means to turn away from your sin. Flee from your sin, reject and hate your sin.

But that’s not all…

It also means turning to Christ for mercy. You must put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ to save you from the judgment your sin deserves.

There is nothing you can do to erase your own sin or change your guilt before God. You cannot do enough good things to make up for the bad things. Sinners are debtors with no way to pay what we owe.

We must trust in Jesus Christ to save us instead of trusting in our own ability to live a good life … because we haven’t lived good lives, we are lawbreakers.

The Bible says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

And, “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.” (Rom. 10:9).

God is forgiving but His forgiveness isn’t for everyone.

God’s forgiveness is given based on the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross. Jesus Christ received the death penalty for sins which He did not commit Himself.

God forgives those who repent of their sin and put their faith in Jesus Christ to save them. This isn’t simply a belief that Jesus exists. The Bible says that “even the demons believe” (James 2:19).

Those who are saved by God know that they could never pay their own debt or remove their own guilt, so they put their faith in Christ and His work alone to save them. God forgives and accepts sinners because Christ paid their debt, took their penalty, and removed their guilt.

Christ takes the sinner’s sin upon Himself and gives the sinner His own righteousness to wear. The Bible says, “though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow” (Is. 1:18).

And that, “In [Christ] we have … the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

This is GOOD NEWS indeed for those who turn to Christ and believe!

But, those who do not put their faith in Christ will not receive forgiveness and God will send them away to eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46).

We will all stand before our Creator one day. If you arrive on judgment day without Christ to save you there will be no escape from God’s wrath on that day.

God is loving and merciful but His justice is real. He has mercifully provided the ONLY way of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. Turn to Christ and live, my friend. He is your only hope.

Repent of your sin, turn away from it TODAY, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, receive the forgiveness that is found in trusting in Christ alone.

Do not wait to turn to Christ. You are not promised tomorrow. TODAY is the day of salvation. Call out to God for His mercy and He will hear.

We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:20-21).

Got Questions?

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