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A lot of people buy lottery tickets. The odds of winning are very small. But at least there is the prospect of winning millions of dollars. According to some people, even Christians gamble. They are betting that there is a God, that the Bible is true, that there is a Heaven and Hell, and that they will spend eternity in Heaven by trusting in Jesus Christ. If they are right, they will spend eternity in a place where there is no war, no sickness, no death. If they are wrong, their life will end when they die. They will rot in the ground and become fertilizer — just like everyone else.
Atheists make a different bet. They bet that there is no God, that the Bible is not true, and that there is no Heaven or Hell. If they are right, their life ends when they die. They will rot in the ground and become fertilizer. If they are wrong and the Bible is true, they will be tormented eternally in Hell. Why would anyone make such a bet? Either way, they lose. So what are the odds of winning these bets? To find out, we must examine the evidence. What evidence is there that Heaven and Hell do not exist? There is none.
Just because we have never been to Heaven or Hell does not mean that these places do not exist. Since our knowledge is finite, it is possible that Heaven and Hell could exist in places where we have never been.
What evidence is there that the Bible is the Word of God, rather than a human invention? Actually, there is a great deal of evidence. One of the strongest forms of evidence is the predictive prophecy in the Bible. People, unaided by God, are unable to predict the future with perfect accuracy. Anyone who could predict the winning numbers in the lottery could accumulate unlimited wealth. Of the millions of books that have been written, only one is 100% accurate in predicting the future: the Bible.
The Old Testament was written hundreds of years before Christ. It contains dozens of detailed prophecies concerning the details of His life. The Prophet Micah predicted that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. According to Zechariah, He would be betrayed for exactly 30 pieces of silver and the money would be used to buy a potter’s field. According to Jeremiah, He would be a descendent of King David. King David predicted that His hands and feet would be pierced. According to Isaiah, He would be rejected by His own people, but He would make intercession for them. He would die among wicked people, but have a rich person’s grave. One mathematician calculated the odds of one person fulfilling just 48 of these prophecies by chance at 1 in 10157! That’s one in 10 with 157 zeros after it. Those are incredible odds. The prophet Daniel actually predicted the exact day that Jesus would proclaim Himself Messiah on Palm Sunday — over 500 years in advance!
Many scholars regard Jesus Christ as the greatest teacher and most loving person who ever lived. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Hell” (Matt. 10:28). “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels….Then they will go away to everlasting punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matt. 25:41,46).
These are strong words, but they were spoken in love. Jesus loves us enough to warn us of the danger we are in, and provide a way for us to escape it. God loves us, but He is also holy and just, so He will not ignore our sins. God cannot allow evil people like Hitler to kill millions of people and escape punishment by committing suicide.
While our sins are not as bad as Hitler’s, we have all sinned against God and against other people. We can see how much we have sinned by looking at the Ten Commandments. These commandments are part of God’s law, and by looking at them we can see some of the ways in which we have sinned. Here are some of them:
1. You shall worship the one true God alone, with all your strength.
2. Never take God’s name in vain (use it casually or profanely).
3. Honor your father and mother at all times.
4. Do not commit adultery. (Jesus added, Do not look at a woman or man with lust in your heart.)
5. Do not steal anything.
6. Do not tell any lies or make any false statements.
7. Do not ever covet after material things.
Have you ever broken any of these laws? How many times? If you only sinned three times in a day (and surely we all sin much more than that) by the time you were 20 you would have committed over 20,000 sins! If you were convicted of that many crimes, how long would you spend in prison?
God views every sin as an extremely serious violation of His law. In His justice, He has required that a penalty be paid for our sins. If we had to pay it ourselves, that penalty would be eternal punishment in God’s prison, which is called Hell. This is the Bad News, which we must understand before we can appreciate the Good News.
Our Only Hope
The Good News is that God loves us and has provided one means through which we can be forgiven for our sins and reconciled to Him. He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world. Jesus never sinned and therefore deserved no punishment for sin. But He died a cruel death on the cross to take upon Himself the punishment we deserved for our sins. Three days later, He rose from the dead so we could be justified in God’s eyes and live forever with Him.
Eternal life is a gift. We cannot earn it by our own works. We receive eternal life when we put our faith in Jesus Christ and in what He did for us in dying for our sins. In order to be forgiven for our sins and enter into a right relationship with our Creator, we need to allow Jesus Christ to be Lord of our life and trust in Him to be our Savior. Right now you can get your life in right relationship with God. This is what you must do:
1. Admit that you have sinned against God.
2. Believe that Jesus Christ paid for your sins and rose from the dead.
3. Decide to let Jesus Christ be Lord of your life and to allow Him to guide and direct you.
4. Ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come into your life and make you the kind of person He wants you to be. God wants to put His Spirit inside you so that you will have the ability to live for Him.
How to Pray to Jesus
The following is an example of a prayer you can pray right now to get your life right with God. “Jesus I know that I have sinned against you. I believe that you died for my sins and rose from the dead. Now I ask you to be Lord of my life. Come into my life and make me the kind of person you want me to be. Show me each day what you want me to do. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life with you.”
If you asked Jesus to save you, we will send you some information to help you live for Him. We would love to talk with you and help you with your new life in Jesus
I want to know more about Jesus.
Mail to: Christian Friends P O Box 27358
Oakland, CA 94602 (510) 482-3147
City ________________ State __ Zip _____
Phone (_______) _____________________
Christian Friends * P O Box 27358
Oakland, CA 94602 * (510) 482-3147
www.sosmin.com * firstname.lastname@example.org
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