There are many people, who over the course of their life, meet an individual who has claimed to be a Christian—who has exhibited behavior that is contrary to their particular belief, and caused other people to discount God altogether.
An enduring fact of life is that one of the leading causes of atheism is Christianity. Not that Jesus is the point of stumbling, but rather those who claim to follow him. Many people attribute the behavior of a person to the character of the God they claim to believe in. Forgetting that the Christian Gospel clearly declares that Jesus came into the world to save “sinners,” not the righteous. It is the very worst of the world that Jesus is most appealing to. The Christian life in following Jesus is frequently imperfect and lacking the basic qualities of love, patience, humility, and forgiveness. Those who are trying to follow Jesus will never be perfect in this life, although they should endeavor, constantly, to be more like Jesus in all their behavior.
It should also be understood that many people who take the name of “Christian,” are frauds. For reasons of personal financial gain or to achieve a position of authority or power, many individuals will label themselves a follower of Christ, without this fact being true.
It should be understood that the person of Christ is perfect in every way. Those who have taken the time to personally explore the words and actions of Jesus are always amazed at who He is. There has never been another human being who so perfectly illustrates the desirable qualities that most all human beings admire, respect, and desire for their own lives. Jesus is not like those who follow Him, who are often imperfect and a very poor representation of Him. Jesus is always perfect in every way. No one who has ever sought to follow Him, has ever been disappointed with Him.
See the article: “God is not a Christian.”
Jesus condemned religious hypocrisy
One of the most scathing accusations by Jesus against the scribes and the Pharisees, was the declaration that they were false teachers, who led the people away from God. On the outside, these men appeared perfect; while on the inside, their hearts served only their own personal agenda. Jesus’ entire indictment against the scribes and Pharisees is included in the text from Matthew 23:13-39. See Prophecy 340.
Jesus pronounces eight “Woes” upon the religious leaders in Israel.
1. Verse 13, Preventing people from finding salvation by false teaching.
2. Verse 14, Taking advantage of helpless people and pretending to be holy.
3. Verse 15, Leading people into damnation by failing to give them the truth.
4. Verses 16-22, Misleading by religious ritual, instead of simple worship of God.
5. Verses 23-24, Following the letter of the Law, without understanding the purpose of the law: Mercy, Justice, Faith.
6. Verses 25-26, Appearing externally to be righteous, while internally having a heart that is evil and corrupt.
7. Verses 27 and 28, Again, appearing to be good outwardly; while inside the heart, they were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
8. Verses 29-37, Honoring the prophets of old by monuments, while killing them when they brought charges against the sins of their religious leaders.
Because of Jesus’ open indictment against the leaders of the Sanhedrin, they had become fearful that the people might remove them from their great positions of authority. These men had become rich because of their titles, as well as the achievement of great honor in the community. In this, we can see that the true motivation of the members of the Sanhedrin was to silence Jesus, in order to protect their careers, incomes, and status.
The false religious leaders of Israel chose to kill Jesus in an effort to silence Him, rather than change their own behavior and be the men they should have been all along. It is a fact of fallen human nature that we will often deflect our own inefficiencies and sins away from ourselves and place guilt and condemnation upon another—rather than humble ourselves and change our heart.
Christians who are a poor example of Christ
In the early 70’s there was a movement in the Christian church which was referred to as “The Jesus People.” Young people in southern California were tired of the empty materialism of the world and the false sense of security promised by humanists. They began to search for something more. A life which brought true joy and satisfaction—whether a person was rich or poor. We were searching for true love and the genuine meaning of life. We found the answers to our questions, in Jesus Christ. A man by the name of Chuck Smith was beginning a small church in Costa Mesa Californian, where he was teaching through the entire Bible. As young men and women began to hear the entirety of God’s word, they discovered the uniqueness of Jesus life. They found that He was so much different from any other man who has lived on the earth. Jesus claimed to be God and the only Savior of the world. He supported His assertions by allowing evil men to put Him to death on a Roman cross. He promised, before He was killed, that on the third day—He would rise again from the dead. Jesus claimed that His resurrection would prove that He is God, with power to raise all this who believe in Him for their Salvation.
Why true Christianity is different from all other religions
The foundation of the Christian faith is the resurrection. If Jesus did not raise from the dead, then we are all still in our sins, and we have no hope of eternal life. All of the claims that Jesus made and every good work that He has done—rest on the confidence of His resurrection. Jesus claimed to be God and the Creator of all things. Everything that He said and did are contingent on whether or not He actually rose from the dead on the third day after He was crucified.
This is why God made absolutely sure that we would have not only a solid New Testament basis for the facts of the resurrection but also a foundation from the Old Testament, where He told us by many prophecies that the Messiah would rise.
There is no other religion, or religious leader, who can prove that they rose from the dead and never died again. There are a few examples of people who are documented by medical experts to have risen from the dead. In every case where a person is describes a coming back from the dead, at some point in the future, they died once again. Only Jesus rose, never to die again, having defeated death forever.
Today, some critics of the authenticity of the gospel accounts of Jesus resurrection, claim that scholars today know for certain that the events of the resurrection did not happen. They base their claims on diaphanous evidence that cannot be fully proven. Of course people claim that the resurrection did not happen, if it did, then the whole world has a serious dilemma. Does any reasonable person really believe that critical judgements by scholars today carry greater weight or credibility than the testimony of men who witnessed and recorded the actual events which took place during Jesus death and resurrection? What more would anyone expect if a man had been crucified and then three days later He was seen walking in the midst of those who watched Him die, eating, and conversing with people—while discussing His death and resurrection? Of course people scrambled to write down what they had witnessed, so that every generation after Jesus rose from the dead would know the truth.
Jesus rose from the dead, this is a settled matter of the historical record and no scholar has ever been able to successfully impeach the testimony of the writers of the New Testament.
According to scholars today, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is a historical fact.
