We will all eventually die.  If the Bible is correct, there is an afterlife with judgement, heaven and hell.  What is our plan to reach heaven?  

Many say: ‘Well, I’m a relatively good person – when I die I’ll just hope for the best.  Others add: ‘I’ve been baptised, had communion, plus I give regularly to the church and charities – I think I’ve ticked all the boxes.’

It’s ironic that many people, including many Christians, think getting to heaven depends on what they do.  When asked about the relevance of Jesus Christ and the Cross, most scratch their heads; they don’t see a connection between their going to heaven and what Christ did on the Cross.

Many people consider the cross simply a symbol of Christianity – a story told at Easter how a good man was wrongly crucified and miraculously rose from the dead.  

Fact is, if we could earn our way to heaven by good deeds or religious rituals, Christ died needlessly on the Cross.  If we could save ourselves by our works, there would be no point for Jesus to die for our salvation (John 3:16). 

The Bible states: we can never be good enough to save ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9) – our works are filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6) – that we need to be born-again (John 3:3) – and become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  

To enter the kingdom of heaven we need to have God’s PERFECT uprightness, decency, integrity and morality.  This is the whole point of Jesus being crucified on our behalf.  If we accept the gift of salvation by believing in Christ we receive His PERFECT GOODNESS and are instantly adopted into the family of God.  Alternately, if we are hoping our good deeds or religious rituals will save us; sadly, we are in for a very rude shock.  

We need the Cross.  Christ is our salvation – He is the only door and way into heaven.  

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.  

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.

 Pastor Marilyn Hunter

To prove our capabilities in certain endeavours, we often need someone else to take a chance and believe in us.  When given such a chance, we then have an opportunity to prove their faith in us was well founded. 

The world’s greatest intellects can neither prove nor disprove God’s existence.  It all comes down to personal belief.  If we adamantly don’t believe in something, we sceptically explain away all proof.  We live in a world where seeing is believing; however, one of the greatest acts of trust we can show in another, is believing in them before the evidence is seen. 

God does not coerce our free-will. That is why belief is the currency that He demands before He vindicates Himself.  Only those who step out in faith see the evidence of God working in their lives.  This explains why many Christians have a strong faith; by believing they have seen – and once seen it is easy to believe.  

In a world of reason it seems foolish to believe in something before seeing the evidence, but if we always disbelieve in God we inadvertently close the door on Him ever proving Himself.  Give God a chance.  We must remember, God does not need us – but we certainly need Him.  God does reveal Himself through creation and His Word (the Bible), but if we wish for God to reveal Himself further in our life, we must choose to seek Him. 

How do we start? The Bible states in John 14:6-7 that Jesus Christ is the Way, the truth and the Life and by believing in Him we will receive everlasting life and an eternal relationship with God. (Hebrews 11:6, 2 Corinthians 5:7)

 Pastor Marilyn Hunter

A tourist heard of a special place known as 'Heavenly-Salvation' where everlasting accommodation was said to be free.  She eagerly grabbed her pack and headed off to see if the claims were true.  As she approached, a wild looking man who lived on the outskirts ran up to her laughing madly and speaking gibberish.  He welcomed her to Heavenly-Salvation and told her that if she wished to enter she would have to be his servant and give him all her money.  In disgust, the tourist thought, ‘These Christians are insane - I want nothing to do with them or their so-called free village.’  She quickly turned around and decided never to return.

Meanwhile, the citizens of Heavenly-Salvation scratched their heads in frustration.  They could not understand why so few tourists visited their lovely village - they were completely unaware that the village idiot was scaring them all away.

Salvation is a free gift - there is no cost.  God paid the account on the cross through Jesus Christ.  However, it can be very hard for the ‘Unbelieving-World’ to see the truth of Christianity through the forest of village idiots.  The world is filled with cults and crazy religions all claiming to be doing God’s will, but their obvious greed and weird practices are bringing the Truth into disrepute.  Sadly, these way-out teachings are the most vocal and the ‘Unbelieving-World’ judges all Christianity by the village idiots.  

Any person wishing for eternal salvation should ignore the village idiots and freely enter.  The bible says, ‘For grace you have been saved through faith (believing in Christ) that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works lest anyone should boast, (Ephesians 2:8-9).’

 

Pastor Marilyn Hunter

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