Do you have a hard time believing that God knows that you exist ?
Do you hesitate praying because you are not even sure He hears your prayers ?
These questions can be answered. There is a God who wants to be able to communicate with you on a regular basis. If you wonder why you feel like there is a wall between you and God every time you have tried to reach out to Him, there is a reason for that.
I am about to explain to you how you can have the separation you have from God removed. Your relationship with God is the most important issue that you need to get settled once and for all. There is nothing else that is more important than this.
You can know, without a doubt, that He exists and cares about you very much.
Even if you say that you believe in God, you need to understand that the question is not whether you believe in God, but rather whether He actually knows who you are.
There is an appointed time for each and everyone one of us to die. The day we die, we will face judgement. We will stand before a Holy and Just God and will have to give an account for our life. The bible tells us, ” But you, why do you judge your brothers? Or you again , why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God. So then everyone of us shall give an account of himself to God.” Romans 14;10-12. We cannot avoid facing our creator when we die.
Most people do not want to think about death or eternity. Many rationalize that if there is a judgement day when they die, they believe that they have “probably” lived a good enough life to get into heaven. They base this on how they compare themselves to others. This is why Romans 14:10 asks the question “‘why do you judge your neighbor” when his behavior has nothing to do with how you will be judged. God’s standard is not based upon comparison.
The truth is that Jesus said that in order to get into heaven, God must know who you are. It is not enough to just say you believe in God, you must be known by Him. You may think that God already knows who you are because He is God. What you may not understand is that our sinful behavior separates us from Him. No matter how good you think you are, your sinful nature has separated you from God. “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” Isaiah 59:2.
Do you sometimes wonder whether God hears your prayers? Your sins may be the reason why He does not hear you. (See above verse again). The Bible tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. “All” means everyone. Everyone has been separated from God because of our individual sins that we have committed. Until you make the decision to have this separation removed, nothing will change.
Let’s take a look at what Jesus actually said; ” Not everyone who says to Me, ‘ Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father, who is in heaven, will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles ? And then I will declare to them, ‘ I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” Matthew 7.21-23.
Jesus is saying that even the most “religious” people may be told to depart from Him, because He never knew them. Do you realize that religious behavior, such as going to church or reciting a prayer, does not mean you have a relationship with God? He must know who you are.
Everyone’s worst nightmare should be this;
There can be nothing worse than to hear from God on the day you die, “depart from Me I never knew you.” Think about it; the possibility that you would spend eternity separated from God. What could be worse than that? You may not want to consider that there is a hell, but that does not mean there is not one. ” But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8. By the way, this group just described, covers all of us. No one can escape except those who allow Christ to pay for their sins.
This is not something that I just thought up. This is what Jesus Christ said. You must be willing to deal with it and not ignore that there is a strong possibility that you could spend eternity separated from your creator. He has warned us because He loves us and does not want to be separated from us.
Many people in our society today do not want to consider whether or not their lifestyle would be considered a life of lawlessness. They would prefer to rationalize that their behavior is based upon how someone else has treated them. Whether it is your boss or spouse, you end up blaming others for decisions that you make. It is easier to blame others for your own lack of peace with whatever is going on with you. If “they” would stop their bad behavior, I wouldn’t have to get so angry. The truth is that you still need to deal with your “lawlessness,” regardless on how someone else behaves. They are not responsible for how you live, you are. Quit pointing fingers and examine your own life.
Have your ever said or heard someone say ” you make me so angry.” When did others gain control over how you behave? When did you give your neighbor the power to control how you react? You need to work on your own behavior. Your behavior is what you are responsible for. Your neighbor will never need to pay for your sins.
I read a statement David Wilkerson wrote in the one of his books he wrote before he died. He said that we should never allow ourselves to come to the place where we make peace with our sins. ( “It is Finished” by David Wilkerson; see www.worldchallenge.net).
If you are someone who explains away your own bad behavior and have no interest to improve, then you have been blinded by the enemy and face eternal separation from God. If this is you, you will be told by Jesus, “depart from Me, I never knew you.”
