Joy! It's something that we all want and that many search their entire lifetime for, but this world simply cannot produce what it doesn't have. There is a problem in our world, there is a problem in our heart, and it's called sin. And sin has drained the joy that once existed in this world and has replaced it with confusion, hurt, disease, and death. Oh, but friend, I'm here to tell you that there is hope. Joy can still be found. So, where should we start? Well, perhaps we should start at the beginning.
In The Beginning...
Yes, like every other story that you've even heard, this story has a beginning, and yet, this story isn't like any other story. You see, this story doesn't begin with you and me, this story begins with God, who has always been. He has always existed, and He has always existed exactly as He is now. If it seems confusing, it’s because He’s beyond what anyone can fully comprehend.
Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
Psalm 90:2 says, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."
John 1:1-3 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
In the beginning, God spoke and everything came into existence. By His command, the entire universe was created and filled with a dramatic display of galaxies, stars, and planets— including Earth, on which was a perfect garden of paradise called Eden. Of all the beauty He created, the masterpiece was a man and a woman. God made Adam and Eve in His image to reflect Him. They were created with the grand purpose of worshiping Him by loving Him, serving Him, and enjoying relationship with Him.
By God’s design, all of creation was in harmony and was exactly the way it was supposed to be. It wasn't just good it was very good. During this time there was no pain, no suffering, no sickness, and no death. There was complete love, perfect peace, and wonderful fellowship between God and man, between Adam and Eve, and throughout all creation. But something tragic happened...
Adam and Eve were far from being equal to God, yet He lovingly placed them in charge of all He had created in Eden. He gave them the freedom to make decisions and govern the earth with one rule: not to eat fruit from a specific tree. One day, God’s enemy, a fallen angel named Satan, wanted to overthrow God so he took the form of a serpent and lied to Adam and Eve. He deceived them into thinking God was not good and did not have their best interest in mind or at heart. As a result, they knowingly disobeyed God. In rebellion, Adam and Eve ate the fruit, deciding that they, not God, would determine what was right and what was wrong.
The consequences of their actions were devastating! Like a virus, sin entered into all of creation and into the hearts of Adam and Eve. Sin, suffering, and pain were passed down from generation to generation; all of creation was distorted from its original design. We have all read or heard the stories of war, poverty, disease, greed, and scandals that plague our world today. Those are all a result of sin.
Romans 3:10-12 says, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Romans 3:19 says, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."
Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
When we think about the perfection and love that existed at the beginning of creation, we realize “we are far more flawed and far more sinful than we can dare imagine.” Just think of the grudges we’ve held, the lies we’ve told, the thoughts we’d never dare say aloud. An honest glance into our own hearts reveals the truth: We are all guilty. Everyone has sinned, and the ultimate consequence, even worse than physical death, is eternal separation from a loving God, in terrible misery and unhappiness - a place called Hell.
Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death,,,"
Because of all this, we need to consider the questions: Can anything be done? Is there any hope? And the answer is "YES." Something has been done and there is hope.
God removed Adam and Eve from Eden as a result of their sin but left them with a promise of rescue and hope. He promised them one of their descendants would someday rescue mankind from sin. Over the next few centuries, God prepared the way for this person who would become the Savior of the world. Exact details of His birth, life, and death were recorded in the Bible long before His coming. In fact, the whole Bible ultimately points to this one person as the focal point of all human history. His purpose in coming was “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). So who was He?
The promised Savior, simply, was God. God became human in the person of Jesus Christ almost 2,000 years ago, fulfilling all the prophecies in the Old Testament. Jesus’ birth was miraculous since His mother was a virgin. His life was unique: He perfectly enjoyed and obeyed God without sin. This ultimately led to His agonizing death on a cross as He willingly, obediently, and sufficiently died to pay for the sins of mankind, according to God’s plan.
In the greatest display of mercy and grace the world has ever known, Jesus’ life and death became a substitute for all who would trust in Him. The perfectly innocent died to rescue the hopelessly guilty from sin and Satan. But. here's the great news, the grave could not hold Jesus. Three days later, Jesus emerged from His tomb, fulfilling His earthly mission of defeating sin by dying on the cross and to defeat death by rising from the dead - just as God promised. Forty-days later He returned to Heaven where He reigns today as the rightful King.
Galatians 1:4 says, "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father."
Throughout the Bible, we find that God has always kept His Word, but we also find that God never changes, which means that He still keeps His Word. And that is an exciting thing for us.
2 Peter 1:4 says, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
The greatest promise that God has given to us is the promise of forgiveness. As we discovered earlier, our sin brought a penalty into our life: physical death and then eternal separates from God. However, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the Christ to forgive us our sins and to make us new.
Romans 5:8-9 says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."
This promises is two-fold: abundant life in Christ now and everlasting life with Christ in Heaven.
John 10:10 says, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
John 10:27-28 says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
What Is Our Part?
God is writing an amazing story from creation to restoration. He created you to be a part of that story to worship Him, to serve Him, and to enjoy relationship with Him. By joining God in His story, you will find forgiveness, purpose, joy and satisfaction as you come to know the Author of life.
Faith is simple trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you. It means instead of believing you can rescue yourself from the consequences of sin, you place your trust in what Jesus did for you through His death, burial, and resurrection.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Faith is a simple confession that Jesus is the Son of God and that His sacrifice is sufficient for your salvation. Those who place their trust in anything other than Jesus will find themselves forever separated from the loving God who gave His one and only Son to set us free from the bondage of sin. This painful separation is called Hell.
Romans 10:9 says, "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."
Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Two things to note about this confession: it is accomplished first through prayer to God and then through public confession to others. The wonderful thing is that the very moment that you trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you become a CHILD of God and His Spirit begins to LIVE inside of you. God is inviting you to be part of the story He is writing. He is inviting you to become a part of His family. He is offering salvation to you today, which is your invitation to the rescue God offers. You can accept His invitation by:
- ADMITTING YOUR NEED TO GOD
- ASKING HIM TO FORGIVE YOU
- TRUSTING IN JESUS ALONE TO SAVE YOU
- FOLLOWING JESUS CHRIST IN AND THROUGH FAITH FROM THIS DAY FORWARD
If you have made that decision and confession from the heart, then you have become part of His story. The more you grow in your relationship with God, the more of His story you will begin to see and understand in your life. All of your sin, past and future, is forgiven, and you now find total acceptance before Him. Your allegiance is now to Jesus, The King. Your King!
When you begin this relationship, Jesus promises to be with you through all the UPS and DOWNS and in the joys and difficulties of this life. He loves you with an EVERLASTING, unchanging love, and never-ending love. And not only has He promised eternal life, but He came so that you could also experience purpose, fulfillment, and freedom in this life.
John 6:47 says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."
Perhaps you made the choice to put your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, or maybe you need help understanding or you need further explanation, we would be honored to listen to your story and to answer your questions to the best of our availability, Just click the link below and we'll reach out to you as soon as we can. We would love to help you know Christ and to start living your new life in Christ