How to have a relationship with God...
God is our Creator. He made man in His image and after His likeness. He is the absolute ruler over all He has made and has the ultimate prerogative to command man. God’s greatest commandments are these. To love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and might; and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Every action of man that is in agreement with these commandments is decreed by Him to be righteous, and every action of man that is in discord with these commandments is called sin. So long as man obeyed His commandments, he enjoyed wonderful favor and fellowship with his Creator. God warned Man not to sin, and that if he did, death would come into the world. But man did not heed God’s Word. He disobeyed his Creator and sinned against God. Therefore death has come upon all mankind.
God is Holy. The word holy means wholly separated from sin. Sin refers to any act that is contrary to the nature of God, or, in other words, any act that is not good, just, righteous, and loving. He gave us His law to make sin manifest to us. He revealed Himself and His will to us through His Word which teaches us His righteousness. Therefore, any act that is contrary to His revealed Word is sin. Man is sinful. This means two things. First, it means that man’s nature is contrary to God’s nature. Second, because God is Holy, and separated from sin, it means that man is eternally separated from God.
God is Just. Remember that sin is any act contrary to the nature of God; that is, contrary to Love, Light, Righteousness, Justice, and Good. God has revealed to us that it is the nature of sin to prey upon the innocent. This means God cannot tolerate sin in His creation. Jesus said, If ye die in your sins, whither I am, thither ye cannot come. He is in Heaven. No one can enter into Heaven if he or she dies in sin. How to have your sins forgiven, and receive the salvation of God from His wrath against sin is explained under the topic headings below.
What the Bible teaches about having a home in Heaven...
There are big questions that haunt all of us. What happens when I die? Where will I spend eternity? The single most important question that you will ever answer is this – “If I were to die today, would I spend eternity in Heaven with God?” Your relationship with Jesus Christ is central to the answer to that question.
The Bible tells us in I John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life…” The simple truth is God wants you to know where you’re going!
The Bible is very clear that we all have a huge problem called sin. Romans 3:23 says it this way, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” According to the Bible, sin is the transgression of God’s Law. When we act contrary to the Law of God, we have sinned. The Bible says, “All unrighteousness is sin” (I John 5:17a), but it also says, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). We are not judged by our standards of right and wrong, we are judged by God’s standard of what is right and what is wrong. We cannot save ourselves by our own righteousness (Titus 3:5). Are you willing to admit that you are a sinner and that you cannot save yourself by your own righteousness?
The problem is this – sin has a high price tag…
Romans 6:23a says, “For the wages of sin is death…” Death does not mean the cessation of our existence; it means our soul has been separated from our body. In Genesis 35:18, death is described for us when it says, “her soul was in departing for she died.” And in Luke 16:19, Jesus speaks of a man who died and was buried, but then in Hell, he lifted up his eyes being in torment. In other words, death is when our soul separates from our body, and after it leaves the body, it goes on either in Heaven or in Hell. God will not allow any sin in Heaven. Actually, I’m glad for that; look at what sin has done to mankind on earth. However, that means if you die in your sin, you cannot go into Heaven. Where will you go? According to the Bible, those who die in their sin go to a place that is called Hell. Jesus described Hell as a place of fiery torment (Luke 16:22-24). He said it is a place where “the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43-48). What does that mean, “the worm diet not”? Man has a soul, and when he dies, the soul leaves the body (Genesis 35:18). God refers to man in his sinful condition as a worm (Isaiah 41:14). In fact, when Jesus died for our sins and was made to “be sin for us” (II Corinthians 5:21), while on the Cross He cried, “I am a worm and no man” (Psalm 22:6). On the Cross, He became a “worm” like us. When the sinful soul leaves the body it is a “worm that dieth not,” but writhes in the agony of Hell’s fire awaiting its final judgment. That final judgment takes place at the end when all the dead are made to stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). At that time, you will be judged for all your individual sins and cast into the Lake of Fire where that “worm that dieth not” will suffer for eternity. Why? Because God gave you a soul, and that soul (life) goes on forever either in Heaven or in Hell. It cannot go to Heaven if it dies (separates from its body) in sin, but it must go somewhere. God prepared a place for departed sinful souls to go where their sin will never spread throughout His creation, where it can never hurt another innocent person ever again. That place is called the Lake of Fire. God does not want you to go there. That’s why He sent His Son to pay the wages of sin, death, on your behalf. Because if you die in your sin, you will be cast into Hell. Please continue so you can learn how to avoid going to Hell.
