Good morning to my brothers and sisters. I’ve got good news for you. Jesus lives! Everything else pales in comparison to that glorious fact. Some of you know who Jesus is and have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior. Please allow me to introduce Him to those who do not know Him or who may not know Him as well as they should.
Jesus the Christ is the second member of the godhead. He is the precious Son of God.
Matthew 3:17 (KJV)
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Many call Him the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the valley
Song of Songs 2:1 (KJV)
1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
and others call Him the bright and morning star
Revelation 22:16 (KJV)
16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
Jesus is the Word of God.
John 1:1 (KJV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He is the bread of life
John 6:35 (KJV)
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
And the way, the truth and the light.
John 14:6 (KJV)
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
He is our only access to God and the means by which we must be saved.
Historical Overview. In eternity past there was a war in heaven in which Satan and a third of Heaven’s angels attempted to overthrow the kingdom of God. Satan, a created being, attempted to exalt himself above God but the result was that he was overcome and kicked out of heaven. He is considered the “god of this world”
2 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV)
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
But he is destined for Hell and the Lake of fire.
Revelation 20:10 (KJV)
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit had a conversation and made the decision to make man.
Genesis 1:26 (KJV)
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
At one time Satan’s job was to lead in the worship God but he was “fired” because sin was found in him. After the war with Satan, God decided to re-construct the earth, create man in His image, then place man in a beautiful place called the Garden of Eden. Adam, God’s man, was handmade and custom-built. God made him and blew breath into him and man became a living soul. There were a few main responsibilities given to him such as dressing the garden and naming the animals. Man’s main responsibility, however, was to obey God. To assure man’s obedience, a tree was placed in the garden called the Tree of knowledge. Adam was given full access to every other tree in the garden for food except that one tree. Adam was given a helpmeet called woman and her name was Eve. Unfortunately, Satan deceived Eve and convinced her to disobey God by eating of the forbidden tree. She then convinced Adam to do the same. Adam and Eve and the serpent were banished from the Garden and given severe penalties for their sin. The worst part of all, they were separated from the Holiness of God and were on a downward spiral to Hell, right along with Satan and his followers.
But God, in His infinite love, wisdom and grace, developed a plan for man so that they could be saved from destruction. The plan would appease the anger of God against sin as well as God’s Holiness and His Justice. The only problem with the Plan was that it would cost God Heaven’s best. When God looked around to see who could stand in for man and to die in man’s stead, the only person who was able to do it was Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. In obedience to His Father, Jesus agreed to come to earth to be born of a virgin named Mary, to walk the earth as a man, to personally prepare twelve men as well as other disciples who would spread the message of salvation. But most of all, Jesus agreed to demonstrate holiness, then die at the hand of cruel men and women. He would go into the belly of Hell and take the keys to death, Hell and the Grave from Satan, thereby defeating the devil. Then He would be raised up by His Father, ascend into heaven and show evidence through his own blood sacrifice that He had fully obeyed God. Jesus accomplished all that was given Him and in so doing, God awarded Jesus the soul of every man, woman and child who would accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Jesus bought us with His own blood. All we have to do is accept Jesus as our sacrifice and our Savior. Jesus took every bit of the work out of Salvation; all we have to do is believe it, receive, and it’s ours.
Now, what do you get if you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? First, you are removed from Hell’s “hit list” and your name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. No longer are you destined for Hell, you are on your way to a glorious place called Heaven when you die. Let’s look at some of the beauties and virtues of Heaven.
The main reward for the Saints of God will be the privilege of entering and abiding in Heaven and enjoying the gift of fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Bible lets us know that exceeding joy awaits those who attain Heaven, as stated in Matthew 5: 12.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven…
The Apostle John in Revelations 21:1-27 had an experience while out on the Isle of Patmos when he was given a glimpse of heaven. Following are some excerpts of what he saw.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones.
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Heaven will be so wonderful that it defies description in terms that we are able to understand, (1 Corinthians 2: 9).
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Now, let’s compare that beauty and glory and splendor with the Horrors of Hell for those who will reject Jesus.
Descriptions of Hell. There are several Scriptures that describe Hell, and which help us to become aware that this is a place to avoid. Thank God that He gave His Son so that we could avoid it. Several Scriptures follow which provide a graphic presentation of Hell.
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night… (Revelation 14:11)
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. (II Thessalonians 1:9)
And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be abhorring unto all flesh. (Isaiah 66:24)
(Speaking of hell), Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.(Mark 9:44)
…Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 22:13)
And, as though Hell is not bad enough, it is just a holding tank because hell and everything that winds up in that place will be thrown into the Lake of fire following the Great White Throne Judgment .
Rev. 20: 11-15 describes the second death:
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Now, what I have given you so far is an introduction to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is man’s only Savior. You want to go to heaven? Accept Jesus. You choose Hell and the Lake of fire? Reject Jesus. Turn to your neighbor and tell him these words, “Neighbor, you’ve got to be crazy to reject Jesus.”
So, you finally get it and you want to accept Jesus? Jesus has already done the hard work. All you have to do is recognize that you are a sinner, repent of your sins, and with a broken heart and contrite spirit ask Jesus into your life. Ask Him to accept you and He will. To be saved, or born again, simply requires that we repent and pray a simple but sincere prayer in obedience to God. When an individual prays the following prayer (or one that uses similar words) and means it with all of his heart, that individual is saved :
“Father, I’m sorry for the sins that I have committed. Forgive me for all of my sins. Save my soul and give me the power to live holy. If you save me, I’ll live for you.”
Then ask God to baptize you with the Holy Ghost so that you can live according to God’s mandates until you die. The Holy Ghost, our comforter, keeper and guide is the third member of the godhead. Being filled with the Power that He brings helps us to make it safely into the Kingdom of God. Accept Jesus and live! God bless you.