TAKE a look at the following two statements. They’re similar… but different:
“You’re going to hell if you don’t accept Jesus.”
“If you accept Jesus, you’re going to heaven.”
See the difference? Where’s the emphasis?
Hell or heaven? Condemnation or salvation? Power and control… or love?
We might say both messages are true and necessary. Lately, I’m not so sure.
The sinful heart knows the truth. It might not want to admit it, but you can’t deny pain. You can ignore it or try to numb it, but it’s still there.
When you sin, you’re already getting a taste of eternal damnation. It’s not good for you or for those around you. It lies, divides and destroys. And deep down… you know it.
If you die in a state of sin, you die in hell.
NOW, if I just point out the obvious – that sin is death – it’s like tossing an anchor to a drowning man. But there’s much, much more, isn’t there?
IT’S THE GOOD NEWS. And with Jesus, it’s all Good News.
Have you ever told anyone, “I’m just so happy! I’m so glad to be alive. I have a Savior that loves me!”
Okay, maybe not in those exact words, but your life should transmit this. Instead of an anchor, they see you wearing a jetpack to freedom.
They see you full of joy.
Or is this you? You say, “Oh boy. I have to do what God asks of me. I have to try and save souls. That person might end up in hell if I don’t say something.”
What’s my motive here? Obligation? To look good in front of God or people at church?
OR IS IT JOY?
Has the love of Christ infused me so that I transmit joy? If not, at what point did I get off track? When did bitterness and resentment creep into the theology of my soul?
When this happens, I must go back and look at the deep pit from which the Lord lifted me out.
But simply escaping danger isn’t everything, is it? There’s much, much more.
If you recover from a life threatening illness – or even just a bad flu – you feel great joy. You feel like you can fly.
It’s not just because you are better. The danger has passed. But now you can do so much more. The world is wide open before you again.
You feel great potential, unlimited possibilities… the promise…
In salvation, you see your life as a tremendous gift to be made holy by God…
You fly free.
Salvation is so much more than simply freedom from death.
Go back to that first love when Christ came into your life. See the multitude of fruits, blessings and miracles you witnessed from that moment forward. The mountainous treasure that God almighty heaped upon you – see it all again.
Take a spiritual inventory.
The Spirit of God is in you. Your heart knows it. So listen and share the message.
It says, “I’m just so happy! I’m so glad to be alive. I have a Savior that loves me!”
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
1 John 15:11
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