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4 Things everyone needs to know
Good News and Bad News
Someone once said,” The Good News is so good because the bad news is so bad,”
and we need to hear it all. So let’s look at the bad news first – please don’t balk at this point.
Read on . . .

When we go to a doctor, his or her first job is to diagnose the problem. In medical matters we need a true and accurate diagnosis. The same is true in the spiritual realm. The Bible gives us that full and comprehensive diagnosis of our spiritual state.

There are four things the Bible tells us that we need to know:

1. We have a serious heart problem.
We are sinners by nature—no one had to teach you to sin; it came naturally.

• Our thoughts, words and actions are an offence to God.
• Our disobedience makes us guilty before a Holy God and therefore open to His just punishment.

Until we grasp this reality we will never progress spiritually. As the first step towards recovery for the alcoholic is that they own up to their problem, so too the necessary first step for spiritual salvation is that we own up to the sinfulness of our hearts. We need a good dose of humility.

2. We cannot fix our sin problem by our own good works
Because of these realities any thought of being able to make amends—by good works and religious observances—is utterly futile.

The sad reality is that no amount of religious ceremonies, rituals, or sacraments will ever undo the damage that we have done. (Now, doing good for others is indeed right and proper, but read on and you will see why these good efforts cannot make us right with God.)

In fact, to hold up your good works or your religious observances as a reason why God should accept you is actually insulting the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross—you are in effect saying His death was not really necessary.
The Bible says:
• He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, Titus chapter 3 verse 5
• For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— Ephesians chapter 2 verse 8

Now the reason for this is logical—if our efforts could turn the situation around for us, if we could get rid sin on our own, then there was no need for Jesus to have died on the cross at all. After all, we had the Ten Commandments before Jesus came, but none of us were keeping them, because we were unable due to our sinful hearts. (See Galatians chapter 2 verse 21.)

Another reason why our good deeds will never make us acceptable to God is because even when we are doing our best (which, if we are honest, is not very often) we are too often doing so for the wrong reasons:
• To feel good about ourselves.
• To be seen as a good person by others.
Isaiah the prophet even described our good efforts as “filthy rags”.

Now, that’s the bad news; let’s move on to the good news.

3. God has a solution to our sin problem!
The wonderful Good News is that when Jesus Christ died on the cross He paid the full and complete penalty for the sins of anyone who would believe in Him.

No one can pay for their own sins. Only Jesus Christ can take care of our terrible sin problem.
Because God is Holy He could not simply ignore our sin and just forgive (that would have been to set aside justice), so Jesus took all the punishment we deserved as He hung on the cross.

Please stop and think of this great reality: God the Father so loved this sinful and rebellious world that He sent His only Son to die an agonising death on the cross to take all the punishment for the sins of everyone who would come to Him for salvation.
We are rescued by grace—“Grace is God’s attitude to sinners by which He does for them what they do not deserve and what they could never achieve by themselves.” (Stanley Voke)

Therefore, you can be completely forgiven, and not only that, but He will bring you into a close and real relationship with Himself. He will begin to transform your life, changing you into the type of person He wants you to be.

Some people mistakenly think that they will be prepared for heaven after this life in a place called Purgatory, yet Purgatory does not exist. We can be confident that purgatory does not exist for two reasons:
• There is no need for such a place—if you come to Christ you will be completely forgiven, not partially forgiven–-“For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." Jeremiah chapter 31 verse 34.
• The Bible from one end to the other never speaks of purgatory or any such place—it is a complete fabrication, an invention of man.

This is good news, because it means you can have a full salvation and be sure that you will go directly to heaven when you die.
It is also sobering news because it means that there is no halfway house, no place to be cleansed after death. Therefore, reader today is the day you need to sort these matters out! How?

4. We must accept God’s solution by faith.
Well, we have already established that we cannot earn it or merit it. God makes this wonderful salvation available absolutely free to anyone . . .

• Who will acknowledge their own personal sinfulness and need of salvation.
• Who accept that they cannot rescue themselves, by good efforts or religion.
• Who are prepared to put their lives "under new management" by turning their lives over to the management of Christ (i.e. repent).
• Who by simple faith reach out to God and accept the full and complete salvation already bought and paid for on Calvary. Faith is a childlike reliance upon God. It is turning our confidence away from ourselves and placing it in what God has promised in the Bible.
You can take this all-important step by praying this sample prayer.

4. We must accept God’s solution by faith.

Dear Lord Jesus,

I know that I have sinned and need your forgiveness. I know you died on the Cross to pay the full penalty for all my sinfulness. I am willing to turn from my sinful ways, please help me. I ask you to forgive me and make me your own. I put my full trust for my salvation in what you have done for me on Calvary.

Thank you for your great goodness.

So where to from here?

If you would like to examine these important issues in greater detail read some of the materials in our resources section

4 Things
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