The Good News!
God sent help! The rest of Romans 6:23 says, “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Again in Romans 5:8, God says, “But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!” Because Jesus died for our sins, and not for His own, because, in fact, He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15), death and Hell could not hold Him in the grave. He was given the power (the right, and the authority) to lay down His life, and to take it up again (John 10:17). Exactly as He prophesied, He died on the Cross for our sins, but three days later, He arose from the grave (Romans 1:3; I Corinthians 15:1-3). So Jesus paid your sin debt, and by His righteousness earned eternal life. The really good news is this. Jesus offers to give you eternal life as a free gift, purchased by Him, and given to you freely. Please continue reading to learn how you can receive the free gift of eternal life. This leads us to the second step.
You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ! Who is He? Jesus Christ came to earth as God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14; I Timothy 3:16), lived a perfect life (Hebrews 4:15), and then voluntarily died on a cross because He loves you (I Corinthians 15:1-3; Romans 5:8-9). On the Cross, He literally paid for all of your sins. He took your blame! He accepted the punishment of God in your place. And now He offers to give you His eternal life. How? You received human life when you were birthed to your human parents. That life was tainted with sin. According to the Bible, when you receive Jesus Christ, He gives you the power to become a child of God, with God’s life in you (John 1:10-13). God’s life is eternal. What a great gift!
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.” God, in His awesome love, came to earth to make a way for you to be forgiven of your sins and given eternal life!
How to receive Jesus Christ, Our Personal Savior!
You must repent and believe on Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of sins (Luke 24:47).
God has commanded all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30)! To repent means that being sorry for your sins, you turn to God to be delivered from the judgment you know you deserve. When you repent, you acknowledge that you are a sinner, deserving of condemnation, and yielding to the judgment of God you call on Him for mercy.
Second, you must by faith receive the remission of sins. Remission is like remittance, it refers to a payment made in full. Jesus paid your debt to God in full, and you must by faith accept this as true, and receive that remission Jesus secured on your behalf.
Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Jesus is Lord! That means you acknowledge that He is the ultimate authority in all creation and your Master. He said, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” (John 13:13). You must surrender to Jesus’ claim to be Lord overall. You must confess He is Lord, and you must believe that He arose from the dead.
Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.” By faith in Christ’s death for you on the Cross and His resurrection from the dead, God grants His righteousness to be put on your account. He rewards faith, not works: “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” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
And Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” In verse ten of that same chapter God says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.” He says it’s as simple as believing and receiving! It’s as simple as calling on His Name. You cry out to Jesus Christ in humble repentance, confessing He is Lord and asking Him for His forgiveness—but you must ask, believing, trusting that He will do what He promised. What did He promise? He promised He would save you if you will call on His Name.
Do you confess Jesus is Lord? Will you obey His command to repent and believe in Him? Do it right now. Bow your head in prayer and confess Jesus is Lord, declare your belief that He arose from the dead, and call on Him to forgive you now. After you have done this, offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for His salvation.
Did you do it? I hope you did. You’ll never regret it if you did, but you will regret it for eternity if you did not! If you have just repented and believed in Christ, then we would like to know about your decision and give you a Bible and some other materials to help you learn more about that new relationship! Give us a call at (805) 347-9887 and let us know today! Or write to us at Lighthouse Baptist Church, 1310 W. Betteravia Road, Santa Maria, CA 93455. Or go to the Contact Us page and send us an email.
If you have not already listened to the two sermons posted at the top of this page, I recommend you do so.