As much as people today want to talk about being spiritual and in tune with angels and their life force and such things, the reality is that humans are born spiritually dead. The Scriptures clearly tell us that we all came from Adam, and that Adam brought sin into the world. And Romans 5:12 tells us, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” This death is a spiritual death as well as a physical death…without God, every human actually faces two deaths…physical and spiritual…it’s so certain that the Bible often talks about it as if it’s already happened.
Lawehala (sin, offense)
What is sin? It can be many things, but at its core, sin is falling short of God’s standard.
What’s God’s standard? Perfection. We don’t like to think of ourselves as sinners. We use phrases like lifestyle choice and poor decision, but any time we fall short of God’s standard, it’s sin. And no one is immune. Romans 3:23 tells us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
If you went out and polled 100 people, well over 95 would tell you that they not only want to go to heaven, but they fully expect to end up there one day. Many also expect to see all of their family there, and hope to see their dogs, cats and canaries there as well. How is it that they expect to eventually arrive in heaven, obviously after a long, fruitful life? That’s where the next word comes in…
Whether they ever really think about it in these terms or not, most people believe they’ll get to heaven based on their works…what they do here. It’s usually some variation of the thought that, “If I live a good life and do more good than bad, I’ll be OK.” That good life can include being helpful to people, paying your taxes on time, going to church, putting money in the collection plate, even getting baptized. But all of that is just a human brand of righteousness. Isaiah 64:6 gives us God’s perspective of our good works: “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” Our goodness is filthy compared to God’s perfect goodness. That leads to the next word…
There are going to be a lot of people who arrive in heaven, thinking that they’ve got it all sown up. But when they stand before Jesus and try to impress Him with all they did during their life on earth, He’s going to turn them away. And their only option is to spend the rest of eternity in hell. Forever. And before you think that God sends people to hell, realize that people send themselves there when they rely on their own goodness (which isn’t really goodness at all) to please God. People try to work their way into heaven, but as the first part of Romans 6:23 says, “the wages of sin is death.” That’s the spiritual death we talked about at the beginning, spent in hell.
But just as all of this is sounding really depressing, it starts to get good!
There is no good work that you or I could ever do to please God…period. That’s because we’re sinful, fallen humans who really have nothing of spiritual worth to offset all the times we’ve sinned against Him. The only way to please God is to provide Him with something that offsets our sin…to atone for what we’ve done.
That atonement was provided by Jesus Christ when He died on the cross of Calvary. Jesus was a perfect, sinless person because he was God incarnate…fully God, fully Man. If you have a hard time with that, so have many, many theologians down through the ages. Jesus paid our sin debt to God. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And while no good works we do can please God, faith in Jesus Christ can…Hebrews 11:6 says this: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Three days after His death on the cross of Calvary, Jesus rose from the dead. Many have tried to refute this fact, but the historical evidence, both biblical and otherwise provides a preponderance of proof. You may accept the fact that Jesus Christ came to earth, that He died for your sins and mine and that He rose again the third day…then again you may not. But either way, until you confess that to God…as the last Scripture passage says…until you believe that He is…it’s just head knowledge.
Romans 10:9-10 spells it out: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” To confess the Lord Jesus means that you admit to God that you’re a sinner: you’ve fallen short of His standard and you’ve not pleased Him with your life. It also means you agree with God that Jesus Christ died for your sins as the only perfect, sinless person, both Man and God, and that He miraculously rose again three days later.
And the Bible verse says we need to confess that openly. To not do so would say that we were ashamed to proclaim Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus dealt with that in Mark 8:38: “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Something that most people miss is that God wants to forgive us of our sins. Too many people think God is just sitting in heaven waiting to torch folks, but that’s not so! 1 John 1:9 tells us very simply, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And there’s no limit on this promise. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve stolen, lied, even murdered. God will forgive you when you confess your sins to Him and ask Him to forgive you.
But that’s not where it ends…
It’s not all about heaven for when you surrender your life to Jesus as your Lord and Savior…it’s about this life as well. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” He’s not talking about having $10 million in the bank and a new Bentley in the driveway. He’s talking about a life worth living. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us the fruit of the Spirit, which is available to all who believe in Jesus Christ is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Not typically what you see portrayed on TV and in movies today, or even in a lot of homes.
You may be thinking right now, “I’m not ready to give up my life for Jesus.” But Jesus says that if we’re not willing to let go of our life and follow Him, we’re not worthy of Him. If you truly love God, though, you’ll find yourself wanting to live a life that pleases Him. Besides, anything you give up, He’ll replace it with something better. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Which leads to our last word…
The word aloha is used for hello, goodbye, as well as love, mercy, and affection. God’s love is like that when you’re His child. It’s there when you get up and there when you go to bed, at work, at home, at the store, on vacation. God sent Jesus to die for you because of His love for you. That’s what John 3:16 explains: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
God loves you…He doesn’t want to see you go through life without Him. Will you confess to Him that you’ve sinned and come short of His standard, and then accept His love today through faith in Jesus Christ?
If you have questions, would like to have someone to pray with and for you, or want to tell us you’re ready to follow Jesus, send us an email!