The Way Out of Hell

The Way Out of Hell

I am going to beat this horse until it is dead (saying – not literally)!

HELL is a real place, people!  You are going to end up there someday unless you come to the understanding that YOU are a SINNER! And, being a sinner, you will pay for those sins in HELL when you die – UNLESS… unless you accept the substitutionary sacrifice that someone has made for your eternal death in HELL.

That someone happens to have been JESUS!  Jesus died on a rugged cross for you and for me and raised again from the dead so that we don’t have to pay the penalty for our sins in HELL… He bore our sins upon that cross so that we don’t have to bear our own sins in HELL.

All we have to do is ASK Jesus to forgive us of our sins and ACCEPT His free gift of that payment so we don’t have to go to HELL.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that since YOU don’t HAVE TO go to HELL, instead, you will go to HEAVEN.

That’s right, a free gift that all YOU have to do is accept it… I’ve already done it…

How about you?

Are you going to Heaven or HELL?

It is your CHOICE!

If you don’t make that choice, you are already making the choice – to go to HELL!

Make the choice right now to have your sins forgiven and enable you to go to Heaven.

If you need more information, you should read any or all of the following articles.  They will explain to you how it all works.

You may not have another opportunity to make the choice again – do it NOW!  

These will tell you how:

©2013 Mark Davis

 

Have You Ever Considered?

Is there really a heaven or hell?  

If you died today and went into eternity, where would you go? Heaven, or Hell?  There is NO in between and if you cannot answer definitively that you would be going to heaven with conviction, you are going to hell!

When asking this question to random people on the street, most people would not be able to tell you one way or the other.  Some would say that they HOPE or THINK that they would go to heaven, but have no reason why or have no basis as to their thought process.

If you stood before the All Powerful, All Knowing, God and He asked you, “Why should I let you into MY heaven?”, what would you tell Him?  If you don’t have any definite reason WHY, you don’t get to go in!

Why would that matter?  Because if you don’t get to go into Heaven, you WILL go to HELL!

Yes. Hell is a very real place.  It is NOT a place where a person will get to party for the rest of eternity. Think about this…

Who is the one that presides over all of today’s parties that are filled with debauchery and drunkenness and sex and filth and drugs and … the list goes on…?  Who is the Father of all of that sinful behavior?  Why, it is none other than the “Father of Lies” himself, Satan – or as he is otherwise known, the Devil.

Why is that important at all?  Because, if Satan is going to be punished for the rest of eternity for revolting against God (along with a third of the angels) by being thrown into the “Lake of Fire” full of pain and sorrow and weeping and gnashing of teeth where a person will want to die but it will never happen, where there will be torment and torture for the rest of eternity (a very long time – NEVER ENDING!)  That is what is in store for Satan and his angels according to Revelations 21.

But, what does that have to do with you?  Well, as it says that Satan et al will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, it also says that death and the grave will be thrown into the Lake of Fire with him (them).

If you were not able to give God the right answer to the question above, then you will be included in the “death and the grave” part of that statement.

There is no purgatory, unlike some might think.  It is never mentioned in the Bible, but rather, it was made up by a pope many years ago as a ploy to get the catholic people to feel sorry for their dead loved ones and the pope allowed the living relatives to give gifts to the church in order to shorten the time that they will have to spend there before they are finally prayed/payed into their heavenly place.  Sorry, it isn’t going to happen that way.  I challenge you to find me one place in the Bible where it says that any of this purgatory stuff will actually happen – you can’t do it because it isn’t there.

Back to the important topic at hand… Where are you going to spend eternity?

Friend, if this were not important, do you really think that I would be wasting my valuable time talking to you about this?  In fact, in God’s eyes, this is the most important topic in the world!

You see, God desires more than anything in this world to have you spending eternity with Him in His heaven.  In fact, since heaven is a sinless place and we humans are very sinful beings, we are not going to be allowed in to God’s heaven the way we are.  In fact, you could be the absolute best role model on the face of the earth but you would still be far from the perfect being that would be required to enter God’s heaven.

See, God knew this ahead of time (He knows everything from eternity past to eternity future – even the stuff that hasn’t happened yet), that is why He devised a plan to provide a substitute sacrifice for your atonement of your sins.  What does that mean?  As we have determined in the last paragraph, we are not good enough to get into God’s heaven, so the alternative is only to go to Hellllllllll!

God’s substitute sacrifice happened to be God the Son – the Second Person of the Godhead out of the “Trinity” (that is discussed in another post),  You see, God the Father was going to send His Son down to live with man for an honest-to-goodness sinless lifetime.

He started with the immaculate conception when the Holy Spirit implanted the seed that was to be Jesus within Mary’s womb.  No, it’s not what you think – contrary to what some religions believe, there was no sexual intercourse that occurred between God and Mary or an angel and Mary.  Mary was a virgin before conception and continued to be a virgin until Jesus the Christ was finally born. After that Mary and Joseph produced a very healthy family in the conventional manner known to man and woman.

