You can have a relationship with God. A faith filled, personal connection to Him. That’s a bold statement! But I believe it. I absolutely know it to be true. And I am going to show you how to experience it. But before we get to the how of obtaining this relationship, we should take a look at the who it is with. Just who is this God you can come to know?
Who is God?
Genesis 1:1 (NLT) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Psalms 89:11 (NLT) The heavens are Yours, and the earth is Yours; everything in the world is Yours—You created it all.
God is our creator. He made the entire galaxy and this little blue planet we live on. It all belongs to Him. He has always existed, even before there was anything, and then at some point in the distant past He decided to create the universe and the earth. He put plants and animals on it and then He made the first two humans so He could have relationship with them. Everything he made was for the enjoyment and use of the humans. As you read the first three chapters of Genesis you see how He put them in a perfect environment, gave them everything they needed, and would come and visit them in person.
Now I know a lot of people have problems with what I have written so far. Their education has twisted their thinking. Their minds can’t grasp any of it. They don’t believe it is scientifically valid so they reject it as a myth and move on with their life. The reason they don’t get it is because they don’t have a dynamic relationship with the God who made everything! When you have a personal connection, the truth becomes obvious, the scientific theories are revealed to be just what they truly are: theories, not facts. The truth is, there’s no way to prove or disprove any of their concepts of creation! You can’t prove the Christian view of creation either. But this I do know, when you come into relationship with Him, you will find out that what He wrote in the Bible is true. A connection with the creator beats a belief in a theory every single time it is made! It’s the relationship that opens the mind to receive and understand truth. If you want proof that God’ exists, just look around you. It is the creation that proves His existence. Speaking of those who suppress truth the Apostle Paul wrote:
Romans 1:19-22, 25 (NLT) They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. (20) For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. (21) Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. (22) Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools……(25) They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator Himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
So God has made His existence evident. There is no excuse for not knowing God! But most humans would rather live apart from God and live their own life doing their own thing. When people live this way, Paul says the mind becomes dark and confused. They start thinking they are so smart, so wise, and so educated, but they have actually become fools. Why? Because in spite of all the evidence, they claim there is no God.
God will be Your Judge
So God is real and someday you will meet Him. If you don’t meet Him now, before you die, you will meet Him in in the future in a heavenly courtroom where He will judge your life.
Ecclesiastes 3:17 (NLT) …..”In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.”
Ecclesiastes 12:14 (NLT) God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
Are you thinking that you’ll do pretty good standing before God as a judge? Are you thinking you’ve lived a pretty good life so meeting Him in His court won’t be so bad? Well, let me ask you this, have you ever sinned? You know, done something that was wrong? Even just one time? Well check out this verse from the Bible:
Romans 6:23 (NLT) For the wages of sin is death…….
The Consequences of Sin
So the consequence of sin, even one, the wage that you earn for doing it, is death! Now your body is going to die, but your soul (mind, will and emotions) and spirit are eternal. At the resurrection of the dead you will get a new body. So you are an eternal being. You will never cease to exist. If you read what the Bible teaches about death, you’ll find out that true death is being forever separated from God.
There is a name for this place you will go to be separated from God. It’s called hell. Hell is a place where God doesn’t live or visit. You’ll never see Him again. After you appear before God as judge, if you have ever sinned, you will be sent there for all eternity. You will have a conscious existence, but you will be very dead spiritually.
Why would God send good people to hell. He doesn’t! According to the Bible, you are not a good person, no matter how hard you have tried to be.
Romans 3:12 (NLT) All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.”
Romans 3:23 (NLT) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Isaiah 59:2 It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, He has turned away and will not listen anymore.
Not only does sin cause you to fall short of God’s standard of life and morality, but it cuts you off from Him, too. Because of sin you cannot have a relationship with Him. There is a big gap between you and God.
So is that it? Are we all doomed to hell since we have all sinned? Well, the Bible is true, the wages of sin is death, but read Romans 6:23 again, but this time in it’s entirety.
Romans 6:23 (NLT) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
God’s Son, Jesus Christ, has made it possible to have eternal life. Jesus is the key to salvation (avoiding spiritual death so you don’t end up in hell). You have to come to Him to get “saved” from the punishment (wages) that is due to you. Eternal life is a free gift from God to you. You can’t earn it. You have to receive it. He doesn’t want to send you to hell. He wants to gift eternal life to you!
