Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Coming Home

Coming Home 
by David Brenneman 

"Reconciliation, in Christian theology, is an element of salvation that refers to the results of atonement. Reconciliation is the end of the estrangement, caused by original sin, between God and humanity."

"past tense: reconciled; past participle: reconciled restore friendly relations between. cause to coexist in harmony; make or show to be compatible"

Was looking for definitions of reconciled.  Another way to look at this idea is to consider that no matter the condition of the person, through what Jesus did in His life, His death and His resurrection, He made it possible to come home. 

In Old Testament times, people like me could not come in the Temple or near the Ark of the Covenant.  Physical deformities were a reason to not allow people to come near.   After the work of God through Jesus on the cross, now it is possible. He made all things new.  He made a way where there was no way. 

The message of the Gospel is meant to be simple enough that a child could and would understand it.

In no way is it to be as complicated as many world religions make it out to be.

Jesus became the way when there was no way.  In that statement therein is everything in every way that humanity has tried in order to gain favor of God to be able to come home. 

Jesus became a man and lived a sinless life. Becoming the perfect sacrifice to die for all the sins of all humanity.  

The only requirement is for us to come to Christ to ask for the salvation available only through Him.  To believe. To exercise that bit of faith we are given.  

"But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13 NASB 

We can strive all our lives to be a good person and the Word of God says that won't be enough. 

It's something to really think about because the ramifications of that have eternal consequences.  

It's not a matter of "Oh okay, maybe I can do better next time." After you die there is no next time. 

It's not a matter of thinking "Oh well." Because the next stop, after you die, is an unending time of painful torment in a place nobody would wish on their worst enemy.  

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23 NASB95. 

It's free but only applies if we ask for it. 

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5 NASB95

In this chapter we see at its beginning the word justified.  Some like to read that word as if to say "just as if I hadn't sinned".  When we come to Christ we are indeed justified, indeed in His eyes those who are now followers of Christ are as white as snow. There is no sin to be seen because Jesus took it all upon Himself. 

We see also that we are saved from His wrath which is upon all who choose not to believe and die in their unbelief. 

And the next part is where we read of reconciliation.  The debt of sin we owe is paid in full when we receive the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  In the case of Believers, when they die, they are permitted entry into Heaven by what Jesus did to save them. Not on any basis of works they did on their own. 

Not many people are not moved emotionally at the end of a movie where reconciliation between people has happened if the movie is done right. 

Jesus receives those who have believed with extreme joy into His Heaven when they die.

Jesus also, because He is God, sees with profound sadness the lives of people as they die having refused His salvation. 

He will honor your choice.  
You will indeed choose.  Indecision is still a decision.  The enemy of God, Satan, built a fence for you and I to sit on, and tries to get people to believe that fence makes a difference in the eyes of God.

"But I didn't choose!"...you will be shown and have it explained to you that you did.

Jesus knows your heart.  He knows every single cell that makes you you.  He knows every single story of every single person. 

He knows what your life could really be like if you would come to Christ for salvation.  

My Dear Reader, oh you have no idea what things are in store for you when you come to Christ.  Jesus knows and only to a certain extent Satan knows.  Satan knows what salvation does to those who believe and it's something he really doesn't want people to have.  Satan knows the Bible better than any human being alive and tries to twist it to his own purposes. Tries to use it to twist the minds of people to keep them just out of reach of truly being saved.

Was watching an interview yesterday. A now seasoned Pastor was recounting a story of his younger days as a beginning Pastor.  Of being invited to speak at a type of conference.  He preached it as he felt lead to do.  Preached the need for salvation alone in Christ Jesus alone.  It actually upset those who had invited him.  These other so-called Pastors asked him, "but what if you don't believe that?" He very pointedly said then those people will be going to Hell.  They pressed the issue "But we don't believe that!" He again very directly said "Then you are going to Hell".

My Friend, time is not on your side. 
We know not if we even have a next breath to breathe let alone a day to live. 

Jesus isn't willing that any should perish.

"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9 NASB95. 

By rejecting salvation in Christ Jesus perishing is what comes next after dying. It's being eternally separated from God with no hope for help to stop the painful torment of paying for your own sins...
for all eternity.  

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." Revelation 3:20-21 NASB95. 

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