VOICE
OF
THE
REMNANT

While it's true there may be many people who are experiencing the same feelings as the Remnant regarding churches and religion in general, the first question someone may need to ask is,

"What is a Christian?"

There can be a lot of confusion today about this question. Is it someone who goes to church? Is it someone who was born in a Christian family? Is it someone who has been baptized? Or, is it someone who does goes around doing good deeds all the time? When this question comes up, sometimes I’ll ask people…

"What is the most meaningful thing in your life?"

I get a lot of different answers, even from church goers, but many times Christians will answer - it is their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe this is where understanding what it means to be a Christian begins and ends… in a real, living and interactive relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Some people will say, “That’s your opinion. Why should I believe that?"

And that’s understandable, it’s healthy to examine ourselves and see what we believe about spiritual things. I believe a good place to start is the Bible. Why? Because it says many things that most people can agree on regardless of their beliefs. For example:

The fact that no one is perfect. We have all done wrong. This is certainly true. I know it’s the case for me!

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

 

And naturally, the Bible says that there is a God. It says that we can all sense the presence of God even without reading the Bible.

“For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)

But, the Bible doesn’t stop there. It continues to say, there is only One God.

"Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles (non-Jews) too? Yes, of Gentiles too,.. there is only one God..." (Romans 3:29-31)

Christian or not, most people who accept that God exists, also believe that he is the ultimate good being.

 

 

Likewise, nearly everyone has heard of the existence of Heaven and Hell. Whether they believe in the existence of Hell or not, most accept that there is a Heaven and that it would be the ultimate good and perfect place. Even if they aren't sure what happens to them after they die, where they might go... most are willing to consider that they would go to Heaven.

What makes this difficult is that we have just acknowledged that everyone, including ourselves are not perfect, we have done wrong, ie: we are sinners.

So, the question then becomes, "Why would a perfect God allow us to enter a perfect Heaven?"

The answer is he can't. Why? Because we are not perfect, and if God allowed us into Heaven, it wouldn't be a perfect place anymore! This simple and logical conclusion leads us straight to another question.

“Why can't God just ignore all the bad things we have done and let us into Heaven after we die?” The Bible tells us that;

"For the Lord is a God of Justice." (Isaiah 30:18)

"He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice." (Psalms 9:8)

“For God does not show favoritism.” (Romans 2:11)

Throughout the Bible, we see that God is always fair and he upholds and defends justice. Honestly, I believe that is the kind of God we want. We humans are so often unjust and unfair to each other. That is why I am so glad God maintains the highest standards of Justice. However as a result, where does that leave us? We have all done wrong. The Bible makes it very clear.

"The wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23)

This is easy to understand about people who abuse their own bodies and abuse other people. Even so, everyone dies, no matter how much good or bad we have done in our lives. And as we read above, everyone who is imperfect, who has sinned; you, me, everyone, cannot be allowed into a perfect Heaven. Instead, we are fairly judged and justly receive the consequences for the sins we have committed. The result is being separated from God - in a place which is far away from Heaven. The Bible calls this place Hell.

"The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all who cause sin and all who do evil. The angels will throw them into the blazing furnace, will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth…” (Matthew 13:41-42)

These are frightening words and a terrible reality to consider! The penalty for doing wrong, the punishment for sin may seem far too extreme, but remember, God is a God of Justice. He is the keeper and source of all things good and perfect, so he cannot allow even a small amount of evil or one little sin to stand.

 

 

This can cause some people to try and make-up for the wrongs they have done by doing things such as giving money to the poor and trying to do many other good deeds, or even attending church regularly. However, as worthy as these are, we cannot make ourselves good enough to earn a place in Heaven. In the end, we still remain a very imperfect person.

It would seem that we are all without hope because none of us can live up to the high standards of God.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17)

Wow, that is an amazing statement of love and forgiveness! Imagine that you were found guilty of murder and the Judge sentenced you to be executed. Then, imagine that same Judge sent his own son to be executed in your place, satisfying the judgment against you and setting you free from punishment.

 

 

 

 

 

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for sinners." Romans 5:6

God understands we all fall terribly short of living a perfect life and that what we earned from doing all our sins was death.

"...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

God doesn’t want anyone to be separated from Him and wind up in Hell. He loves us so much, that He sent His own son Jesus to take the punishment we deserve.

 

God offers us the greatest gift we could ever receive, life after death. Freedom from fear with the confidence and assurance that after our worn-out bodies die, we can live forever in Heaven. A place which the Bible describes…

."...God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:3-5)

This awesome gift from God is yours to receive, but before you can receive it, naturally, you must accept it. You cannot receive it from a pastor, priest, or church.

It begins with you praying, that is, talking to God. Just simply, privately, in your own words, pray to God and be honest with yourself and God.

 

 

 

 

-Start by acknowledging and confessing to him that you have done wrong, you have sinned, that, you are a sinner… and no matter how hard you try, you know you cannot do enough good to cover up your sins.

-Tell God that you want to trust what the Bible says, that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins.

-Ask God to forgive you because of what Jesus did for you.

-Tell Him that you are willing to trust and follow Jesus and ask him to help you understand and know him more.

The Bible reassures us that...

"... if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." (Romans 10:9-10)

“Since God’s children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)

“But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” (Acts 2:24)

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into a promise that can never disappear, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:3-4)

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all the wrongs we have done." (1 John 1:9)

God gives us his word in these solid promises of the Bible. He is an honest and truthful God. He will do what He says.

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

Make a personal commitment to the Lord to have a real, living, interactive relationship with Jesus each and every day. Seek his guidance by praying and by reading his word in the Bible. He will help you.

 

God will not leave you on our own, but will send His Holy Spirit to guide, counsel, comfort and protect you. The Bible promises that if you have confessed and turned from your sin in the name of Jesus Christ,

"...you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)

Jesus Himself told His disciples, "... the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26)

If you have prayed for these things above, then you can expect your life to never be the same again!

 

He is trustworthy and will never abandon you. God urges you to seek out other believers and allow them to help you on your new journey in Christ.

Ask God to direct you to fellow Christians who have such a personal relationship with Jesus and to a find church where you can learn more and grow in your knowledge of God. Get a Bible and begin reading it. God's Holy Spirit will give you understanding. If you do not have a Bible, just contact me and I will gladly send you one.

I pray that you have decided to follow Jesus. If you have made a decision not to accept Jesus, then I challenge you to re-consider and read the Bible for yourself. God will help you understand his words. If you choose not to read the Bible, I would ask you to challenge God himself. He will reveal his Son Jesus Christ to you. 100% guaranteed.

For those of you who have made a decision to accept Jesus as your Savior, then I urge you to share your decision with me or other believers. Whether you contact me or someone else, it will be a blessing to you and other believers, and it honors the Lord who made the ultimate sacrifice for you. I welcome you as one of my new brothers or sisters in Christ!

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments you might have…

Though I may not know you or ever hear from you, I pray that Jesus will touch your heart and change your life forever.

May God bless you.

In Christ‘s name,

Pastor Bruce

BruceSikes@aol.com