Jesus Christ, whom John referred to above as "The Word", was with God in the beginning, at the time of the Creation. He came down from Heaven, "became flesh" and lived among us "full of grace and truth." Indeed, as He said, "He who has seen me has seen the Father."
Jesus has returned to be with God in Heaven and will come again some day. We too have the promise of eternal life in Heaven when we pass on from this earth. Sadly, according to Jesus, not all will share this promise because God must condemn those who have sinned and rejected Christ.
But we have all sinned in the eyes of God. We are not perfect as He is - far from it in fact. No matter how many good things we do in our life, we will inevitably fall into sin. So it might seem that God should punish us all and ban us from Heaven. We cannot earn our place there by anything we do ourselves, because our sins separate us from God who sees all, even the very thoughts of our minds.
But, in His love and mercy, God has given us a way out. Did not Jesus say "I am the way" and "No one comes to the Father except through me." What did He mean? Why is He the only way to Heaven? That would be quite a bold statement if Jesus were just a normal human being.
Jesus is speaking the truth because God grants us forgiveness for all our sins on one condition: He sent Jesus down to earth to die on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Just as lambs were sacrificed in those days, Jesus became the Lamb of God. If, and only if, we accept this fact and believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God, then God promises to forgive us. If we do not accept this then, despite all our good deeds, Jesus has told us that God is unable to forgive us because we continue sinning and rejecting the sacrifice of His very own, one and only Son.
By accepting Jesus into our lives, repenting of our sins and seeking God's forgiveness through the blood of the risen Christ, we can be certain that we will be with Him in eternity. We have His promise and He is always true to His Word. You will be saved from eternal separation from God . "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 (NKJV)
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE DOUBTS
I know there will be many reading this site who have doubts about the truth of all this and so I have added this section.
I trust we can start from a common belief that it is a fact recorded by several historians of the time that Jesus did live on earth and was crucified. One of these historians, Josephus, also wrote that the risen Christ appeared to many, and the Bible confirms that on one occasion a crowd of 500 saw Jesus alive again. Many have attempted to prove that this was all a hoax, but not one writer has succeeded in nearly 2,000 years. Some have said that Jesus was not really dead, but modern medicine has confirmed that the blood and water seen flowing from His side were a sure sign of death. You will find more on this in books like "Who Moved the Stone?" When all the evidence is weighed up it is the best attested fact of history that Jesus did rise from the dead.
Few dispute that He taught well. But look more closely at what Jesus said about Himself and why He had come. "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent me ... that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6: 38 & 40 - NKJV) Jesus foretold that He would be "lifted up" on the cross to die and that He would rise again on the third day. To help us to believe in His authority He also performed many miracles, turning water into wine, healing people and even bringing back to life others who had died.
Miracles are performed by God when Christians call on the name of Jesus even to this day. Did you know that in the 1980's a young boy was confirmed dead by doctors who, after eight hours, were sending him off to the morgue. Then, as a visiting Evangelist was finishing his talk, he received a message from God that somewhere in the crowd was a man who had lost his son that morning. He announced that the child was coming back to life in the nearby hospital and, to the glory of the only true God, the boy sat up and lives to this day. You may find the full account in "Surprised by the Power of the Spirit" at any Christian bookshop.
Was Jesus deceiving people with His miracles? Was He lying when He stated many times that He was telling the truth? Does this seem likely when you consider the wisdom of all His other teaching? Would He have shared with us God's guidance for living and yet have misled us into false hopes of heaven? Would the early Christians have fabricated all the records of His teaching and then have died for their faith in a hoax? Some say Jesus was just "mistaken" but was He mistaken in predicting that He would rise again on the third day? Please consider the evidence:
Who else but God Himself could have planned everything to the last detail and had so much of it recorded in prophecies written centuries earlier by so many different authors? You may well say that one or two prophecies could have just happened to come true, like the one about Jesus being born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), but the probability that literally hundreds would all come true (as they did) is absolutely infinitesimal. So, too, is the probability that life on earth just formed by chance, no matter how "simple" an original life form you may postulate. For more on all this read Josh McDowell's book "Evidence that demands a Verdict" and its sequel.
As it happens, I have a scientific background which perhaps makes it easier for me to accept things as proven fact when the probabilities of them not being true are so remote. Many will believe as a result of personal experience and faith but I know it will be harder for others. In Romans 9:18 we read that "God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden." And so it is that many will read all the evidence but still remain hard of heart and not give their lives to Christ. But it's my belief that God will have mercy on those who truly seek and believe the truth which can be found in His Word, the Bible.
So it is my prayer that every non-believing reader will make that effort to find the truth. Please read the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament) in modern English and pray that you will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit. When you know in your heart that every word spoken by Jesus is the truth then you will know, as He said, that you have God's promise of forgiveness, salvation and eternal life in heaven.
I can only pass on to you the words of Jesus, some of which you will find on the next page if you click "Verses about Eternal Life" at the left. Please read these passages and then prayerfully consider inviting Christ into your life so that you may walk with Him for the rest of your days.
One final note: Be aware that there are major cults in this world such as Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses which have been founded by ordinary human beings in recent centuries. These cults differ from Christianity in many ways and their followers lead people astray. You can read about some of the differences by clicking the links at the right.
Doug Cotton (in Sydney)
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