There was a righteous judge who ruled over a certain village. He was a righteous man, full of integrity. He helped the villagers and was fair to them. He never accepted the gifts or bribes of the people. He always judged fairly and never showed partiality to anyone.
The people loved, honoured, and respected him. After many years, when the judge retired, the economy went down; his family went through financial trouble. They lived a fairly simple life. One day, on the judge’s birthday, he came home and found that his wife had prepared lots of expensive and rich foods; he was greatly surprised and asked her how she had enough money to afford all the food. At first she would not tell him, but he kept on persisting until she explained to him. – When he was still a judge some of the people that he had ruled over came to her and had asked what year of the animal he was born in and she said the year of the mouse, according to the Chinese zodiac calendar. The people who were very grateful for the fairness of the judge came together, contributed and made a golden mouse. They gave the mouse to the judge’s wife, as a present for his birthday. At first she would not accept, but they kept on insisting so she accepted the gift, but she kept it a secret from him. Since after his retirement, their family were in need, so little by little she would slice a sliver gold off from the mouse, and use it to buy food. – after she finished recounting the story, the judge clicked his tongue and sighed. He said if only you had said that I was born in the year of the ox, how much better that would have been!”
Everyone wants to live a righteous, holy life, but when we are faced with trials, adversities, temptations, and difficulties, we give in to our sinful human nature. Just like the judge, who was a righteous man, but his heart became greedy when he was in a difficult time in his life. One way or another we are like him too.
Our greatest ancestor, Adam and Eve, before they sinned, had a close intimate relationship with God. Their spirit was always in contact with God, but when they listened to the lies of Satan, and sinned, they caused sin to enter the whole world. Their spirit was also cut off from God.
Because of our separation from God, we constantly feel a void; we feel the wanting, the longing for something to fill the empty space in our lives. We feel unfulfilled, and are dissatisfied with our life, even if we are successful. We do not feel at peace; we feel like our soul is missing something. That is because we do not have the love and life of God in our lives. In an attempt to fill the void, people look for and try different ways to connect with God, through self-righteousness, different religions, good works, but the devil misleads them into the wrong path. Instead of worshipping God, the Creator, they worship God’s creation. People worship the mountains, rivers, sun, moon, stars, different animals, cows, dragons, birds, elephants, fish, etc…
People are constantly trying to win over sin, to change their sinful nature and live a holy, righteous, and good life. They try everything in their power, they try to live a good life, give to the poor, obey the law, fast, “cleanse” themselves of sin by torturing their flesh and by doing different rituals, disciplining their bodies, denying their sinful desires, helping others, worshiping angels and different things, and people, dead ancestors, and man-made idols.
Their beliefs and religions come from the voice of their spirit crying out of a thirst for a relationship with God. Their spirits hunger and thirst for the presence and love of God. A long time ago there was a king called Solomon. He had everything that this world could offer. He had authority, power, fame, money, a great reputation, honour, and wisdom. But he worshipped different idols, and he lost his relationship with God. He came to a place in his life where he desperately cried out: “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.”
There are lots of achievements and works that men have done that deserve praise and recognition. But even all their efforts and works cannot bring a solution to make them holy and righteous. The Word of God, the Bible, says:
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” (Jeremiah 13:23)
God wants the world to see that even with all their efforts, it is all vain, just like a leopard cannot change its spots, and an Ethiopian cannot change the colour of his skin, likewise, people cannot erase their sin. There is an old saying: “You can do good all your life, but if you have done wrong, even for just one moment, all of your good cannot make up for that wrong.”
The apostle Paul, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, before he followed Jesus, he was a religious man. He was a Jew and followed all its customs and obeyed the law, paid all his taxes, went to every religious meeting, gave to the poor, fasted, prayed, and lived a good, perfect life. He was very proud of his religion, but after a while he one day cried out “Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death!… For what I am doing, I do not understand, for what I will to do, I do not practice, for what I hate, that I do…for the good that I will to do, I do not do, but the evil, I will not to do, I practice, For I know that in me (that is my flesh) nothing good dwells, for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” (Romans 7:18-19)
The word of God says:
“These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”
There is a story about a person who walked along the beach. He looked at the beach and it was very beautiful, but its beauty was ruined by the footprints in the sand. He looked for different ways to erase the footprints, and tried everything he could think of. Soon he became very tired and discouraged. The more he tried to erase the footprints the more footprints appeared. But then a wave came up to the shore and when it came back down, all the footprints had disappeared and the beach was back to its natural, beautiful state.
Our life is like the story told above; we want to live a good, righteous, holy, and beautiful life, but the more we try to become better and erase our sins, the more we see our imperfection. It doesn’t matter how hard we try, or what we do. By ourselves we cannot change our sinful human nature or erase our sins, just like the man on the beach tried to erase all the footprints, in the sand, and could not do it.
When we could not live a holy, righteous life, God already prepared a plan to save us, to save all mankind. That plan was for Jesus Christ to come to earth and take our place, and die for us. He erased all the sins of the world by His blood. Just like the wave came and washed away the footprints in the sand, the blood of Jesus Christ washes away the sin of the world.
The Word of God says:
“He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins in the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:20)
“I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” (Isaiah 44:22)“
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Over 2000 years ago, The Saviour, Jesus Christ came down to earth to die for us, he endured through pain, suffering, humiliation, crucifixion, dying on the cross, and he was buried but resurrected on the third day, because He was God; death and hell could not hold Him back.
He stayed for forty days on earth before; He went back to heaven, to proclaim that the sin of the whole world has been paid and that we have been forgiven. This is the good news for you; me, and the whole world. Our sin has already been paid off by the blood of Jesus Christ that has been poured out for us. This is a priceless gift from God that He has given to us! All you need to do is to accept and receive this gift, and thank God for His forgiveness and salvation.God made heaven for us! We also must know that hell was only made for satan and the demons and the fallen angels, not for humans. The Bible says:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16)
God loves you, He does not want you to go to hell. People go to hell not because they sin but because they don’t believe that Jesus has already forgiven them, and taken away their sins. And by refusing to believe they are rejecting God’s gift of salvation, that is why they go to hell. When Jesus died on the cross, there were two thieves who were crucified on either side of Him; one went to heaven because he believed, the other did not believe, so he did not go to heaven. Jesus said to the man who believed:
“Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
Just because God’s gift to us was free, does not mean the gift was cheap. In fact, God’s gift is the most expensive gift anyone can ever receive or give. This gift cost God everything, it cost the life of His son. There is air all round us, and we do not pay to breathe the air, but we need the air to survive, without it, we would die within a couple of minutes. The air is out there for us, but we have to breathe it in, in order to live. That is how God’s salvation works. We have to believe and receive His salvation in order to be saved. It is there for us, but it is our choice to receive or reject it. Please receive God’s salvation and pray with me like this:
’’Thank you, God, for loving me and sending Jesus Christ, as my saviour, to come and die for my sins. I recognize and repent of all my sins. I receive my forgiveness and salvation through, Jesus Christ. I invite You, Jesus, into my life, to be the Lord and Saviour of my life. Thank you for writing my name into the book of life. In Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.
If you have prayed this prayer to receive salvation or have any questions, please get in touch with us.
Rev. Abraham Ha | (416) 833-7765