“Accordingly, if all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable, according to the canons of historical research, to conclude that the sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea, in which Jesus was buried, was actually empty on the morning of the first Easter. And no thread of evidence has yet been discovered in literary sources, epigraphy, or archaeology that would disprove this statement.”
The Christian Gospels testifying of Jesus’ resurrection are considered by the most credible scholars of all ages to be the most authenticated event in all of ancient history. We must remember that the four Gospels are not merely religious documents, but authentic testimony by those who later gave their lives in defense of what they had seen—with their own eyes.
See the article: The Certainty of the Resurrection
Jesus is different than all other religious leaders
Jesus lived a life of purity and holiness. He was kind, generous, patient, and intelligent. Jesus loved people and God in a way that had never before—been exhibited by any man.
Jesus commanded those who would follow Him that they should also imitate Him in all their own character and behavior. He said that when people see that we have become like Him in our words and actions, people would be drawn to Him. The Christian church began to take the followers of Jesus through the New Testament where it was taught: you are following Jesus—now show that you are truly His follower by exhibiting the same type of behavior and words that He exhibited for the world. If you cannot, or will not do this—then just stop referring to yourself as a “Christian.”
Those who claim to be followers of Jesus, today, have left behind a plague of bad examples that the world sees as hypocritical, phony, and distasteful. I don’t know presently, that if I should be searching for answers in my life, that by the examples I see today, of those who claim to know God by Jesus Christ—that I would become one of His followers.
People are leaving the Christian church today in astonishing numbers, because of the behavior of those who claim to follow Jesus. Some Pastors committing adultery, others—full of pride and arrogance. Leaders in the church who are mean spirited, lacking care and concern, for the very people whom they are supposed to be helping. There are many organizations today who place themselves under the label of “Christian,” who do so primarily for financial gain.
No wonder that the world is full of angry young people who write and speak in great opposition to God, the Bible, and those who claim to follow religion.
In a recent survey by the Pew Institute Center, the age group of the largest percentage of atheists, is: 18-29. Many of these young people have grown up in Christian churches and have seen the hypocrisy of those who claim to believe in God.
Unless Jesus does return soon, there may not be many true followers of Jesus, who genuinely are like Him—in future years. The Lord knows that I have such a very long way myself in becoming more like Jesus. I am a most fallible man who has often transgressed the Lord—who I claim to love. I must constantly work on my own heart and seek to be a good example of Jesus, to whom I have followed for most of my life.
If you are one who has been harmed by Christianity—please forgive the foolishness of our errors. Go back and look at Jesus and you will find that He is far superior to any religion of man. He will love you unconditionally and help you with your life. He begins His greatest work at the moment any person simply calls on His name and says: “Lord Jesus, please help me…”
Please do not allow someone who is a poor example of a follower of Jesus—stop you from apprehending the most wonderful gift you will ever receive. Everyone of those whom I have had the privilege of leading to Jesus, have told me later that their one regret is that they did not come to Him earlier in their life.
I too am very disappointed in the manner in which some people represent Jesus. I know that He is not like the people who often fail in portraying Him. I understand that they are just human beings, and continue to need a Savior, even after they surrender their lives to Him. I try to be as patient with people, as Jesus has been with me and love those who are often very hard to love—because He has loved me so fully and unconditionally.
Jesus taught by the use of Parables, important truths regarding the nature of man and those who often claim to be His followers. In the Parables of the Tares and the Dishonest Manger, Jesus reveals that within the Christian church, there will be pretend and false believers.
2. The Tares
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Matthew 13:24-30 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
Within the church, there will be pretend believers. These false followers of Jesus are placed in the church by satan. The certainty of their commitment to Christ cannot correctly be discerned by the other members in the church. Struggles with sin and ongoing failures are not necessarily an indication of a false or insincere commitment to Christ. It is not the place of the church members to uproot these supposedly false believers, but to love them and allow the Lord, at His return, to determine whether they are genuine or not. Jesus alone will have the right to tear out these Tares or Weeds and burn them.
24. The Dishonest Manager
Luke 16:1-9 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’ Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’ So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.”
If you read the various commentaries written by very astute and scholarly men on this parable, you will see that they are perplexed and confused by the language of the text. If we attribute this parable to the saved as the stewards of Jesus who are given certain positions of responsibility while here on the earth, a correct understanding becomes difficult when we arrive at, So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly (good judgement).
First, it should be understood that in this parable, Jesus is not condoning the behavior of the unjust servant. He is simply acknowledging that like those in the world, this steward is cunning and intelligent in business. Notice the contrast in words, for the sons of this world are more shrewd… than the sons of light. By this statement, we should understand that the steward who is the topic of this Parable, is a “son of this world.”
For this reason, it is not likely that this unjust steward is one who has been Born Again. This steward may perhaps be pretending to be a son of light; but by his unjust actions, his true nature is revealed. It is certain that Jesus would encourage us, who are the sons of light, to be wise in all our business dealings and the management of our resources and finances. We should be as wise as the unjust servants, but as honest and pure as a true son or daughter of the Most High God.
You can see all of the Parables which Jesus taught HERE.
The heart of God’s law: Mercy
On every occasion when a person came to Jesus with a great need, He always showed them mercy. We see this vividly illustrated with the woman caught in the act of adultery, in John 8:3-11. Though the law clearly called for her and the man to be stoned to death, Jesus drove away all her accusers and showed great mercy to her.
When the two blind men, in Matthew 9:27-30, asked Jesus for mercy, He touched their eyes and restored their sight.
