You are loved incredibly - more than you know.
The very Spirit of Yeshua (Christ) Himself is available to you today. It forms the guarantee of a future inheritance as children of our Creator.
Yeshua achieved an unchangeable, new legal standing for humanity. All the work is done to satisfy the requirements to reconcile you with our Creator today.
This legal ruling overcomes the curse of death, and brings immortality including an incorruptible body, once we pass from this temporary life. We will live with each other in a new heavens and new earth in time without beginning or end.
It can only be accepted as a gift, and cannot be worked for. It is the only way to overcome the curse mankind is born into. No other way can fulfil the legal requirements.
The clock is ticking - time is running very short to make this decision.
The Author of life and love wants to give everything to you.
Stop to consider that for a moment...
I have been so looking forward to writing this section! If you've made it this far, you have an amazing decision just ahead of you! This is lengthy, but it deserves more than a summary. (If you really need a summary, there's one at the bottom of this page).
The doom and gloom of destruction coming upon the earth very soon, is only part of the story, and is only relevant for those not reconciled with our Creator. In it's right context, it's actually the beginning of the most amazing transition and future that could ever happen! It's going to happen no matter what, and what matters really is our response (and the timing of our response). While the story of what is coming upon the earth might seem incredulous at this end of the time frame (while there is still relative peace), the truth is, once the rapture takes place and the tribulation starts, millions will become believers. Although this means they will have to endure the tribulation unto death, they will realise the weight of eternity in their decisions, and remain aligned with Christ as believers until the end.
The Great Tribulation has no bearing on eternity for those giving their lives to their Creator and becoming reconciled to Him. There is absolutely no comparison between eternal life with our Father and brothers and sisters in a new heaven and new earth, and anything that may come in this life for a few years.
Furthermore, there is still a way to escape earth's judgement - a rescue of God's children before it all starts on earth. A Great Sign on September 23 2017 which matched Revelation 12:1-2 is the announcement of this time soon ahead. (If you think about it, the rapture of millions of believers could very well plunge our very fragile world into chaos overnight. It wouldn't take much at this point to trigger what the Bible describes). Many will come to believe in Christ once the rapture happens as it will be such a huge event there will be no denying these truths.
And today, nothing compares to living each moment in an eternal space of life and love, in harmony with our Creator Father and just knowing all the striving of this world has disappeared from your life. Allowing Him to be our life and love. My story is that I've never been more at peace in my life, despite such an escalation in turmoil in the world. This is because I've finally and deeply understood the real character of God.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Ps 147:3
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Jn 3:17
What does "saved" mean? It means that God as a loving parent will deliver, or protect - to heal, preserve, and make you whole. This means that being saved, is a journey back to our original design.
To use an analogy, this is a whole lot more than just get you out of the water from drowning and into the boat. It's to make sure you will never be in that situation again. It's to wrap His arms around you, see if you're ok, and nurture you. It's to put warm clothes on you, prepare meals for you, give you a home with brothers and sisters, to always draw you to your full potential as you were created - to freely embrace your true self as He delights being your dad. It's to send you out and provide for you, to be freely yourself, always assured you have everything you need. For eternity. This is what it means.
In light of Eternity and this offer of being saved, it astounds me how tightly people can hang onto their lives in this world. Yet at the same time, I understand how our back-stories and life journeys have shaped our belief systems in many ways that are not representative of the truth of who our Creator actually is. It becomes a journey towards truth and trust, rather than an overnight decision.
God's Love Defined
Do not fear. If you reach out to your Father, YHWH and His son, Yeshua (Jesus), He is loving and just and able to save you the very moment that you ask. Why? Because you are accepting a gift instead of working. You have no required tasks or time period to prove your worth. Why? Because the gift we are accepting, is to be a son or daughter. Once you're in a family, it's birth that defines you, not behaviour. In other words, you are always His child from that point, and you never have to prove this through behaviour. Rather, behaviour naturally follows as we realise we are His children. If you think about accepting a gift, it takes a certain attitude of the heart to truly accept it. We need to see the gift is genuine, that the motives of the giver are true, and that we are not proud or ashamed to accept it.
It's birth that defines you
Once we are re-birthed or "born again" our behaviour no longer has any bearing on our acceptance of our almighty Creator of the universe. Why? Because we become His children. This means we have a place in His home (heaven), along with our brothers and sisters.
