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July 12, 2005

The security of heaven and the love of God

(The following is a short presentation I gave in El Salvador)

We have come to tell those of you who may not know, that God loves you and He created you to have a personal relationship with Him. However there is a problem. Sin separates us from God.

When we flew from the United States to come to El Salvador, we had to go through airport security. The airport security has us pass through X-ray machines and metal detectors. We couldn’t get through if we were carrying bad things. Obviously carrying guns and big knives will stop us at security, but one small, hidden item will stop us as well. We can’t get into the plane with what security has determined as bad things.

This is like our relationship with God. God can have nothing to do with bad things. No bad things are allowed into heaven.

You may carry in your past a lot of bad things. You may have a lot of regret and sadness in your heart. You may feel you have no hope. You can feel the separation between us and God. In your heart, you know it is there.

Maybe you haven’t done a lot of bad things in your life. You don’t have much regret in your heart. The truth is, the Bible says you are as far from God as someone who has many bad things. In fact, if we have a rebellious attitude towards God, we are ‘bad things’.

Heaven is perfect. God is perfect. Only perfect people can have a personal relationship with God. This leaves us with no hope! We are not perfect. We are in trouble.

God, in His goodness, saw our problem. Even though He did not need to, out of His love, He came to our rescue. God came down to Earth as Jesus. Jesus, because he was God, lived a perfect life. Because Jesus lived a perfect life, he could make a choice to help.

Bad things, “sin”, requires punishment, it requires justice. Jesus, who was without sin, chose out of love to take our sins upon himself. He chose to take our punishment for our sins. He did this by dying a horrible, shame-filled death on the cross. We deserved that punishment and death, but he took it for us. Because his death covered our sins, he now offers us forgiveness.

Think of it like the security at the airport. Jesus, who had nothing of concern to the security, went through for us. We would set off the security of heaven no matter what we did, because we carry our sin and we can’t remove it ourselves. But Christ made a way, by taking our punishment for us. He went in our place on the cross, so that, by acknowledging that replacement, we now have a free path to God.

God now sees us through the sacrifice and life of His son, Jesus. Because Jesus traded places with us, God now sees us as blameless. We no longer set off the security alarms of heaven, and are able to fellowship with our loving God, because of His saving us through Jesus Christ

It cost money to go from Nebraska to El Salvador, but as an example of God’s love for us, Jesus’s sacrifice costs you nothing. All you must do is believe, accept, and trust that Jesus Christ died a sacrificial death in your place, so that you might live with Him forever. That’s it. It’s your choice.

I invite you now to tell God, I am a sinner. I don’t deserve a perfect God or heaven. But thank you for sending Jesus in my place, so that I might experience your love, and have eternal life.

Thank you God, for your forgiveness and for your love for me.

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