Jesus constantly reminded the Scribes and the Pharisees that the heart of God’s law was mercy. Even when His own disciples broke the law of the Sabbath and harvested grain as they walked through a wheat field, Jesus did not condemn them, since their need for mercy was greater than the law.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy and not sacrifice…
Jesus never lowered the requirements of the Law of God, He showed us what its true purpose was. All of God’s law was designed to benefit man and be a blessing, not to prevent us from obtaining the necessities of our life. If you have a need, you can be confident that Jesus is able to meet that requirement. If you have sinned and feel that you cannot possibly be forgiven, Jesus will forgive you. The forgiveness that He offers is not a temporary relief from guilt but a total cleaning of the conscience and absolute peace for the soul.
In the future earthly kingdom in which Jesus will rule, no one will hurt or kill anyone ever again. There will be universal justice, fairness and righteousness over the whole earth. Jesus’ authority will be absolute and final, and no one will have the ability to take peace or righteousness from the earth ever again.
If you have not understood who Jesus is: Go and learn
Whenever the Rabbis were teaching their students and it was apparent that a student was missing the true meaning of a verse, the Rabbi would say: “Go and learn.” What he meant by this was that the student needed further study to gain the true intent of that particular scripture. Jesus may have been a little sarcastic in His remarks to the Pharisees who were often void of all understanding when it came to the word of God and how to rightly apply it to a given situation.
Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
In the Hebrew language, mercy is hesed, which is “love by covenant.” It is a love which is exercised in the real and practical terms of action towards another person. If someone is hungry, mercy is shown to that person and we give them food. Unlike the Pharisaical law of the Sabbath, no matter what day it is, a hungry person is given food. A person caught in a terrible abusive marriage does not need the pastor’s recitation of the divorce and adultery clause of the law; that person needs mercy. A woman caught in the act of adultery, with a large group of stone throwing angry men, does not need a lecture on adultery. Someone needs to save her from the horde who is seeking to take her life. After the mob is gone, Jesus tells the woman that she is not to sin in this regard again.
This verse that Jesus quotes from, in Matthew 9:13 above, was spoken by the prophet Hosea (6:6). It was addressed to those who were pretending to love God by rituals but had no true heart in following after Him. By using this verse in the presence of the Pharisees: “Go and learn,” Jesus may have been implying that they were the very same people whom Hosea was addressing in his condemnation of the Hypocrisy of certain people during Hosea’s ministry. Those who heard Hosea’s words were like the Pharisees who were concerned with only the outward appearance and the external keeping of the law. They had neglected the more important matter: a changed heart, which should always comes first.
We can lead people closer to God by our kindness and mercy or we can push them away by our self righteousness and condemnation. What most people need during a time a distress is our mercy. Show love and be kind and you will find that people will respond to the love of God which transcends all human failure.
Christians and War
The world cries out for “Peace.” In all the history of man upon the earth, there has never been a sustained period of time in which peace reigned.
In the last 3,000 years of man’s recorded history, there has only been 286 years without a war. There have been over 15,000 wars resulting in 4 billion deaths.
There has never been Peace on the earth, and there never will be until the Prince of Peace comes to rule the world. When the Messiah arrives, He will come for the express purpose of making peace for man.
For the humanist, materialist, and non-theist, this record is a stunning indictment upon the premise that man is evolving into a more civilized and peaceful species. In fact, the opposite is true. As time progresses, men simply develop more creative ways to kill other men. The Biblical view of man as a fallen being, who is incapable of peace, is precisely what the evidence validates. Unless God intervenes in the history of mankind, we would certainly annihilate our species and destroy the earth.
Even more distressing are the wars which were cause by those who claim to be Christian, or members of other religions. The record of the Christian church during its 2,000 year history, is inexcusable. We must understand that Jesus did not command His followers to take up arms and threaten or kill those who refused to convert to Christianity. These unlawful, unjust actions took place as a result of corrupt and evil men from within the Christian church who approved and orchestrated these immoral actions. In the Christian church, to the present day, there are frauds who take the name of Christ, while failing to display the qualities of Christ. These people are not the true followers of Jesus Christ, and they do not represent Him, nor the church for which He died.
We should not blame Christ, or His church for the wrongful actions of evil men who took actions that were not sanctioned by Jesus, nor did He ever instruct anyone to carry out. The Christian church wins people to Christ by love, not force. Jesus was very clear about the manner in which the people who follow Him, should conduct themselves:
Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…
Luke 6:28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The fact that men pretend to take up the title of “Christian,” while never intending to emulate the true character and behavior of a Christian–using this title for evil purposes, is great evidence to make the case that all men need a Savior. Evil men will even use what is Holy to perpetrate their evil deeds.
If we will examine the person of Jesus Christ, and the words that He spoke, we will see that He did not sanction any of these wars.
On earth, today, before anyone can find true peace, their sins must be dealt with. Our sins have separated us from God. Jesus provided an effective solution, by removing all sins and offering each person the opportunity to have their relationship with God restored. Without Jesus sacrifice, we will remain under the condemnation of God and experience a future judgement for those sins,
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
1 John 2:12 I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for Jesus name’s sake.
John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
First, we must find peace with God. This is accomplished by coming to God in faith that Jesus death and resurrection can remove all our sins and restore our relationship with God.
Second, we find peace with other men, by experiencing a new spiritual life—having come into this new relationship with Jesus, and learning the principles He taught. We accomplish this new life as we are directed by the Spirit of God—where love is the primary characteristic of our life.
The reason that wars and violence persists on the earth is that men do not live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and surrender their will to His will.
There are a nauseating group of individuals today who have claimed to once believe in—and follow Jesus, but instead have joined the perditious ranks of Judas in betraying Jesus. They write books which declare they can no longer follow Jesus. In reality, they never were His, having failed to fully commit themselves in the first place. The mark of a true believer—one who is genuinely saved—is an abiding relationship which cannot be broken permanently. The evidence of disingenuous salvation is observed by the unfaithfulness of those who once claimed to follow Jesus.
These individuals attack the Bible, Jesus Christ, and those who remain faithful to the Lord. These people are in a class of fallen who really never were saved. For if they had truly been redeemed, they would have remained. This is the ultimate test of salvation—those who remain and do not fall away indefinitely.
