For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Salvation, redemption and eternal life are God’s plan and purpose for us, not mankind’s. God created us for an eternal relationship of love. God made each person to be an eternal being, one whose soul lives on for time everlasting, either with Him in Paradise, or eternally separated from Him and His love. (Revelation 20:11 – 21:8) God in His love for us, has prepared the very means for anyone on earth to be able to find forgiveness and never ending fellowship with Him if we put our trust and hope in Jesus Christ alone. This month we remember Christ’s sacrifice for us on Good Friday, and then celebrate His resurrection on Easter Sunday. These important days on our church calendar serve to remind us of God’s great love for us and His victory on our behalf over sin, death and the devil’s schemes. If we are religious, but not living by the faith and love God provides through His Spirit, we are missing the whole thing. All the religions of the world promote self-effort and self-righteousness attained by works; this is a hopeless effort that will never bring eternal life or peace with God. To realize what Jesus has done for us, we must come to the end of thinking we can earn salvation or approval apart from a complete rebirth and transformation that comes only through Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We must literally die to ourselves and the hope of being “good enough” on our own merits, and realize our utter emptiness and sinfulness that we all possess apart from Jesus. (Galatians 2:16) The only way a person can come to this point is by the work of God’s Spirit in them; without this work of God, each of us makes decisions on the basis of comparisons to others and our own morality of what we deem to be right. God calls this thinking prideful, arrogant, rebellious and lawless as we make up our own rules. God has better for each of us; He desires for us to have eternal life now! This eternal life includes knowing you belong to Him forever, knowing your sins are forgiven, that you have a purpose for living that can bring great reward in heaven, and that He will never leave or forsake you. Why would anyone ever refuse such blessings can only be explained by the extreme deception of the world, the flesh and the devil that oppose God’s purposes. I hope that each of us knows that we are entirely Christ’s and that eternal life is possessed by God’s grace and the faith He has provided us. (Ephesians 2:8-9) May you have a blessed Good Friday and Easter as you live in relationship with God!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary Houdek