A Terrifying Truth - †
I’d like to share with you the most terrifying truth in the Bible. Are you ready? Here it is: God is good (Mark 10:18). Why is that terrifying? It’s terrifying to know that God is good, because we are not (Romans 3:9-18, 23). Can I try to reason with you, so that you might see this is true about yourself?
Are You a Good Person? – *
Do you consider yourself to be a good person? Chances are, you probably do. I think most of us think that about ourselves (Proverbs 20:6). If you do consider yourself to be a good person, do you mind asking yourself these questions, honestly, to see if that’s true?
The Good Person Test – *
1. Have you ever lied? If so, this makes you a liar (Proverbs 12:22; 1 John 1:10; 2:4, 22; 4:20; Revelation 21:8)
2. Have you ever stolen anything before, regardless of it’s size or value? It could be gum, a pen, music on the internet, anything. If so, this makes you a thief (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10).
3. Have you ever looked at someone with lust? If so, this would make you an adulterer at heart (Matthew 5:27, 28).
4. Have you ever hated anyone? If so, this makes you a murderer at heart (Matthew 5:21, 22; 1 John 3:15).
5. Have you ever used God’s name in vain? This would include saying things like “Oh my G-o-d” If so, then you are a blasphemer (Deuteronomy 5:11). Basically, this means you are taking the name of the God who made you, and dragging it through the mud.
The Verdict – *
How did you do? These were just 5 of the 10 commandments (Exodus 20:3-17). If you’ve said “yes” to even one of them, you have broken God’s law. When you die and stand before God on Judgment Day, if He judges you by the 10 Commandments, you will be guilty. God is good and just and righteous and holy (Psalm 7:11), and so He must punish evil; He must punish you for your sin (Nahum 1:3). What will you say in your defense?
You might be thinking “God is a forgiving God, and so if I repent, He’ll forgive me”. *Imagine a murderer standing before a judge. He says to the judge “I’m really sorry I’ve committed murder and I’ll never do it again. I’m a good person and I give to charity. Will you please let me go?” Do you think the judge will let him go? No way! Those good things that the criminal is doing are irrelevant here. No matter what he tries to do to make up for it, the fact is he broke the law, and so he must be punished. In the same way, no amount of apologizing (we SHOULD be sorry for breaking the law, but that doesn’t make our consequences for breaking the law go away!) and good works we do can make up for our crimes against God (Isaiah 64:6, Galatians 2:16).
†Imagine a thief breaks into your home and murders your entire family. He is caught, and brought before a judge. The judge, he says to the thief “I am a loving and merciful judge, and that’s why I’m going to let you go”. How angry would you be? That judge, he is more corrupt than the criminals he is releasing. God is not like that judge: God is a just judge. You have broken the law, and therefore, you must be punished. The punishment for those who are guilty of breaking God’s law is an eternity in Hell, suffering God’s just wrath. Every single human being deserves this just punishment, for our evil against God. Does this concern you? If so, I’d like to share some good news with you.
Christ Died - †
God is good and holy and just and righteous. This is all true. However, God is also love (1 John 4:16). In love, God has responded to our problem (John 3:16). God came to earth as a human, in the form of His Son, Jesus the Christ. Jesus was born of a virgin, and He lived an absolutely perfect life. He was accused of evil falsely, and sentenced to death by crucifixion. Now, before going to the cross to be crucified, He was beaten terribly, and afterward He went to the cross and was nailed to it. He wasn’t just beaten, and He didn’t just get nailed to a cross. When He was on that cross? All of the holy hatred and just punishment that God’s people deserve, it was ALL poured out upon Jesus Christ. Christ died at the cross, and He was buried. On the third day, He rose again from the dead. He appeared to over 500 eyewitnesses before ascending to Heaven, where He sits at the right hand of God the Father.
In doing this, God both remained just and was able to have mercy on those who have faith in Jesus Christ. *Imagine that you are standing before a judge, guilty. The evidence is all against you, and there is no doubt in anyone’s mind: you have done this crime. Your fine is $250,000 and you have no money, no way of paying. The judge is about to sentence you, when suddenly, a man you’ve never met before in your life runs up to the judge, and pays your fine for you. Now, the judge can legally dismiss you. This is similar to what Christ has done for you: He paid your fine. Now? Anyone who repents (turns from their sin) and puts their trust in Jesus Christ will be saved from God’s wrath.
Thank you for bearing with me and reading this. Will you please think about these things? We never know when we will die. We are not promised tomorrow. So please, now, while you have the chance, repent and believe in Jesus Christ! You may not get another chance! If you’d like to contact me about this message, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take care, and God bless you.
* – These illustrations/points were heavily influenced by, if not quoted from, Ray Comfort/Kirk Cameron. Check out their website at www.livingwaters.com
† - These illustrations/points were heavily influenced by, if not quoted from, Paul Washer. Check out his site at www.heartcrymissionary.com
This entire presentation was influenced mainly by these three, probably.