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“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son [Jesus], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
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).
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse…They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.” (Romans 1:18-20, 25)
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. He gave his life to ransom us from our sins (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. (See Message.)
“But now he [Jesus Christ] has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:26-28)
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