I want to share with you what I believe to be the most important message of all time. It is not just the greatest message of 2020, not the greatest message of the 1900’s, but the greatest message of all time. I want to share this message with you by starting in the very first book of the Bible – Genesis.
Genesis starts by telling us the creation story. In the creation story we learn of the first man and the first woman – Adam and Eve. God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he gave them specific instructions. God said to Adam in Genesis 2:16-17 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” This seems rather simple. God gave Adam plenty of trees to eat from, but He did say stay away from one tree – God even told Adam what would happen if he ate from the tree (“you will surely die”).
Genesis 3 is known as the “Fall of man.” As the Bible continues, the serpent (Satan) deceived and tempted Adam and Eve, and they ate of the only tree that God forbade them to eat from. Remember what God said would happen if they ate of that tree? God said they would surely die. This is where sin entered the world. The first sin was when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden tree in the garden. In the New Testament, Paul tells us in Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one-man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. Because Adam sinned, we are now all born sinners. The Bible tells us that we are all sinners. In Romans 3:23 we are told All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We fall short – like an arrow falling short of a target. We fall short of what God wants of us. The Bible also tells us in Romans 3:10 There is no-one righteous, not even one.
We are all sinners
So, if we are all sinners – what is the big deal? Let me remind you of the consequence of Adam’s disobedience…you will surely die. The consequence of sin is that we will die. You have probably notice in your lifetime that people live, and people die – this is a result of sin. The Bible tells is in the Old Testament The one who sins is the one who will die (Ezekiel 18:20). We also learn in the New Testament For the wages (punishment) of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). I’m glad this verse does not stop with For the wages of sin is death. It goes on to talk about a free gift – eternal life This free gift of eternal life comes in the form of what God did for us.
You now see that because of sin we are going to die. You might be thinking – “Well – we all die – what is the big deal?” The big deal is that it doesn’t have to end like that. We can have this free gift of eternal life that the Bible is talking about. Eternal life sounds pretty good and if eternal life is a gift – you might wonder – “How do I get it?”
The Bible tells us For God so loved the world, that He gave (gift) his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him (John 3:16-17). The Bible also tells us in Romans 5:8 that God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The free gift that God gave to us was in the form of His only Son, Jesus. The gift was given – not earned. You and I can’t work our way to heaven. We can’t do anything that will get us to heaven. God provided a way for us to have eternal life through His Son, Jesus’ death on the cross.
So, the gift is Jesus and his life sacrifice on the cross. It’s a free gift. How do you get this free gift? Look at the word in John 3:16 that starts with the letter “B” – Believe. The Bible tells us that “whoever believes in Him (Jesus) should not perish but have eternal life.” So how do you get this free gift? BELIEVE IN JESUS! You don’t have to memorize the five happy hops to heaven. You don’t have to jump through hoops. You simply have to BELIEVE. You may still be a little confused. You may wonder “Believe what exactly?” The Bible tells us in Acts 16:31 Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. The Bible also reminds us If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved (Romans 10:9-10). You wonder “Believe what exactly?” Believe that Jesus died on the cross, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Believe this, and the Bible says you will be saved. The word “saved” might be a little confusing to you. You might wonder “Saved from what?” Remember we talked about the gift of eternal life. The opposite of eternal life is eternal death. When we believe in Jesus we are saved from eternal death and will now have eternal life with God forever.
I’m a bad person
You might think that your life is bad, and God can’t forgive all the bad things in your life. If you think this maybe this will give you some comfort. Paul the author of most of the New Testament said …Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst (1 Timothy 1:15)
No sin or sins are so terrible that God can’t forgive. God will forgive your sins. See here what 1 John 1:9 says If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Let me break it down for you:
- God created man.
- Sin started with the first man – Adam. Because of Adam’s sin we are all born sinners.
- God said that the punishment for sin is death.
- God loved the world so much that he wanted to save the world from sin, so He gave us the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.
- God offered Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins.
- We don’t have to buy it, pay for it, or work for it, as it is a gift.
- We do have to receive this gift by believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
Let me ask you: Can you admit that you are a sinner? Sure, most of us can do that because we know the wrong things that we do on a regular basis. Do you want this gift that God offers of eternal life? If so, I want to encourage you to BELIEVE. By believing in Jesus death, burial and resurrection you will have a relationship with God that will last forever.
Do you want to surrender your life to Jesus? If you do, maybe a prayer like what I have written below is one that you would like to pray. You can make this prayer your own, it doesn’t need to be exactly how I have written.
I know that I’ve sinned against You. I realize that the penalty for sin is death. Thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus, to die, shedding His own blood on the cross in my place. I confess my sins to You and ask for Your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus died and rose again, so that I can be forgiven and live forever with Him. Here and now, I surrender my life, my plans, my goals to Jesus Christ. By God’s strength, I will seek to live for God the rest of my life.
In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
I prayed to receive Christ! Is that it?
No. Your journey as a follower (disciple) of Jesus Christ has just begun. A newborn baby needs nourishment and care to grow, so too you will need God’s Word, the Bible, to learn and grow in your faith. You should also seek out a church (a group of other believers in Jesus Christ) that believes and teaches the unchangeable Word of God. There you will find support and encouragement as your faith grows. There will be battles ahead, but you will not have to fight alone. One thing is for sure: If you put your trust in Jesus Christ alone you will be saved. Your eternal destination is secure.