As was said in Field Of Dreams:
Is This Heaven?
No, it's Iowa.   But,...
The Cross
...if it's Heaven you seek, there's only one way to get there,1 and it's so easy,2 that it's almost unbelievable.3

(1) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. --John 3:16

(2) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift from God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. --Romans 6:23

(3) For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. --1 Corinthians 1:18


It is my prayer that you will be blessed with God's free gift
and that I will meet you in Heaven.

Understanding John 3:16

Possibly, some will relate this verse to the time when they trusted Christ as Savior; while the memory of others will drift back to childhood days, when a mother or Sunday School teacher insisted that it be memorized. Maybe this Bible verse is new to you, and you're unaware that through the believing of the message of John 3:16 your sins can be forgiven, and your eternal destiny be Heaven. Yes, you can have everlasting life as a free gift from God.

FOR GOD...

...so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. You can place your confidence in the God of the Bible, because He is an ETERNAL GOD. Psalm 90:2 says "...FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING THOU ART GOD." Only a God who is eternal is capable of giving eternal life to another. However, God is HOLY, reminding us that eternal life and an entrance to Heaven can be given to you only after your sins have been forgiven. The Bible says of God, "Thine eyes are too pure to look on evil; Thou canst not tolerate wrong." Since the day sin entered the human race through Adam and Eve, mankind has been separated from God. "But your sins have separated between you and your God" (Isaiah 59:2). "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" (Romans 5:12). This spiritual and physical death includes not only Adam and Eve, but both the writer and the reader of these lines. However, this Eternal and Holy God...

...SO LOVED THE WORLD...

His LOVE equals His holiness. His holiness closed heaven's door to the sinner, but the result of His love opened it again. God loved, and still loves, because it is His nature to love. His love viewed the world in its state of sin, and reached out in a deliberate choice towards the ungodly, the sinners, and His enemies (Romans 5:8&10). Should you fit into any of these categories, then His love has reached out to you too. No individual, whether from a palace or a prison, will be able to accuse God of being unfair. For God so loved the world...

...THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON...

If a friend was condemned to die for a crime, and the governor announced that if anyone was willing to die in the criminal's place the criminal could go freeŚwould you volunteer? Consider what God did about 2000 years ago. " God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Can you picture in your mind the death of God's Son? The sinless Savior allowed sinful men to nail His hands and feet to a rugged wooden cross.

"Hark, I hear the dull blow of the hammer swung low,
They're nailing my Lord to the tree.
While the cross they upraise, the multitude gaze
At the blest Lamb of dark Calvary."

Speaking of Christ, 1 Peter 2:24 says, "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross...." Writing 700 years before the actual event took place, the prophet Isaiah in ch. 53:5 described the death of Christ, "But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed." Thankfully, we can read John 3:16 today, knowing that God's holy demand against sin has been satisfied, and with assurance can tell the world...

...THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM...

...should not perish but have everlasting life. Believing is not just an acknowledgment of a historical fact, but rather the believer in the Bible is seen as one who is trusting. What are you trusting in, or depending on, as your way to Heaven? To believe means to trust. Believing takes place at the moment when a person, conscious of their sinful state before God, takes a look at the cross and the suffering Savior, and then simply trusts the Saviour, believing that when He died for sinners, He died for me! Pause for a moment friend ... this could be the crossroads of your life. While still thinking of Christ dying on the cross would you acknowledge that you're the one that has been wrong and turn from sin in repentance? Do it now! If you would, the rest of your days can be lived with a peaceful confidence, knowing that because you have believed, God says you...

...SHOULD NOT PERISH...

"Perish" in the Bible means an eternal separation from God. "And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15). What a contrast! The unbeliever will have eternal judgment and separation from God. But God promises that the believer will be eternally with Him and will never perish...

...BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE!

The one who believes is a Christian! A possessor of the Person who will put meaning in life. Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" (John 10:10). This new life will never, and can never, be taken away. "I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my Father's hand" (John 10:28&29).

This message is reproduced with the permission of Seed Sowers, Christians with a common interest.

Please take a moment to visit the Cedar Rapids Bible Chapel.



Commentary from Dr. D. James Kennedy
Simpson, Gates, on Gratitude
H
omer Simpson, in one telling episode of "The Simpsons," declares, "Why do we thank God for our food? I went out and worked. I bought the food. I put it on the table. You ought to thank me."
     Homer's attitude is not so different from that of Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft who was recently recognized by Forbes as the richest man in America. Is he grateful? Mr. Gates told Time magazine that, "Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning."
     Both statements are breathtaking illustrations of the moral and spiritual blindness of our age. In God's eyes, ingratitude is not a trifling, but a very dangerous and deadly sin. In Romans I we read that darkness descended and depravity followed when men refused to glorify God and were not thankful. "[W]hen they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful ... and their foolish heart was darkened" (Romans 1:21 KJV). American culture today is marked by a spirit of complaint, fault-finding, division--and growing darkness and depravity. It begins, according to Romans, with a failure to be thankful.
     Shakespeare's King Lear declared, "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have an ungrateful child." God, to a far greater extent, must be grieved by our lack of thankfulness. Gratitude is a matter of the heart. it is the attitude that looks beyond the face of difficult circumstances to see the face of a loving God who has promised to work all things together for our good.
     There was an elderly woman, quite ill and near death, who received a visitor. Despite the woman's condition, the visitor was dumbstruck to find the woman praising and thanking God. The visitor asked, "How can you be thankful? Look at this room you live in. The walls are so cracked you can see right outside." The woman smiled and said, "That is exactly what I was thanking God for just now, that I could see the sunshine through the crack in the wall."
     The "sunshine through the crack in the wall"--there is a philosophy to live by that could transform your life. We have a great sovereign God who is working all things according to the good pleasure of His will. For that reason, we can be thankful for whatever comes our way.
     The word "thankful" comes from the same Anglo-Saxon root as the word "think." I encourage you to learn to think in a different, positive, hopeful, glad and grateful way for all that God has done for you. As we do that, our individual lives, as well as our nation, will be blessed.
 

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