Everything in our life becomes in the context of family, our true family where we are permanent members. It is not a club or institution where membership can change based on behaviour.
example of jesus
The following story is one of the most striking in all of the gospels. Jesus was hanging on the cross about to die, alongside two other criminals, one either side of him. One criminal was saved in that moment, while the other was not.
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:39-43
This is by far one of my favourite passages in the Bible. Why? Because you cannot go past the love shown here, to a condemned and helpless man. I know how much I am like this man - so very far from perfection. How much more helpless can you get? A condemned criminal with hours or minutes to live, and absolutely no opportunity to prove himself to God. No good deeds. No church attendance. No giving of money. No straightening his life out. No making amends as a father, son, worker, or community member. Not a single chance. Instead, he's nailed to a cross, alongside Jesus, about to die. And what was Jesus' (the son of God) response? “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
A point of humility and faith on the part of this condemned man, got him assurance into God's family that same day while on the cross. How can this be? And if Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8), we can assume that this is available to us too? Yes, it is!
The difference between the two criminals was the attitude of the heart. That's where life starts.
So this should be simple right? Then why do so many people refuse this gift? It's because even though this is the most precious and powerful gift in the universe, the reasons are similar to refusing a normal gift. We need to trust both the gift itself, and the giver, and see that our pride or shame about ourselves don't cause us to reject it. Having the place of our heart ready to accept it, is what takes the time, even though when we make that decision, we are instantly changed and become spiritually alive to the Spirit of Yeshua.
All of these reasons are deep human emotional reasons, and completely understandable. The organised church has failed in significant areas, however this does not take our personal responsibility away for our eternal future. We need to investigate whether our beliefs line up with what is actually true about the character of our Creator. We have deep beliefs about what a father, or even God is like based on earthly experiences, or examples from others. Further, how we feel about our worthiness of the gift, or our need for it, also determines whether we accept it.
Can I just say that I have totally been there? I grew up in a religious environment and family of dysfunction. I've had plenty of pride, shame, and unbelief that I made my own. It's taken years to align with how I was made to be. My thoughts and emotions have gradually trusted the true character of God. He is loving, kind, not arrogant or boastful, does not put Himself first... so that knowing Him has truly changed my life.
blockages to accepting yeshua
I think this can be explained in two heart attitudes which are pride and unbelief.
Believing that we still have something to offer to make amends for our fallen state, is pride. Accepting the gift of truly being saved from something, means admitting there’s something wrong in the first place and that we are in a place of need. We feel condemned - and we are! But we are not designed to stay that way… pride keeps us there by not accepting the solution to being… not-condemned! Shame is also related to pride - you could think of shame as the other end of the same spectrum - and it’s a blocker to accepting Christ. It says “I’m not worthy” or “there’s too much wrong with me or my life” to accept this. We feel not worthy… and this is also true! But again, we are not designed to stay that way. Many people are on the performance pendulum, and the emotions follow this too. Feeling great about performance, or scared of failure. Feeling ashamed to have a go, or unworthy. Doing any actions to try and feel better or avoid painful emotions - it's tiring feeling controlled by thoughts, emotions, people and circumstances around us.
To follow Christ, is to be at rest from all of this (that's right, to really follow Christ is not a burden!):
Grace - the free gift that cost our Creator everything, is the great equaliser. It truly brings balance in our lives because we are no longer on the pendulum of pride / shame. Trying to make ourselves worthy - proving ourselves, trying to stay away from any feelings of inferiority… the list goes on! Or, staying away from achieving anything, feeling sorry for ourselves and having self-pity of unworthiness - BOTH keep us from being saved! Imagine not even being on that pendulum swing at all? Imagine the peace of living at rest - at a true centre, fulfilled and without need for performance? That’s what we’re being saved from! Both pride and shame show themselves in obsession - trying to exist without the very source of life - trying to climb out of ourselves and transcend our position, without God!
Pride maintains that we still have something on offer to climb out of our mess. It comes from a spiritual place of shame, originating from the first sin of the first humans. Adam and Eve were deeply ashamed of what they did that separated them from God, and this has passed down to all mankind. We are born into it.
One of the terms that reflects this in the world today, is trans-humanism. If you study where technology is heading, and how crazy the world is going, it's endgame is very much about finding immortality, or at least increasing our abilities as humans to augment and transcend ourselves, eventually to become as gods or god-like. Immortal, powerful, sovereign... all by ourselves. Artificial Intelligence plays a big part in this development.
