We are glad you've come to this page. There is nothing more important to consider than the question of where we will spend eternity. You may have heard many things, and might be confused and have a lot of questions about what it means to be "saved." We invite you to take a few moments to read the following. We realize there is a lot to consider below, but when it comes to eternal life, we believe you'll find it worth the time to discover what it means to receive true salvation, and to abide in Christ!
As you read through the first and second chapters of Genesis, you'll see that God created man to enjoy completely open fellowship with Him. He created man in His own likeness and image, and He gave man dominion over the earth--even commanded him to be fruitful and multiply. What God desired for man is clearly very different from what we have now. WHAT HAPPENED?
Did you know that Adam, the first man, disobeyed God and ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which God told him not to do? By doing this Adam declared independence from God, and decided that he wanted to figure out the difference between good and evil on his own. We were never meant to live independent from God--in fact, apart from Him we can do nothing. So Adam's sin separated him from God. Not only that, but he made this decision on behalf of all mankind. We all inherited thenature of sin from Adam, which produces the behaviors of sin. It is both the nature of sin and the behaviors it causes that separate us from God.
Romans 5:12, 15 • Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…
Example: A baby can be born addicted to drugs because his mother used drugs while carrying him. The baby did not choose to be addicted--it was a terrible craving inherited from the generation before him. But, while it is not his fault, it is his problem, and he must deal with the issue or he may live a life troubled by a temptation for drugs. He may be a great person, doing great things in life, but if he hasn't dealt with the addiction, his nature may cause him to fall victim to the temptation. In the same way, we inherited a sinful nature from Adam--every person has. It's not our fault, but it is our problem. And it doesn't matter how many good things we do--even going to church and being nice to people--unless we are somehow able to take on a new nature, we will be destroyed by the nature we inherited from Adam.
God came into this world wrapped in flesh, as a man, and He was called Jesus. He came to do something that none of us could do for ourselves: live a life so perfect that His death would be acceptable as a sacrifice on behalf of all mankind. In other words, the wages of sin is death, so God paid that price Himself.
Romans 5:18-19 • Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's (Adam's) disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's (Jesus') obedience the many will be made righteous.
Romans 6:23 • For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Next Step
Now that we know what God has done for us, He asks us to receive the free gift of eternal life by counting ourselves crucified (dead) to this world, and trusting Christ to come dwell in us, and live His life through us. In other words, He didn't come to make us better versions of our old selves--He came to put our old selves to DEATH by faith, and then raise us up ALIVE again by faith--BORN AGAIN. This time, we're born with a new nature--not the old, disobedient nature we inherited from Adam. In Christ, you're a NEW CREATURE with whom God is well-pleased! And it's not our behavior, our commitment, our church attendance, our good deeds, or anything else that pleases Him. He is simply pleased by our FAITH that He has provided a new life for us to live in Christ Jesus!
Romans 6:5-11 • For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Corinthians 4:11 • For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
2 Corinthians 5:17 • Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Abiding In Christ
Now that you understand this process, it is very important to note this one thing: you may feel excited now, to know what Jesus has done for you upon receiving this truth, but perhaps you may not immediately see all the pieces of your life suddenly come together perfectly. So what do you do? True worship…true faith--is about us trusting Christ to put our old life to death so that He can live His life through us. If you're having trouble figuring out how to submit to Him, or maybe you don't feel ready to submit to Him, here is a scripture you can begin to pray and come into agreement with:
Philippians 2:13 • For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Ask Him to work in you to desire His ways, and then trust Him to carry out His ways through you!
This is why it is so important to read His Word and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truth. You can’t agree with Him if you don’t know what He has to say, and you can’t walk with Him if you don’t agree with Him.
Colossians 2:6 • As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.
Amos 3:3 • Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Remember Adam's rebellion? Well, Satan constantly tries to get YOU to declare independence from God too, so that instead of God’s life-giving Spirit dwelling in you, you get Satan’s cursed spirit working in you. But if you’re feeling like the devil’s tricks and temptations are working a little too well, there’s good news!
James 4:7 • Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Jude 1:24 • Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy...
1 Corinthians 10:13 • There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Ask God to work in you to agree with His Word, and walk where He leads you according to His Word. Declare the power of Christ’s death over your sin and your struggles—that’s why He went to the cross—to put and end to the power of sin! Then declare the power of His resurrection over your life—that He raised you up a new creature by faith! BE ADVISED: the enemy will keep asking you, “Did God really say that? Are you sure? Don't you think He's asking a lot of you? Don't you remember your past and how you've failed before? You've been good all week--don't you deserve a break? You are way more serious than most Christians--isn't that enough?” Resist him like Jesus did in the wilderness (Matthew 4): with the Word of God!
Just think--we are saved by grace through faith in Christ the living Word of God made flesh, now glorified. If you have put your faith in a Christ who says, "well, you're going to stumble around sometimes…life is hard, you deserve a sin break every once in a while…," ask yourself--is that God's Word? If not, then you've put your faith in "another Jesus" (2 Corinthians 11:1-4) because the one in the Bible has provided victory. The version of Jesus many "Christians" worship is not God's Word wrapped in flesh--it's Satan's lie wrapped in flesh. Confess God's Truth, agree with it, and trust Him to lead you, guide you, and transform you more and more into the image of Christ!