Monday, December 18, 2023

Who Am I?

Who Am I?
by David Brenneman 

Identity is something that we grapple with almost from birth.  We're born, and soon thereafter we're walking and talking. Deciding what we like and what we don't like.  Choosing to follow in the footsteps of others or paving our own way.  Genetically, we're predisposed towards male or female, as God saw fit. It's not a matter of mental choice as some have come to conclude.  

Upon making choices concerning identity we begin to understand that there are consequences with decisions.  Every left turn has as much a consequence as a right.  Every breath we breathe is not our own, this too is a gift from God just as much as our gender. 

Moving forward in our years we are influenced by others, either for the good or for the bad.  Some have our best interests in mind, some, are out to elevate themselves at our expense.  

Our choices are at stake every day.  It began so long ago but continues throughout our lives.  Every single person will inevitably come to a point of addressing the need to know if indeed they have denied or accepted the truth about life as presented by God.  What we choose concerning this will determine our identity for all eternity. 

Without salvation in Christ Jesus, the sentence of death is assured as per the Word of God.  Though they may walk, talk, buy, sell, think, sleep and eat, those who've rejected Jesus as Lord and Savior stand condemned.  The very breath they breathe is a gift of God with the hope from Him that in due time they might change their minds.  The Biblical word for grace is what is played out concerning this. God's unmerited favor...that's what grace means.  Without accomplishing anything of eternal relevance people who've rejected Christ are living empty lives.  While their lives might appear full and they may want for nothing, emptiness defines them.  Fears that they never were meant to carry alone are the waters in which they are drowning.  The truth of Jesus's words are always true of everyone "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul? What would a man give in exchange for his soul?".  A life defined without Jesus is condemned already. Eternal death, that is, a complete permanent separation from God awaits all who reject Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.  Not a separation that any understand or know, but one of painful torment. Paying the price themselves for all eternity for their own sins. 

The alternative is to seek out the relationship, the life in Christ that He desires so much to have with each of us.  To know the length and width and height of the love of God in Christ Jesus.  To understand that we cannot be right before the Righteous Lord of all creation in our own merits.  A life in Christ Jesus brings His righteousness to bear on all our sins. Erasing them completely.  Removing them from the equation.  When God the Father looks upon any Believer, He sees the Savior who is Christ the Lord.  Though Believer's stumble and fall because of daily sins, they are forgiven because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  Forgiveness is available to all who believe.  A relationship with Jesus is what defines these individuals.  Hope is now possible.  The beginnings of an eternity with Jesus start to define them.  The sentence of death is done away with.  Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  This freedom is only possible by coming to Jesus to be saved, receiving His free gift of salvation that only He provides.  

My Dear Reader, your eternal identity is one or the other of these two.  It's not about success, fame, or fortune. It's not about failure, no notoriety or lack of anything.  Who you are on this matter of salvation is who you are for all eternity.

You are either saved in Christ Jesus or you are not. You are either going to spend eternity getting to know Jesus and all that comes with it or you will spend eternity with the regret of choosing to reject Him. Paying in painful ways that you have never experienced before, forever.  

The gift of salvation isn't like the sin that started humanity down this road.  You must choose.  There is no fence of indecision. Only Jesus writes your name in the Book of Life.  The Spirit of God will someday testify to that signature or will show that you said no.  This choice is for you alone to make.  Once you physically die, that's it.  Nobody can buy your passage from Hell to get you into Heaven's door.  Only Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Father to cover sin. Money or possessions, status, nothing else is going to cut it.

So, my Dear Reader, forgetting what you look like, forgetting where you work, who's family you belong to...forgetting everything else...where do you stand concerning being saved or not?  

When Jesus comes again it will be to take all who are saved in Christ Jesus, those who have died will be resurrected to have a new body first. Those who are alive and are saved will be next.  Hell on Earth awaits those who have rejected the gift of salvation for the next 7 years.  While people will be saved during this time, you don't want to be here.

At the appointed time after those 7 years and the thousand year that Jesus rules this world, there will be a final judgment day.  No questions will be asked concerning who is saved and who is not.

Jesus will separate those who are from those who are not Himself.  There are no do overs, no second chances. 

You can know today that you are saved.  The way is through Jesus Christ alone. 

Let your true identity be found in Christ. He’s waiting with open arms to receive you to Himself. 

"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 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

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