In the average person's life, it translates in the ever-increasing demands of life. Extra "performance" constantly required from work, home, relationships, sport and every other area! How much can humans be expected to do better each day? And we are bombarded every night on TV by "amazing" people who can do "amazing things" or those "reality" competitions that are constantly shrouded in judgement and judges... it's not normal! Performance and judging. No wonder we have record levels of mental illness, depression and those that just want to get off the merry-go-round or treadmill of life, coping with drugs, alcohol, shopping, study, eating, even suicide... anything that takes the pain away even for a while. Do you realise how ridiculous it is to be living in world like this? It's not how we are designed! It's all a hand-me-down from fallen humanity. Coming from a deep place of need, and refusing God's Spirit within us, brings people to do all the crazy things we see today. The craziness can be seen as a normal response to not having our deepest needs met.
It does not naturally fit our fallen nature to admit that we are broken and in need of help, yet at some stage in our lives, we are all given the opportunity to accept His gift of salvation. From this point, if we accept His Spirit, everything changes.
This is where we see God as neither real, or powerful to save. We question whether He can be trusted, and we question His character. I worked out that my deep beliefs about a father or other authority figures based on my earthly experiences, directly affected my view of God as father. I transferred my beliefs onto God, rather than openly seeing who God was, apart from any earthly beliefs I placed upon him. For example, if we have experiences year after year of an abusive father, then without intervention, it is very likely we will see our true Father in a similar light. This is a natural consequence.
We need to be aware of our concept of God in our belief system which is developed over years of exposure to dysfunction in our families of origin, and in the world at large (our belief system is the system that drives our decisions, deep within us, not just the conscious thoughts in our minds). Therefore we won't turn to God, unless we believe He's worth turning to! Our concept has to be aligned with the truth. Have a look at some of the issues many people have with this, based on the survey below.
concept of god
A friend of mine, a PhD psychologist, did a survey on the most common answers from thousands of responses to the following questions. These are the top responses of these honest answers:
When I think about being with God I feel: distant, alone
When I have to trust God I feel: He will make me do something I don't want to do
When I think about God I wish: He would talk to me
Sometimes I get angry with God when: He doesn't answer me
It frustrates me when God wants me to: do things I can't do
I really enjoy God when: He is there to help
The one thing I would change about myself to please God is: everything
When I think about God's commands I feel: a failure; judged; He's going to get me
Sometimes I wish God would: get me out of this mess and take me home
I can really depend on God when: I do everything right - my performance meets His level
In my relationship with God I am always sure that He will: get me; make me pay; reveal me to others
The one thing that frightens me about God is: judgement
God surprises me when He: comes through and helps
The one thing I am afraid God will do is: take one of my children to get my attention.
Do you relate to any of these? At the end of the day, while we can blame others including family, or churches or any other things for our belief problems about God - our Eternity depends on coming to God. It's important we take up the responsibility of ensuring we have a right God-concept. We need to make sure we know who He really is - in order to make that decision to trust Him authentically.
Our deepest needs are for love, acceptance, assurance, significance, security and total commitment.
If we have a God that is not there, doesn't help, doesn't listen, gives commands I can't keep, judges me, is out to get me, makes life miserable, says I'm not good enough, and doesn't care... why would I turn to Him? Of course we wouldn't. The beliefs we have about who God is, and whether He can be trusted, are a huge block to many of us in coming to accept His gift. We need to "re-align" our beliefs over time, to accept the truth of our Creator, Father, YHWH God.
god is love
God is love (1 Jn 4:8). He is the essence of love. So we can apply these attributes from 1Cor 13 to His character and see the following. Are these what you think about God?
God is patient
God is kind
God is not jealous
God does not brag
God is not arrogant
God does not act unbecomingly
God does not seek His own
God is not provoked
God does not remember wrongs
Does not rejoice in wrongs
God rejoices in truth
God bears all things
God believes all things
God hopes all things
God endures all things
God never fails
If we allowed this truth to soak our souls, we would be more willing to approach our Father for who He is, and accept His gift of a place in His family. Of course God is much more than this, but this forms part of His essential character.
If we are steeped in the brokenness of this world, we are likely to resist thinking of being a child again. Yet we all have fathers, so we are all earthly children, even if we are advanced in age. Many of us have dysfunctional family backgrounds (mine included) and we naturally take on beliefs about things like family and parents. This can keep us from believing and trusting God when we transfer all our beliefs upon God.
