Friday, October 17, 2014

October 18, 2014

"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:4-7

We have examined three possible roads to Heaven so far.

1) The Isolation Road - just separate and detach from all pain, suffering, and corruption of life and you will become holy. That is the mindset represented by Buddhism.

2) The Repetition Road - when things get too bad hope for better next time. This is the plan of the Hindus and New Agers who believe in reincarnation, essentially you live life in such a way that when it ends you will recycle into a better form.

3) The Exertion Road - by working harder and doing more good things you can earn your way into Heaven at the end of your life on earth. Muslims and many of the best-known cults.

4) The Relation Road - this idea is that God is a personal God Who craves a relationship with the people He created and then redeemed at the expense of His own Son. This road involves depending on what He has done for us rather than anything we can do for Him. Christianity follows this road and seeks to lead others to this belief. Christians believe that the purpose of faith is to enter into a spiritual relationship with God, not just enjoy the rewards of Heaven.

Christianity believes in the concept of grace, God's undeserved kindness expressed to us when He choose not to act justly toward us as our sins deserved, but to extend His mercy to us through the life and sacrificial death of Jesus, God's Son.

This is an idea so antithetical to the mind of man because it cannot be earned or achieved. It can only be received as a gift through faith.

Christianity's Founder, Jesus Christ, was born in Bethlehem, probably around 4 BC. At age 30, Jesus began to heal, teach and perform miracles while preparing His disciples to carry on His ministry. In AD 29 He was lynched, falsely accused, crucified, buried and resurrected from the grave. For 40 days He appeared to people before finally ascending into Heaven.

Ten days later, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus' followers, empowering them to preach, heal and perform miracles. The Christian church was born and grew rapidly in Jerusalem and then spread abroad when it experienced intense persecution. Today, Christianity is the largest faith on earth with over 2 billions of followers. Current estimates indicate 100,000 people convert to Christianity each day.

John 3:16 explains how this conversion happens, expresses the grace that makes it possible and describes the relationship that results from responding to grace, "For God so loved the world that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."

John also records Jesus' own claim that He is the sole road that leads to God and to Heaven, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me." John 14:6.

You will have to decide for yourself, or the decision will be made for you. Which road will you choose in your search for God and the security of Heaven?

Will choose Someone Who came from Heaven, went back to Heaven and promises to come again, OR someone who thinks he has been enlightened OR one who thinks he can earn his way?