Have you seen the show, “Ripley’s-Believe it or Not? We are given a story line that seems fake, yet could be believable, and your left with the question, can this really be true?. What I am about to tell you is not only true; but like all of Ripley’s fun, weird and crazy facts, and just as the banner above states, it is also Outrageous, Amazing, Unbelievable, Bizarre, Incredible, Unconventional, and most all, is hard to wrap our heads around.
Our home group has been studying the Book of Romans and although we have only gotten up to Chapter 6 and I personally Chapter 8 at the time of this blog, I have immersed myself in it. By my title of this post, you can tell that the book of Romans has become my favorite book of the Bible. I have listened to nearly 100 sermons, read much about it on the internet, and read different bible versions of Romans. And after all of this searching, reading and listening, I know that I haven’t even scratched the service. And I most certainly won’t be able to explain all that I have learned thus far here in this one post.
If you haven’t read the Bible and don’t know where to start or don’t know much about what Christianity is all about. This is the one Book of the Bible where you should start. It is a good summary of what Christianity is all about. The first few chapters are a little difficult to get through and at first you think.. Oh Man.. we are in trouble and God is definitely not happy with us AT ALL!!! Hold on and don’t get all freaked out.. The Good News is coming just a few chapters in.
It was hard to figure out what was I was reading and I came upon a great website that took me chapter by chapter and even by a few verses at a time and gave me a much better understanding. It is a wealth of information, and will take you weeks to get thru it all, but highly recommended.
You, Me & Every single person on this earth from past, present or future is a sinner, not one person is found to be righteous or good. Not one person is perfect, other than Jesus Christ. We have all angered God and we all deserve his judgement. But we all have an equal chance to be found good and righteous in his eyes. We must use this chance while we are still here, or unfortunately it will be too late.
There is only one way to be found righteous. I am sure you have heard or been told and you think that just by being a good person, you will go to heaven. As long as your good outweighs the bad. But how much good outweighs the bad? and what is considered bad? According to the Bible, nobody is good enough to get into heaven and you CAN NOT do anything or enough on your own to get there. Again, we CANNOT gain our way into heaven by trying to be good, following all the rules, obeying all the laws or by trying to do enough of the good things.
You might read the first few chapters of Roman’s and think to yourself, who is God that he should tell me how to live my life? It sounds to me like he is always angry. Well He is not. We all have terrible thoughts like this sometimes. That’s another reason we are sinners. It’s pretty obvious that God created us and so therefore, God gets to give us law and gets to make the rules. He is our Father. And just like your earthly father. Your earthly father in a way, created you, and as a child he made the rules for you to follow. And why does he give you rules. Because he loves you, wants to protect you, and wants only what is best for you. And just like God, your father’s love is unconditional. Besides, God doesn’t live in a space of time and therefore see’s and knows everything and how it all fits together. Everything whether it be good or bad, will eventually, sometime in the end work out for the best and He knows the consequences of not following his rules.
I mean think about it… Thou Shalt not Steal, Thou Shalt not Kill, Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery, Honor they Father and Mother. We even have laws pertaining to these in our current society. And why? Well let’s see.. breaking these can lead to jail, divorce, sexual diseases, unwanted children, broken lives, broken limbs, paralysis, death, on and on.. It just makes sense to follow the rules. Keeping the law keeps us from harm and out of trouble.
The major problems we have on this earth are a direct result of us as humans not keeping the laws whether it be God’s or the governments. So if we aren’t saved by keeping the law then what was the purpose of giving it to us? The Law exposes our sin and shows that we are sinners who need to be saved. That we need a Savior. There is absolutely nothing we can do to be righteous. We can’t be justified by merit, or achievements. And trying to achieve thru works only creates more debt to be paid. Only Christ is the Doer of the Law and thru him, the Wrath or judgement of God can’t harm or touch you. No Faith, No Salvation, No Justification.