Thank you to Abiding Life. for the "God concept" material above.
keys to accepting yeshua
We truly are hope-less to save ourselves. How can we possibly save ourselves in such a big universe? How can we possibly bridge the chasm (a legal separation) between us and our Creator - the very source of life itself? What does our future really look like on our own? We have to get to this point first. That is, humility. Realise there are two foundational truths here: 1. There is a God. 2. You're not Him. We are made to be dependent. Just like a child, dependency is a good thing when we can trust we have a good parent. Humility opens the door for our life in Christ, because we are now aware of our immense limitations. This is not a put-down, rather it is a realisation of truth. We are immensely loved children. Of the maker of heaven and earth. Do we seek to be God himself? No. Being a child of a Father like this, is absolutely the most amazing thing we could imagine. His whole world, once we leave this one, is unbelieveably huge, amazing, full of light, life, love and without end... with all those who have likewise become children... amazing! No evil can befall you, everything is new with no degradation or decay, and freedom is real...
Whether we admit it or not, we all have faith. The difference being where we place it. Some place faith in humanity, for example in smart scientists, or government, or even ourselves. We place faith in things everyday - for transportation to get us around, shops to keep food for us, the sun to shine, and for water to be available. Faith is placing our trust for something to be so, in order to take action in our lives. If we had no faith in our transportation, we would act accordingly and not use that form of transport. I cannot stress enough, at how little mankind knows about what actually exists in the universe. We are wise to lose faith in humans, and place our faith in the Creator of heaven and earth. That's where our help comes from. (Ps 121). Faith opens every door to life, light, love, power... every atribute and gift that comes from the Spirit of life in Christ Himself. Faith is like our "receiving muscle", and it brings visible results in our lives.
does sin matter?
Remember God's most defining characteristic: Love. (1Jn 4:8)
The world He has Created has an order, and runs according to a set of laws, to keep things pure, uncontaminated, and in harmony. You might say sin is living against the laws of the universe and brings "dirt" into it. In life, we naturally try and keep our lives clean. We clean our houses to keep dirt away from us. We clean our bodies to stay hygienic. We wash our cars to look after them. And what about our children? We keep them as clean and healthy as possible too. Why? Because we love them. We know the effects of dirt, disease and uncleanliness. It looks bad. It smells bad, and it is bad. This is exactly the same spiritually. The difference with sin is, it's dirt that sticks because it has a legal right to be there. You cannot make yourself clean, by yourself.
Sin spreads like a disease, and affects everything around it. It sticks to us legally and we can't break it off. If we sin just once, we are breaking the law, and the consequences of it is death in every way - spiritually and physically. We cannot make amends by doing good works, because everything we do is never enough. It is a legal issue, and we're born into it. It has caused the huge chasm that separates us from our Father, from life, love and everything good.
Our collective Father loves us so much, that He made a way for us to be completely clean and whole. In fact, He makes us brand new. How? He re-births us, or you may have heard the term "born again". It's the only way to get out of the mess. Die to the old life, and be born into a new life. This happens in the deepest part of us, our spirit, when we accept the spirit of His Son, Jesus. From that point, the remnants of our old life are washed away and we are regenerated body, soul and spirit. Everything that happens in our life is therefore working from a place of completion (that is, in having the identity of a child of God) rather than working towards completion.
This has been missed in church culture somehow, where people feel they need to do something appease God, when there is nothing left to do... it's silly to think we can add to some completed work! Remember Jesus' last words on the cross?
"It is finished" Jn 19:30
So does sin matter? Yes - because it separates us from our Creator! Sin and death are a curse. If it owns you, of course it matters. Because that's the thing keeping you separated from true love and power, aligning yourself with all of creation and each other as originally designed, including the complete reconciliation with your true Father, the Source of all love, power, provision and all things good.
Cleaning us through and through is exactly what God has decided to do. Think about what Jesus did just before He died - while He still had time with his friends after 3 years... he washed their feet. Can you imagine what feet were like in those days of sandals and animal-transport walking the streets? The son of God, Creator of all things, washed the feet of his friends...
This is completely the character of God.
The gift on offer is so amazing, that it was made available to us ahead of time, with no guarantee that we would take it. Even now, with such an obvious unsolveable problem in humanity, and such a comprehensive and loving gift that permanently makes us clean, the choice remains ours. How loving is that? We are not forced at any time, to accept this amazing gift.