So how do you get to the place that God knows who you are ? There are three important steps that you need to take.
1. First, you must take responsibility for your own behavior and admit that you have sinned and fallen short on how you should live your life.
2. Secondly, you need to understanding that your sins need to be removed in order to have your relationship with God restored. Jesus said in the above passage, “depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” If you are honest with yourself, you start to realize just how hard it is to change your behavior. Sinful behavior is hard to stop on your own; you need help.
3. The third step you need to take is to acknowledge that you need His help to change your behavior. You cannot just give up and make peace with your sins. You’ll end up making the excuse that “this is just how I am.” You must determine to conquer your sinful behavior by allowing Him to change you.
Once you take the above three steps, you will be on the path to true freedom and peace with God.
But how will I ever change when it is so hard to change? Jesus died on the cross in order to remove your sins for you, but how do I get Him to do this? It’s seems impossible because as I keep doing the same dumb things over and over again.
Acknowledging your need for His help may be the hardest step because it attacks your pride. The bible warns us that
“He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Your pride may be the last hurdle that you must overcome and be willing to give up. You must surrender fully. Our pride is what causes us to falsely believe that I can fix my bad behavior myself. Pride will also cause you to justify your behavior because there are a lot of people worse than you. The truth is, no matter how hard you try, you still fail at leading a truly good life. We need God’s help. This will only occur if you have repented and ask Jesus to save you from your sins. Only then will The Holy Spirit enter your life and begin the process of removing your sins. The purpose of the Holy Spirit living inside of you is to give you the power to actually succeed. The gift of the Holy Spirit is to equip you to be His witness so that others begin to see that there is something different about you. They see that you are changing the way you live.
My friend Terry Western likes to ask people ” how has Jesus changed your life?” Is there anything different with the way you live since you decided to give your life to Christ? Can anyone see that there is now something different about you? As an example to what I’m talking about, I can only refer to what happened to me. When I gave my life to Christ, I was by myself in my bedroom. I made a consious decision to follow Christ and immediately God changed me. I said nothing to anyone else, and eventually went back to bed. The next morning I got up, like I did every morning, and walked into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. One of my roommates was in the kitchen, and he turned around and asked me, “what happened to you?” Somehow, he saw something different about me, even though I had said nothing. The difference he saw in me that morning was that the Holy Spirit had entered my life.
Jesus paid for your sins so that you don’t have to. Accepting Christ includes your decision to repent from your sins, which means turning away from them. You actually turn over your sins to Jesus Christ. He takes them upon Himself where He takes your sins to the cross where they are completely paid for. John 8:24 warns us that if we don’t allow Jesus to pay for our sins, then we will have to; ” I (Jesus) told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
When I gave my life to Christ, I was in love with alcohol. I loved beer. I was not someone who could just have a beer or two, I would drink a whole case. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was in love with my sin. Making the decision to turn my life to Christ meant that I had to decide to give it up. I had to decide that I would love God more than my alcohol. Alcohol was an idol of mine. Most people’s problem is that they want to hang on to their “god” while acquiring another one. It does not work like that. God made it clear that He is a jealous God and you can’t have it both ways. The bible tells us that “You shall not have any other gods before me.” As David Wilkerson said, you cannot make peace with your sin. If you are unwilling to give your idol up for Him, how will He ever get to know you when you are still committed to your real god(s)? I decided to give up my god in order to allow the one true God to get to know me. The best decision I ever made. What I did not realize at first was I had many more gods than just alcohol. Over time I began to see that there were many more things in me that needed to change. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit is continuing to free me from bad behavior. It never ends but the awesome news is that I now know I have a relationship with my savior.
As Jesus was dying on the cross, He cried out to His heavenly Father ” Why have you forsaken Me?” because our sins were now on Jesus and His Father could have nothing to do with sin. Jesus, at that point in time, was separated from His Father. How horrible that must have felt. The only reason why God would say, “depart from Me, I never knew you” is because you decide never to give up your sins or you continue to blame someone else for why you do what you do. As Jesus died on the cross, He took your sins with Him to the grave. Becoming born again means that you will no longer practice lawless living because you gave your sins to Him.
