The serpent states, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Eve responds, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
The serpent says, “You will not surely die, for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:1-5)
Eve was deceived, then she sinned and led Adam into sin. They didn’t die physically that day, but they both died spiritually. Furthermore, because of Adam’s disobedience, sin entered the world and death through sin. In this way, death came to all men because all sinned.
“And the LORD God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.’”
God cursed the earth because of man’s sin, banned him from the Garden and placed cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. God made garments of skin for Adam and Eve before they were banished from the garden of Eden.” (Gen 3:17-24; Rom 5:12)
Life was never the same again for Adam or Eve. Cain murdered his own brother because God looked with favor upon Abel’s offering from the fat portions of the firstborn of his flock but not upon his own offering. This occurred even though God had warned Cain, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Gen 4:7)
Sin continued to spread throughout the world. This so grieved God that he destroyed all of mankind by a great flood except for the 8 people in Noah’s ark. (Gen. 7:7)
Sin had to be atoned for, before the Holy Creator. This was initially done through animal sacrifices, including lambs without defect. That continued through the help of priests for hundreds of years but never took away sin. Then Jesus (the lamb of God, who was without sin) was sacrificed on Calvary’s cross for every person’s sin. It is his precious blood which was shed on the cross which brings redemption, justification, forgiveness, sanctification and washes our spiritual robes white. Never again would another sacrifice for sin be needed. From the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished” meaning man’s redemption was paid for in full.
Jesus is our Passover Lamb and high priest as well as many other things. Because of the blood of Jesus, one is freed from the bondage and slavery of sin at the point of salvation. In heaven, they sing about his precious blood. (Heb. 10:4,11; 1 Pet. 3:18; 1 Jn. 2:2; 1 Pet 1:18,19; Rom. 5:9,19; Rev. 7:14; Jn. 19:30; Col. 1 :20; Heb. 10:29, 13:12; Heb. 9:12, 10:10,12; Jn. 19:30; 1 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 9:11; Rev. 1:5; 5:9)
To pay for our sins, God’s unique, one-of-a-kind Son Jesus Christ, who had no sin, was beaten with fists, hit repeatedly with a staff, had his beard plucked out, was spit upon, crowned with thorns, flogged almost to death, mocked, stripped of his clothes and nailed to the cross while people cast lots for his clothing. Then his side was pierced with a spear.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. The Lord Jesus, who was God in the flesh, was beaten beyond recognition and was a bloody, bruised, mangled mass of unrecognizable flesh as he hung from the cross dying for our sin (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:24; Isa. 52:14).
“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.” (Mat 27:50,51)
Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb ... but the story doesn’t end there. Jesus gloriously rose from the grave and is alive today, having triumphed over death and the grave. “An angel said to the disciples, ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.’” (Mark 16:6)
Jesus was seen by many people after his resurrection. Paul wrote: “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.” (1 Cor 15:1-8)
The Old Testament contains over 300 specific prophecies which were literally fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. The mathematical possibility of Jesus fulfilling only eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. (That means one followed by 17 zeros.)
It is beyond human comprehension to calculate the chances of Jesus of Nazareth fulfilling all the prophecies written about him. This proves, beyond reasonable doubt, that Jesus is the Messiah and only Savior for mankind.
Now the question is: What are you going to do about Jesus who is called Christ? You are either with Jesus or against him. There is no neutrality with this. He is the only Savior, the only way to the Father, the only mediator between God and man, the only door to heaven and our only hope of escaping hell. He is our life. No one else or nothing else can save you from hell. This includes Mary, church membership, lodge membership, water baptism, keeping the Saturday Sabbath, etc.
Furthermore, Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, Zoroaster and Bahá'u'lláh were all false prophets and false teachers and have taken millions to hell with them. Again, only Jesus of Nazareth who died on the cross and rose again from the grave can save you from eternal damnation. (Mt. 12:30; Jn. 14:6; 1 Tim. 2:5; John 10:7; 1 John 5:12)
Only the Bible is God’s truth and ALL Christian teaching and doctrine is to come from the Bible alone. Sacred Tradition, the Book of Mormon, the Koran, Bhagavad-Gita, Avesta, Angas, etc. are NOT from God. Sound doctrine is very important, though many minimize it in our day, and such can only be found in the Bible. (2 Tim. 3:16,17)
Jesus himself commanded all people to, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” There are only 2 gates, 2 roads, 2 groups of people and 2 eternal destinies. There is no purgatory, reincarnation, annihilation of the wicked dead or second chance after death. In this wicked and adulterous generation NOW we must decide to unashamedly follow and serve Jesus or continue in spiritual darkness and death on the road to hell. (Mt. 7:13,14)
The first possibility is that you will reject the evidence, say NO to God, stay in your sins and remain with the multitudes on your way to eternal, conscious torment in the lake of fire. The Bible says: “On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot.” Who are the ones who will go to this horrible place prepared for the devil and his angels? (Mt. 25:41, 46; Rev. 20:10; Psa. 11:6)
The bible declares the following:
Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters nor adulterers nor effeminate nor homosexuals nor thieves nor the covetous, nor drunkards nor revilers nor swindlers shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9, 10)
The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Rev 21:8)
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. (Eph. 5:5,6)
In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 7)
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal 5:19-21)
Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Rev 22:15)
God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. If you go to hell it will be your own fault. God has done everything possible to save you from your sins and this horrible place called hell. The choice is yours, but it is also your eternal destiny.