Jesus’ mission on earth was to be born as a man-child, to be raised in the normal Hebrew manner, being taught the scriptures that they had up to that time (Moses’ writings and the prophets).  He frequented the temples where he would debate the scriptures with the priests and pharisees, usually ending up with Him teaching them rather than them teaching Him.  He would literally sit with them for days (and we get upset when the pastor of our churches takes more than an hour for a sermon).

He would live out a normal life as a child developing into a man – the only difference is that He was tempted in every sense of the word, just as we are now, but rather than succumbing to the temptations in front of Him, He remained clean and perfect and without sin.  You see, only a sinless, perfect sacrifice could take our place in death.  The death that was the penalty for the one sin that we have committed – yeah, right; I know that you’ve sinned many more times than once.

As a slight side note:

I’m sure you are familiar with the 10 commandments that are referenced in Exodus 20.  Among those are: killing, adultery, idolatry, lust, envy, putting any god in front of the only One and True God, disobeying your parents. Did you also realize that the Bible also tells us that if you were to even think in your heart about any of these commandments to break them, you are guilty of breaking that commandment.  In fact, it goes further and says that if you are guilty of one, you are guilty of all of them.

According to that statement, where does that put you?  Did you know that you are surrounded by a group of mass murderers?  That might sound a bit comical, but in God’s eyes it is totally true!  And, as we established earlier, the penalty of any sin – regardless what sin it might be – is DEATH!  This doesn’t mean that you die and then that is it.  NO! That could not be further from the truth.  Rather, when we die physically, our bodies might be buried or cremated or whatever your preference might be, but someday there is going to be a resurrection.  In fact there is going to be two resurrections. One for the ones that are truly on their way to Heaven and the other will be for those who will be thrown into the Lake of Fire with Satan.

As I said, Satan is not the ultimate party DJ, although he might be the loudest of the screams of pain that will be emanating from the pit of hell.  This trip to hell is not going to be a vacation.  It will not be a party with 72 virgins (or however many they think they will get).  In fact, even though, as the name depicts, “Lake of Fire”, it isn’t going to be like it is here on earth where when something encounters fire of differing temperatures, it will be consumed and that is that – no more existence! In fact, the Bible says that it is a place of eternal torment, where the thirst is not quenched and the “worm dieth not” – you’ve just become a worm….

What is my point in telling you all of this morbid stuff?  You see, we only seem to think that it is morbid because it is depressing since all we want to do while we are on this earth is to make lots of money, have lots of fun, travel, even have as much sex as possible (I only say that because it is true).

The thought of interrupting our plans of doing all of this to just stop and turn around and start making dramatic changes in our lives and start actually following Jesus and doing the things that are commanded us to do in the Bible – I can’t list them all here.

The main thing is that we were not put on this earth, much less to become a Christian, but to serve ourselves and make our existence on this ball of dirt to please our own desires and pass into eternity to be punished in hell for not serving God.

Why do we need to serve God so badly?  Many years ago in the Garden of Eden, God created two beautiful humans that were sinless and faultless and naked without shame.  Why did He create them?  He wanted to have some intelligent companionship that WANTED to be with Him.  And He even gave them a choice of being with Him or death if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Satan tempted them, they gave in to his temptation and they eventually died.  The worst part of it all was that they didn’t only die physically but they also died spiritually – and that is why we are put on this earth.

I know that this world has a way of sugar-coating evil to make it look like it is fun – and it may be, but that fun wears off after a while and then there are penalties and consequences that must be paid. These payments may be in the form of a traffic ticket fine or you may do something that requires you to have a physical impairment for the rest of your life, or even worse yet, someone else might have that impairment or even lose their life.  Or, your penalty may only be the eternal penalty of death in hell.

Friend, if you couldn’t tell God why He should let you into His heaven, you need to get this taken care of between you and God.  Please, get on your knees before Him and beg for Him to forgive you and that you want to receive the gift that Jesus is willing to give you of eternal life in heaven with God and then give your life over to God to let Him use you to help show others about how God wants them to go to heaven too.

You know, you could walk away from reading this and go back to doing the same old sinful things, but God has a much bigger plan for you. And, trust me when I say to you, that being in God’s service and doing the things that God wants you to do, you could never get more joy and happiness from anything else that this world has to offer you.

In John 14, Jesus tells us:

John 14:1-3

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

What many people don’t quite grasp about being a Christian is that even though Jesus is not walking this earth right now, He will be coming to get us soon so that we can spend eternity with Him.  He said that this is a word of encouragement that in His Father’s house (Heaven) are many mansions – these mansion (of whatever sort they might be) are made for us!  I don’t see these being apartment buildings or condos, but mansions!  He is going, at that time until He comes back, to be preparing these places for us.  We get our very own mansions.  These aren’t time shares either – we aren’t just buying a week or a year out of eternity to be there.  He continues and says that He is going to come back again and get us and take us to where He lives (Heaven) so that we can be with Him as He intended for mankind in the first place.