As His children, He gets angry at anything that hurts us, just as a loving father would. This especially includes sin and the effects on our lives. But as a child, we are never under condemnation (Rom 8:1), because of the legal standing we have as His children (Rom 8:2). He just loves us. The law of sin and death has been overcome by the law of life in Yeshua (Christ). No other religion, self effort, scheme, organisation or any kind of work can achieve this legal requirement.
a little more about believing
This is not a tick-box list, or an "add-on" to our lives. Believing is all-encompassing. It includes our entire being - it's something that (while on the outside) might appear tentative, is making that turnaround to face God, trusting that He is willing and able to save us, love us, and that His desire for us is only good. It is bringing all that we have to the table and saying, "I believe"! This is how equality truly reflects the nature of God - His solution of belief in His son Jesus is absolutely acceptable because in doing so, it brings us under the new law of life, which is permanent. Sin=death. Jesus=life. We can choose either with both consequences being guaranteed.
This is the only difference between the two criminals on the cross - the acknowledgement and confession of our sin, accepting his solution by inviting Christ into our lives. As we face Him, He embraces us. Even a tiny amount of faith can move the mountains in your life. Those un-crossable, immense and towering things... can all be moved with tiny faith. It all starts with facing the right way. Face your Creator YHWH - even tentatively - it's all you need. Trust will grow as it does in normal relationships.
In accepting Jesus, we take on his blameless state towards God, permanently. Because death is linked to sin legally, it will never let go of mankind while ever mankind is caught under that law. But Jesus overcame the law because He didn't break any universal laws and sin, and in doing so, introduced a new law. It's called the law of the spirit of life (in Christ). So anyone who accepts Jesus, is literally accepting Him - his spirit. That's the same spirit that was in Christ himself, 2,000 years ago? Don't believe me? Have a look at this:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col 1:27
The only hope we have, is Christ.
And still don't believe me? Try it. Humble yourself and ask Him to come in right now. Spend a few minutes and focus on this - bring yourself before your almighty Creator who loves you, and say sorry for the way you have been living - without acknowledging Him. Do a 180 degree turnaround and face Him with your life. He will embrace you - like the prodigal son story below. He can't wait for the moment His son or daughter (you) has that moment of realisation that He's been waiting all along for you to see Him - to really see Him. You cannot imagine this - all of history has been waiting for this point - for you to recognise Him and receive His endless love.
how will God view me if I look to him?
He always loves you no matter what. This is what motivated Him to act ahead of time, for your salvation to be available to offer to you. However there's still a chasm caused by sin. So, ultimately, being His child (the all important question) depends on the attitude of the heart. If you are looking for salvation, know that if you look to Him, He has waited for this day since before the beginning of time. You were always meant to be His child, and the stage was set for your separation since the first generation sinned and brought the curse upon all mankind. Yet his gift has been waiting for you to accept since your birth, and if you are going to accept it - He is overjoyed!
But if you are proudly challenging him, living in a rebellious way, you have a stance of arrogance and pride- he will allow this free will that He designed you with and will protect it! He will not override your free will - and really being in Hell is the ultimate realisation of your choice. The day will come to give account for it all.. and the sum total will be far less than the perfect score of a perfect life required for eternal life in heaven.. only Yeshua (Jesus) had the power and ability to do this which is why we need Jesus in our lives.
Coming to your Creator is a homecoming
Remember the story of the prodigal son? One of 2 sons went early and spent the inheritance ending up living with pigs. Coming to his senses, he thought if only his father would accept him back as a servant, then his living conditions would be greatly improved. Here's what I like about the story - the father saw him a long way off!! How would a father see his son a long way off? Only if he was looking and knew his son... his response was to run! To embrace! To kiss him as his son! His son tried to tell him his rehearsed lines about not being worthy to be his son... his father didn't even respond to him! Instead, he was too busy ordering his servants to bring the best robe, a ring, shoes, and get a feast of celebration ready!!
THIS is the response your true father has about you when you turn to him! See our feelings of unworthiness might be real, but the truth is, His gift for us is more than enough to cover anything we have done, and will do in the future... we just need to go back to him! And by the way, the walk of a follower of Yehsua, is one of coming BACK therefore to our original design. It is a breaking away of all the inherited rubbish in our souls wrought from generations of those before us living under the curse (and our lives too of course) and with divine power, reversing the dysfunction and death that gripped our souls. It has no power anymore! So we are working from a place of completion, with the identity as His child.
how much do i have to do?
