Click on the image to enlarge it.
$700 AUD ($700 USD), Acrylic on Canvas, Framed, 155 cm x 75 cm (61″ x 29.5″)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18)
God, who created the heavens and the earth, also created us to be in a loving, personal relationship with him.
God is also perfect in holiness and righteousness and cannot be in the presence of sin. Sadly, because we have all sinned, we are all alienated from him, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
God, who is perfect in love and justice, declares that the just punishment for our sins is death and hell, where we will be cut off from him eternally. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Thankfully God still loves us despite the fact we are sinners. He longs to redeem us so that we may enjoy a relationship with him. Therefore, he made the way for us to be reconciled. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6,8).
God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to live the perfect, sinless life we could never live. Jesus then took upon himself all of our sins and bore the punishment for them through his death on the cross. Jesus died as a substitute and ransom for all of those who would repent of their sins and place their faith in him as Savior (Mark 10:45).
In order to be reconciled to God and to enter into a loving, personal relationship with him:
You must first repent (turn away from your sins). Second, you must trust in Jesus to be your personal Savior. That is, believe that Jesus has paid the punishment for your sins by dying in your place.
When you receive him in faith as your Savior like this, then all of your sins (past, present and future) will be forgiven and eternally removed. You will enter into a loving relationship with God that will last throughout eternity.
At first glance, one may find this piece offensive and condemning; however, it’s real message is the total opposite. The painting is covered with Scriptures that explain the way of salvation and plead with people to be “saved” from their sins, “…for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved'” (Romans 10:13).
This image came to me while I was weeping and praying for unbelievers who are on their way to hell if they do not repent of their sins and place their faith in Jesus as Savior.
The emphasis of this painting is not that unbelievers are condemned to hell but that those who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus will be saved and snatched from the eternal fire.
Any ideas we have about condemnation and hell must be viewed in the light of God’s justice and that God earnestly desires people to be saved, not condemned (John 3:17). (See “Today is The Day of Salvation” (Signs of The Times Series).)
We also must take into account that Jesus submitted himself to suffering a brutal death on our behalf in order to make our reconciliation with God possible. He did this because He loves us so much. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13)
In this painting, believers are earnestly reaching out to unbelievers, warning them and pleading with them to turn, repent and believe in the Lord Jesus so that they may escape the destruction that is about to come upon them. Some are being warned even as they are on the outskirts of the flames. Some people scoff and get angry at the preachers. Others completely ignore them while still others are interested in what they have to say. A parent leads his inquiring child away from what one preacher is saying. Another is completely confident in his own religious self-righteousness that he does not bother to listen to the words that could save him. Some are too busy enjoying the pleasures and treasures of this life to be bothered to pay any attention to their message. (See “What Good Will It Be If You Gain The Whole World Yet Forfeit Your Soul?” (Signs of The Times Series)).
On the right, however, a few people have listened and responded to their message. These people have turned from their sinful lifestyles. They are confessing their sins and putting their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
A lot of people ask me why the repenting people are covered in blood. The answer is that “…the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin…If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7, 9).
As these people turn to Jesus and put their faith in him, he responds by washing them clean in his blood and clothing them with the clean, white clothes of eternal salvation. (In this painting, a strip of red through their white clothes serves as a continual reminder of Jesus’ righteous blood that has saved them).
This image is Reality.
(See also “The Gospel Series”, “John 3:16, For God So Loved The World Series”, “Look to Christ” (Believer’s Road Series), “Empty Hands” (Believer’s Road Series), “Unworthy, But That’s the Grace of God” (Believer’s Road Series)).