Matthew 10:22 …But he who endures to the end will be saved.
The spiritually blind who have not yet seen, God can heal their eyes and allow them to see, if they are willing. The spiritually dead who hear the truth, as it has been declared to them, but will not believe—there remains no other way for them to be saved.
Romans 11:22-24 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
Jesus illustration of the pretend believer:
In Matthew chapter 22, beginning at verse 2, Jesus describes a king who arranged a marriage for His Son. In this parable, God sent out many servants to first invite the Jews to believe in Jesus as the Messiah; they rejected the offer.
Verse 8 describes these individuals who were first invited as “not worthy” of salvation. Their unworthiness was not because they were not good enough, but because they rejected the kings offer.
In verse 9, the king sends our messengers again, this time to invite everyone, the bad and the good.
Finally, the king comes into the wedding feast to see the guests, He notices a man who is there who does not have on, the proper wedding attire. The king asks this man how he came to the wedding without the correct clothing. The man is unable to give an answer.
This man is a pretend believer, who has come into the church, acted like one of those who believe in Jesus as their Savior, while He never personally made a commitment to Jesus, nor genuinely believed in Him for salvation. It is the genuine article of true saving faith that becomes our garments or righteousness that makes us worthy to enter in and be saved.
The Bible describes the clothing of those who are unsaved as “filthy rags.” The idea here is that all of our attempts at being good enough for God to accept, apart from Jesus, is nothing more that soiled and smelly clothing. When we sincerely repent of our sins and honestly receive Jesus into our heart as our Lord and Savior, He gives us new clothing of righteousness.
But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. Isaiah 64:6
When we believe in Jesus for our salvation, He takes away our sins and makes us righteous.
For He made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
In the book of Revelation, we see those who have been redeemed by Jesus, as wearing the white garments of the redeemed.
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. Revelation 3:5
The man who tried to enter the wedding of the king’s Son, did not have on the garments of righteousness that are required for salvation. The reason that he had nothing to say, is that those who seek to be accepted by God, apart from Jesus sacrifice for their sins, will stand silent before God at the day of Judgement (Revelation 20:11). When John sees Jesus in heaven in chapter one of the book of Revelation, he fell at his feet as if he were dead.
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. Revelation 1:17
Those who reject Jesus as their Savior and later appear before the throne of God, will know that they are guilty and that they did not do what God had required; therefore, they will not be able to offer a valid excuse to God for their rejection of Jesus as their Savior.
Claims of “once saved,” are false
Those who claimed that they once believe in Jesus, but now are no longer able; in reality, they were only pretend believers, who had sought to enter in to the promises of God for eternal life, without wearing the garments that God requires: True repentance and acceptance of Jesus as their Savior.
It is not true that these individuals were once saved, but found reasons to not believe, and therefore no longer follow Jesus. They were not saved in the first place. Time and frustration with trying to live a Christian life, apart from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, caused them to give up and stop pretending.
Jesus and the Salvation He died to make possible
Jesus lived His life consistent with everything that He claimed about Himself. His goal was to lay down His life in one complete and perfect sacrifice for us so that we would have the opportunity to be justly forgiven and live with Him and behold His glory forever and ever. It is this knowledge that He has left with us so that we can decide whether we believe what He said or not.
Salvation is based in part, on knowledge:
The criteria that God will use to judge each one of us is our knowledge of what Jesus has said concerning sin, salvation, and eternal life.
If you have read the Bible, been to a church, or spoken to a friend who has told you that Jesus Christ is the one to whom God has chosen to reconcile the world to Himself and forgive sins, then you are responsible for what you do with that knowledge. If you chose to reject what Jesus has said, ignore His words, or pretend that you didn’t know what you were supposed to do, then you will stand before Him, with no excuse, on the day He judges your life.
Matthew 12:36-37 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
Romans 5:15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense (Adam) many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
Those who have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ are not held accountable for their lack of knowledge of the written Gospel. Their judgment is based on a seldom known and often misunderstood criteria—the internal knowledge that God has hardwired into the heart of every human being. God has created us with a knowledge of Himself so that we are without excuse.
Romans 1:20-21 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Those who have never heard the Gospel will be judged based on what they did with the internal knowledge that God has created inside their heart; the conscience that tells us that God exists and that we are all accountable to Him.
God has placed Eternity in our heart
The reason that God will not accept the excuse that we didn’t know that He exists, or what He requires, is that He created us with a knowledge that there is a God and that we are sinners in need of a Savior.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 …He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
Those who have never heard
Certain isolated tribes of people who have been found in remote corners of the world, where no outsider has ever intruded, have spoken of their knowledge that God exists and that they knew they needed a Savior. When Missionaries had finally arrived to deliver the message of Jesus Christ, the missionaries were told by these remote people that they were already aware that God exists and that they were in need of His salvation; they simply did not know His name.
These people who have been cut off from the rest of civilization for centuries and have never seen a Bible, or spoken to anyone about Jesus Christ, already knew about Him and what He requires. They knew these things because God had placed a knowledge of Himself in their hearts when He created them. These people are a law unto themselves, much like the Centurion who declared to Jesus, principles of faith that even the Jews did not have in their hearts (Matthew 8:10).
It is only in societies where there are so many attractions and distractions, that people deny they know God exists and that they are in need of the forgiveness of their sins. Nevertheless, God declares that all of us are without excuse before Him (Romans 1:20).
Those without the capacity to understand
To those who are born mentally incapacitated or who die as children, they are covered by the Grace of God through the sacrifice that Jesus has made for their sins. The mentally retarded have no knowledge of their sin, nor God’s requirement for those sins to be atoned for. Therefore, God, in His mercy, will grant them the forgiveness of their sins, in Jesus Christ, and admission into heaven.