In 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul is talking to the Thessalonian church.  They were concerned that they would never get to see their loved ones again that had passed into eternity before them.  He tells them this:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Brothers, I don’t want you to be ignorant (or unknowing) about those who have died already, that you don’t weep and feel like you will never see them again like those who are unsaved do (they have no hope of eternal life).  If you truly believe that Jesus died and rose again, then you will see them again if they were saved when God brings them with Him.  Paul speaks this by the authority of the Lord, that those of us who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord will not keep this from happening to those who have already died.  Verse 16; For the Lord Himself (not angels or Michael the archangel) will come down from the heavens with a SHOUT, with the calling of the archangel and with the trumpet sound of God, Himself: and at that point, faster than we can even imagine, the dead that had been saved before they died, will rise to meet Him in the clouds: then the rest of us (who have been saved up to this point) will be caught up (modern term is “raptured”) into the clouds to meet them all even including the Lord – or Christ – and from that point on, we will always be with the Lord!  Because of this, brethren, comfort each other with these words.

How much more beautiful could you imagine it?  If you want a wonderful description of the “New Jerusalem”, you should check out Revelation Chapter 22. … No more sorrow, no more pain … I can’t wait!

My friends, the point in this article is not to, necessarily, get you saved, but to try to light a fire under you to sense the urgency of making sure that anyone and everyone that you come in contact with in the future, that you spend a few minutes and ask them what lies in store for them in eternity and give them the Gospel news that they could spend eternity in heaven with Jesus – and you and me.

Consider this …

… the cashier at the local grocery store is checking your groceries out and all you have to do is ask them that if they died today, would they go to heaven?

… the waitress at your favorite restaurant may have a car accident on the way home from work and end up in hell because you didn’t share Jesus with her.

… the friend you have had since childhood that has never accepted Christ as their personal Savior and you may be the last person that they get a chance to hear it from.

… maybe your parent(s) have never heard God’s plan of salvation and you are just the person that they need to hear it from so that they can make that final decision for Christ.

Remember that we, as Christians, are not out there to twist arms of everyone that we know and force them into a decision.  All we are required to do is tell them what God’s Word has to say about their eternal future.

Some sow the seeds; some water the seeds; but God makes them grow. Occasionally, we have the distinct pleasure of actually leading someone to Christ and verifying with them that they are on their way to heaven with you.  Even if you don’t get to do that, you – if you have done your duty – have done your duty.  Just present God’s Word to them.  If you need help knowing what to share with them or how to do it, there are quite a few different approaches listed in the “Salvation” section of my blog site here – or you can follow the links that I supply to you below.

Christian, I really hope that this has made you think about how you can spread the Gospel.  The time is getting near when the Lord is going to come back for us and we don’t want to have to stand before Him and try to give Him excuses about why we didn’t do our job and why, now, that person is in hell.

God bless you and your soul-winning efforts.  If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or you can go to my Contact page to contact me privately.

©2013 Mark Davis

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True Independence

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Independence is celebrated on July 4th each year in the United States of America.  Of course this independence was won 200+ years ago, giving us freedom from the oppression of England in that day.

What is Independence?

  • Freedom?
  • Self-determination?
  • Potency?
  • Resilience?
  • Self-reliance?
  • Liberty?
  • Self-governing?
  • Sovereignty?

The United States of America formally declared their independence from England on July 4th, 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

What most people don’t understand is that they are also under the tyrannical reign of none other than Satan himself.  Just because they don’t see him in front of their noses doesn’t mean that he doesn’t exist and doesn’t reign.  The people of the American colonies did not see the king of England.  In fact many of the colonists had never even stepped foot in England, but yet they were under his rule and oppression.  In fact they might, on occasion, even see a British soldier and at times even squads and whole armies of them.

We, no matter where you might live (this applies to you too), don’t see Satan himself or even his soldiers that we would normally call his demons, which are usually in spirit form.  Frequently, most people are influenced by one or more of his demons and some people have even made their bodies the homes of some (one or more) of these demons – we would normally say that these people are possessed by the demons. And, yes, it is very real.  It is not something that was made up in a story book or movie or t.v. show.

Why is this so important?  Because if we follow, or even allow ourselves to be controlled by Satan and his minions, we will follow him to eternal death. Some will call this HELL!

Why is Satan so bad?  Think about what Satan is related to in our own terms today.  What is he known for? He is the “Father of Lies”;  he is behind everything evil and bad.  How far down on the “ruler of bad” does his influence go?  All the way down! Even to the smallest white lie or even a bad thought.

Why should it be so important to us?

You see, Satan is so crafty that he makes bad (henceforth referred to as SIN) look so enjoyable and fun – not to say that all things enjoyable and fun are sins – that most people that do it don’t even think twice about it because it doesn’t seem wrong.

But when you look at the outcome of sin, it always comes out bad, sometimes even to the point of the death of themselves or even someone else.  Immediately, it might seem or even be harmless, but, you see, the evil has already been done.

When a person starts smoking a cigarette it doesn’t kill them.  But maybe, many years later, after that person has smoked all of their life since, one day a doctor tells them that they have lung cancer.  But at the beginning it didn’t seem so bad.  It didn’t seem to hurt anyone.  It did smell up the house quite a bit, so maybe it would be a better idea to smoke outside. Hmm.

