Tempering Truth with Love (Ephesians 4:15)
THE BAD NEWS - “GUILTY” - THE VERDICT HAS ALREADY BEEN GIVEN
In order to get “right” with God, you must first understand what is “wrong.” What is wrong is that you are guilty of sinning against God Himself, and, because you have a conscience, you have sinned "with knowledge." Every time you sinned, you knew it was wrong. The Bible says you are an “enemy of God in your mind through wicked works" (Col 1:21). Since you are guilty, God says the penalty for sin is death (eternal hell).
You might be thinking, “My sins are insignificant in comparison to the sins of criminals who make the news.”
The problem with this kind of reasoning is that God’s standard for judging is different than ours. We grade on a curve, He does NOT. We compare ourselves with others, but God doesn't judge that way. His measuring stick is His perfect law – the Ten (10) Commandments.
You might be thinking, “I know I am not perfect, my goodness outweighs my bad, I know I am a good person.”
Are you a good person?
Just how good of a person are you?
Have you ever stolen anything? (A candy).
Have you ever told a white lie?
Have you ever looked at a woman lustfully?
Have you ever used God’s name as a “cuss” word?
What does that make you in God’s eyes?
A thief, liar, an adulterer, and a blasphemer.
These are just four of the Ten Commandments, and if you break just one of them you’ll be found guilty (James 2:10). You don't need to go too far down the list of the Ten Commandments to learn you have broken all of God’s Commandments and are guilty of sin.
Think about this: If you sin just 5 sins a day (having a bad thought is a sin), and die at the age of 60, you would have committed: 5 (sins) X 60 (years) = 109,500 sins. These are sins of commission.
How about sins of omission? James 4:17 says, "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."
If sins of commission are sinful acts, then sins of omission are acts left undone that God expects us to do. In other words, you can lock yourself at home 24/7 and still be guilty of committing sins of omission (ex: not feeding the poor). How many sins of omission do you commit each day? Let's say 5 sins a day (a very conservative number). That's another 109,500 sins for a total of 219,000 sins.
How many sins does it take to keep you out of heaven? ONE! You committed your first sin when you were conceived because you inherited Adam and Eve's sinful nature. It's not like you had to be born first then commit your first sin. You already committed your first sin when you were conceived. "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me" (Psalm 51:5).
Can you see your predicament?
Perhaps you’re thinking, “Well God is a God of mercy and love and would never send me to hell.” Well, you are right in that God is a God of mercy and love, but He also is a God of Justice. What if a criminal is found guilty, would you be outraged if a merciful and loving judge turned a blind eye to injustice and sets the criminal free? Absolutely! Such a Judge would be considered corrupt. If a human judge is required to punish law-breakers because of justice, how much more must the Just and Holy Judge of the universe punish every sin?
THE BAD NEWS IS THE VERDICT HAS ALREADY BEEN GIVEN - "GUILTY."
THE GOOD NEWS – “JESUS CHRIST” - THE SENTENCE HAS NOT YET BEEN EXECUTED.
Even though your guilty verdict has already been given, the sentence has not yet been executed. Why? Because God is patient and long-suffering, and continues to call you to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
The sentence will be executed the second you die, or the second Jesus comes back; whichever comes first.
Salvation is a gift from God. The Bible teaches that man can do nothing to beg, borrow, steal, buy, earn or pay his way into heaven. Man, a slave to the sin nature he was born with, must look outside of himself for help. Jesus Christ, God of the Universe became a man, suffered and died on the cross for all your sins and mine so that we could be set free. He then rose from the dead on the third day to be your Lord and Savior. We broke God's law, yet He paid our fine.
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Cor 5:21
God is commanding you to repent and surrender your life to Jesus Christ who alone can save you.
"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19
Get right with God. Come before God and pray something like this:
‘God be merciful to me a sinner. God be merciful to me on the basis of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. I know I am a sinner. I know that I cannot save myself. I am broken over my sins and mourn over my sins. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He died on the cross for my sins. I believe He rose from the dead on the third day. I confess I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Lord Jesus, I repent and ask you to come into my heart and save me now. Please give me a brand-new life and forgive me of all my sins. I receive You now by faith as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus' name, Amen.’
As you pray this prayer, God looks at the attitude of your heart.
He will transform you from the inside out.