For the rest…
There is an opportunity to hear the words of God’s Messiah today and be saved. Very soon this allotted time of grace will expire and then it will be too late. As with all great offers, they have an expiration date. The Expiration date for the forgiveness of sins and the availability of eternal life will soon come to an end. If we should die in these bodies without receiving Jesus Christ as the atonement for our sins, there will be no second chance. There is no hope of eternal life after death has occurred. God has given us the limited time of one life here on the earth to decide. The consequences of our action or inaction are determined by the decision that we make regarding Jesus, while we are alive. That decision is sealed and eternal at the moment of death.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.
There will be no reincarnation (we will die only once), soul sleep, or second chance after death. This is the day, now is the time, that God will hear us. The reward for receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is eternal life. The punishment and consequences of rejecting Jesus Christ is eternal death. Both the reward and the punishment are equal; both last forever. It is fair and just for God to make the consequences of our actions equivalent to each other, by eternal duration.
God’s Messiah has come to earth and He has made His life the One sacrifice for all of our sins. God has accepted the death that Jesus has died upon the cross, as payment in full for the sins of all people, for all time. However, this forgiveness is not credited to our account until we willingly respond to God’s offer and then continue to live the rest of our lives for Jesus.
Romans 10:8-11 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
Salvation must originate from God because man is helpless to save himself.
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight….
Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law…
Galatians 2:16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ…
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
The entire body of scripture indicates that mankind is lost in sin with no hope of redemption. Therefore, there is no work that anyone can perform that is sufficient to merit their own redemption. For this reason, unless God initiates the salvation, it is otherwise impossible. The common thought among those who are uniformed, is that human beings are basically good and that if our good works outweigh our bad, God will accept us into heaven when we die. Unfortunately, the Bible teaches the opposite; all men are sinners and therefore not good and incapable of self-redemption. This impossible state of man made action by God to initiate salvation an absolute necessity.
Under a provision carried out by God, all people could enter heaven, if they follow the requirements that God has prescribed.
First, an awareness that we are all separated from God by our sins with no hope of redemption on our part. (Romans 3:23)
Second, a sincere sorrow for the sins we have committed with an honest desire and willingness to turn from those sins. (Romans 10:9)
Third, an acceptance of Jesus sacrifice on the cross as payment for the sins we have committed, and a complete trust in Him for our salvation. (1 John 2:2, 1 John 5:12)
Fourth, a willingness to follow Jesus closely and be obedient to Him for the remainder of our life. (Luke 6:46)
Three additional requirements keep those who have been saved in fellowship with God. These three points are not required for salvation; they do however, give evidence of a new life that has been changed as a result of coming into a saving relationship with Jesus.
Fifth, when sins are committed, an immediate confession of those sins to the Lord, whereby fellowship with Him is restored. (1 John 1:9)
Sixth, a constant expectation of Jesus’ promise to return to earth at any moment. The effect of anticipating Jesus’ imminent return, is that those who believe this will seek to keep their life pure of sin so that when Jesus arrives, He will find us living for Him and be pleased. (1 John 3:3, Luke 12:42-44)
Seventh, to be a witness to others of who Jesus is, and what He has done, so as to lead as many people as possible to a saving faith. (Luke 28:19, John 4:35)
If the Messiah is not born of a virgin, He cannot be the Savior of all men.
When claims are made by individuals, churches or other organizations in which they state that their method of salvation is the only way to heaven, we should immediately be skeptical. The Bible is very specific in that there is only “one way” that God will accept us: through Jesus Christ. Salvation is not through a religion, it is through a person. God made salvation very simple for us to understand by providing one clear and definite way to be saved. Salvation is by Jesus Christ alone.
The way that we know for certain that salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ, is that only Jesus has fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the promised Messiah. Jesus Himself declared that He was the only way to heaven:
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Jesus then validated this claim by raising Himself from the dead three days after He was crucified. No other person in the history of the world has been raised to life after they have died, never to die again—except Jesus. By fulfilling all of these 365 Old Testament prophecies, you will observe for yourself that Jesus is the only person in the history of man that could be the Messiah.
The Messiah must be as the Passover Lamb, “without spot.”
The Old and New Testaments are specific in their declaration that the one to whom salvation shall come—must be perfect and without sin. The Lamb that was brought to the Passover sacrifice had to be firstborn, a male, without any defects, and he had to be offered in a very specific way.
Jesus fulfilled all of the requirements of the Passover Lamb by being firstborn, a male, without sin, and offered for our sins during the feast of Passover. He lay in the ground for three days, un-raised, fulfilling the feast of Unleavened Bread, He then rose from the dead on the feast of First Fruits. Fifty days later on the feast of Pentecost, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to all those who were assembled, and birthed His church on the Feast of Pentecost. For a detailed look at how Jesus fulfilled these seven feasts, see the chapter “The Seven Feasts of Israel”.
The Messiah must be sinless
Any human being that is born by the normal process of human reproduction is disqualified as the Messiah. The reason is that all of us are descended from Adam who was the first sinner. Just as we all inherit the genetic material of our father and mother, we also inherit the sin nature of Adam as it has been passed down from generation to generation.
Every human being is born with this fatal moral defect. We seem to understand what is right and what is wrong, but find that it is nearly impossible to do right on a consistent basis. More often than not, we choose the wrong—very often—because it is the most attractive to us.
We have many days when we do right things. We also have many more moments of selfishness, deceit, anger, a desire for revenge, jealousy, malice and lust. No matter how hard we may try, we cannot be truly good on a permanent basis. It is for this purpose that that Messiah came: to rid us of this curse of imperfection. First He must remove our record of past sins. Then He must make us perfect forever so that we do not ever have another sin attached to our record.
Because the Messiah is described as sinless, and eternal, He has the power and the right to pay for our sins, remove them, and make us perfect.