He didn’t realize that while smoking obviously causes damage to the lungs, the “bad” that the cigarettes do in the lungs doesn’t stop there. It gets into the bloodstream and it gets into other organs and tissues and starts killing them too.

He didn’t realize that because he smoked, it makes his likelihood to contract any other type of cancer 50% more. In any organ or tissue in his whole body.

He didn’t realize that just the exposure of the smoke to others who might not smoke, increases the other person’s chances of contracting cancer as well as many other diseases (and deformities).  He didn’t even think that he might be hurting someone else at the same time.

I write this passionately because some of this has happened to me, you can read about some of it here.

You see, I may not have total liberty and freedom from the effects of the sins that I have committed in my mortal body, but I have the awesome promise that when I no longer have this human body and my soul lives on in eternity, I will have a beautiful and perfect body (Phil. 3: 21; 1 Cor. 15: 42-44; 1 John 3: 2);  I will experience no pain – at all! (Rev. 21: 4)

I suffer on a regular and constant basis as a result of my sin but it serves as a reminder of the grace of God.

You see, just as sin will eventually lead to death (physical and eternal), eternal life requires a penalty as well.  Because God cannot live in a place where there is sin, and because of the fact that everyone has sinned (Rom. 3: 23; Rom. 3: 10), there is no way that any person on earth – past or present – has lived a perfect and sinless life so that we could warrant entry into God’s presence.

Time for celebration now – God figured out a way that we can get into heaven (His home).  He figured out a way that someone else could take the penalty of sin – death – for us!  What joy!  But who would be able to do that?  It would have to be none other than God Himself.

How could that be?  How would He do it?  It just so happens that God has 3 parts to Him (just like we have 3 parts – body, soul and spirit): God the Father (Who lives in Heaven), God the Son, Jesus (the One that has the physical body); and God the Spirit (the spirit that is in all places at all times).  God determined that He would send His Son to die for us – to take our place in death, so that we could have eternal life.

Jesus, in human form (actually we are in His form, but that is another story), was sent to earth as a baby, to be born of a virgin – Mary.  He was raised by Mary and her husband Joseph until He was around 30 years old all the while Jesus didn’t sin one time – He lived the perfect life that we couldn’t live.  Then Jesus started His ministry years – about 3 years. During which time, He did many miracles such as: Turning water into wine; Healing the sick and disabled people; He raised dead people.  He proved that while He was still man and sinless, He was still God and All Powerful!

But then came the penalty.  Remember that Jesus was sent to earth by The Father to take the penalty for our sins which would be death!

He would have to die for us.

You know, Jesus, being God still, had the ability to call it quits at any time He wanted to while He was still on earth – and with everything that He went through, I would have called it quits early in His life, I think. But He didn’t!  He stuck it out here on earth and dealt with all of the cuts and bruises and all the temptations that we would go through.  But He was still sinless, perfect and still a man!

God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us – so that we don’t have to. (John 3: 15 – 16; Rom. 5: 8)  Could you imagine, willingly handing your only son over to have him blatantly murdered?  There would be no one left to pass on your family name.  All of the love that you have given and received from/to your son… gone – as a human, never to return – forever!

Jesus knew why He was there.  He knew what He had to do.  DIE!

He died in the most horrific, barbaric and painful way that they had at that time – the cross.  Two pieces of good sized trees, cut to go one across the other.

One of the tree poles was longer so that it would stick up in the air and so that they could put it in a pretty deep hole to prop it up. Furthermore, they publicly humiliated Him by forcing Him to lift up His own cross and drag it along the path, up the hill to Mt. Golgotha (meaning: the place of the skull).

Once they got to the top of the mount, they then took His hand and held it to the other piece towards the end and used a spike that was about 9 inches long to drive through his hand and then into the wood so that it wouldn’t pull off.  Then they did the same to the other side, stretching His arms as far apart as they would go.

They took his feet and, using the same kind of nail, drove the spike through both of His feet together and then into the wood.

Since the Jews hated Him, thinking Him to be a heretic and full of blasphemy because He called Himself the Son of God and God Himself, they mocked Him calling Him, “The King of the Jews”.  Because of this, they fashioned a crown out of thorn branches.  The thorns were said to be nearly 2 inches long.  They then put the crown on His head and then shoved it into His scalp as far as it would go.  They then put a sign at the top of the cross above His head that said “King of the Jews”.  They mocked Him and tore His beard out of His face by the clumps.  They gave Him vinegar on a sponge to drink, which, of course, He couldn’t drink or even swallow.  In fact it stung His face in the wounds that had been given Him through His beatings.

After all that, a group of soldiers lifted Jesus, being attached to the cross, up, putting the bottom of the pole into the hole and let it drop – probably a couple of feet – and it fell down.  Then it stopped, ripping and tearing at His flesh on His hands.  In fact, when He hung on that cross, His rib cage was lifted up into a position to where He couldn’t get a breath of air.  He had to push Himself up with His nail-torn feet.  Oh, what excruciating pain that must have been.  And it was for you and for me.

