Do you see yourself as being good?
Most would probably say that they are basically good people who make mistakes, like everyone – not perfect, but better than many, and certainly better than those Liberals/Conservatives/Democrats/Republicans/Blacks/Whites/Hispanics/Muslims/ Catholics/Protestants/Christians/Atheists/LGBTs/Homophobes/ Terrorists/Fill in your blank.
Where do you think you will go when you die?
Most people, if they believe in an afterlife, expect to go to Heaven or some variation thereof, because they see themselves as good people. Few people consider themselves worthy of the Lake of Fire and eternal destruction, and many today refuse to even acknowledge the existence of Satan, which was his plan and makes him very happy. Evil pervades much more effectively when people refuse to acknowledge it. The problem is that most people judge themselves good according to the fallen world’s standard of good and acceptable behavior, and by comparing themselves against other imperfect people.
The Bible tells us: “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” “Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law [the Ten Commandments].” And “The wages of sin is death.” The purpose of the law is to show us our sinfulness, our rebellion and transgression against our just, perfect and Holy Creator; and our need of a savior. God’s Law is perfect, holy, just and good. God is perfect, holy, just and good. The Law represents the character of God. God said “be holy for I Am Holy.” “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:27-28
Whether we say we believe in God or not, we will all stand before Him on His Righteous Judgment Day, when He will judge each of us according to His Holy Law, the Ten Commandments, which every one of us has broken. And those who think they have done well, keep in mind: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:9. In case you don’t know or remember the Ten Commandments, they are (Exodus 20:3-17):
1. You shall have no other gods before Me. (This includes ourselves, other people, and those lovey dovey fairy godmother goddess imaginings some people have.)
2. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. (An idol is anything that takes our focus and reliance off of God. John Calvin said, “Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.” Those who bow down and worship statues of Mary, Joseph, Peter or other Apostles, Buddha, altars, crosses, beads, flags, golden calves are obvious; but also those who worship actors, musicians, sports figures, religious leaders, politicians, business leaders, nationalism, wealth, guns, cars, clothing/fashion – such are also guilty of idolatry. America is so ingrained in idolatry, we even have a tv show called “American Idol.”).
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (Who today has never said OMG, if not worse – we are guilty of blasphemy.)
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. (This is the only commandment that begins with “Remember”, and it is the one most people forget, or don’t keep on the day or the way God has commanded – most are guilty of breaking the 4th commandment.)
5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. (This is the only commandment with a blessing attached to it.)
6. You shall not murder. (Jesus said: “Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”)
7. You shall not commit adultery. (Jesus said “Whosoever looks on a woman/man to lust after her/him has committed adultery with her/him already in his/her heart.” Many of us are guilty of adultery of the heart, if not outright physical adultery.)
8. You shall not steal. (The quantity or value does not matter – taking anything that does not belong to us makes us guilty of being a thief.)
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Speaking falsely in any matter, lying, equivocating, and in any way devising and designing to deceive our neighbor; or speaking unjustly against our neighbor, to the prejudice of his reputation. “These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16-19)
10. You shall not covet (envy, lust or desire after) your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant (employees), nor his ox (tools of his/her trade), nor his donkey (transportation/vehicle), nor anything that is your neighbor’s (his or her boat, ski mobile, jewelry, clothes, cellphone, camera, computer, etc.”)
Once most people with a modicum of self-preservation recognize that they have pridefully rebelled and sinned against Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth and all that is in them, and what the penalty for their transgression is, they begin to fear, which is good because: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10. As said the prophet Isaiah when He saw God: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5).
Steps to Salvation:
Confess your sins (all that you can remember – God knows all our sins, but wants us to recognize and acknowledge them, which to His glory will lead us to be truly contrite);
In faith by God’s Grace accept His free and unmerited gift of the sacrifice of His perfect, sinless Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (”The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23. “Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life.” John 5:24), and Christ’s resurrection on the third day overcoming death, whereby we also know we shall overcome death;
Repent (turn 180 degrees, do an “about face” from sin) and follow and obey Jesus (Jesus told us: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. The Test of Knowing Him: “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:3-4 );
Be Baptized and ask for the Holy Spirit (”If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:13, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 – The Holy Spirit leads us in all understanding, convicts us of sin and of our adoption as sons of God, strengthens, counsels, teaches, seals, commissions and guides us, and gives us the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Baptism is our public proclamation that we are followers of Christ. Water baptism by immersion is the biblical method of baptism because of its symbolic representation of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ);
Read your Bible and Commune with Jesus in Prayer every day – the more you read His word and spend time in communion with Him, the more intimately you will come to know Him and His will for you. I personally spend most of my time with Him in praise and worship, interceding for all who need prayer, thanking Him for all the ways He blesses me every day – even for those things that don’t necessarily feel like blessings, because I know tribulation works patience and patience, experience; and experience, faith. As followers of Christ, we are told that we will suffer affliction, trials, tribulation and persecution for His name’s sake, and we do; but compared with what He suffered for us and the glory that is before us through eternity, the light affliction we are called to endure is nothing.
Humble contrition is essential to repentance. Repentance is essential to conversion. Conversion is essential to spiritual rebirth. Spiritual rebirth is essential to salvation (Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 3:3-7). Salvation is essential to eternal life (”The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:35-36). “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Revelation 14:6-20 Gives the Three Angels Messages to the Church of this Present Age. All should take heed and make sure they are indeed fearing (honoring, revering, worshipping, in awe of the majesty, glory and power of) God and giving glory to Him, getting out of Babylon (the Roman Catholic Church and apostate Protestantism) and not worshipping the beast or accepting the mark of the beast in their hand (representing actions/deeds) or their forehead (representing thoughts/beliefs), and in the first harvest. No one wants to be in the wine press of God’s wrath, especially when there is no reason for it other than pride and rebellion.
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine press, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”