We also don’t gain our way into heaven by going to church, reading the bible, being a certain religion, praying every day and night, serving others, keeping the Ten Commandments (or the law), following the legalistic ways of our church, doing good works, etc… etc… etc… The only reason we should do good works and try to obey the Ten Commandments (the law) is because it pleases God. And besides, there are always others who need our help. And it makes us feel good as well. By doing these things we show God how much we love him and appreciate what he has given us and what he has done for us to allow us to be found righteous and justified to enter into, share, and enjoy his Kingdom for Eternity.
This is also why we go to church to worship him, to pray to him, to be baptized, to take communion. He asked and we enjoy in doing this for him. So what did God do for us that allows us to gain entrance to heaven? To be found righteous and good? What does it take?
These few favorite verses of mine, sum up what it and Christianity is all about.. read: Romans 3:21-31 I used the Message version here for better understanding.
Did you understand it? So after having read those verses, what are we asked to do to enter into heaven?.. Believe and have Faith. We should believe and fully admit that we are all sinners. And because God wanted to put everything right, what he did and was able to do is hard for our tiny little minds to understand. It is quite difficult to believe that it is possible and to wrap around how God could also be human. Two separate beings, yet the same. Christianity also adds in the Holy Spirit, which is what we call the Trinity… So God is actually three separate beings, yet the same. What did he do?
God himself came to earth as a fully separate man (Jesus Christ) and was born to a virgin mother. Why a virgin? Because it would be an infinite miracle. One that would ever happen again or had never happened before. It proved that he was something special. There were also 100’s of prophecy’s that foretold His birth, His death & life hundreds of years before any of it took place. Here is what He did:
He (Jesus Christ) being
totally innocent ,sinless,
totally perfect and pure,
having broken no laws;
100% guiltless of crime,
was betrayed, abandoned, ridiculed, was beaten, slapped, kicked, & spit on.
thorns driven in his head, he could barely walk, but made to carry his cross
thru a town full of mockers, no friends to be found in the crowd & up a hill.
Was nailed to a cross with sturdy nails, thru both of his hands and both feet
he was lifted high up into the air,
and left there to die in loneliness
with the weight of his entire body
held by the nails within his hands.
The weight causing all his organs
to slowly shut down and causing
his organs to fail, cramp & spasm
not been given anything to drink,
also dying of extreme dehydration
and losing major amounts of blood
sweat and tears and to be sure that
he had died,he was pierced thru the
heart with a spear to confirm that He
TRULY WAS DEAD.
And for What?
For nothing other then to pay for our sins, to pay our debt in full, to fulfill the law, so that we would be made righteous. Lets not forget that He also arose three days later from death and ascended into heaven. We must believe that this happened and have Faith that in this belief and the free gift of grace from God, that we are guaranteed salvation. We are justified and found to be righteous. Now good enough to get into heaven.
If you don’t believe that we need a savior. Watch the news and look around.. This world is fallen, and just keeps getting worse. It isn’t going to get better. The murder, mayhem, mass shootings, torture of innocent people, arrogant tyrants, and corrupt leaders in every nation is getting beyond the point of stopping. We most definitely need someone to step in and make it all right.
This free gift is offered to all. Even for those who identify as Homosexual? Yes…All are welcome. All are equal. All who believe, All who come to him and have faith will be saved. In fact Faith is so important that Chapters 3-8 all discuss Faith, salvation and no condemnation for all those who are in Christ Jesus. This is a free gift and although it should be relatively easy, it is hard for us to believe. We are so filled with pride that we keep trying to earn our way into heaven.
As I said earlier. There is nothing you can do to earn your entrance into heaven other then believe and have faith. No amount of works, no matter how good or how many hours you put into it, will earn your entry. In fact, there are two kinds of religion. There are the DO religions and the Done religion. Notice that I made the DO religion’s plural versus the DONE religion?