While on this cross, Jesus took upon Himself the weight of ALL of the sins of the world – past, present and future (Is. 53:4, 5; 1 Peter 2: 24). In fact, for a period of three hours, the skies turned dark, like an eclipse except it lasted for three hours (Mark 15: 33). During those three hours, God the Father turned His back from Jesus, likely, because He couldn’t look upon all of that sin.

Mark 15:34 says, “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 

After that He said, “It is finished.” Then He bowed His head and died. Soon after He died, the soldiers came to Him to make sure He was dead. Instead of breaking His leg like the other two that He was crucified with, and seeing that He was obviously dead already, they just took a spear and jabbed it into His side and blood and water gushed out.

He was buried in a borrowed tomb with a huge round stone rolled in front of the doorway so that it couldn’t be rolled away without much effort.  In fact, it took two to three men to move it in or out of place.  Once it was in place, the Romans placed 2 soldiers at the tomb to guard it because they had heard that Jesus said that He would rise again after He was crucified, so they figured that if they placed guards there for a few days (He said that it would happen on the third day) to make sure that the disciples didn’t come to rob the grave and make it look like He had risen.

God is so much more powerful than that.  He caused the guards to fall asleep and then God’s angel rolled the stone away from the tomb and Jesus was risen from the dead.  Not because of the angels but because He is God and He caused Himself to be risen from that grave.

Mary Magdalene was the first to come to the tomb to pay her respects to “the dead”, Jesus, and when she got there, she saw that the stone was moved and she looked inside and saw two “men” – actually angels – sitting in the place where the Lord was laid.  They asked her why she was crying and she told them because they had taken her Lord and she didn’t know where they had taken Him.

After that she turned around and there was a man (Jesus) standing at the tomb opening and, Mary supposed that He was the gardener.  He then asked her why she was crying and whom she was looking for.  She asked Him if they had taken Him somewhere and that she would like to know where.

Jesus said to her, “Mary”.  She recognised His voice and said, “Master”! He told her not to touch Him yet because He had not yet ascended unto the Father.

Mary ran and told everyone else – the disciples.  The same evening, all of the disciples were sitting in a room together and the door was closed then Jesus just appeared in front of them and He told them to be calm and not worry.  They recognised Him and He showed them His scars in His hands and feet and his side and they knew that they had seen the Lord. (John 20: 11 – 20).

You see, Jesus was truly God!  If He wasn’t, He couldn’t have raised Himself from the dead just like He told everyone before He died.

The fact of the matter is here, that Jesus did all of this for you and for me. To take our sins away from us so that we are no longer looked at by God as sinners, but as redeemed or bought back by the blood of Jesus.  Jesus’ blood was shed to cover all of the sins of the world, so that God no longer sees them as sin that we are accountable for.  We can now go to Heaven to be with Him when we die.

We are now set free from the sin and the eternal death that goes along with it (Romans 6: 23).  We are now able to be called “Christians”.

But wait!  It doesn’t stop there!

God wants to give us this independence from sin, but He doesn’t just give it to everyone and they don’t know it.  He wants us to come to Him and ask Him for it (Romans 10: 9 – 10; Romans 10: 13).  That is why “everybody” isn’t saved from the eternal death in Hell.  That is why it is so important that I tell you this story.  That is why we, as Christians, have an obligation to spread the Word about Jesus Christ and what He did for us.

You see, that is True Independence!

Just like our soldiers went to war and fought and died (some of them) so that we can have the liberties that we have and the independence from the oppression of an evil dictator, Jesus went to war against sin and the Devil and died – but as He died (and rose again), He won the war against the Devil and paid the price so that we can have independence from the penalty of sin.

Friend, if you have not yet asked Jesus for His salvation, His independence, I urge you to do it right now.  Please, with all sincerity, repeat this little prayer (talking to Jesus) after me:

Dear Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner . . . and I deserve the penalty of death and hell. . . . Jesus, I’m sorry for my sins, . . . and I want you to take away my sins . . . so that I can go to Heaven to be with you when I die. . . . I want you to be the Lord of my life . . . and make me a new and better person . . . so that I can reflect the changes . . . that you have made in my life. . . . and so that I can share the great news . . . to my friends and family and everyone I know . . . so that they can see You in me. . . . Thank you, Jesus . . . for removing my sins from me  . . . so that I can have eternal life. . . . In Your name, Jesus, . . . Amen.

Christian, if you just prayed that prayer with me, I’d like you to just make a comment at the bottom of this page or go to my About/Contact Us page and just let me know what you have done.  It is something that all of us can rejoice about and we want to rejoice with you about it.  It shouldn’t be anything embarrassing to you to let me/us know about this life changing decision that you have just made that is going to change your life and who you are, for the rest of your life.

The wonderful thing about being a Christian is that when we ask Jesus to take away our sins and to forgive us, He comes in to live in our life (some people even say that He comes in to your heart – same thing) and He will NEVER leave you, no matter what you might do that might displease Him. If you do something again that is a sin, just ask God to take that sin away and forgive you of it, and He will.

Let’s all live a life of True Independence!

