My Needs are Real
In the previous article, we discussed the battle between good and evil and how it has affected us all. If you haven’t read that article, please go do that now… then come back. (click here)
Because we have chosen to go our own way, there are certain obstacles we face that only Jesus can overcome.
My Soul Needs to be Healed
For a season, living life our own way brings pleasure. We believe the lies. We believe it will fulfill us, make us happy, and bring satisfaction. But Satan has sold us an empty promise. After time, the pleasure becomes emptiness. Happiness is temporary. Peace goes missing. Life satisfaction is gone. Our souls become empty and restless. We look for lasting satisfaction but find none. We turn to anti-depressants and chemicals for relief. That God-shaped hole in our heart can only be filled by God, Himself. Jesus is the Savior who heals our hearts. He is the creator of joy and peace. Those who come to Him are renewed, find life’s fulfillment, and understand why they were placed on this earth. This healing process takes time, but it happens for those who follow Jesus and learn to walk with Him.
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted. He rescues those whose souls have been crushed. He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 34:18, 147:3)
I am Enslaved
Because we have rebelled and gone our own way, we have given sin and Satan power over our lives. They hold power over us - the power of temptation, guilt and shame, corruption, and death. Rebels belong to the kingdom of darkness. This is not a good place to live! Satan deceives us with the promise of freedom, but then we are wrapped in chains of slavery. We need someone who can break the chains. We need someone who won’t lie to us about freedom. We need someone who can save us from the kingdom of darkness and transfer us into the Kingdom of Light (the Kingdom of God). There is only One. His name is Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life.
“Through Jesus Christ, the Spirit of Life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:2
I am Dying
Your mind probably goes straight to a funeral and a casket. That is only a fraction of the problem. Sin is a destructive force that kills everything it touches. It destroys relationships, families, health, joy, peace of mind, satisfaction with life, and our society. Living life our own way brings corruption. Rebellion brings spiritual death, separating us from the God who created us. It also brings physical death. Sin has pleasure for a season, but it always destroys and brings death. Jesus came to save us from this kind of death and give us new life.
“Desires and lusts give birth to sin; and when sin is fully grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:15)
I am Judged
Is God just? Does God love justice? He is good, so... yes! So many people expect God to just shrug His shoulders and overlook our rebellion. Sorry. It doesn’t work that way. The penalty for mutiny and rebellion is eternal death.
But isn’t God love? How could a loving God send people to hell? Yes, God is love. Yes, God has made a way of escape through His Son, Jesus Christ. But salvation is on His terms, not yours. You are not the God of salvation, He is. You cannot have your cake and eat it, too. Forgiveness and salvation are offered to everyone… EVERYONE. But only those who humble themselves, admit their guilt, and come back to God through His Son (Jesus Christ) will experience it. He graciously forgives those who are willing. Those who refuse will face His judgement. The ball is in your court. Will you, or won’t you? For those who are willing, Jesus is the Savior from eternal judgement.
“The penalty for sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
The Awesome Truth about Jesus
Jesus came to save us. The name “Jesus” literally means “God is our salvation”.
“You shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Luke 2:21).
Jesus said, “I have NOT come for those who are self-righteous. I have come for those who know they are sinners.” He came to seek and to save the lost. If you know you are a rebel… if you know that you are guilty… you are exactly who Jesus came for. He came for sinners.
So many people misunderstand why Jesus came. It wasn’t to teach us to behave. It wasn’t to teach us to be good. We've already proven we are rebels. Ultimately, Jesus came to die. He came to be the Savior of rebel sinners. He came to rescue the guilty by dying for their sins on the cross. Think about this scripture:
“But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
Jesus is able to save us because He has paid for our rebellion and guilt. The punishment for rebellion is death. Jesus took our death on Himself when He died on the cross. He was judged in our place. He took our punishment, and He did it willingly. No one forced Him. He laid down His life for you. Don’t ever doubt that Jesus loves you! Because He took your punishment, He is able to freely offer you forgiveness. His suffering bought your freedom.
