A Gospel Call

You know what really matters is that "everyone must die once and after that comes judgement" Heb 9:27 Fact is, "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." 2Cor 5:10
You know, "God determined the times set for us and the exact places where we should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us." Acts 17:26b-27
"Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon." Is 55:6,7
God is just and therefore will hold us accountable for things over which we have control. But if people are honest with themselves they would have to admit, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" Rom 3:23, making us enemies of God. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Rom 5:8 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
God is just and so demands sin be paid for. But God is also just with regards to the unjustified suffering of the innocent. When an innocent person suffers wrong, justice demands compensation on their behalf. Thus Jesus, the innocent lamb of God, was sent on a suicide mission to suffer as an innocent victim to win the compensation which would be used to pay for the sins of the world.
Jesus knew of this fate and was a willing sacrifice. He told his disciples, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise." Mark 9:31 The night before he was betrayed he could have opted out. But he prayed, "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" John 12:27,28
Who was Jesus Christ? Who did he have to be such that his suffering would pay for the sins of the world. The Bible itself acknowledges, "No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him— the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough" Ps 49:7,8 Therefore to pay for sin Jesus had to be more than just a man. Indeed the Bible says, "The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word." Heb 1:3 It says of Jesus, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands." Heb 1:10 and "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." John 1:3 Jesus is the Creator. He is the Lord Almighty. Being the Son of God, the value of his suffering is much higher than that of any man. So "Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." 1Peter 3:18
What proof do we have affirming all this? A written record of the eyewitness testimonies of Jesus' miracles and his resurrection from the dead. "God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." Acts 17:31 Examine the gospel accounts yourself and see if they are not convincing to you. Luke, an historian, starts his gospel, which was written to a Gentile, "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught." John writes is his gospel, "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20:30,31 Peter preaches his gospel, "Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know." Acts 2:22 and goes on to speak of being an eyewitness to his resurrection. These are Jesus' credentials. This forensic evidence constitutes the basis of our faith in Christ. Jesus himself said, "Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves." John 14:11 
So what does God require of us so that our sins may be forgiven? The apostle Peter was asked, "What shall we do?" Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off— for all whom the Lord our God will call." With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Be saved from this corrupt generation." Acts 2:37-40 The apostle Paul was asked by his jailor, "What must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" Acts 15:30,31 "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Rom 10:9, but it must be genuine faith and not mere lipservice.
Therefore pledge your allegiance to Jesus as Lord with the intention of doing what he said, believe this gospel and you will be saved. And whatever you feel you need to repent of, do so. Describing his ministry the apostle Paul says, "First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds." Acts 26:20b Prove your faith through baptism and prove your repentance through your deeds.

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Jul 29,2015