Before the foundations of the earth were laid, God made provisions that would enable Man to live with Him for eternity. We started out in a sinless world, in which God and man could dwell with one another. However, sin entered the world through Adam, and we are still experiencing consequences of that action.
The birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are foreshadowed and foretold from the book of Genesis until His resurrection a little less than 2000 years ago. The Old Testament of the Bible is a fascinating account of God and Man. The nature of each is described, defined, and detailed as you read of the history of mankind and of the nation of Israel specifically.
Many believe the God of the Old Testament is a God of "wrath". If you read the books that comprise the Old Testament , you will discover that his mercy and love were just as abundant then as is found in the New Testament. And, if you honestly read the New Testament, you will find His wrath here as well as in the Old.
As we've gone through our life, we've learned how accurate a representation of our nature is found through accounts written about people centuries ago. We see the steadfast, never changing character of a Holy God. And we see him rejected over and over again by a nation He repeatedly rescues from one problem or another.
Yet, in spite of this rejection, God established a means by which we can enjoy being together for eternity.
A sacrifice was needed to cover the sin that has separated us since sin entered the world in the Garden of Eden.
Jesus was that sacrifice and although He is God, He took the body of a mortal man, subjected Himself to live among us as a humble carpenter, and told us all about Himself....about His Father.....and about us.
He described in detail what we are like, and then what we should be and could be like. He told us where He came from...why He came....where He was going... and that He was coming back.
He told of His Father's and His own great love for us....and that not all of us would love Him.
He completed His mission on earth by dying a brutal death, lying in a tomb for 3 days, and then taking up His life again and vanquishing death.
He stayed around for about 40 days to talk to us and explain again scriptures that foretold everything that just happened. Then he gave a few more directives and returned to heaven, scarred body and all.
He didn't abandon his friends, though. He sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to live inside of all who trusted and put their hope in him.
The ones who were His closest friends while he was on the earth gathered together and encouraged each other. They told others about Him and many came to believe in His name. They sent letters to one another, many of which became what we know as the New Testament.
God arranged for us to have a written account of what he wants us to know about
Himself. We know of these writings collectively as the Bible. It is God's way
insuring that we will always have an accurate account of Him and His Son, Jesus
It details what He expects of us, and what we can expect of Him.
He started doing this with Moses (remember the 10 commandments) and
continued up until the time John wrote the Book of Revelation. This book goes
into great detail about the end of our world as we know it and the beginning of
the world as I want to know it.
This is what we call the 'good news'. However, in order for there to be good news for mankind, we must realize the state we are in without Christ. That is the 'bad news'. We are born with a sinful nature. We are born at enmity with God. We all transgress God's laws, most of us on a daily basis. As a God of justice, He cannot just overlook those transgressions, or that enmity. A day of judgment is coming where we all will stand individually before the God of the Universe, and he will proclaim judgment on us. If we belong to Christ, we will be spared the wrath that would have fallen on us because Christ paid for our transgressions at the cross. If however, we do not have the blood of Christ to cover us for our sins, we will have to bear the punishment ourselves. Everyone who has not chosen Christ in this life will be cast into the lake of fire for eternity.
In order to be reunited to God Almighty, we all must first repent of our sins. This means to recognize our sinful nature, to acknowledge our sinfulness, and to turn away from the paths we have followed before.
We must then acknowledge Jesus Christ as the only Son of the Living God, and submit our entire being to his love, mercy, and authority. We must learn the Scriptures to know what the truths that Christ taught are, and then we must follow them diligently.
When we submit ourselves to Him, He is gracious to give us the power to overcome the sins in our lives, and to keep the commands he has set forth in love for us.
It is our hope that those of you who know Christ and read this, will be encouraged in your walk with him. It is our prayer that those of you who do not know Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord will recognize the perilous position you are in, and will turn to the only hope there is for reconciliation with God Almighty, His one and only Son, Jesus Christ.