“I lay down my life, only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” (Jesus, John 10:17-18)
But there’s more! A dead savior cannot save anyone. Do you think death and the grave can hold down the Almighty Son of God? He is the creator of life! Do you think Satan could keep our champion down? Never! Just as Jesus willingly laid down His life, He took His life back up again. He rose from the dead three days later. This validates and proves His claim to be the Son of God and proves He has the power to save sinners. If He can defeat death, He can take our dead souls and make them alive again! He has resurrection power. This isn’t some fairytale. This is historical fact! The resurrected Jesus was seen by hundreds of people after His death and resurrection. People saw Him die, and then they saw Him alive once again. In the first century A.D., these people were the greatest evangelists the world has ever known. They turned the ancient world upside down. Many of them were tortured and died for their faith, but they refused to recant. They refused to deny their Lord. How could they? They had seen Him with their own eyes, they had touched Him. They saw the nail holes in His hands and feet, the resurrected Son of God. Would you endure Roman torture for a prank or a fairytale? No! But you would if you had seen the risen Son of God with your own eyes. Jesus is alive. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is still saving people, today. He has resurrection power, which means He can give you new life and make you a brand new person. It's not your efforts that accomplish this - it's His power.
"God raised Jesus from the dead and we are all eyewitnesses of this." (The Apostles, Acts 2:32)
“For we do not follow cleverly invented stories when we tell you about how Jesus Christ came in power. We were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (The Apostle Peter, 1 Peter 1:16)
Do not be Unbelieving. Believe the Truth!
Believe Jesus is the Son of God who came to save rebels like you and I. If you recognize you are guilty, He came specifically for you.
Believe He is the payment for your sin. He took the death you deserve. He laid down His life to pay your penalty. He was judged in your place so you could be forgiven. Yes, He loves you that much. He lived for you and He died for you so that you could be reconciled back to God.
Believe He was raised from the dead. Dead people can’t save anyone, but Jesus conquered sin, Satan, death, and the grave – He is powerful to save! He is powerful to make your dead soul alive. He is powerful to reconcile you back to God and change you forever. Believe Him!
His apostles and followers watched Him ascend back into heaven (read Acts 1:6-11 in the Bible). He is seated at the Father’s right hand. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Believe Him!
If you believe these truths about Jesus, act on it! Don’t just believe facts. Take action and come to Jesus for salvation and forgiveness. You need a personal encounter with Him! You need to experience His forgiveness and saving power in a personal way. Do not stand far off and say “Yes, I believe”. No! Run to Him! Plead with Him to save you and make you alive, giving you a new soul that is reconciled to God! Receive Him to be your King and your Savior.
It is time to repent, which simply means “change your mind”. Change your mind! Up until now you’ve been living for yourself. Change your mind! Turn to Jesus, the one who saves guilty rebels and makes them alive. Turn to the one who reconciles you back to God! It’s time to stop running and give your life back to the One who created you. He doesn’t reject anyone.
Jesus promises, “I will never, never turn away the person who comes to Me.” (John 6:37b)
The Bible says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
Confess with your mouth your faith in Jesus. Come to Him through prayer. Prayer is simply speaking to Jesus. You are having a conversation with the Son of God. Just speak to Him. He hears everyone who speaks to Him. If you don’t know exactly what to say, I suggest these words:
Lord Jesus, right now I call out to you. I believe in You, Jesus. You are the Son of God. I believe You can save me and make me alive. I confess that I am guilty. I have rebelled against God and I need forgiveness. Jesus, please save me. Please forgive me and take me back. I receive You as my King and Savior and I give my life back to You. Please teach me how to live and walk with You. Your Bible says you have not rejected me, so I trust you. Thank you for saving me! Amen.
If you spoke to Him with a sincere heart, CONGRATULATIONS! He cannot lie. He always keeps His promises. Trust Him!
“I will never, never turn away the person who comes to Me.” (Jesus, John 6:37b)
Lastly, be baptized. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Keep it simple. You can be baptized in a church, in a swimming pool, in a hot tub, in a bathtub, in a pond, in a river, in the ocean… all you need is water. You can even have a friend baptize you. This is the only instruction Jesus gives: “Baptize them in the name of the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” So, when you are baptized, first confess your faith in Jesus (“I believe in Jesus and I have chosen to follow Him”) and then your friend should say “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit” as they dunk you or pour water over you.
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Jesus, Mark 16:16)
If you respond to Jesus in this way, you are no longer a rebel separated from God. You have become saved, forgiven, a child of God, reconciled, and alive. Breathe the air of freedom! You have been made a new person! The Spirit of God now lives inside of you. Now the process of learning to walk with Jesus can begin. He knows we are often slow learners. He is very patient and gracious. Plus, Satan has not forgotten about you! He will continue to try to tempt you, deceive you, and destroy you. The difference is now you are forgiven, and the Spirit of God lives inside you. Jesus will help you have victory over Satan, and He will heal the wounds of your past. Learn to walk and talk with Him!
“Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked man forsake his own way, and the unrighteous man forsake his own thoughts. Let them return to the Lord, who will have mercy on them. Let them return to God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6,7)