The world is hungry for TRUTH. We have a hunger for the Word and a love for those who haven't received it that drives us to proclaim TRUTH without compromise. In other words, we share the gospel with those who haven't received it and work to cultivate the gospel in the hearts of those who have. We do this because 1) we love God; and 2) we love our neighbor. Let me be extremely clear: we love God--the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Savior and Righteous Judge of the universe. And we love our fellow man because God placed worth in everyone (Genesis 1:26). So much so that he sacrificed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ in order to redeem all of mankind to Himself, to as many as would believe in Him (John 1:12). To understand why you absolutely need Christ, you must understand this next point: God is so good that He must punish sin. It is certainly true that God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and truth, keeping loving-kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin--yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished! (Exodus 34:7)
Maybe this will make more sense if I explain it in familiar terms...Would a good judge let a criminal go free? Even if the criminal did good things--gave money to charity, went to church, volunteered at a soup kitchen--that won't dismiss his case will it? What if he said he was sorry? Just imagine asking a judge for an acquittal on the basis of your guilt! Only a corrupt judge would let a criminal go unpunished. Justice must be carried out! Likewise, if God is good then He must and will punish sinners. So much so that the Bible says, "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). The fact is, no one is without sin (1 John 1:8). Take an honest assessment of yourself. Search your own heart (Mark 7:21). Have you ever lied, stolen (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), lusted (Matthew 5:27-28), been angry without cause (Matthew 5:21-22)? Do you see that it is precisely because God is so good that He will see to it that justice is carried out? (Hebrews 9:27)! Remember, NOBODY IS WITHOUT SIN (Romans 3:9-18), and, like the judge in the example above, God is good and just and will not let sin go unpunished. Oh what a pitiful existence ours would be if that were all (1 Corinthians 15:19)! BUT GOD is also rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4-5)!
Listen carefully now: God loves you so much that He provided a way for you to escape His judgment (Romans 5:8-9; John 3:16). Jesus Christ, the Son of God (1 John 5:20), born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:35), literally God in the flesh (John 1:14), lived a sinless and perfect life (1 Peter 2:22-23), stepped in and "paid the fine" for you on the cross (Romans 8:1-2). God punished Him instead of you (2 Corinthians 5:21). He rose from the dead three days later and defeated death (2 Timothy 1:10). God is both righteous and just in that sin did not go unpunished, but full of grace and mercy in that those who repent and believe in Jesus Christ are saved from His wrath, being justified and made righteous in His sight through the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross (Romans 3:26, Psalm 103:12). There is nothing you can do to earn this righteousness. No amount of "good deeds" will atone for your sins in the courtroom of eternal justice. We did the crime,He paid the fine.Salvation is the free gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Becoming a Christian doesn't mean that you'll live a sinless life but it does mean that you'll repent (turn away) from the sin in your life (Mark 1:15). Here is the "good news" that Christ called the gospel: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ Died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” (Romans 5:8-11) Good News Indeed! And that is the good news He commanded His disciples to carry to the ends of the earth (Mark 16:15). This is the mission of 4in6!
What if I told you that I loved my wife dearly while at the same time admitting to you that I rarely speak to her? What if I told you that I really don't listen to her either. You might say that I really don't love my wife. You would be correct. I may even deeply desire the idea of loving my wife. This, too, isn't love. Such is the relationship that many have with Christ.
Take some time to examine yourself. Are you reading your Bible daily? The Bible is God's revelation of Himself to us. This is how He talks to us. You won't hear a thing if you aren't reading His word. Jesus said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD'" (Matthew 4:4). In Romans 10:17 Paul says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." So, while bread is good for the body, it is entirely insufficient for the soul. You must long for the pure spiritual milk of the word (1 Peter 2:2) and the bread of life (John 6:35). For God is a spirit and so He seeks such people to worship Him in Spirit and Truth (John 4:23-24).
Are you going to God in prayer daily? Prayer is how we talk to Him. When did you last speak? One thing is certain--He won't hear you if you're not talking. You can go to him right now in prayer. There is nothing magical about the words you use and there is nothing mystical about how you use them. Jesus says to avoid vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7). Pray from your heart! Read David's prayer in Psalm 51. Let this be a model for your own repentance and growth. Your prayers can be longer or shorter. A meaningful, "I love you" from the heart of a husband to his beloved wife is of more worth than several minutes of empty chatter. Likewise, speaking at length from the heart is of infinitely more value than an empty "I love you" spoken heartlessly from a feeling of obligation.
If you're not a Christian but want to know how you stand before God, click HERE. If you're a new Christian and want some direction for growth, click HERE. I am always glad to hear from readers. Contact me HERE.