In Christ’s Name and in His love,

–Mark

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading – These articles are strongly recommended:

How To Be Saved – Step by Step Instructions

Roman’s Road to Salvation:

1. Establish the need of salvation. Determine that all have sinned and are in need of redemption.

Romans 3:10 “As it is written, there are none righteous, no not one.”
Romans 3:23“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God:”

2. Establish the penalty for their sin.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.“

3. God provided a way out

John 3:16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 5:8“But God commended his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

4. How can we take advantage of this FREE gift from God?

Romans 10:9-10“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Romans 10:13“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

“I’ve been a really good person. I think I can get to heaven that way.”
Ephesians 2:8-9“For by Grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God lest any man should boast.”
Matthew 19:24-26And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved ? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Acts 4:12“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; “

“I want to become a Christian now, what do I do?”  Pray a very simple sinner’s prayer*.  “You can repeat after me if you would like to. I’ll start out:”

“Dear Lord Jesus -repeat- I know that I’m a sinner and that I don’t deserve your salvation – repeat – but Your Word says that if I ask, You will forgive me of my sins -repeat- Lord, I’m asking you now if you will forgive me of my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness -repeat- Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul from eternal damnation in hell – repeat – and for providing me a place in Heaven with you when I die or when You come back for us, whichever comes first. -repeat- Lord, please go with me as I begin my Christian journey -repeat- , watch over me and guide my every move- repeat- In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Your prospect is now a new convert and a baby Christian. You should help guide him/her along to the next step of their journey: Getting them into a good Bible preaching church where they can get baptized and start their walk with God. I’ll also give you a few other Bible verses that you might be able to comfort your convert with.  Some verses have already been listed and are still great ones to know and to keep at hand.

Supporting Article – Top 10 Bible Truths

*Please know that there is nothing in the Bible that says that your “prospect” has to say a prayer. Many people will argue that they don’t have to. It is only listed here because it insures that the command/qualification for salvation that we see in Romans 10:9-10 where it says that “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”. Without saying it somehow out loud, it is hard to verify if that command has been followed through with. It is still very possible for a “prospect” to become saved without opening their mouth. It happens like that every day.

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

How Many Ways Are There To Get To Heaven?

Dear God,
It’s O.K. that you made different religions, but don’t you get mixed up sometimes?        – Arnold (age 10)

Well, dear Arnold has been just as deceived as 98% (just an estimate not a fact) of the world’s population. Last I saw, there were over 10,000 separate distinct religions in the world today. Is it really logical that a God that is totally perfect – from eternity past to eternity future infallible – could make a mistake 10,000+ times over?

Surely, if all of the religions out there led to Heaven, God would be really contradicting Himself a lot. So many of these religions have conflicting doctrines and beliefs; so how can they be right? Some of them have to be wrong, right?

What is the definition of “religion” first?

Noun:

      1.) The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
      2.) Details of belief as taught or discussed.

Synonyms: faith – belief – creed – denomination

Which ones are right and which ones are wrong?

When you consider this question, you have to think about what you would consider to be the “gold standard” of thought. What can you compare all else to that would be unfailingly right (correct)? How do you go about trying to figure that out? Wow, what questions…

Most people would boil it down to morals.

Q: Well, where do people get their morals?
A: Their parents and the people around them and they just figure right from wrong from there.

Q: Where would they have gotten their standards and ways of thought from?
A: What/who gave them the morals that they have now (or had)? And it goes down from generation to generation. Back to the beginning of time.

It all leads back to the first man and woman; and even before that. God is the only “gold standard” that you can look at that is totally unfaltering and unwavering and infallible and the only One that can be considered “perfect” without refutation.

Well, ok, if God boils down to being the only One that can be considered; then God it is. Now, how does He give us morals? How does He even talk to us? The way He talks to us is through the Bible. The Bible is the only history book ever written that has never had any contradictions to itself. There might be some oxymorons in there but when you get down to the original manuscripts and the true meanings of those texts, we find that they really don’t contradict themselves.

2 Timothy 3:16 KJV
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

So, the Bible (God) gives us morals or at least He is the “gold standard” in which we can look to and compare anything else to find out if it is right or wrong.

The concept of “right” has been around since before creation because God is inherently “good”. So then, what is the source or beginning of “evil” or “sin” or “wrong” (all being the same thing)?

When Adam and Eve were created, they were originally sinless. They had never done anything wrong at that point. God told Adam and Eve that they could do anything that they wanted to do EXCEPT eat of the fruit of only one of the trees that were in the Garden of Eden. Out of all the different trees that were there, they could only NOT eat of ONE of them. Well, I think we all know human nature well enough that, eventually, when someone tells us not to do something, it only makes us want to do it even more.

Eve was in the Garden wandering around one day when she was approached by a serpent. This serpent was the incarnation of Lucifer (Satan, the Devil, etc). Mr. Serpent told Eve that she should eat of the fruit of the Knowledge Of Good And Evil which God had told them not to eat. Oh, the fruit looked so good. Mr. Serpent said “God only told you not to eat it, because if you did, it would make you just as smart as God. Now, you want to be as smart as God don’t you”? Well, Eve thought that that sounded pretty good. She wanted to be smarter, after all, Adam had been the one that named everything not her. She wanted to be as smart as God. She went to Adam and told him about the proposition that she had been given by Mr. Serpent and, with the lures that she had, tempted Adam and they both ended up eating from the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  (**Color added for readability**)

Well, they sure knew Good from Evil at that point. They immediately knew that they had done wrong in the sight of God (yes, God saw them – He sees everything at all times-did then and still does today) and they realized that they were naked and they hid from God. Just like a parent playing hide and seek with their child, knowing right where they were hiding all along, God went looking for Adam and Eve.

