Your Anchor

Thu, Mar 25, 2010

Christian Marriage

Have you once and for all settled the question, do you belong to God?  Are you going to Heaven?  Are you a child of God? Is Jesus Christ really your personal Lord, Savior, and Master? Who is your anchor in life? When all else fails you, will your anchor also fail you?  When others betray and lie to you, will your anchor do likewise? Consider the following questions in light of what the Bible says:

1. Where did you come from?

  • God loves you and created you to know Him personally. He is loving and true and would never lie to you.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.  (John 3:16)

“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”  (John 17:3)

  • The One True God of the Bible who loves you, formed you in your mother’s womb.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”    (Psalm 139:13,14) 2.   

2. If God has created you and loves you, what is preventing you from knowing Him intimately?

God wants to give you a fresh start.  A clean slate is just a prayer away.

  • You are sinful and separated from God, so you cannot know Him intimately or experience His saving, keeping, and protecting love.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”    (Romans 3:23) “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”   (Romans 6:23)

  • Just as fire and gasoline cannot be together, those who have the stain of sin can never be in the presence of a holy, sinless, and perfect God.

“our God is holy.” (Psalm 99:9b) “the stain of your guilt is still before me,” (Jeremiah 2:22b)

  • You must be pardoned. Your sin must be forever washed away.
  • God created man to have fellowship with Him, but due to his own stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent, selfish way, and fellowship was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

your anchor God is holy and man is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that man is continually trying to reach God and establish a personal relationship with Him through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion— but he inevitably fails.

3. If there were only One Way to bridge this gulf, would you want to know it?  

In 1830, George Wilson was tried by the U.S. court in Philadelphia for robbery and murder and was sentenced to hang. Andrew Jackson, President of the United States, granted him a presidential pardon. But Wilson refused the pardon, insisting it was not a pardon unless he accepted it. The question was brought before the U. S. Supreme Court, and Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the following decision: “A pardon is a paper, the value of which depends upon its acceptance by the person implicated. It’s hardly to be supposed that one under sentence of death would refuse to accept a pardon, but if it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must hang.” What was the outcome? George Wilson was hanged.¹

 

  • Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him alone we can know God intimately, be fully pardoned for our sin, and experience His unconditional love.

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”     (Acts 4:12)

  • He died in our place and rose from the dead.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:8)

“Christ died for our sins…He was buried…He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. He appeared  to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred.”        (1Corinthians 15:3-6)

  • He is the only way to God.

your anchor bridge This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ. He chose to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

  • Those who love darkness, reject Christ, and refuse His free offer of forgiveness and new life will perish. They will be eternally condemned for their sins. The wrath of God will fall on them.

“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”     (2Thessalonians 7: 10b-12) 4.   

4. What must occur in order for you to be saved from your sins and eternal death and be assured of complete forgiveness and Heaven?

  • You must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Then you can know God personally and experience His love.
  • You must receive Christ.   {Gladly welcome Him}

“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”         (John 1:12)

  • You receive Christ by faith.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)

If someone were to say, “I hope to get to heaven because I’m a pretty good person”.  “I’m hoping the good outweighs the bad”.  How would you respond to this person?

  • When you receive Christ, you experience a New Birth. {Read John 3:1-8 if time permits}
  • You receive Christ by personal invitation.

[Christ speaking] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in…”        (Revelation 3:20    N.K.J.V.)

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from sin and self-rule (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Christ by faith, as an act of our will.

  • When you receive Christ, a Great Exchange occurs instantly!

First: Jesus takes all of your past, present, and future sin, condemnation and guilt away. Back on that Cross, Jesus removed your sins and placed them on Himself. He was crucified, became guilty on your behalf, and was condemned. He then suffered torment in Hell so you would not have to. He freed you from the penalty and power of sin.

Second: In exchange, Jesus gives you His righteousness and His life. You are forgiven, unable to be condemned, holy, blameless, pure, and forever innocent of all charges. You have eternal life. God, the Father, now sees you holy and perfect. He loves you the same as He loves Jesus. This exchange is irrevocable. It is finished!

“I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10) 5.   

5. Would you like to receive Christ right now by faith through prayer?

The following is a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You. I want to be assured of going to Heaven when I die.   I also want to know You personally.

Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving me of my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

  • Remember: Jesus is now in your life. You belong to Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. You are God’s own son or daughter. The Bible promises eternal life to all who receive Christ.

Heaven is your new home!

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:11-13)

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”           (John 10:27-29)

What comfort and assurance is God giving you right now?

1.    Please read the following verses out loud.

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:37-39)

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”         (Romans 8:38,39)

What doubts might you still have concerning your assurance of your salvation and your eternal security? If you were to die tonight, how assured are you of going straight to Heaven?

0%—————25%————–50%————–75%————–100%

2.    Work on memorizing the following definition of Faith. This is the same definition discussed in other chapters of this book. Then discuss it and apply this faith principle to your assurance of being forgiven and going to Heaven someday.

“Faith is choosing to live as though the Bible is true, regardless of circumstances, emotions, or cultural trends.”


Endnote

1 destined for security, “Session 1: Can You Be Secure in Your Relationship with God,”  pages 13-14, Life Builders, Campus Crusade for Christ, 2003

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