Every other system in the world that promises something (including religions) state that we must do something to save ourselves. It has to do with performance, self-effort, and proving ourselves. Think about it - if we have a truly loving and benevolent Creator, how does putting a "performance target" on us truly reflect equality, given that there are so many levels of "ability" in the world? Surely someone would be left out with such a system! Not only is such a thing unfair, it actually opens the whole "rescue" up to failure.
We are all so unique, and have such variations in what we can do. If something is going to be arranged to save us, it needs to truly be a total rescue in order to be effective for every single person, and not rely on some kind of performance on our part. Your Creator really does want to be reunited with you, and He has done everything in His power to provide the perfect and complete way to do this, leaving the final choice of acceptance to you. This is a key point - He has done everything for us - except for controlling us by forcing a decision. He truly, as a loving parent would, given the ultimate final choice of acceptance to us. He made us with a free will with gave us our ability to choose, and in His integrity He not only upholds it, He protects it. That's right - the decision is truly ours. Will I accept what is a true gift - of salvation for my soul? Or will I keep trying to find a way around it, remembering it's a legal mess we're in, hoping you get there before your time is up, entering your chosen place in eternity?
An important distinction is remaining in the position we were in in accepting the spirit of Yeshua. In order to do that, we need to confess that our way of living has been against the design of the universe and our design. It has offended our Creator, and we should by now see the consequences of that.
Let's look again at Yeshua's response to the two criminals crucified alongside him...
One criminal mocked him saying that if he really was the son of God, he should save himself, and while he's at it, save those hanging with him. This attitude reflected those mocking him from below also. And it largely reflected the way Satan mocked Yeshua during his temptation - Satan repeatedly said "IF" you are the son of God... (you can know an accuser of Satan if your behaviour is being challenged as proof of your identity). Remember, a child's behaviour does not determine his place as a son or daughter. They are not the same. If our behaviour could get us to heaven, then we wouldn't need the identity of Yeshua's brother or Yahweh's son or daughter to be allowed into heaven (which is his family). This is start and finish a family affair.
The other criminal told the first criminal to get a grip on reality. He said Yehsua had done nothing, yet they had and deserved to die. Then he turned and asked Yeshua if he could save him, and what was Yeshua's response? Was it "sorry, you haven't done any works for me.. it's too late?" What about - "sorry, you haven't been a better husband, wife, worker, father, mother, community member, church attender...?" No! He said today you will be with me in paradise! It is an instant welcome into the family.
Yeshua is never about showing or proving yourself, He knows that all behaviour starts in the heart anyway. So, the solution is to give us a new heart which is what He does. From there, all things come about. That's why one of the great proverbs in the Bible talks about guarding the heart. Pro 4:23. The sick heart is the problem of the world. It's from the heart that all things we see in the world have come about.
So to answer the question what do I have to do? As a requirement to get into heaven - only ask for Yeshua to live in you. Because to do this, you have to come to a place of admitting you and your way of life are wrong. Admit it! In doing so, you realise your need for saving, and therefore accept him. He knows that behaviour will change as you are changed from the inside out, and once again, behaviour is not the main issue -it's just a consequence of what's inside.
Behaviour comes as natural as fruit growing on a branch connected to the vine. Yeshua Himself used this example, where He is the Vine. As the source of life, our job is simply to be a branch. That is the Christian life - living from a place of completion, not working towards it. All the good fruit in our lives comes solely from being connected to the vine. It's God that works towards it for us - his power working within us. Our job is to guard our hearts - keep them facing towards him moment by moment opening the door to his life -that's how our life changes. But it's always from a security of being his child...that never changes once we've been adopted into his family.
before we finish... one more look at the story...
in the beginning...
The first humans were created in the image of God, our Father and our Creator. There was a harmony in spirit, soul and body.
He made us with something we all have, and that is the ability to make choices which is a hallmark of being human. Yet in that first generation, that ability to choose, was used in a way that brought a curse upon all of the world and everyone that came after them. (Don't be too hard on them though, if it wasn't them, it would have been the next people, or you and me).