One thing led to another and God threw them out of the Garden of Eden, never to return again. He took it a step, or really a bunch of steps further and cursed; the animals (primarily the Serpent); the land would, from then on, have weeds; woman would have pain in childbirth; and man would now have to labor. Couldn’t you just hate Adam and Eve about now?This story can be found in The Bible in Genesis 2:16-17 and Genesis 3:1-24. I’ll not post it here since it is rather long. I have a feeling that this post will be long enough as it is.

Right and wrong were conceptualized from that point on. It has been passed down from generation to generation and none were skipped. It went through Cain and Able, Jacob and Esau, Noah and the Ark (that God told him to build) and so on and so forth down to you and I now.

You know, life would have been a whole lot better now if Adam and Eve had not sinned. We wouldn’t have sickness or disease or have to pull weeds out of the garden and our wives would actually look forward to having children (just kidding ladies). I don’t think that we could really be able to imagine life in a perfect world.

I regress; we wanted to know about how many ways there were/are to get to Heaven.

Looking through the Bible, I have never read anything about any “religions” besides idol worshiping, maybe. Then to top it off, the idol worshipers in the Bible were always on the wrong side of God. God commanded that there be no other gods before Him and no graven images – idols. Well then, if “religion” isn’t the way to Heaven then how does it work out that we can all have the opportunity to go to Heaven?

The Bible tells us through history that there would be a “savior”*, someone to come to earth – a King that would deliver us from all oppression and the penalty for doing wrong. Oops! Did I not say anything about a penalty? Hummm. *There are many prophecies about that in the Old Testament that were fulfilled by Jesus’ coming to earth.

Looking through history, when someone did something wrong, there has always been a penalty. The first five books of the Bible are filled with rules and laws that God’s people were supposed to follow but, there, along with the laws are also the penalties for breaking the laws. Most of the penalties are really severe – the most severe was/is, obviously, DEATH! Yikes! That’s pretty bad!

Along with the laws and the severe penalties, God also made a way that they can have forgiveness by Him for their sins, restoring favor in His sight, or restoring their “friendship” so to speak. It used to be that the penalty was a sacrifice of a lamb but, we don’t seem to be doing that much anymore, right?

When God created us, He wanted to spend time with us (in our perfect state). He still wants to spend time with us, it’s just that there seems to be omething in the way. We have a barrier between Him and us. The barrier is called “sin”. While we are sinful we can’t be in God’s presence.

Isaiah 59:2 KJV
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

If you look at God as Light and Sin as darkness; when you bring light into a dark room, it is no longer dark. Light cannot be in the same place as darkness. The above verse indicates that God has hidden His face from you because your “iniquities” or the sins that are in your soul – all the way back to when we were born and started sinning to the present time.

John 8:12 KJV
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Romans 3:10 KJV
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”

Romans 3:23 KJV
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Being sinners, we are in need of a way to pay the penalty for our sins, which would be eternal death without a payment.

Mind you, I said Eternal Death. That is different than just death – being dead at the end of your life here on earth, buried and six feet under the ground. Eternal Death is what happens when we die and our soul continues on into eternity without any salvation.

Since sin cannot be where God is in Heaven, there is another place for sinners to go and that is ultimately into the Lake of Fire – a place where the fire never goes out and those there will be in excruciating pain but unable to just die and get it over with. Such PAIN and AGONY! They will have to stay like that for the rest of eternity.

Any idea how long eternity is? It Never ends! Eternal Death is separation from God – in the Lake of Fire. The alternative is eternity WITH God, in Heaven.

Matthew 25:30 KJV
“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Mark 9:42-48 NASB
42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
43 “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire,
44 “where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
45 “If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell,
46 “where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
47 “If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell,
48 “where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.”

Romans 6:23 KJV
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The alternate payment for our sins is only something that God can give. He gave His only Son so that we can have Eternal Life:

John 3:16 KJV
“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.”

His only Son’s name is Jesus. He came down to earth to live as a man. He was born of a virgin (Mary) – conceived of the Holy Spirit (God the Spirit). He lived a sinless life – unlike anything that anyone else could do. No one else has done it before or since. He did many miracles and cast out evil spirits (demons) and raised some dead people. He did things that only God could do. Because ONLY He is God. Only God could take our sins away or pay the penalty for our sins.

Jesus was crucified on a cross – one of the most excruciating deaths that they had for people in that day. When He went to the cross, He took with Him all of the sins of everyone that had ever lived and even all of the sins of everybody that would live from that day on. He paid the price, or redeemed us, from our sins. We were convicted of being sinners and sentenced to eternal death, and He, God, through Jesus Christ’s blood, paid the full price for our pardon. His blood was the only thing that could ever forgive our sins and remove them from the sight of God so that we can go to Heaven and so that we can have that continued fellowship with God.

