Need Jesus? Do I Need God?
God Never Did Anything For Me
For a long time I would ask God for things but nothing ever happened. I have asked for fame, money, love, a better life, healing, help, you name it. Maybe If I tithe my 10% I can get 500% back! Was I under the delusion that God was a magic genie? Yes, I was. I thought If I had enough faith I could have anything I want. I was only self-seeking concerned about my comfort.
I feel like the story of my life has been, "God give me [insert-thing]", making my requests to him as a last resort when I needed something. Since I didn't get what I wanted I grumbled and complained, who else to blame but God? Afterall He owes me, doesn't he? Wasn't I born to have a rich, fulfilling, successful life that other people would envy because I give credit to God for answering a small token of prayer?
Speaking as a Christian, It took me a long time to understand why God didn't answer my prayers and give me what I wanted back then. After a lot of battles in my mind, I finally understood that God is not my personal butler and his church is certainly not a slot machine. The concept I wasted so many years on was that Gods will is not my will. I lived my life the way was comfortable and pleasing to me, because this way seemed right.
I justified myself by comparing living a better life than [some-person], I figured that I must really deserve heaven and blessings! As if righteousness were measured by comparing myself to other people who also sin! What my heart really desired was to simply hangout with my friends, party, meet girls, and save money for a nice new car. Oh, How little I knew what kind of gift the blood of Jesus Christ was. Oh, I feel conviction as I write this.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
Choosing to Stay in Darkness
Remember the verse at the top spoken by John the Baptist? Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. It's not enough to confess God, we have to bear fruit. We can't fool God! In Hebrews 4:13 it says, Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. That's scary!
George MacDonald wrote the following, and I could not have written it better myself. "I thank thee, Lord, for forgiving me, but I prefer staying in the darkness: forgive me that too." 'No; that cannot be. The one thing that cannot be forgiven is the sin of choosing to be evil, of refusing deliverance. It is impossible to forgive that sin. Let a man have committed any sin whatever, I forgive him; but to choose to go on sinning--how can I forgive that?
It would be to nourish and cherish evil! It would be to let my creation go to ruin. Shall I keep you alive to do things hateful in the sight of all true men? If a man refuse to come out of his sin, he must suffer the vengeance of a love that would be no love if it left him there. Shall I allow my creature to be the thing my soul hates?'"
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
We are Sinners
If we look at ourselves, the following is who we are. All have sinned fallen short of the Glory of God. We are offended by the Word of God, and we are born radically depraved. We are God hating, we never sought God, we never came to God, we have rebelled against God, and we have broken every law of His. The things we love to do God hates. We fill our minds with things God is disgusted with. Our hearts are filled with abuse, envy, jealousy, bitterness, blasphemy, lying, stealing, lust, idolatry, gossip, hatred, slander, murder, selfishness, adultery, and many other evils. We are not good people. We were created in the image of God to fellowship and love Him, but we do the opposite of the goodness He desires because our hearts are deceitfully wicked. We deserve punishment by a Righteous and Holy God.
You may say, "Well that doesn't make me feel very good!" It doesn't make me feel very good either! We must know what we are and it's true that one sinner can hurt many people and destroy much good.
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; [..]
Pride is a Destroyer
Some people will not acknowledge they are sinners because they are prideful and stiff-necked. We believe we are full of good qualities, I may have a few qualities. But my heart, my motives and my enteraining thoughts are disgusting towards God. Proverbs 15:26 says, The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked [..]
Many people refuse to come to God for several reasons, first being pride, the Bible says [..] God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5). Second, John 3:20 says clearly, "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." Lastly, they think the cross is foolishness which is declared in 1 Corinthians 1:18. These last two things are both wrapped in pride because it exposes them and it challenges their intellect, and as people we want to save our face. This is why it says in 1 Corinthians 1:27, But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. Look at John 3:20 once more, every who does evil hates the light. If you hate hearing the truth that exposes your sin then you do evil. You want to continue in your sin and pleasure and you do not want to change, you love your sin. And you will say and use anything to make an excuse to keep sinning.
A Way That "Seems" Right
In Proverbs 14:12 it says, There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. It says in Proverbs 16:2, All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Things that seemed right to me were being nice and kind, doing good deeds, giving to the poor, and attending church once a year -- though I seldom did these things. As right as it may seem to have good morals and give to the poor, it would still lead me to death (the second death). The Bible declares in Isaiah 64:6 that all our righteous acts are like filthy rags before God.
I am a sinner, and there is nothing I can do to win favor with God or please God. As kind and righteous as I could possibly behave for my entire life, all of those deeds will still be like a filthy rag before God. Because my deeds, my time, and my suffering do not justify me before God. It makes sense why I have never experienced, heard, or felt God -- because I was doing everything He didn't want me to do and everything I did do was like a filthy rag based on my morals. It seemed right to me, but I was wrong.
Religion and Tradition seems right to man. How about those old ancient looking church building where people gather under some Latin preaching they don't understand called Mass? I used to use the saying, "I was raised religious" as if I knew something. I went to church time to time and thought I figured it all out. Jesus said in Mark 7:13, "[..] you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that." Religion and tradition never did anything for me beside make me feel religious. Being religious did not benefit me in any way because most traditions nullify the Word of God -- which is basically putting traditions above repenting, obeying and loving God from the heart. So I went my way that seemed right, but later I'd learn Proverbs would prove me to be a fool as it says, He who trusts in himself is a fool [..] (Proverbs 28:26).
"The religious syste, which has been set up to replace an intimate relationship with the Creator, will influence a person's mind to go after what is highly esteemed in the eyes of men and to ignore what is esteemed in God's eyes." - Greg Violi, The Kings Holy Beauty
"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."
A Thief and A Robber
Look what Jesus says in John 10:1, "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber." Heaven is God's Kingdom, and the gate to God's Kingdom is Jesus, "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. [..]" (John 10:9). Notice that the gate is "Through me [Jesus]", definately not through church attendance and singing in a choir. If I tried to get into Heaven by justifying my life of "my good deeds [not through Jesus]", I would be treated as a thief and a robber trying to enter, and I'd be condemned in the end. Because the only way I can be justified is by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1), and His perfect sacrifise on the Cross. The only way I can be righteous is by putting on His righteousness, through Jesus.
You see, "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matthew 7:14). The gate is so narrow that it is under one name, Jesus. It even says, there a few who find it. There are only few that find it because most people are occupied with the cares and worries of this life meaning very few are looking for the gate, they are too busy.
Friend, this isn't religion, organizations, or denominations, this is Jesus Christ the Lord you must seek as the person He is. Within your own conscience you know the difference between right and wrong, and it is your choice what you do. We've all screwed up, and we all need forgiveness. But you must be completely honest with yourself, and with God, because God will not play games.
God Sees You as Worthwhile
All throughout history very few want to admit guilt, they just want to go their own way and pretend it's okay -- but it's not! We must be honest and confess our sin before God in an admission of guilt to then receive His forgiveness. God is love, and love hates evil. God loved the world, and despite all these evils of our hearts and sins we've committed -- God see's you and I as worth the sacrifice of sending Jesus his only Son of to leave Heaven, live as a man, and die for us.
As sad and wretched as the state we are in, God sees what we can become by receiving His Son. He wants to restore fellowship with his creation, but he does not approve of sin because God is good. Rather than staying objects of wrath, if we turn and receive His Holy Spirit, we can become a born-again new creation adopted into the Kingdom of God, and have fellowship with God!
[..] As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! [..]
Please, Get Saved.