Heaven requires perfection
Heaven is devoid of all sin. In this place of perfection no one ever breaks the righteous laws of God. In order to gain admittance into heaven our sins must first be dealt with and removed. Unfortunate for us, no human being has the capacity to remove their past sins, nor make themselves perfect.
If salvation will be possible for us, it must be initiated and accomplished by God. The One that God can use to bring about our salvation must Himself be perfect and without sin.
Since the scriptures are clear that the Messiah will also be a man, and that all men are born sinners, how could the Messiah be a human being? The answer seems to be an unsolvable paradox.
The only solution is that the Messiah must be born of a virgin, without sin, and continue to live without sin, all the days of His life—if He would be qualified to offer His life in exchange for all of us.
This is the point of this second principle for the coming Messiah, He must be born of a Virgin, or He cannot be our Savior.
How could a man be born without sin? He would have to be conceived apart from the normal union of a man and a woman. He would have to be born as an act of God’s Spirit, causing the conception of a being without the aide of a human father. This is what is referred to as a virgin birth, and the topic of great controversy.
Many claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin. Others claim that Isaiah 7:14 is not a prophecy of a virgin conceiving a child. Naturalists and humanists claim that a virgin birth would be a supernatural event, and not possible because such events would be classified as a miracle, and miracles are not possible.
A miracle is defined as: “An event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency” (God).
The testimony of the Bible is that when the Messiah came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, it was by the miracle of a virgin birth.
The Messiah must be God in human flesh or His life is of insufficient worth.
One of the excellent questions that is asked concerning the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, is “how could the death of one man pay for the sins of the whole world?”
The answer is: the life of this one man would have to be of infinite value. How could a normal human being have a life that has infinite value? He would have to originate before all other things and be the source of all that exists. This is precisely what we find in Jesus. He existed before anything else was created, and He is the source of all things which exist.
John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
What does Isaiah’s prophecy speak of?
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
The results of this virgin birth is that the one who is born will be Immanuel, in Hebrew: God with us. The one born of a virgin, will be a man, He will also be God living with us. This is the answer to the riddle, how can one life pay for the lives of all men? If the life that is given is the eternal Son of God, then His life has more than enough value to pay for the lives of all other men.
Only Jesus is the Eternal Son of God, who was born of a Virgin, and lived a perfect and sinless life. He offered this perfect life as the payment for the sins of all human beings. There is no other person in the entire history of mankind who can make this claim other than Jesus Christ. He is therefore, the Messiah, the Savior of all people.
This is the object of this Old Testament prophecy. This book begins with an amazing first prophecy that seems impossible, and ends with the final prophecy that confirms the arrival of the One who God promised to send, who will save us from our sins.
Up until Adam’s sin, he was morally perfect. From the moment that sin entered Adam—it would permeate the entire human race and the curse of death would be upon all the descendants of Adam. One of the most profound proofs for the existence of God is the fact that sin and death exist, just as God describes them in the Bible. In Genesis chapter three, we see how sin began and the immediate response by our loving God, to put away sin and make a provision to redeem us all.
Sin and death are two curses that every human being fears and recognizes as unnatural. All of us have a deep inner sense that death is abnormal and should not occur. The fact that God describes both sin and death in the Scriptures exactly as they exist in reality, is evidence that the Bible is the word of God. Everything that God declares about sin and the horrible consequences that come as a result of this curse is observable in the world today.
There is a fatal flaw in human beings and all of us are aware of this defect as we observe it in ourselves and others. We have moments of intrinsic goodness, but the greater part of our lives are plagued by a constant tendency towards wrongful actions that hurt and destroy ourselves and the lives of those around us.
Amazingly, God already knew the course that Adam would take when He created him. As stated previously, the New Testament describes Jesus as being The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. This means that before the earth was created, God had determined that He would create a race of beings. These beings would make the choice to reject His claim of rulership over their life and sin against Him. This action would require a Savior to redeem the fallen, if they would have any hope of redemption.
Jesus offered Himself as the Savior before the world was made. He is therefore, forever called The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Revelation 13:8 …the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Jesus volunteered to be the fail-safe plan for man when he sinned and condemned himself to an eternal death, even before Adam breathed his first breath.
The Hebrew Scriptures describe the Savior that God will send into the world as “Shiloh.”
Genesis 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
In Hebrew Shiloh means One, sent.
Specifically, this term means “one” (singular) “sent.” God will send one person to be the Savior of the world. There will not be many Saviors, or many ways to God— just one. When we arrive at the New Testament, we find that Jesus claimed to be this One sent, and He confirmed this by His statement that He is the way (singular) to heaven.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
In John Chapter 17, Jesus prays to the Father that we might be able to know Him and see His glory. He asks the father that we might all be one in Him and He in us. The overall point of Jesus’ prayer is that all people who are born on the earth might have the opportunity to know that Jesus is the One Sent by God for the salvation of all people.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
God provided one very simple, extremely clear way to make it to heaven when our life here on earth is concluded: Receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and live for Him every day of your life. The promise of God is that if we will do this, He will save us from the future judgement of our sins.
It is of no consequence to God if a person stubbornly refuses to acknowledge Jesus, or if he should make the decision to reject this one way to heaven. Even if the whole world should reject Jesus, it will not diminish God, nor His rule or power over the universe at all. In fact, all the rest of God’s creation are clearly aware that this one way that God has provided for the Salvation of all people is well beyond all reasonable measures that God could have taken.
Romans 8:20-22 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
Is God fair?