How does it work? You believe in God’s Son, Jesus.
John 3:36 (NLT) And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
Faith in Jesus
Faith opens the door to eternal life. You accept (believe in, have faith in) the truth that is recorded in God’s Word, the Bible. Then you obey the Son of God and come to Him as your Savior from sin and you will experience eternal life (salvation from sin). If you disobey the Son and don’t believe, you will never experience eternal life. You will remain under God’s judgment forever.
Invest your faith in Jesus. Don’t try to earn anything from God. Eternal life is not a reward for something you do, but a gift for believers.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (9) Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
God saves by grace. Grace is getting something you don’t deserve because you didn’t earn it. Sure, you have to believe, so that involves some effort on your part, but being saved from hell is something Jesus earned for you. God allowed Him to be punished brutally and die on a cross to pay the price for your sins. As the blood ran down his tortured body and dripped upon the ground your sin was dealt with in God’s sight once and for all. You don’t have to receive the wages due for your sin, which is death. Instead you get the free gift of eternal life. Just remember, you must believe it to receive it.
Not only do you get life, you also get relationship with God!! No matter how far away you are from Him now or have been in the past, you can come close to God because Jesus shed his blood to pay for your sin. God can only be approached by a believer. Why? Because the sin that separates you from Him has been dealt with by Jesus and makes it possible for you to come before a Holy God.
Ephesians 2:13 NLT But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to Him through the blood of Christ.
Everyone who believes gets united not only with God but with His Son, Jesus. Even those who were far away from Him have been brought near through His shed blood. Remember this, it was His blood that made everything possible for you spiritually.
This is the message that Jesus preached when He walked the earth. Right now His physical presence is in heaven with the Father and He is preparing an awesome new life for us there, but we are able to have fellowship and relationship with God now until we get there. Here is what the Apostle John said about this:
1 John 1:5-10 NLT This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all. (6) So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. (7) But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. (8) If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. (9) But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (10) If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts.
So look at all the powerful truth that is contained in these few verses! There is no darkness in God. That’s why we can’t approach Him until our sin is paid for by Jesus. Do you want to know how to test yourself to see if you are a true believer or not? Look at verse 6 again. We are lying if we say we have fellowship (relationship) with God but are living in spiritual darkness. If your lifestyle is one of darkness, where you are not walking in the light of God’s truth, you are not genuine in your faith. You may be religious and attend a church service, but you are not walking in the light. You’re kidding yourself to think you are legitimate.
If you claim to be a good person and not a sinner (verse 8) you are also not living in the truth. You are also calling God a liar (because His Word says you are a sinner). This is proof that His word has no place in your heart. But, and here is the key, if you confess your sins to God (agree with Him that you are a sinner), He is faithful and just (fair and impartial) to forgive you and cleanse you from all wickedness. How much wickedness?? All of it. So your faith encounter with God will make you a complete, whole, and clean person. And that process begins your very own, personal relationship with God.
The Way to Eternal Life.
Look at what Jesus prayed to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His arrest, torture and execution:
John 17:3 NLT And this is the way to have eternal life—to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the One You sent to earth.
So eternal life is not what you do but who you know! Jesus said we need to know the Father as the only true God and Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He also said that He was sent to the earth by the Father. Why did He come? The short answer is to (1) teach us the truth, (2) to be our example of how to live, (3) to suffer and die to pay for our sin, (4) and to be resurrected from the dead to prove He is the true Son of God and to show us there will be a resurrection for us, too! God doesn’t leave anybody dead! There will be a resurrection. Believers shall be with Him in eternity. Unbelievers shall be forever separated from Him in hell. Relationship with God and Jesus is the key that will unlock the awesome reality of eternity for you!
Open up your heart to God today. Come to Jesus and accept His shed blood as payment for your sins. Get cleaned up by confessing your sins to God. Step into the new relationship He wants to have with you and enjoy eternal life, which begins for you the moment you believe.
For more information about salvation and your relationship with Jesus click here.
(c) 2014 Randy Hartwig Ministries. All rights reserved.