This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.
Have you ever missed a sports game because you were so busy that you didn’t have time to sit down and watch it? Well, afterwards you may have found out who won and watched the highlight reel on television. The highlights are a great way to get filled in on what went down on the football field, basketball court, or baseball diamond.
Today, I want to share with you the highlights from a great event that was over 4,000 years in the making. This event is the story of redemption which shows us how God worked in the earth to save sinful mankind and draw us back into a relationship with Himself. It won’t take us long. Here are the highlights.
1. Man sinned. The Bible says in Romans 5:12, “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” The first humans, Adam and Eve, sinned by disobeying God, and all humans descended from them have sinned. Death is the result of our sin — both physical death which causes our bodies to decay and eventually be put in the grave, and spiritual death which causes us to be separated from God.
2. God sent His Son into the world. Because God loved us and did not want us to be separated from Him forever, He put in motion a plan to reconcile us to Himself. The first step in this plan was to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to Earth. First John 4:9 states, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world…”
3. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life. Because of our sinfulness, we are incapable of living a perfect life. However, because Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, He never sinned while He was on Earth. Hebrews 4:15 says, Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” It was necessary for Jesus Christ to live a perfect life in order to be the perfect sacrificial substitute for us.
4. Jesus Christ was crucified and God poured out His wrath on Him instead of on us. Even though He lived a perfect life, Jesus was betrayed by one of His disciples and turned over to the authorities of His day. Those authorities put Jesus on trial, falsely accused Him, and sentenced Him to die on the cross. God allowed Jesus’ death because it was a part of His plan to redeem humanity and draw us back to Himself. On the cross, Jesus took our sin upon Himself and God poured out His wrath on Him so He would not have to pour it out on us. Second Corinthians 5:21 says, God “hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us.” Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth [or shows] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
5. Jesus Christ was buried. After His death on the cross, two of Jesus’ secret disciples came and took His body and buried it in a tomb. John 19:40-42 tells us that Joseph and Nicodemus “took the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury” and “in the place where [Jesus] was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre [or tomb], wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus.” At this point, it seemed like all was lost. But the story is not over.
6. Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Three days after His burial, Jesus Christ miraculously rose from the dead by the power of God. When two of Jesus’ other disciples went to the tomb, they found that it was empty, and an angel who was there told them, “Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.” For our redemption to be complete, it was necessary for Jesus to rise from the dead. Jesus’ resurrection signifies His triumph over death and the grave. Remember, death is a result of sin. If we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, not only will we be saved from our sins, but we will be saved from death, the consequence of sin. Yes, we will still physically die, but we will one day be resurrected from the grave just as Jesus was resurrected and we will be united with God.
7. Jesus Christ goes back to Heaven to prepare for our union with Him there and God the Father. After Jesus rose from the dead, the Bible tells us that He spent time with many of His disciples over the next 40 days. At the end of those 40 days, He gathered with hundreds of them at the Mount of Olives and, after speaking with them for the final time, He ascended into Heaven. The Bible says in Acts 1:10, “While they [Jesus’ followers] beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” As the disciples were standing in amazement after Jesus had gone back to Heaven, two angels came to them and said, “Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” John 14:3 states, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Those are the seven highlights of the salvation story. Jesus Christ is in Heaven right now, and He wants you to accept the free gift of salvation which is only possible through Him because of what He has done as I have just explained it to you. The Bible tells us that, in Heaven, He is preparing a place for all of those who have been saved through His sacrifice on the cross. Why don’t you make sure today that one of those places is for you?
You can do so by first admitting that you are a sinner in need of a Saviour. The Bible says “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. You are not perfect, and neither am I. There is “none righteous, no, not one.”
Then, you must realize that, as I have pointed out already, the consequences of sin is physical death and eternal suffering in Hell. The Bible says, “the wages of sin is death.” James 1:15 says, “sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” After death, comes eternal punishment in a place called Hell, or the “lake of fire.” Revelation 21:8 says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second [eternal] death.”
Finally, you must realize that the only way you can be saved from your sins and the punishment of sin is through Jesus Christ. He is the perfect and holy Son of God who came to earth, lived a righteous life, and suffered punishment on our behalf. He died a cruel death on the cross, was buried, but rose again. Because of His resurrection, He is the only One who can guarantee us eternal life after death. However, we must believe on Him in order for this possibility to be a reality. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
The Bible also tells us in Romans 10:9 and 13: “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.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” It can’t be made any clearer than that. All of those who are “saved” are made righteous before God and will be a part of the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” in Heaven at the end of time.
If you want to be saved right now, please pray a short prayer to let God know that you are making this all-important decision. Just repeat after me and mean it from your heart.
Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I realize that I deserve eternal punishment for my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today and forever so that I can have your peace and assurance about my life today and my eternal future. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.”
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!