I pray that this message speaks directly to your heart. Whether you are religious, spiritual, secular or have been in church for many years, this message applies to you.
Read this message carefully. This will be the most important message that you've ever read and will affect your eternal destiny.
Since most people celebrate the birth of Jesus, I thought I would write this message to make it clear why He was born and what His presence on earth meant to you.
In ancient Greece, the apostle Paul, who personally knew Jesus, was explaining to the Greeks who his God is and what His plans are, as opposed to their own recognized deities. Let's read it in his words:
Acts 17: 24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. 26 From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.
27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29 And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.
30 “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. 31 For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
Now I know that was a lot, but from this point on I want to focus on verses 30 and 31.
"he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him."
This was Jesus' message when He started preaching:
Matthew 4: 17 From then on Jesus began to preach, ďRepent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.
Now you might ask, "Why should I repent, what did I do?"
The apostle Paul had this to say:
Romans 3: 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of Godís glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
The words "believe in Jesus" here means to trust or put faith in Jesus. These verses explain a lot, read this as many times as needed. Repenting means that you've changed your mind and have sincere regret over those sins. Life is too short to be in denial, come clean and confess your sins to God.
Here's a great verse for repentance:
1 John 1: 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Once we've acknowledged that we have sinned, why not turn to God and live in a way that is pleasing to Him? In this way you can avoid the coming judgement.
Hebrews 11: 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
So how are we rewarded? (I thought you'd never ask.)
In Jesus' own words:
John 5: 24 ďI tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
Re-stated in 1 John 5: 11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have Godís Son does not have life.
You see, eternal life is not a reward when our good deeds out-weigh our bad deeds, it is a matter of our heart. If you turn your heart towards Jesus and live for Him, He will give you all you need, including the promise of eternal life:
Matthew 6: 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
God wants you to know Him and it's as simple as changing your heart and mind to follow Him. We have free will to choose Him because He loved us first. I'll leave you with this last passage:
2 Peter 3: 8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isnít really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
If you would like to receive His gift of eternal life this Christmas pray with me:
"Dear God, please forgive me of my sins. I've made a mess of my life and I am ready to change my ways and give my heart to you. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to die on the cross so that my sins have been paid for. Please help me to live a life that pleases you. Now I know that I can come to you and count on you to forgive me. Thank you for making a way so that I can know you and enjoy eternal life. In your son Jesus' name, amen"
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