Every religion, except Christianity believes that certain things must be done or not done to gain entrance into the Kingdom of God. They are under the notion that you must wear certain clothing, go to temple, go to a mass, must pray five times a day, must confess sins to a priest, must do more good things then bad, must partake in rituals of the church, on and on and on.. they believe that salvation is “earned” by the things you do. Christianity is a “Done” religion.
We could frame it this way: The Living Bible puts Romans 3 verse 28 this way: “So it is that we are saved by faith in Christ and not by the good things we do.” Thank God, it is true.
Salvation comes by simple faith in Jesus—plus nothing and minus nothing. Those who transfer their trust to the Son of God are saved immediately and forever. Here is a tremendous truth to ponder. One God … one way of salvation. Don’t let anyone tell you that God has two ways of salvation. Salvation has always been by grace through faith. It’s the same in every dispensation—Old Testament, New Testament, under the law, before the law, after the law. Salvation is always by grace through faith. It is never through works. No one has ever been saved by good works; no one will ever be saved that way.
It’s faith alone—first, last and always. For all who believe. Every race, every country, every culture, every person..and everyone must come the same way. Some claim that we can lose our salvation. That might be true if at some point in time, you decide that Jesus and God don’t exist, or decide that you can purposely keep sinning it up, so to say. who knows, but what would have been the purpose to save us from even our future sins if we could lose it?
You have two choices… to believe it or not.. Believe and have faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross that he paid your debt in full and have eternal life in heaven…. I shudder to even think of the other possibility. If your not worshiping Jesus (my opinion) you are not worshiping the one & true God.
I have always doubted that I was worthy of being saved, and I would go from believing it one day, to doubting it the other 6 days. I feel that God has finally spoken to me thru the book of Romans and is telling me that thru him, I am worthy, so I have finally chosen to change my mind frame from self defeating to fully believing.
I pray that today you choose also to believe. If you have been reading my past posts, you know that I get you. You know that I understand your pain. You know that I understand your hatred towards religion & those within it that tear you down, & your anger at God. But I now know different, and this is why I blog. To show you my journey from hatred & anger to a joy in Christ. To share what I have learned. That God is so not angry at only “FAGS”. He is angry at all who sin. All sin is equal. Homosexuality is no worse a sin then anything else. Choose to believe today. Find a church and choose to be surrounded by those who believe. If you want to know more about Christianity, the resurrection, Jesus and God click the dollar bill at the top left of this page and learn more.
Remember that we should turn away from sin. There will be struggles with sin and life… it was never said that it would be easy… in fact, it is my experience that trying to live a christian life, especially as a Gay man.. is a really difficult and constant struggle. And it is really tough when you hear other Christians say that Gay and Christianity don’t mix. You can’t be Gay and Christian. That my friends is pure…… and don’t believe everything you hear. Even God himself said that everything he created was good. Including you and Me. His unconditional love and forgiveness is open to ALL!!
There is a time to struggle. Sometimes people come to Christ and then we get upset because things don’t go well for us. We get upset because we have relationship difficulties, financial difficulties, personal difficulties, emotional difficulties, marital difficulties, problems in different areas in life. We get discouraged, we get disillusioned, we get angry with God and wonder what’s wrong with us. Usually, there’s nothing deeply wrong with you if you’re going through a period of struggle.
It’s just part of what it means to live on this earth. When Jesus saved you, he didn’t say he would take away all your problems. No, but he did say this. In your problems, there is no condemnation. In your struggles, there is no condemnation, in your failure, there is no condemnation. In your going astray, there is no condemnation. God is not angry with you when you struggle. It’s not just that we fail, but we condemn ourselves when we fail. It’s not just that we struggle, but we get angry at ourselves because we’re not perfect. We heap this huge load of guilt on ourselves and we transfer it all to God and we think God must hate us because we hate ourselves so much because of what we’ve done. It’s not true at all. What does God do when we fail? He helps us back up, he tells us where we went wrong, and he puts us back in the game. Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.