The following was written by Pastor Keith Hoover of Bible Believer’s Historic Baptist Church of Mesick, Michigan.
Have you ever wondered why? Why is the earth the only place we have found that can sustain life? If evolution is true, why do we not see transitioning life forms? If I evolved by chance am I an accident? Why do I exist? If I am an accident, why do I feel? When in the course of human evolution did the ever improving creature begin to experience want, hatred, satisfaction, or love? What is love and why does everyone have this seemingly innate desire to experience it?
Love is something that few people truly find. Children dream of it. Young people seek it. Middle aged people hope they have found it and many older people have given up on it entirely. One dictionary describes love in this way, “A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.” It goes on to describe it as, “A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.” To me love is not only being accepted, but truly wanted. It means that someone puts my needs and desires before theirs. The Bible addresses this uniquely human emotion in 1John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
You see, the answers to life’s most important questions can be found in God’s Word, the Bible. You exist because you were created by God. You feel because God gave you that ability. You fear because God wanted to protect you from harm. You feel disappointment because he wants you to strive to be better. You feel the need for love because he wants you to know him. Paul the Apostle realized this when he wrote in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”
Why does it seem like almost all human relationships break down over time? What is it that ruins them? From the human perspective, relationships break down when one or both parties wrong the other. Parents neglect children. Children rebel against parents. Friends lash out in anger against one another. Spouses cheat on one another. To experience love, we must have the ability to give it and it is much harder to give it than to receive it. Love breaks down because of another uniquely human trait, selfishness. The Bible refers to selfishness as sin. Sin is the basis for the destruction of everything that is good and we are all sinners. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Our sin not only ruins relationships with other people, it has separated us from God. Our relationship with Him is broken. The Bible refers to us as spiritually dead or dead to God. Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” For our relationship with God to be restored it takes someone who had no sin, someone who was completely unselfish. It takes Jesus Christ.
Most people know that Jesus died. Many have been told that He died for the world. Have you ever asked yourself why He had to die? Our sin did not just ruin our relationship with God. It had eternal consequences as well. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The punishment for sin is death. Christ died to take your punishment and restore your relationship with God. He paid the price for this gift and he offers it to you. If you want to receive this gift, however, He requires something from you.
From the beginning of His time here on earth, Jesus taught repentance. Mark 1:14-15 says, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Paul preached the same thing in Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” What is repentance? Repentance is very simply a turn or a change. It is a turn from sin, to God. A person who is not repentant responds to the Bible’s message like this: “I am a good person. I have never done anything really bad. Jesus should accept me just like I am. I will pray that prayer with you but I get to stay just the way I am. I don’t need to go to church. You have your religion and I have mine.” A person who is repentant responds to the gospel like this: “I am a sinner. I have no way to get to God except through the gift of Jesus Christ. What do I need to do?” In Acts 16:29-30, we see a man who did exactly that. “Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas responded to this repenting man by giving him the next thing that God required of him.
Acts 16:31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” The next thing that God requires of you is that you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. You must believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose again to restore you unto God. Another word for belief is trust. You must trust Jesus Christ. John 3:36 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
Romans 10:9-10 explains that you need to confess or admit to God through prayer that Jesus is the Lord, that you need His gift of Salvation and that you believe that his payment for your sin on the cross is able to save you from death and restore your relationship with God. Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The chapter goes on to say that this requirement for salvation extends to everyone. Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Friend, you are not an accident. You are not the product of time and chance. You were created by a God who loves you to live with Him eternally. Do not let your pride stand between you and salvation.
Repent and believe!