Only our children have special privileges. We do not normally leave an inheritance to the neighbors. We do not put the neighbor’s kids on our insurance. We do not buy gifts for the whole neighborhood at Christmas time. Our children garner special attention from us as parents because they are ours. It is no different with God...
There is a common misconception that God blesses all people the same, but that is not true. It is true that all of mankind receive what is known as "Common Grace". Common grace is explained like this; Gods sends the rain on the just and the unjust. In other words, all of mankind, whether they are a child of God or not receive common blessings like sunshine and air to breath. Rain, like the sun, is a source if life. Without either all would die! God Himself blesses every creature with life. Yet, only God's children have a special blessing by way of Relationship called Salvation which brings eternal life.
Having a relationship with God is the most important relationship you will ever have. We live in a world that is changing very rapidly- and not for the better. Our country’s political scene is in disarray and the economy is failing. Every day we get closer and closer to a meltdown. For many Americans this is frightening. And rightly so because many Americans do not have a relationship with God- They have no-one to comfort their hearts and reassure them that this life is not the end. This life is merely temporal.
There is a popular teaching in society that tells you that everyone is a child of God. While that is very appealing that is not true. In reality, those who do not have a relationship with God are called the “children of disobedience” and "children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3; 5:6 KJV)
Yes, God's word says, Wrath. Wrath because a Righteous and Holy God must punish sin. While on the other hand, the righteous God also forgives sin when the sinner repents!
John the Apostle writes in his gospel, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power [privilege] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Simply put, you cannot have a relationship with God, you do not have the privilege to be a Child of God, without receiving “him” (John 1:12 KJV)
The question is; Who is the “him” that John is writing about?
The “him” that John speaks of is also called the “Word” (John 1:1-14 KJV). John 1:14 says, “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…”. This speaks of the incarnation of God. This speaks of the birth and life of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 2:5-7 KJV) John goes on to say, “...(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The “him” that we must receive is Jesus Christ- plus nothing, minus nothing- Christ Alone.
To Further understand a Relationship with God let’s examine some Scripture...
In John chapter 3 Jesus speaks to a very intelligent, honorable and wealthy man named Nicodemus. During their conversation Jesus reveals to him the idea of Regeneration- which simply means, re-birth. In order to be placed into the “Kingdom of God” or we could say the family of God, we “must be born again”. I know that sounds a little confusing and crazy (it did to Nicodemus also). So let’s briefly explain this from a biblical point of view...
The first man who ever lived was named Adam. Adam was created in the image and likeness of God. Adam was created an intelligent living soul which would live eternally. He was also endowed with God's personality traits. (This is not to be confused with what is known as incommunicable attributes such as Immutability, Omnipotence, Deity, etc... . Those are traits that cannot be commuted to humans - we are the limited creation - He the limitless Creator who is blessed forever Amen. The traits or qualities that Adam was given are called communicable attributes, such as Longsuffering, patience, Love, Kindness etc.... Basically, Adam was created a free moral agent, able to love and respect His creator and his fellow creation.)
One of the traits that God gives to mankind is free will. Being a free moral agent means that you have the power to choose your next action, and ultimately, your eternal destiny. God commanded Adam to not eat of a certain fruit or he would die. But Adam disobeyed God by his own free will and he fell from his innocence and became a sinner and thereby marred God's image upon him - including those attributes.
The word Sin means, missing the mark... Picture a target with a bulls eye. In competition you always aim for the bulls eye aka, the mark. Let’s say the mark is God’s standard- which is Obedience. When Adam disobeyed God he missed the mark- he became a child of “disobedience”. Because of his sin, he died, just as God warned him (Gen 2:17 KJV). However, he did not immediately die physically.
Death can be defined as Separation. Mankind is made up of three parts; Body, Soul, Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23 KJV) The “body” is obviously our physical being. Our “soul”, also referred to as the “worm”, is the seat of our thoughts and emotions and conscience. The “spirit” is the immaterial part of man that connects us to God. Our body will waste away after death but our soul and spirit will last for eternity. When you die physically your soul separates from your body and goes to one of two places- Heaven or Hell. Heaven is for those who have “received him” and been "born again", hell is for those who have rejected “him”.
When Adam sinned his body did not immediately separate from his spirit- he actually lived to be 950 years old, which was long after his first sin. When he sinned he died spiritually- his relationship with God was severed- his name was “blotted out of the book of the living” (Psalm 69:27,28 KJV) Adam’s sin built a wall between Adam and God (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).
When Adam sinned his conscience was convicted of fault, therefore he was ashamed and made his own covering for his nakedness and hid from God. God has given a conscience to all mankind and Jesus Christ is the Light that lighteth every man that cometh in to the world. In other words the conscience is a gift from God to reveal to you your guilt and need for a saviour.
Because of Adam’s sin the curse of sin passed to every human being. Romans 5:12 says that “death passed upon all men, therefore all have sinned”. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Ephesians 2:1 says we are “...dead in tressapasses and sins” KJV.
So, because of Adam’s disobedience everyone is born with a sinful nature and separated from God Spiritually. This is the reason why Jesus told Nicodemus, in order to be a part of God’s Kingdom (Family), “you must be born again”- Spiritually. (John 3:3 KJV).
Once a person is born again they are predetermined to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. In other words, God's original plan will be completed one day for all who put faith in Christ by our perfecting. Right now, those who believe are to be allowing Christ to transform their lives into that Longsuffering and patient and kind and faithful and loving person God wants them to be. As we walk in this life the Spirit of God reworks and transforms us into his image once again.
