|There are many churches, many
denominations, and they all have different things to say.
Because our STAR-network consists of people from all over the
world and from all kinds of houses and denominations, our
members do not agree over everything. But STAR-members must
have "Yeshua in their heart". We as members feel this
as a binding factor even stronger than the love for reggae
music. But when it is not a matter of church or denomination,
what is it, then? What does it mean, when you say: "I
have given my heart unto Yeshua Messiah"? Let me quote
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life. (John
This scripture is perhaps the
best known line from the Bible. It is considered to carry the
hardcore of the biblical message. It is also the foundation
for STAR. To overstand (rather than understand) this
scripture, is to overstand this basis.
You can read, that one is going
to perish unless (s)he "believes in Him". In another
scripture, a man called Paul wrote: "For
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans
3:23). Sin is the name that the bible gives to all those
activities that we do, that is not in accordance with the will
of our Creator. It is also the name we give to the situation,
in which we are all born. Read what the great King David wrote
about it: "Behold, I was
shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me"
(Psalm 51:5) There is not one human being who is
without sin. Because we are born in it, we commit sins.
This "sin" is the reason, why one is going to
perish. Now, when nothing is done about this situation, we
will all perish. Because JAH, the Almighty God, is holy, we as
sinful people can never get to Him. And if we can't get to
Him, we are lost forever.
Using John 3:16 as our
foundation, we can read that in order to "not
perish", one has to "believe in Him". This has
been made possible by Jah because "He gave His only
begotten Son". Now, what do you have to believe? I will
quote brother Paul again, he says: "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" (Romans 10:9) Apart
from publicaly confessing "Jesus Christ is Lord and
Savior" we have to believe, that He has been risen from
death, by Jah. Another thing we must do is repent of our sins.
Another brother, named Peter says this about salvation, "Repent
ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted
out ..." (Acts 3:19). Brother Paul says, "But
now (God) commandeth all men every where to repent." (Acts
17:30b). Confess simply means to acknowledge all of our sins
to Jesus and repent means that we see that our actions (sins)
are contrary to Jah's will, we feel remorse and regret over
them, and try not to commit them again, so that we will be
converted. When we confess and repent our sins to Him and
confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, we will be saved.
You see, this is the main
reason, why Jah (God) has "given His only begotten
Son". When He came to earth, He lived a perfect live. He
did not commit any sin. Still He was killed in a very brutal
way, He was tortured to death. They put Him on a cross. The
Bible teaches us, that Jesus did this to create the
possibility for mankind, to get saved. Again, Paul: "For
the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Ro 6:23 )
Without having sinned, Jesus Christ still got the wages. Now
this is crucial, because it means that Jesus Christ has been
killed for the sins of somebody else. For whom? For all who
call upon His (Jesus') Name.
Jesus Christ did not stay dead,
He was raised again by His Father. When you accept this as a
fact, in your heart, you will not perish. You will have
everlasting life. Then you'll have "Jesus Christ in your
heart". And if you're not sure, pray this prayer with me,
"Lord Jesus, I know that I
am a sinner. I know, that I will never get to heaven apart
from Your Grace. I admit and confess my sins unto You. I
believe that You came to earth, lived a sinless life, died for
my sins and rose again. I accept you in my heart as Lord and
Savior. Please take my life and be Ruler over it. In your
Name, Jesus. Amen"
When you have prayed this
prayer, sincerely, you are saved, and you just got a new life.
There is a lot to learn in this new life, therefore it is
crucial to find people around you that also have a positive
faith in Christ Jesus. One place to find them is in a Bible
believing and teaching church. And to read your bible a
chapter a day. Start with the Gospel according to John.
WHO IS JESUS?
do you think that I am?" With that brief question Jesus
Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue
they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and
made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now
the time had come for them either to believe or deny His
teachings. Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will
determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal
destiny as well. Consider what the Bible says about Him.
While Jesus was on earth
there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was
a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman.
Still others couldn't decide or didn't care. But Jesus said,
"I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). That means
He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh. Many
people today don't understand that Jesus claimed to be God.
They're content to think of Him as little more than a great
moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to
deity. That's why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18;
10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7). C.S.
Lewis observed, "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can
spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His
feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with
any patronizing nonsense about Him being a great human
teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend
to" (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41). If
the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!
God is absolutely and
perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or
approve of evil (James 1:13). As God, Jesus embodied every
element of God's character. Colossians 2:9 says, "In Him
all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form." He was
perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn't prove
any accusation against Him. (John 8:46). God requires holiness
of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, "You shall be holy,
for I am holy."
IS THE SAVIOR
Our failure to obey
God--to be holy--places us in danger of eternal punishment (2
Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because
we have neither the desire nor ability to do so. We are by
nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible
calls our rebellion "sin". According to Scripture,
everyone is guilty of sin: "There is no man who does not
sin" (1Kings 8:46). "All have sinned and fall short
of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable
of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says,
"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leoard its
spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing
evil." That doesn't mean we're incapable of performing
acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various
religious or humanitarian activities. But we're utterly
incapable of understanding, loving or pleasing God on our own.
The Bible says, "There is none righteous, not even one;
there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for
God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless;
there is none who does good, there is not even one"
(Romans 3:10-12) God's holiness and justice demand that all
sin be punished by death: "The soul who sins will
die" (Ezekiel 18:4). That's hard for us to understand
because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming
some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible
teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking
and evil desires. That's why simply changing our patterns of
behavior can't solve our sin problem or eliminate its
consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking
and desires are holy. Jesus is the only one who can forgive
and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and
penalty of sin: "There is salvation in no one else; for
there is no other name under heaven that has been given among
men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Even though
God's justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a
Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners:
"Christ ... died for sins once for all, the just for the
unjust, in order that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter
3:18). Christ's death satisfied the demands of God's justice,
thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their
faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, "God so loved
the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal
life." He alone is "our great God and Savior"
IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH
Some people think it
doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere. But
without a valid object your faith is useless. If you take
poison--thinking it's medicine--all the faith in the world
won't restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only
source of salvation, and you're trusting in anyone or anything
else for your salvation, your faith is useless. Many people
assume there are many paths to God and that each religion
represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, "I am the
way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father,
but through Me" (John 14:6). He didn't claim to be one of
many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for
His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God--then and
says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we
were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy
endless fellowship with Him. The New Testament reveals it was
Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians
1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm
103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe
Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship. Romans 10:9
says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and
believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you
shall be saved." Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly
submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing
that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the
historical fact of His resurrection--the pinnacle of Christian
faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority
of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31). True faith is always
accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than
simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you
are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a
conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah
55:7). Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My
commandments" (John 14:15); and "If you abide in My
word, then you are truly disciples of Mine" (John 8:31).
It isn't enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even
Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but
they don't love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True
saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).
Jesus is the Sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are
acknowledging His Lordship and submitting to His authority.
That doesn't mean your obedience will always be perfect, but
that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you
withhold from Him.
IS THE JUDGE
All who reject Jesus as
their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge:
"God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should
repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the
world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed,
having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the
dead" (Acts 17:30-31). Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says,
"The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His
mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to
those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the
gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of
eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and
from the glory of His power."
WILL YOU RESPOND?
Who does the Bible say
Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only
valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the
righteous Judge. Who do you say Jesus is? That is the
inescapable question. He alone can redeem you--free you from
the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you,
restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal
purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your
Lord and Savior?
1991 Grace To You.
All rights reserved, Used by permission. Printed
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