Over the past several podcasts, I have shared how God revealed Himself to me and then led me through a series of events that were very special to me and He has continued to use these experiences to minister to people throughout my life, such as playing football for the Oakland Raiders, starting a Bible study that became a church, and then serving as a pastor in a couple different churches.
Today, I’d like to share with you the same thing that was shared with me years ago while I was at San Diego State College – the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ. You see, once you accept the truth of who Jesus claims to be, then you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if your time to stand in front of God and He were to ask you, “Why should I allow you into My heaven?”, you would have the right things to say that would bring assurance and salvation for eternity.
The first thing to realize is that God loves you. He’s on your side. He’s for YOU.
His love for you caused Him to provide a way of salvation from the eternal debt that is owed due to our sins.
The Bible says that God loved the world (therefore EVERYONE in the world) so much that He gave His only Son. Jesus was born and lived His life as a man – just like us so that He could literally give His life as the atoning Sacrifice for our sins, thus becoming our Savior.
The Bible also says, “ But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” (John 1:12-13)
But, the difficulty with mankind is that everybody has sinned and has broken God’s laws. And because of this sin, we fall short of having a relationship with God. In fact, the book of Romans says that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and that “the wages of sin is death” (or separation from God).
And since each and every one of us have the reality of our lives that we are not perfect and sinless, we are therefore all guilty before God. You see, God is holy – separate and perfect, without sin and can’t be around sin. This is why Jesus Christ gave Himself for you and me. Being God as well as man, He was the one person ever to have no sin whatsoever in His life. And so, not only do we need to realize that each of us have broken some of God’s laws, sinned and fallen short; but also that Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for my sins.
Because Christ was God, He came here and lived a holy life. He actually lived the kind of life that God originally intended for all of us to live. Except, we (mankind) said “No” to God in the very beginning and sin entered the world.
And with that, death also came. Therefore, we all experience the pain of growing old and getting worn down.
But Jesus Christ came to be our personal Savior. Because He was perfect, God could use Him and Him alone to be the one to pay the penalty for our sin.
Think about this: What was it that Jesus did at the end of His life that sets Him apart from everyone else who has ever walked the planet earth? First of all, he foretold his demise many times leading up to his crucifixion and death on that cross. But, if He had never sinned and the wages of sin is death, what would this perfect Man be doing up on that cross dying for??
He chose to pay your and my penalty by giving up His perfect life so that we don’t have to. That’s what makes Him our Savior.
What’s even more amazing is what happened three days later: just as He had promised before, just as had been foretold several other times throughout history, Jesus rose from the dead and lives today! All this to prove that He is who He said He was.
If you allow Him, He can live within you – making you “born again” or “born of His Spirit” by recognizing all that I just said and simply admitting to God that you’re a sinner and you want Him to come inside you so that you can have an eternal relationship with Him.
You see, it’s not enough to just know that Jesus Christ came and that God loves you and He has a plan for your life, and that He paid the penalty for your sin by dying on the cross. We each must personally, individually receive Jesus as our Savior.
It’s sad, but true: Jesus is the Savior of the world, but not the whole world is going to be saved, because not everyone is going to trust Him to be their personal Savior and receive Him into their lives.
Jesus, Himself, said in the book of Revelation: Behold, I stand at the door and knock, and anyone who hears my voice and opens the door – I will come and live inside of them. I will fellowship with them.
That’s what the Bible means by Jesus coming to live inside of you and you being “born again” – by you confessing and owning up to your sin and admitting that you’ve fallen short, yet you accept God’s provision of Christ, knowing that the penalty of death was put upon His shoulders not yours as the payment for your sin.
There’s another verse in the Bible that says: Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, became sin for us, so that we could have the righteousness of God in Him.
If you haven’t already, you can actually “open the door of your heart” as Jesus stands there knocking right now. By simply saying, “Alright, God. What this guy is saying seems to make sense. As he said, come into my heart and show me more about who You are and Your plan for my life.”
By doing this, you too can have eternal life.