What is so important about having a Relationship with God?
There is another popular belief that says that everyone will go to heaven because they are relatively good people or they will find another way. But sadly, If a person lives their whole life on this earth and dies without “receiving” Jesus they will not have the privilege to be with God for eternity in heaven because they never were brought back into unity with God through Jesus Christ- they remain separated from God and dead spiritually. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6 KJV)
Judgment is not because God hates anyone - John 3:16 says that God loves the whole world. If you consider a murderer the only reason they are judged and punished is because they chose to disregard the law of the land. It is the same with God. Judgment must take place because people reject God’s Way to heaven. Mankind was given the gift of free will. God warned Adam not to sin but Adam rebelled and had to pay the price. And because God is Fair and Holy and Just he cannot and will not “bend” the rules for anyone. God never changes and God never lies. (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 6:18 KJV)
Basically, whoever dies without being saved will be judged by their own choice. It is like the murderer on death row refusing the pardon in order to receive the chair! The governor can hand him the pardon but it is up to him to accept it!
So how, Exactly, can we have that Relationship?
Thankfully, starting a Relationship with God, or being “saved”, is a very simple thing. All we need to do is admit our sinfulness and our dependency on Jesus Christ.
God’s Commands were given to Moses and they are set in stone. If we ever fail to obey these in any way we are guilty of sin. For example, if we think lustful thoughts we are a sinner (Matthew 5: 27,28; Deuteronomy 5:21 KJV) If we use God’s name in vain we sin (Exodus 20:7 KJV) If we steal we sin (Exodus 20:15 KJV) If we lie we sin (Exodus 20:16; 1 John 2:21) If we fail to honor our parents we sin (Deuteronomy 5:16 KJV) All sin is a result of wanting to be independent of God.
It is not difficult to understand that we are sinful, the difficult part is humbling our hearts before God and admitting it to “him”. God came looking for Adam after he had sinned and Adam had to confess his fault. He then had to accept the covering for sin that God offered (Genesis 3: 9-12; 21 KJV)
Jesus died a cruel death on the cross to pay for our sins so we would not have to. Jesus Christ is the covering for sin. Our sin calls for payment. Romans 6:23 says, “the wages of sin is Death.”- The payment for our sin is death- physical and spiritual. But because God loves us he sent Jesus to shed his blood for us- to die for us- so that we could live eternally with him. Jesus Christ's death on the cross is our substitution. He [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him [Jesus].
Someone had to die for sin and the only one who could take our place was Jesus because Jesus was God and God is perfect - there had to be a perfect sacrifice. Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth [proved] his love toward us in that, while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life .” Jesus Christ offered himself to God so that we could escape the judgment. His blood washes away the stain that sin places on our life and brings us back into union with God. Jesus’ sacrifice bridges the gap and makes our Relationship possible again!
But God will not save anyone who does not choose to humble themselves and turn to him. Neither can Salvation be obtained through religion or by good works.
For instance, believing in God and judgment does not save you- there are many people that believe there is a God and there will be judgment but reject Jesus (John 14:1 KJV). Being raised in a Christian home does not give you a relationship with God- no one goes to heaven by their parent’s faith. Just because you attend a certain type of church- Christian or otherwise- does not give you a Relationship with God. There are many people who sit in the pews at church that have no Relationship with God- they simply go through religious motions in attempt to relieve their conscience.
A Work is something we do. Works include things like baptism, giving to charity, going to church, giving people money, feeding the poor, being a good parent or spouse, having good character... or anything else we think is “good”. Romans 3: 12 says, “...there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
To be clear, these works are good. And once we are saved these are precisely the works we are commanded to do in the power and for the sake of Christ. But these works are only rewardable after salvation - until one is saved these are only rewarded with wrath because they are self-righteous.
Salvation, a Relationship with God, is only received by our Faith in Jesus Christ and the Grace of God. (Ephesians 2:8,9 KJV) Salvation is a free gift (Romans 6:23 KJV). All we have to do is repent, which simply means to make the decision to admit our sinfulness and confess our complete dependence upon Jesus Christ for Salvation (Luke 13:3 KJV)
Our problem is sin and the only way to have a Relationship with God is by Calling upon Jesus for forgiveness and allowing “him” to wash us from our sin. (Isaiah 1:18; Romans 10:8-13; Titus 3:5 KJV)
Having a Relationship with God is vital, not only for eternity but right now.
Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” That means that we can have a life full of purpose and joy right now! Jesus said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5 KJV)
This is wonderful and comforting for God’s children to know because no matter what goes on around us, wars, economic ruin, earthquakes, hatred, murder, disease… none of these things can change our Relationship with God which is founded in Jesus Christ (Malachi 3:6; 1 John 5:11-13; John 6:37 KJV) Once we start a Relationship nothing can alter that again- it can never be stopped! We are his child for eternity! While the devil and the world seek to ruin your life they cannot take you soul from God once you are in Christ. (Ephesians 1)
One day those who have a relationship with “him” will live forever in the new heaven and new earth but those who reject God’s free offer of Salvation through Christ and choose to rather enjoy their sin will have to pay the price in eternal suffering (John 3:16-19; Revelation 20:11-15 KJV).
Relationship is Everything. Don’t miss out on what God wants to give you.
For questions concerning a Relationship with God or what to do after you begin your Relationship please call Jason at 620-842-7175.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 KJV