Jesus said we must repent or we will perish. To repent means to sincerely be sorry for wicked deeds and to turn from them. The bible says, “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” A different verse says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” We must prove our repentance by our deeds. (Lk. 13:3; 2 Pet 3:9; Prov. 28:13; 2 Cor 7:10; Acts 26:20; Mt. 12:41 cf. Jonah 3:10)
Those who recognize their spiritual need will sincerely pray, “God have mercy on me a sinner.” They’ll turn from their idols to serve the living and true God. They’ll live holy lives, following and obeying the Lord Jesus in the fear of God. “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.” (Lk. 18:13; 1 Thess. 1:9; 4:7,8; Lk. 12:4,5)
Because they are now new creations with the Holy Spirit dwelling within them, they have given up drugs and smashed their liquor bottles. They are no longer suicidal, because they have a purpose to live. They have turned from sexual immorality, burned their pornography and destroyed their witchcraft books and materials.
The bible says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.” Scripture also declares, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” This means freedom from the bondage to sin. Also, at the point of salvation, your heart will be filled with love for others and especially for Christians. (James 4:8,9; John 8:36; 1 John 3:14; John 13:35; Rom. 5:5)
The wise, that is, those who repent and find salvation, get on the hard road that leads to life. The apostle Peter wrote, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” After you repent and trust on Jesus for salvation and become a Christian, get water baptized by immersion as soon as possible. (Mt. 7:14; 1 Pet. 4:18)
All people who hear the Word of God fall into four categories. Jesus taught: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown. When he said this, he called out, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’” (Luke 8:5-8)
Jesus explains: “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8:11-15)
Notice that one type never believes and out of the three types of people who find salvation (or become Christians), only ONE produces crop.
Various things happen to the other types in Jesus’ teaching of the parable of the sower. Modern examples of such might include the following:
1. A single woman gets saved and desires to be married but makes the fatal mistake of marrying an unsaved man. After awhile, she grows lukewarm and then cold towards God. She goes to the night clubs with him and becomes a friend of this world and an enemy of God in an effort to keep her husband. (Jam 4:4; 2 Cor 6:14; Rev. 3:16)
2. A single man gets saved and longs to be married but makes the spiritually fatal mistake of marrying a religious woman who was illegitimately divorced over incompatibility and therefore is not eligible for remarriage. By doing such, he enters into an adulterous state and loses his salvation, even though he doesn’t realize his sin of adultery. (Mt. 5:32; 19:9; Rom. 7:3)
3. A married man finds salvation, but his ungodly friends at work are unknowingly used by the devil to lure him back into sin and spiritual death by telling dirty jokes, viewing porno magazines and beer drinking. (1 Cor 15:33; James 4:4; 2 Pet 2:22)
4. A Christian man greatly admires a popular bible teacher. Later, that same teacher yields to sexual temptation and greed and is publicly exposed. This causes the Christian man to give up the fight to live holy and he falls away.
5. A man gloriously turns to the Lord Jesus from a life of crime and drug addiction. He serves God by witnessing and singing gospel music, but is persecuted by his unsaved family, neighbors and co-workers and turns away from God. (Lk. 8:13; 2 Tim 3:12; Mt. 10:34-39)
6. A man who finds salvation is so eager to hurry up and get out of debt and lovingly provide more materially for his family that he works very long hours to get extra money. By doing so he is choked to death spiritually and overcome by evil, because he is lax in various vital spiritual exercises such as Bible reading, prayer, witnessing, serving and worshiping God, Christian fellowship, etc. (Heb 2:3; Lk. 8:14)
7. A young woman in her twenties finds spiritual life through a Christian neighbor witnessing to her about her desperate need for salvation. She has an insatiable hunger for the Bible and barely starts reading it, when two friendly Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on her door and convert her into their false religion. Because she turns to a false gospel and starts to teach such, she falls from grace and becomes eternally condemned. (Mt. 24:11; 1 John 4:1; Gal. 5:2-4; 1:8,9; 2 Pet. 3:17)
8. A young man involved for years in sexual immorality and drunkenness repents of his wickedness and finds salvation. He hears a popular eternal security teacher on the radio declaring and defending this doctrine, which deceives him into thinking that he can go back into “occasional” acts of sexual immorality and drunkenness yet remain God’s child. Afterwards, the devil tempts him, he sins sexually and dies spiritually.” (Jude 3,4; 1 Cor. 6:9,10; Rev. 21:8; Heb. 3:6,14; Rev. 2:10,11; Mt. 10:22)
Of the three types of people who initially turn to God in Jesus’ teaching of the parable of the sower, only one type remains faithful to him and brings forth fruit. Two such modern examples might be:
1. A girl who finds salvation in her teens is quickly warned of the dangers of false teachers. She hears the proverbial hell fire and damnation preaching and acts on the truths she regularly reads in her Bible. Her family is divided because of her commitment to Jesus, but she remains faithful. Her ungodly friends refuse to repent and abandon her as they continue in witchcraft, drugs, booze, rock and roll music and sexual immorality. Later in life, when tested on her job, she remains faithful to the Lord Jesus and to her husband. When her husband unexpectedly dies of a heart attack in his late thirties, she does not grow bitter towards God, as the devil tempts her to be. She continues to live in light of the certainty of her own death and Judgment day and keeps herself pure. She endures to the end and enters God’s paradise kingdom. (Mt. 10:22, 34-39; Acts 14:22; Rev 2:10,11; 1 Tim. 5:22; Mt. 5:8)
2. Another example of an overcomer who enters God’s kingdom could be a middle aged man who finds salvation, gets baptized and joins a church. He observes and grieves over dozens of people around him who have grown lukewarm, then cold over time because of the distractions and pleasures of this life. Besides that, his own natural sister, who was once a missionary and led him to salvation, suddenly becomes ill with an incapacitating, painful physical affliction and turns to alcohol, then suicide in her despair. He mourns her death and especially her apostasy, but he keeps his hand to the plow and doesn’t look back as he continues to follow Jesus unashamedly and bring forth good fruit. One day his ministry partners become jealous of his achievements for the Lord and try to destroy his influence. He faithfully resists the devil’s temptations to be unforgiving and seek revenge and remains true to the Lord in spite of the hurts, loneliness and various troubles that crash down on him simultaneously. He knows he is battling for eternity and he must remain faithful himself to avoid the lake of fire, which he does with God’s help. He overcomes and inherits the kingdom of God. For him, to die is gain. (Mt. 6:14,15; Lk. 9:62; Rev 2:3; 1 Jn. 3:15; Phil. 1:21; Rom. 12:19)
Dear listener, you can also be of the number who remains faithful to God and stays on the narrow road to life. Remember first of all that you are battling for eternity and your most valuable possession is your eternal soul. This life is a test that will determine where you spend eternity. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Your salvation is more important than wealth, fame, a love relationship, friends, your reputation, your job and gaining the whole world.
To be wise, put God’s word into practice. The bible speaks of spiritual safeguards to help you stay on the narrow road, such as pondering, meditating upon, memorizing God’s word and acting upon it. Avoid certain people, places and things, as well as godless chatter. Keep your heart pure. Holiness is purity of heart, living a separated life, sanctified and set apart to God, spreading his true gospel message and using your spiritual gifts to build up the kingdom of God. Remember that all who live a godly life in Jesus will be persecuted, and you must testify about Jesus. Keep a godly, gospel tune in your heart. Finally, don’t believe every spirit, but test the spirits. There are many false prophets in sheep’s clothing who are really savage wolves. (1 Thess. 5:22; 1 Cor. 15:33; James 1:12; 4:14; 1 Jn. 4:1; 2 Tim 2:16; Mt. 7:24-27; Mt. 5:8; Eph. 5:19; 2 Tim 3:12).
Victory in JESUS can be yours. Once you get on the road that leads to life, keep your eyes on Jesus, your hand to the plow and don’t look back. Produce fruit in keeping with repentance to avoid being cut down and thrown into the fire. “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” Remember, faithfulness and enduring to the end are as important as getting born again, for without these, one will still go to hell and miss God’s paradise kingdom. (Lk. 9:62; Acts 26:20; 1 Tim. 6:12; Mt. 3:8, 10; 7:19)
What is worse than going to Hell yourself is taking others with you. What is better than going to Heaven is taking others with you. Nobody gets out of this life alive. We are between this moment and the grave. Get ready to meet God and face him at the judgment. To die is gain for those who live for Christ. Scripture declares: “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” Do you LOVE GOD enough to be worthy of his paradise kingdom? If you love God, you will obey him. (Heb. 9:27; 1 Cor. 2:9; John 14:15)
If you once knew the Lord but afterwards backslid into sin as the Prodigal did, you can repent and humbly come back to the Father to serve him, become alive again and reverse your spiritually lost and dead condition. (Lk. 15:24,32; James 5:19,20; Rom. 11:19-23)
After the Lord’s death, burial and resurrection, Jesus himself spoke to the Sardis church group in Rev. 3 and said: “Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.” Unlike others who were also born again but afterwards became defiled by sin, there was this group of a “few” who didn’t soil their spiritual clothing. They alone were still “worthy” to walk with Jesus, unlike the others. It will only be people like these who won’t get their names blotted from the book of life. YOU must be like them. (Rev. 3:4,5)
Paul, the grace teacher, wrote: “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” In other words, after getting saved, we must sow to please the Spirit of God and not give up or we will NOT reap eternal life. This is clearly a SALVATION passage, not a rewards passage, as many misuse it.
Eternal life is a present tense possession for the real Christian, but it also a hope, yet to be reaped, in the age to come and only for those who don’t grow weary sowing to please the Spirit of God. The Holy City was prepared by the Holy God for holy people. “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (Gal. 6:8,9; Mk. 10:29,30; Titus 3:7; 2 Pet. 3:14)
How important is salvation? Well how looooong is eternity?
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