December 21, 2012 -- The end of the world as we know it?
December 21, 2012 marks the end of the 5000-year cycle according to the Mayan calendar. Was the warning of the earth’s demise encoded in it, giving us the time for the end, just as Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and countless others also predicted? With the increase in weather phenomenon, it appears that life on planet earth over the last few years has been anything but business as usual! People everywhere seem to share a sense that the world may be approaching the end.Despite those prophecies, the Bible is the only book that has ever given precise predictions of future events (prophecies) hundreds of years in advance, predictions that were accurately fulfilled. Far from vague generalities or general guesses like those given by fortunetellers, the prophecies in Scripture contain explicit details which no human could possibly devise on his own.
The Bible makes clear predictions that the times leading up to Christ’s return will be filled with intense international tension, cataclysmic disasters, and human misery It also says that in those days people will be lovers of pleasure instead of God, unthankful, heartless and without self control. Clearly the evidence of those predictions being fulfilled is all around us with reports of greed, murders, robberies, immorality, as well as a worldwide convulsion of violence and terrorism. All the signs seem to indicate that something is about to happen.
Besides the Bible's predictions on end time matters, it makes clear that every person also has an expiration date! It’s important for you to know what’s going to happen to you when your life ends. None of us knows how much time we personally have left. You need to be very concerned about your destiny if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ. Don’t make the mistake of looking to political or even religious leaders for salvation, but look to Jesus Christ alone. “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The verse that says "Jesus is the only way to God" may offend some people. But those who maintain there are many ways to God make a mockery of Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus would not have come and paid the ultimate price if there had been some other way. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us….for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Romans 5:8, Acts 4:12).
Everyone must decide what he or she will do with Jesus Christ. With tribulation and God’s judgment coming some day, this may well be the generation that witnesses the return of Jesus Christ. The central theme of the New Testament is God’s love for you as an individual. This love was revealed through Christ’s coming into the world, living among men, his dying on the cross and rising from the dead. Through Jesus' death, God offers you forgiveness for your sins, and through His resurrection the promise of everlasting life. To accept His offer of forgiveness and gift of eternal life, one must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and acknowledge what he did for you. The following Scripture passages explains what God did for you.
God's Love is Revealed.“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) God loves you and all of mankind. He wants to bless your life and make it full and complete. God, in His loving-kindness, couldn’t bear to see us destroy ourselves. He didn’t want us to be separated from Him forever, so He provided a way to bring us back to Himself.He offers you not only an abundant life here and now, but a life which is eternal. Man Is Sinful. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”(Romans 3:23) We have all heard the saying, “Well, we are just human—nobody is perfect.” But God is and we cannot approach him when we have sin in our life. "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." (James 2:10). When we acknowledge this truth, we can see our sin separates us from God. “Your iniquities [sins] have made a separation between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2). We need his forgiveness to approach him, for he is holy.
Sin Has a Penalty.“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)To continue in sin will result in spiritual death, which is separation from God forever.God cannot simply dismiss sin or admit sinners into heaven because that would violate his own holiness and break his own law. Jesus taught that some would go to eternal punishment, some to eternal life (Matthew 25:46). In other words, Hell will be as real and lasting as Heaven.
Christ Paid the Penalty. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”(Romans 5:8) You may think you must lead a “good” life and do charitable acts before God will forgive you. This is not so. Because we cannot save ourselves by good works, good character, personal effort, or merit of any kind. God loves you even in your sin and gave His Son to pay your debt, so that you can be reconciled to Him. "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Salvation is a Free Gift!“It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9) Grace means undeserved favor. God graciously offers to you what you could never do for yourself. God’s gift to you is free. You do not, and cannot, work for a gift. All you need to do is receive it. Believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ died for you to provide deliverance from your sins and to give you eternal life. We Must Receive Christ.Recognize that your sins have separated you from God. In honest repentance agree with God about your sinfulness and admit your need for forgiveness: “If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” ( John 1:12). When you receive Christ—when you accept what He has done for you—you become a child of God. Picture, if you will, Jesus Christ standing at the door of your life. Invite Him in. He is waiting to be received into your life. Receive Christ NOW!You can invite Jesus Christ into your life right now by praying to God something like the following: Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner and that I need Your forgiveness. I believe that Christ died in my place to pay the penalty for my sin and that He rose from the dead. I now invite Jesus Christ to come into my life as my Savior. Thank You for making me Your child. Help me learn to please You in every part of my life.
Pass this message on to someone you don't want to see left behind when Jesus comes for those who have accepted God's Grace. Time may be shorter than you think!
May God grant you “all joy and peace as you trust in him.” (Romans 15:13).