Did you know God loves you and has a special free gift for you? This gift is to be in Heaven with Him for all eternity.
But first, there’s a problem. We have all done things wrong and missed the mark of God’s perfection, just like the arrows have missed the target in this picture. We call it “sin”. This includes even the smallest wrong actions, such as wrong thoughts, words, or deeds. Many people I meet say they are good and God will accept them for their goodness. But God never says anywhere in His Bible that good people go to heaven. In fact God’s has shown us His perspective on what every person is like. In the Old Testament, Jeremiah 17:9 -10 says “the heart is more deceitful and is desperately sick…I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind…” And Ecclesiastes 7: 20 states “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” In the New Testament we read in Romans 3:23 that everyone has sinned and comes short of the perfection of God. Sin prevents us from going to heaven and being with God forever. No amount of “good” outdoes the sin. Heaven is a free gift and not a reward for our good deeds.
This picture represents Heaven, which is a perfect place. You see, God and heaven are perfect, and God cannot allow these sins, to come into heaven. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that the wages, or penalty, for sin is death. “Death” here refers to spiritual death, which is an eternal separation from God. This means we will be separated from heaven and God’s presence forever.
That was the bad news. But this picture of the cross shows us the really good news! 1 Corinthians 15:3 says that Christ died in our place for our sin. You see, Jesus paid the price for all our sin so that we could be forgiven. Jesus did not have to die, because He was perfect. But He chose to die out of His great love for each of us, and He paid the price for all our sins as a gift for us.
This picture of an empty tomb refers to the fact that Jesus rose from the dead, proving He was God and that He had the power to forgive sin. 1 Corinthians 15:4 says that after 3 days, He rose again. This proves He also has the power over death and we can live with Him forever in heaven.
So what exactly is God asking you to do to have this free gift?
This picture of a chair helps us understand the answer. The Bible says in John 3:16 that God loved the world so much (that’s you), that He gave His one and only Son (that’s Jesus), that whoever puts their trust in Him should not perish (be eternally separated from God) but have eternal life (in heaven with Him). God wants you to do more than simply understand and accept this message as possibly true. He is asking you to put your complete trust in Jesus Christ, who died for your sins and rose from the dead. Just as you can accept that a chair is strong enough to hold you up, it is not until you actually sit down in the chair that you are truly “trusting in” the chair. In the same way, God wants you to put your trust in Christ alone as the sufficient payment for all of your sin. When you do that, God gives you eternal life as an absolute free gift. You become his child, and all your sins are forgiven, which allows you to go to heaven someday.
Now it’s time for a test. Which of these next 3 pictures represents the basis of how someone has their wrongs forgiven so they will be allowed into heaven someday?
a) By their works? Or…
b) by their works and also as a gift? Or
c) by a gift only?
It’s not the first picture; we can never work hard enough to earn heaven and God’s forgiveness. Romans 4:5 says clearly that forgiveness is not due to our works (such as living a good life, turning from sin, making Jesus Lord of your life, baptism, or going to church).
And it’s not the second picture of works plus a gift. Romans 11:6 says “if it is by grace (a gift), then it is no longer by works, if it were, then a gift would no longer be a gift.”
The correct answer is the third picture – a free gift from God. Trusting in Jesus Christ alone is how we have our sins forgiven, which allows us to enter heaven some day. This is God’s way. Ephesians 2:8-9 says: “For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works so that no one may boast.” No one can ever boast for being allowed into heaven by their works. It is a free gift provided through Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead.
So now comes the very most important decision any person can ever make. Are you willing to transfer what you may be trusting in (good works) and trust in Jesus Christ alone to forgive your sins and give you His gift of eternal life?
Say these things quietly in your own heart (or out loud): “I understand Jesus Christ died in my place for my sins and rose from the dead.”
“I trust right now in Jesus Christ alone– not my goodness or a religion, but only in Jesus.”
This picture of a padlock represents the eternal security we have in Christ. In that way, the good news gets even better, because God says we can KNOW that we have eternal life. 1 John 5:13 says: “I have written these things to you who have trusted in the name of the Son of God (Jesus), so that you may know that you have eternal life.” Do you know you have eternal life? We don’t have to think we do or guess that we do, but we can KNOW we have eternal life.
The words of Jesus in John 10:28- 29–“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” We are doubly secure in the hand of both Jesus and His Father.
This picture is of a person raising their hands in thanks to God, which shows how our good works fit into all this. We do not do good works to get to heaven, but rather to tell God “thank you” for saving us. Good works do not equal heaven. Good works equal “thank you” to God.
This picture of a hand passing on a gift refers to how we have the privilege of sharing this great news with others. A person can know with certainty that his sins have all been paid for and he can go to heaven as a free gift of God! Since this is great news, won’t you share this today with your friends and family?
This is why we do what we do. We believe this and we want to share it with all who will listen! Thank you for reading. We pray that you will accept this free gift by trusting in Christ alone for your salvation.
For more info, go to http://www.gocrossway.org