Everyone makes mistakes. Some mistakes are a lot more serious than others. People have lost millions of dollars in bad investments. But money can be replaced. However, a woman once lost her child when she unknowingly backed over him with her car. What a tragic mistake!
Jesus told a story of a rich man who made a terrible mistake. This man lived a very extravagant lifestyle. He did, however, allow a beggar named Lazarus to eat the crumbs from his table.
Both of them eventually died. The rich man found himself in hell. He looked up and saw Lazarus and the Jewish patriarch Abraham.
He begged Abraham to send Lazarus to him to cool him, "for I am tormented in this flame." Abraham told him that would be impossible. Next he asked Abraham to allow Lazarus to return from the grave, so he could warn his five brothers about the torments of hell.
Abraham told him that his brothers needed only to listen to the words of Moses and the prophets. "But if someone went to them from the dead, they would repent," the rich man argued.
Abraham responded, "If they don't listen to Moses or the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, if someone rose from the dead." (Luke 16)
Jesus did a lot of miracles. He healed people from all sorts of illnesses, including blindness. He fed thousands of people with a few loaves of bread. He walked on water. And He raised several people, including a man named Lazarus, from the dead. Despite these miracles, many people refused to believe in Jesus. In fact, the religious leaders wanted to kill the man Jesus raised from the dead, because he was causing too many people to believe in Jesus.
Finally, Jesus was crucified, but he rose from the dead. Over 500 people witnessed his resurrection. Many people believed, but others refused to believe, and murdered his followers.
Many people say, "if only I saw a miracle, I would believe in Jesus. If only God proved to me that He is real, I would believe in Him." Would you?
Jesus said, "Every one that is of the truth hears my voice." He also said, "You will find me when you seek me with all your heart." God has given us enough proof to convince any person who honestly seeks the truth. For example, the Bible contains over 100 detailed prophecies concerning future events. It predicted the exact day that Jesus would proclaim himself Messiah -- over 500 years in advance! (Daniel 9) The Bible is the only book ever written that predicts the future with perfect accuracy. However, no amount of proof will convince some people.
Jesus told this story to warn all of us. Don't make the same mistake the rich man did. This man didn't seem that bad. He gave his leftover food to a beggar. He loved his brothers. But he didn't follow the instructions given in the Bible to get his life right with God before he died.
Breaking the Law
The essence of God's moral law, as given to Moses in the Bible, is found in the Ten Commandments. By looking at them, we can see some of the ways in which we have sinned against God. Here are some of them:
You shall worship the one true God alone, with all your strength.
Never take God's name in vain (use it casually or profanely).
Honor your father and mother at all times.
Do not commit adultery. (Jesus added, ‘Do not look at a woman or man with lust in your heart.')
Do not steal anything.
Do not tell any lies or make any false statements.
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 could 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: Admit that you have sinned against God.
Admit that you have sinned against God.
Believe that Jesus Christ paid for your sins and rose from the dead.
Decide to let Jesus Christ be Lord of your life and to allow Him to guide and direct you.
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. Please write or call us. We would love to talk with you and help you with your new life in Jesus Christ.
I want to know more about Jesus.
Phone (optional) (_____) _______________________________________
U.S. Mail to: Christian friends P O Box 27358 Oakland, CA 94602
Email To: SOS Ministries
Or you may contact us by phone @ (510) 482-3147