“And you were dead, through the crimes and the sins in which you used to live when you were following the way of this world, obeying the ruler who governs the air, the spirit who is at work in the rebellious. We all were among them too in the past, living sensual lives, ruled entirely by our own physical desires and our own ideas; so that by nature we were as much under God’s anger as the rest of the world.
But God loved us with so much love that He was generous with His mercy: when we were dead through our sins, He brought us to life with Christ–it is through grace that you have been saved–and raised us up with Him and gave us a place with Him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.
This was to show for all ages to come, through His goodness towards us in Christ Jesus, how infinitely rich He is in grace. Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit. We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning He had meant us to live it.” (Ephesians 2:1-10)
Everybody is born spiritually dead. Because of Adam’s sin, we all are born under the curse of death–separation from God. Have you ever been around a child that is not disciplined and trained to behave around others? Not very pleasant to be around are they? When you leave a person to their own devices, that are naturally going to be selfish at the least and hateful at worst. That is because we are born spiritually dead to God and subject to the ruler of the power of the air–Satan. Satan is rebellious to the things of God and people are also rebellious from the time we are born until we find Jesus.
God hates rebellion. He considers it just as heinous as the sin of witchcraft. Rebellion will always be a dry and barren place to be. The Bible says that the rebellious dwell in a dry and parched land and there is no peace for the wicked. But God loves us anyway. He looked past what He hated in us and saw US in desperate need of Him–His mercy was given through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son. Jesus Christ.
God decided to show mercy because He is a GOOD God. He paid the price for our debt of sin. All we have to do is take it. Accept it. Receive it into our hand and into our heart. We have been given an awesome gift by our Creator. Salvation from our current dead existence into eternal life in Christ Jesus. Salvation from eternal separation from God’s hope and presence. Salvation into His eternal Kingdom. What a gift!
There is absolutely nothing we can do in our own righteousness that can earn salvation. We can’t read our Bibles enough. We can’t go to church often enough. We can’t join every program at church to earn it. We can’t give up drinking or drugging or partying enough to earn it. We can’t give up makeup and cutting our hair or wear dresses only to earn it. These are outward manifestations of inward convictions. It starts in the HEART.
It is purely a gift from God. There is nothing for us to do but reach out the hand of faith and take what He has offered us with thanksgiving and gratitude. THEN He quickens and brings our spirits to life. We are no longer dead but we are alive to Him. Our hearts belong to Him and He begins to form us into the very image of Jesus Christ. The Bible says “until Christ be formed in you.” That is what we all strive for–to look and act like Jesus did. That is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. That is what makes us light and salt in the world.
The world doesn’t even realize the value of Christians in the world. We are the only thing holding back evil from covering the earth. Today, in most of the world, Christians are despised and hated. They are being exterminated in some parts of the world. Evil loves darkness. Light dispels darkness. If light is present, there is no darkness. Evil wants to turn all the lights out. When all the Christians are gone from the earth, then only darkness will remain.
One day soon, that will happen. Christians–followers of Jesus Christ–will be taken out of the earth to attend a wedding. Our wedding to the Lamb of God. Sound far-fetched? Not considering how crazy the reality of earth is right now! What will happen on earth? Darkness will cover the earth. Evil will permeate everything. There will be no light, no peace and no love. Only fear, anger and hatred. Jesus Christ is calling people to repentance today just as He did over two thousand years ago. He said “Repent! For the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” I saw a saying the other day that is so true to me. “The world isn’t falling apart, it is falling into place.” The kingdom of God is at hand and the world is being shaken.
The Kingdom of God is within every believer. How do you enter this kingdom? Through the hand of faith in the Son of God who died and paid the price for you to enter. The kingdom is not about missing hell or even the great tribulation. It is about living our lives the way God originally intended all human beings to live it. We come full circle through Jesus Christ. Life in the Kingdom of God is so exciting, so full of peace and love and purpose! I pray today that you would cry out to Jesus for this wonderful free gift of salvation. Reach out the hand of faith to Him today and enter the kingdom…