Colossians 1:14 KJV
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Psalms 103:12 KJV
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

Wait, it doesn’t end there. I know I am boring to listen to and I like to ramble on and on, but you have got to hear this.  Jesus took it a step further because, you see, anyone could say that they are going to die and take away our sins but if it stops there, that person is no different than you or me and, in reality, couldn’t take away my sins or anyone else’s.

Jesus died. They buried Him in a tomb and three days later He was gone from the tomb. He rose from the tomb and was alive again. Not just any man could do that. Only God can do that.

John 20:11-18 KJV
11 “But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 “And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 “And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.
14 “And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne
him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
18 “Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

John 20:24-29 KJV
24 “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
29 “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

A short time after He rose from the grave, He ascended back into Heaven. He stood and started raising into the sky until He couldn’t be seen any more.

Acts 1:9 KJV
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”

Before He left, He promised that He was going to prepare a place in Heaven with Him and He would come back and get us and take us home to be with Him.

Wow, this is really starting to sound like an alien movie or something. I assure you that it isn’t. Have you ever read a book or story that was so crazy and outlandish that there was no way that anyone could have made it up? None of this story is made up and can all be corroborated from the Bible, as you can see by the scriptures listed.

John 14:1-4 KJV
1″Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

John 11:25-26 KJV
25 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this”?

1 John 5:12-13 KJV
12 “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 

If God went to all the effort to make a way available to us to get to Heaven through His Son, why would He let there be more than one way to get to Heaven? Let’s take a look at some of the things that Jesus said while He was still on earth:

John 14:6 KJV
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

John 10:9 KJV
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

John 8:24 KJV
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

John 1:12 KJV
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

John 3:36 KJV
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Revelation 20:15 KJV
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 3:20 KJV
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

You know, God made it so that there was only ONE way to get to Him for one reason and one reason ONLY!

That reason is that “man” has a real bad problem with pride. So much so that, if it were possible, we would do anything and everything that we could to be able to get to God/Heaven by doing any imaginable thing, such as: going to church, donating money to charities, volunteering at the homeless shelter, being baptized (yes, that’s what I said – I’ll touch on that in another post), becoming a missionary to another country to propagate a “religion”, being a pastor or employee in a church, being born/raised in a Christian home, and the list could go on and on.

Why are these things so bad? They aren’t. But none of them together or by themselves will do anything to repay the debt we owe to God for our sins. Many of the “religions” out there today will try to lead you to believe that one or more of those things are required for salvation. NOT TRUE!

The reason that He made it impossible for us to do special things to get to heaven is very simple – and if you try to make it more than that, you are trying to legitimize and justify your own well-doings – God wants ALL of the credit for you getting to Heaven. He wants you to go there because you love Him; because you would give your life to be with Him and to make Him pleased with what you do (for Him). He wants us to give Him the glory for the things that He has done for us, not for the things that we do to try to get to Him by earning His good favor.

Someone once explained the difference between “religion” and “true Christianity” as this: True Christianity is God trying to get to us, whereas, Religion is us trying to get to God.

The people that tried to build the tower of Babel in the Old Testament were trying to make it so high that it would reach God. Remember that that was when God got very upset with them and scrambled their words (creation of different languages) so that no one could understand each other (hence the word babel). The tower was destroyed as will anything else be that we use to try to get to God.

Isa. 64:6a KJV
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness (good works) are as filthy rags”

Romans 5:8 KJV
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV
8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Romans 10:9-10 KJV
9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Friend,

If you have never received God’s gift of salvation before today, I trust that you won’t hesitate to do it now. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, nor for that matter, another breath. Take care of this ASAP! Hell is a very real place and I’d really hate to find out someday that you had the chance to receive His gift and didn’t take it.

If you would like to receive God’s free gift NOW, please pray the prayer below and let me know that you did so that I can rejoice with you for your new-found hope (promise) of ETERNAL LIFE. I would really love to hear from you by email to let me know of your decision. My email is listed at the bottom of the right hand column of this page, please write to me. 

“Dear Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner and I know that I don’t deserve to go to Heaven. But, Your Word says that if I ask You to forgive my sins that You will forgive me and let me become Your child so that I can go to Heaven. Lord, I ask You to forgive my sins, right now, and take them away. I want to become Your child so that I can please You and so that You can become my best friend. Lord, thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins to take them away and to enable me the right to become Your child and go to Heaven to spend eternity with You. Thank you for forgiving my sins, Lord. I ask you this in Your name, Jesus. Amen.”

Christian, new or old, thank you for reading this far. I will be posting follow up articles relating to different things that the Bible teaches us and what it tells us that we should/n’t believe and do. Become a reader/follower at the top and keep up to date on my postings. You can also keep up to date by subscribing to my updates via email on the right side of the page as well. 

If you have gotten anything out of this post or if you have a comment (please keep them nice), please leave them in the space provided at the bottom. By all means, feel free to pass this article along.

©2012  Mark Davis

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