You can stop
working now . . .
. . . No, really,
you can stop.
Let's Suppose. . .
YOU'VE BEEN SPENDING MOST OF YOUR LIFE working hard at
trying to earn a certain expensive item. You want it so bad, you've
already resolved to keep working at it for as long as it takes. For years,
your friends have been telling you to relax, chill out, take a trip to the
Bahamas. But you say, "No way! I want this; it's worth a lot to me. I
can't afford to relax." However, in the back of your mind, you
occasionally wonder if you are really going to achieve your goal.
Sometimes, you even lay awake at night worrying as to how it's all going
to end. But one day, there's GOOD NEWS! Along comes this rich guy
who buys the object, offers it to you for free, and just as he extends it
to you, you say, "Thanks . . . but no thanks. I'm doing fine. I'd rather
keep on working for it, even if it kills me." . . . And in the end, it does.
Now, perhaps you think no one in their right mind would do something like
that, but in a sense, millions of people have done so already.
For instance . . .
Consider what the average religious person goes through trying to earn a spot
in Heaven; all the rituals and sacraments they adhere to, all the good deeds
they perform, all the sacrifices they make in time, money, and talent. They'll
work their entire lifetime trying to please God, hoping to merit forgiveness,
salvation, and eternity in Heaven.
Then one day, along comes the Bible with Good News! Jesus said, "Come
unto me, all YE THAT LABOUR and are heavy laden, and I WILL GIVE
YOU REST" (Matthew 11:28).
Christ offers rest. The Bible says, "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:3).
He's ALREADY DONE all the work for us. When He died on the cross He
said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). Yet, many will refuse to accept His offer,
and go on working, trying to do it on their own. Why is that?
Believe it or not, they feel they have a "good" reason . . .
. . . Here are just a few:
"No thanks, I'm doing fine."
Many feel that they're already doing what God requires of them. However,
had they consulted God's word for themselves, they would have learned that
they are not even close! You see, God demands perfection when it comes to
working your way to Heaven. The Bible says it only takes one sin to stumble
into Hell. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one
point, HE IS GUILTY OF ALL." (James 2:10).
We're sinners by nature. We can't possibly keep the whole law (which includes
the Ten Commandments) without breaking it. That's why the Bible says, "As
it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10). "For all have
sinned, and COME SHORT of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23). We are all
helpless sinners in need of a Saviour, and that Saviour is Jesus Christ. "Not by
works of righteousness which we have done, but according to HIS MERCY HE
SAVED US, ...JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR" (Titus 3:5-6).
Anyone insisting they're doing fine should ask themselves why Christ had
to die a bloody death for them in the first place? "For it righteousness come
by the law, THEN CHRIST IS DEAD IN VAIN" (Gal. 2:21).
"But it's too good to be true."
It's funny, but people will apply the old "If it's too good to be true, it's
probably not" adage to God's offer of salvation, but then turn right around
and fall for the next "weight loss" gimmick or the latest "get-rich-quick"
scheme. Those things are motivated by some con man's desire to make money.
God's offer is motivated by love, plain and simple. Notice how Jesus Himself,
defines the greatest act of love: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a
man LAY DOWN HIS LIFE for his friends" (John 15:13). Christ backed up
His statement when He "Died for us" (1 Th. 5:10).
The fact that a loving God would offer to save us should not come as a
surprise to anyone. John 3:16 says: "For God SO LOVED THE WORLD, that
he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not
perish, but have everlasting life." The Bible also says: "But God commendeth
[PROVED] HIS LOVE TOWARD US, in that, while we were yet sinners,
CHRIST DIED FOR US." (Rom. 5:8) Anyone who thinks "it's too good to
be true" is selling God's love short.
"But God's forgiveness can't be free! Otherwise most people
would take advantage, and use it as an excuse to sin."
What do you think repentance is all about? Jesus, while teaching His disciples
about forgiveness, said that if someone, "Turn again to thee, saying, I
REPENT; thou shalt forgive him" (Luke 17:4). It's interesting that He should
preface forgiveness with repentance, because that's exactly what God expects
the sinner to do when they want to receive His free gift of forgiveness. (See
Matt. 3:7-8; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Luke 24:47)
God is not mocked (Gal. 6:7). He doesn't forgive anyone who has no
intention of repenting. Repentance is a change of mind, an acknowledgment
that one is a lost, hell-deserving sinner, in need of a Saviour. God is not looking
for "righteous actions." He's looking for a repentant attitude, a surrender to
Christ as LORD and Saviour. No repentance, no gift. Jesus said, "I tell you,
Nay: but, EXCEPT YE REPENT, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).
Anyone who ends up using God's free gift as a "license to sin" never repented
in the first place, and thus never truly got saved. You can't fool God!
"I just can't believe it!"
The truth is, they WON'T believe it. This excuse has taken more people
(religious or otherwise) to Hell than any other. Jesus warned, "Ye shall die in
your sins: for if ye BELIEVE not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John
8:24). Read John 3:16 again and notice the requirement: "Whosoever
BELIEVETH in him." Jesus Christ began His ministry preaching, "The time is
fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and BELIEVE the
gospel" (Mark 1:15). The Apostle Paul said he went from door to door
preaching, "Repentance toward God, and FAITH toward our Lord Jesus
Christ" (Acts 20:21). The Bible describes some of the people that will miss
Heaven and end up in the lake of fire. Among them we find: "But the fearful,
and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers, ...shall have their
part in the lake which burneth with fire" (Rev. 21:8). Unbelief is not an
excuse, it's the very thing that takes a person to Hell.It's a shame when people refuse what God has already done for them and
instead go on literally working themselves to death! What's your excuse?
Whatever it is, the good news is: YOU CAN STOP WORKING NOW!
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God," Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9 Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he [Christ] saved
us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) THAT'S
WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us." (Rom. 5:8-9)
THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself. And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you. "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved." Romans 10:9
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