The point is, it showed how even with the love given to us in having free-will, we are weak and will ultimately fail living in our own strength. They chose to disobey their Father, and instead ate from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This decision, and those leading up to it, broke the laws of the universe, and placed mankind under a curse. Apart from bearing the burden of knowing good and evil in the first place (something we were never designed to have), it brought death (the natural result of separation from the source of life).
Every generation right from that point onwards was born under the effects of that curse. It's similar to passing down a genetic disease to descendants. Everyone in that bloodline is affected. In this case everyone gets the disease because it was a legal result of breaking the laws of the universe right from the beginning. Because everything physical has a spiritual foundation, the consequences of this spiritual curse are horrendous. It affects every single part of our lives internally and externally.
the trouble of today
As a result of separation between God, (the author of life, love, peace, power, knowledge and all things good), and humanity, we bore the natural and supernatural consequences of having to find a way to source these things for our own souls. This includes spiritual life itself. We are born dead. So at it's core, the obsession and depravity we seen around us when we look, is coming from a desperate struggle to find life. Everyone is grasping at whatever is within their reach, to get more life and love.
This is the root cause of all the strife we see today. Hearts of mankind that are focused on anything that will satisfy the longings of the soul that were created only to be filled by our Father. Have you ever noticed how obsessed people in the world are? Obsessed with everything - themselves, their opinions, money, work, shopping, knowledge - in fact everything has such an intensity about it. It's because more and more, as we degenerate under the effects of this curse (forget about technology and living standards, I'm talking here about hearts and souls degenerating), we are becoming more and more desperate to quench that soul-thirst we all have, which eminates from our spiritual condition.
In more recent years, this quest has become so much more serious. Have you noticed? There's a blanket over all the fun - it's like nothing is ok to discuss anymore unless we have permission... and there's heaps of angry loud people trying to run the show...
In fact, having a closer look at what's happening in the upper echelons of society, will convince you that with an obsessed mind and soul and lots of knowledge and power, people become more insane than you would think. Take for example, Julian Assange's recent interview about Silicon Valley engineers looking for immortality by uploading brains to Artificial Intelligence? It's truly the insane result of depraved obsession.
our original design
Yet something often goes missed here. Our original design was to be in complete, harmonious relationship with God, our Creator - He made us that way. And there is a Divine Order about the Universe. In being separated, it broke His heart. Even though He knew it was going to happen, He protects our freedom to choose at all costs, even to the point of losing us, and to actually experience it for Him was heartbreaking.
Like a loving father would feel when his beautiful children were not able to relate with him anymore due to legal separation. But he has provided a complete solution to our condition, that still protects our freedom of choice, yet a solution that is guaranteed only because it doesn't rely on us doing any of the legwork! We just need to use our freedom of choice to .... choose it! It's like being given the gift of a perfect home built just for us - Our job is simply to walk into the finished house. That's the aspect of "work" for us. It's living in alignment with what he has made for us, and made us to be. Accepting the gift.
Eugene Petersen once said that if you live against the grain of the universe, you get splinters.
We have to be aware that our identity can cause us to refuse the gift. However if our identity is such that we refuse the gift, we need be aware of this. Some of us say we are simply not worthy to have a house built for me. Others say "I will build my own house". Others are waiting for another builder to come along. Others are under the illusion that they don't need a house, or that the masses of humanity, or alternatively those in positions of power, have an alternative plan just for them.
Yehsua (Jesus) himself said just before he departed into heaven, that he is going to prepare a place for them. There really is a place for you in heaven, for eternity, that is real, tangible, forever, and in harmony with all others. You just need to accept it by accepting his life. You can do this here.
When it comes to having multiple paths to God... this is such an unnecessary thing to say and is simply not true. It's really just an excuse to not have to humbly admit there's only one way.
Think about driving on a road some and you come to a massive chasm that has come between you and the other side. After seeing the impossibility of the chasm, you can see that there is a perfect bridge built to cross to the other side. Just as you're relieved at seeing the bridge so that you can cross, one of your friends comes along. You show them the bridge, but instead of being relieved, they complain and say "I don't like that bridge... I want another bridge!". You try and tell them that there's no other bridges, as no one else has the ability to build over that chasm. Who will get to the other side? It's the one who actually crosses the bridge provided. Jesus is the bridge, embracing all of humanity and all of heaven at the same time, bringing us all together.