Even when the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation Chapter 20 has been concluded, and all those who have appeared before this final judgment for their sins is at an end, God will be exonerated of any claim that He is not fair. All those who appear at the Great White Throne are at this final place of judgment because There was no other place found for them (Revelation 20:11). They have rejected God’s only plan for salvation; therefore, there remains no other place for them to go. They will stand before God and give an account as to why they did not believe that Jesus was the only Savior, since God personally testified that Jesus is the Messiah, as proven by the fulfillment of these 365 Old Testament prophecies. One of the reasons that God has given us so many prophecies to validate His Messiah is so that everyone will be without any excuse on the day of judgment. If God speaks something one time, this should merit our attention and action. If He speaks to us 365 times on the same subject and we ignore His request for acknowledgment and action, we have only ourselves to blame for the consequences of our inaction. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me 365 times, shame on me.
In sending His only Son to die for crimes that all of us have committed, Jesus’ propitiation for sin fulfilled all the justice of God to punish sin and allowed for abundant mercy and grace from God to freely pardon all those who take Jesus as their Savior. If we miss the “One whom God sent,” it is our own fault. God has done everything that He could possibly do to save us. He has clearly made these things known so that—we are without excuse. To Him be the Glory forever.
1 John 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Good people do not go to heaven
Many people today have an incorrect view of what God requires for admission into heaven. The generally accepted principle today is that God will grant eternal life to all those who are basically “good people.” The Bible teaches that since all people are sinners, there is no one who is good enough.
Psalms 14:3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.
Paul confirmed this principle in the New Testament as He defines for the Christian church what God requires for salvation:
Romans 3:10,12 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;…12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”
By human standards, if a person does more good than evil, he is considered a good person. By God’s standard, in order to be seen as truly good, a person must be morally perfect and without a single sin during the entire course of his lifetime.
Matthew 5:48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect…
Others hold that if a person keeps most of the Ten Commandments, God will view him as good enough for heaven. The brother of Jesus, James, makes it clear that in order to be seen as righteous by God in seeking to keep the ten commandments, a person must keep them all perfectly from the day of his birth to the day of his death. If a person has broken one of the Ten Commandments, he is guilty of breaking the entire law of God.
James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
The standard of God for admission into heaven is perfection. If a person breaks only the 9th commandment—to bear false witness, this is a lie—he is guilty of breaking the entire law that requires perfection.
The Bible teaches that the Blood of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins makes us perfect before God and ready for heaven.
1 John 1:7 … the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus…
Many people believe incorrectly that because there are thousands of churches and religious groups that all claim to be the way to heaven, God must surely allow for many ways to heaven.
Jesus said that He was the only way to heaven. In fact, all of the Bible declares that there is only one way into the presence of God—by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. When we examine the Tabernacle in the Old Testament, the only way to come into the presence of God was through “one door” by a sinless sacrifice. Jesus claimed that He was that door. See Prophecy 332 for a complete description of the Tabernacle and the one entrance.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus…
John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved…
Jesus is saying that good people do not go to heaven—saved people do
The great God of love who created this beautiful and perfectly balanced universe has determined a specific time in which He will offer the forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who will come and receive it. His offer, however, will not last forever. Even as a man has a maximum of 120 years to make his decision, the day will arrive when this time of grace will come to an end.
Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
How long do we have to decide?
At the death of every human being, the decision or lack of decision that they made for or against Jesus, will be sealed the moment their heart stops beating and the spirit departs their body. If that person has exercised their choice and received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God will grant them eternal life in heaven. If any person should rejected Jesus or make no decision for Him at all either by ignoring or putting off a decision, at death that person will have no second chance, no opportunity to repent and change their mind nor a possibility of reprieve, after death has occurred.
Hebrews 9:27 …each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment… (NLT)
Matthew 12:30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
The Messiah came for the specific purpose of making salvation available to all people who have ever lived upon the earth. All those who came before Jesus, waiting and believing in a coming Messiah for salvation, will have their sins forgiven and obtain eternal life. Those who come after Jesus’ death and resurrection, who hear what Jesus has done on the cross and how He rose from the dead, at the moment they believe and receive Him, they will also have the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life.
God has appointed one man, one sacrifice and one method of being saved. There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved other than Jesus Christ. If you don’t like this, then I suppose that you should get over it quickly as God will only offer you salvation through Jesus, in this short lifetime.
Acts 4:10-12 “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
1 Timothy 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time…
Why is there only one way to heaven?
It is apparent that God chose only one way to heaven for the sake of simplicity and because the way that He chose is perfect by itself. God wanted salvation to be available to every person, so He made it very simple: Just believe in and receive Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. God did not instruct us to join a specific church, be baptized a certain way, or do any specific work in order to be saved. He commanded us to believe in the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross and thereby be saved.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
God made this salvation by only one way—a perfect and complete way—so that no other method or means would be necessary. Jesus came to earth as a man; and being one of us, He lived a perfect and sinless life. This qualified Jesus alone, among all other human beings, to offer His life for our sins and thereby relieve us from the penalty that was due our sins. According to the pattern set forth in the Old Testament, any sacrifice for sin must be perfect, a male, and firstborn. All of the sacrifices in the Old Testament served only to cover the sins of the guilty until the Messiah would come and remove them completely.
We need look no further than the Cross of Jesus Christ to find an acceptable way to God. His death paid for our sins, and His resurrection three days later assured us of a future resurrection from the dead ourselves. Not a resurrection to judgment, for that judgment has already occurred at the cross. Jesus will raise us to life everlasting, and give us a record of perfection covering our entire life. This is only possible because Jesus has removed all of our sins as though they never happened.
Isaiah’s prophecy of an acceptable time is fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus as the Messiah.
Isaiah 49:8 Thus says the LORD: “In an acceptable time I have heard You, And in the day of salvation I have helped You…”
Today is that day of salvation and the only opportunity that we will receive while living in our bodies here on the earth.
2 Corinthians 6:2 Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
Simple trust in Jesus is all that is required
God would have us understand that all attempts at obtaining heaven by human efforts will fail. There are no amount of good works that anyone can do which would ever make it possible to obtain eternal life. If this was true, then a Messiah would not be necessary. God would not have allowed His Son to die such a vicious death if we could be saved by doing something about our condition, ourselves. The fact that Jesus had to die should give us pause to consider that our condition was hopeless. Until Jesus arrive here on the earth to die for our sins, we were all without the means to obtain heaven and eternal life.
