When one is diagnosed with cancer or dealing with an affliction that is ongoing, for many of us we desperately want to know “where God is when it hurts.” When we are face to face with our mortality and questions around life and death, we all long to know there’s hope. Here at Endurance, we want you to know there is hope and that hope is eternal! No one questions, even during pain and suffering, that we are sinners. But what many may fail to see and acknowledge, is that Jesus is the answer to our sin problem. The beautiful gift He offers is forgiveness. If you find yourself in that place wondering, if I die from this disease called cancer will I be in heaven with Jesus, then wonder no more! The following, by Randy Alcorn, is a beautiful understanding of what God offers freely to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. HOPE ETERNAL! – Dave Dravecky
You Can Know Christ Personally
Our Problem, God's Solution
By Randy Alcorn
"God created mankind in his own image....God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." - Genesis 1:27-31
God made human beings with personal and relational qualities like His own (Genesis 1:26) and desired to have a delightful relationship with them. But something went terribly wrong. When Adam and Eve chose to follow Satan’s advice in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), sin poisoned the world and now we are all born with the desire to do things our own way, not God’s.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." - Romans 3:23
Our sins against a good and holy God have distanced us from Him (Isaiah 59:2). God “cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (Habakkuk 1:12). Through sin we forfeit a relationship with God, and along with it our happiness. The result of all this is death. Spiritual death is separation from God in a very real place called hell. Physical death marks the end of our opportunity to enter into a relationship with God and avoid eternal condemnation (Hebrews 9:27).
"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 6:23
There is absolutely nothing we can do to restore ourselves to God. He is holy, we are not. In fact, He says even our good deeds are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). But God loved us so much He sent us His Son Jesus, fully God and fully Man, to deliver us from death and give us life (John 3:16). “God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Jesus went to the cross to pay the price for our sins. He did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. When Jesus died for us, He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The Greek word translated “it is finished” was written across certificates of debt when they were canceled. It meant “paid in full.” Jesus then rose from the grave, conquering sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. " - Ephesians 2:8-9
God’s greatest gift is a restored relationship with Himself, delivering us from hell and granting us entry into Heaven (John 3:36). This gift depends not on our merit but solely on Christ’s work of grace for us on the cross (Titus 3:5). He is the one and only way to God. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
"If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." - Romans 10:9
To be right with God, we must admit our sinful hearts and actions, and ask God’s forgiveness. If we do, He graciously promises full forgiveness: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Then we are to affirm to others that the resurrected Jesus is our Lord.
"Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life." - John 5:24
The life we long for is freely offered to us in Christ. We can believe His promise and call on Him to save us, humbly accepting His gift of eternal life: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). God’s Holy Spirit indwells us and helps us obey Him (2 Timothy 1:14).