Don't be under the illusion that there are other bridges to God. Nothing but His own Son is fit for the job of reconciliation. He is the only one with access to Heaven, to God's throne, to be a mediator between us and God. He's the only one qualified. He is the only mediator we need. All other "ways" involve self-effort. It's attractive to us naturally, because we like to be in the equation. We think it's good to be able to say "I had something to do with this! That was my work - over there!" as we point to our contribution. Our good works are worthless, God has said. That's not a put-down. It's just reality. That's why it takes true humility to be saved, because we have to admit we have nothing to contribute! It's 100% acceptance.
what is different about following christ?
Living as a follower of Christ is amazing. It's His character. It's the most real thing there is. Think about the some truths of this, and if you must, compare with other "ways"...
He initiates and comes to us - He did this with no guarantee we would accept His gift
He is self-sacrificial - He died for us
He gives us His very own life - He can live in us if we invite Him
Following Him means living from love, not fear. It's a light burden as Jesus Himself says to those who would follow Him - to follow Him is to find rest (Matt 11:28)
give what we have to jesus and see what he does
A great parable is the one of loaves and fishes. This is a picture of our lives when given to Yeshua (Luke 9:12-17). I find it beautiful that it was a child out of all of them, that had his "packed lunch" of 2 fish and 5 loaves. Yet when he gave that up, really in a trusting way (because that was his lunch after all - it was all he had) look at what Yeshua did with it! Once we learn little by little to trust our Creator, and that he is truly love, and truly loves us, we will see the fruit of giving him the little we have, to see it multiplied.
Who is Jesus?
Here's a song from an Aussie musician - you might enjoy the earthy rendition of what Jesus is like (starts playing at 1 min):
Jesus is the Son of God, our Creator, who came to earth in human form. He was therefore fully human and fully God - and in living the perfect life (without a single stumble in word or deed, thought or intention) he embraced all of humanity, and all of heaven, and brought them together. He completely reconciled the fallen human condition, overcame the curse, the legal separation, and brought the love and power of God to us, today. All that is left, is to use our will one more time, to invite him in. Because He legally and permanently overcame sin on our behalf, His finished work is as relevant and fresh today, as if He died and rose again last week. It passes through all generations as an eternal law, and we can accept the gift of His life today.
God (who is love) created the universe and everything in it, including us
Our original design was a state of perfect genetic, physical emotional, mental and spiritual harmony with all things, including God
The first humans used their free will against their Creator and Father, God, breaking His law (the universe runs on a set of laws)
This brought a legally binding curse into the world and humanity, starting a degenerative progression in every area of our lives
The curse brought an un-crossable chasm between humanity and God, linking the law, sin, and death
This was passed down like a genetic/spiritual disease to all humans since then
We are therefore born into a fallen state, under a law we cannot escape from by ourselves
God was heartbroken as He created us as His children, to love us, yet we were separated from Him
He is angry at sin because it destroys what He created
He has never stopped loving us
The solution needed to be legally acceptable. He sent His own Son to fulfil the perfect law during His life
He was killed (by religious leaders) yet the law of sin=death did not apply to Him. By overcoming sin, he overcame death.
His resurrection was due to his new power over death, becoming the first human to do this
He ascended to heaven in his glorified body, with a promise to return and conclude this period of sinful humanity
His return is very soon
The only way out of our fallen state, is to legally satisfy the requirements of perfection. This is proven impossible for humans to do.
The only way to legally satisfy the requirements is through Christ's spirit, available as a gift to every person regardless of age, background, race, religion, past deeds and anything else
This Spirit is the very spirit of Christ - the same person who walked and talked on earth, healed and loved people
Accepting this gift instantly and permanently binds His Spirit to yours, making you a new creation
God now sees us as He sees Jesus. All legal requirements have been fulfilled, we are totally accepted and loved by Him forever
We gain citizenship in Heaven and an inheritance, starting with the gift of His very Spirit today!
This Spirit as source, as we continue to allow it, eminates into our souls and body as we grow back into our original design (all the baggage from generations and our lives breaks off). Our thoughts, feelings, and actions begin to be made new and line up with the truth of His Spirit living in us. This brings tremendous reward into our lives and circumstances, right where we are.
This continues for the rest of our lives, now and in eternity
The spirit of Christ is available to you now
God, our Father, truly comes to us, self-sacrificially, to save us, restoring us to be His children, and promising a future in a far brighter place (new heaven and new earth) with Him and His family for Eternity.
He is coming soon! If we have placed our faith in Him, our bodies will be made incorruptible and we can live together in paradise for eternity.