It should be understood that because only the Messiah would have the ability to die for us, being perfect and without sin and being God Himself, no church or method of man has the ability to save us. It is foolish to rely on anything for salvation other than the One whom God has chosen to be the Savior of the world.
In the world, this is called “dogma,” firm principles which are unyielding and without exception.
The idea of one Savior for all mankind did not originate with the Christian church. One Savior, one salvation is a law that originated in the mind of God before He made the universe. Jesus is spoken of as being the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). God chose one way, because only His Son was qualified and willing to die for all of us. His death was essential if any person would be saved.
Without the removal of our sins, none of us will go to heaven. Only Jesus has the right, by His endless and sinless life to accomplish salvation by His death for us; therefore, He is the only way that God has provided for us to be saved.
Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Hebrews 9:22 … without shedding of Jesus’ blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. (author’s translation)
John 8:24 (Jesus said) “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins.”
Eternal Life is yours—if you want it
It is my hope and sincere prayer that all those who read the words of this article and discover who Jesus is—will find the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life through His sacrifice. God is ready to forgive you, and He will do it at this very moment if you will come to Him humbly and be willing to admit that you are a sinner and in need of a great Savior.
You can be saved and have the absolute assurance that Heaven is yours, by praying a simple prayer from your heart. If you mean what you say to God, He will hear you and grant you the request you ask.
“Dear Lord Jesus, please forgive me for all of my sins. I want to accept your death on the Cross as the payment for all of my sins. I ask you to come and live inside me and be the Lord and Savior of my life. I receive you today and thank you for what you have done for me. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
According to the authority of God’s word, anyone who prays a prayer such as this will find that God will show His graciousness to that person and grant him the forgiveness of his sins and admission into heaven. After this moment of salvation occurs, we must continue to believe these truths and live for Jesus, apart from a life dominated by sin as much as possible. If we continue to abide in Jesus for our entire life, when the moment of our last breath occurs, we will depart from our earthly body and find ourselves at home in heaven with the Lord. This is God’s promise to all those who will believe. On those who obey this Gospel, He will show His graciousness and His mercy.
 1.Hornby K, Hornby L, Shemie SD (May 2010). “A systematic review of autoresuscitation after cardiac arrest”. Crit. Care Med. 38 (5): 1246–53. doi:10.1097/CCM.0b013e3181d8caaa. PMID 20228683.
2.66-year-old man suffering from a suspected abdominal aneurysm who, during treatment for this condition, suffered cardiac arrest and received chest compressions and defibrillation shocks for 17 minutes. Vital signs did not return; the patient was declared dead and resuscitation efforts ended. Ten minutes later, the surgeon felt a pulse. The aneurysm was successfully treated and the patient fully recovered with no lasting physical or neurological problems. Ben-David M.D., Bruce; et al. (2001). “Survival After Failed Intraoperative Resuscitation: A Case of “Lazarus Syndrome””. Anesth Analg 92 (3): 690–692. doi:10.1213/00000539-200103000-00027. PMID 11226103. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
3 A 61-year-old woman from Delaware, USA was given “multiple medicines and synchronized shocks”, but never regained a pulse. She was declared dead but was discovered in the morgue to be alive and breathing. She sued the medical center where it happened for damages due to physical and neurological problems stemming from the event. ””Woman Declared Dead, Still Breathing in Morgue”. Fox News. 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
4.A 27-year-old man in the UK went into cardiac arrest after overdosing on heroin and cocaine. After 25 minutes of resuscitation efforts, the patient was verbally declared dead. About a minute after resuscitation ended, a nurse noticed a rhythm on the heart monitor and resuscitation was resumed. The patient recovered fully. Walker, A.; H. McClelland, J. Brenchley (2001). “The Lazarus phenomenon following recreational drug use”. Emerg Med J 18 (1): 74–75. doi:10.1136/emj.18.1.74
5.45-year-old woman in Colombia was pronounced dead, as there were no vital signs showing she was alive. Later, a funeral worker noticed the woman moving and alerted his co-worker that the woman should go back to the hospital. http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20100219/twl-dead-woman-comes-back-to-life-41f21e0.html.%5Bdead link] Retrieved 19 Feb 2010 Salazar, Hernando. “¿Colombiana experimentó Síndrome de Lázaro?”. BBC Online (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 December 2010
6.A 65-year-old man in Malaysia came back to life two-and-a-half hours after doctors at Seberang Jaya Hospital, Penang pronounced him dead. He died three weeks later. Resurrection man dies, The Star, 26 Apr 2011
7.A 49-year-old woman came back to life at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after being dead for 45 minutes. McKim, Claire. “Dead’ grandmother comes back to life after 45 minutes when grieving husband tells heart attack victim ‘I love you”. Daily Mail (London)
8.A 37-year old man in Bellbrook, Ohio, USA coded for 45 minutes and was pronounced dead in the early morning hours of Aug 5, 2013. Several minutes later his heart started after his son, Lawerence, saw him laying on the table and said “Dad, you’re not going to die today.” http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ohio-man-declared-dead-back-life/story?id=20027401. All examples came from Wikipedia: “The Lazarus Syndrome,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarus_syndrome.
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2.Van Daalen, D. H., The Real Resurrection, London: Collins, 1972, Page 41
3.Kremer, Jakob, Die Osterevangelien — Geschichten um Geschichte, Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1977, Pages 49-50
 Maier, P. L., “The Empty Tomb as History” in Christianity Today, March 1975, Page 5
 Leviticus 20:10
 Conway W. Henderson (9 February 2010). Understanding International Law. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 212–. ISBN 978-1-4051-9764-9. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
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