The good news is that the last thing Jesus said as He died on the cross was not, “why have you forsaken Me?” but rather He said “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” See John 19:30. The original language actually says ” the debt is paid.” As Jesus died, all of our sins were paid for, once and for all.
The salvation experience must include the result that Jesus Christ has entered your life where He begins to change the way you live. It does not mean that you immediately start living a life without sinning, but it does mean that His power is inside you in order to give you the strength to sin less, day by day. Has that happening to you? It may seem like a slow process at first but if the Holy Spirit resides inside you, you will see your behavior change. The key is still based upon whether you really want to change or not. You must want it.
Once you repent of your sins and give your sins to Jesus, you ask Him to forgive you and to come into your life. As you give up your sins, God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, is ready to enter your life. Do you know whether the Spirit of God has taken up residence inside of you ? How sure are you? If you are not 100% sure, then it has probably not happened. The Holy Spirit entering your life is a major life changing experience where God Almighty now resides inside of you. This is the point in time where everything changes and you now are restored in your relationship with God. Before this happens, you are a walking dead person with no peace or hope and no real tangible knowledge of His existence. But after He enters your life, you are able to hear Him for yourself and finally know how real He is! He begins to speak to you and you hear Him. God now knows who you are because He starts to communicate with you. The blockage caused by your sin has been removed because you have repented of your sinful, lawless behavior. Jesus said, ” My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me.” John 10:27. His voice is unique; it’s not just your thoughts coming into your mind nor is it the same as your own personal conscious. His voice is distinctive and overpowering.
As a street minister for over 40 years, my heart grieves when I talk with people who say they believe in Jesus, but the life they live gives no indication that they have repented from their sins. They have no conviction that they need to repent and work towards a life that is pleasing in God’s eyes. They live a deceived life believing that the grace of God gives them the right to live any way they choose. This is the problem I see with the church in America. With all the megachurches in America, how many proclaim that you must repent in order to enter the kingdom of God? How many preach that you cannot continue to live a life of lawlessness? How many explain that our life needs to line up with what His Word says? There are many that do preach the message of repentance and holiness, but far to many are afraid of offending people. They do not want to be considered “intolerant” even when God Himself is intolerant of sin and loves us enough to tell us the truth that sin is wrong and bad for us.
His word never changes. I John 1:5-7 says; “This is the message that we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light , and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” If you walk in darkness, you are truly deceived if you think you are okay with God. He does not know who you are because your sin is still separating you from Him.
God created us in order to have a relationship with Him. That was the way it was always meant to be. That is His desire to this day. When we chose to rebel against Him and sin, we were separated from Him.
Even though we made that choice, He still loved us so much that He has provided a plan that includes salvation from our sin and rebellion. He gave us His Son in order that we can be restored to Him. ” For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3.16
Jesus came into this world in order to die on the cross and pay the penalty for our sins. He paid the price for you and me. This act of love gives us the ability to be known by God. He gave His Son in order that your sins would be removed and have your relationship restored with our Holy and Loving God.
This is the only way to be restored with God. Many try to explain away the fact that this cannot be the only way to be restored and get to heaven. Those who say there are other ways to get to heaven are wrong. Only Jesus can remove your sins. Jesus said, ” I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can get to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6. That is quite a claim. It is either true or false and no one can deny what Jesus said.
Do not take this lightly. Believe Him or not, it is a choice that everyone must make. Have you been restored with your heavenly Father ? Do you now have a relationship with Him? Do you have that peace that only He can give? It is the most important decision you will ever make, so you better make sure.
God is calling us all to reach out and surrender our life to Him. You will never be at peace unless you do. When Peter preached the gospel (good news) to the crowd, shortly after the resurrection of Christ, they were pierced to their heart when they realized that their sins caused Jesus to be tortured and crucified. They cried out and asked, “what must I do to be saved?”( See Acts 2:37-38).
This is the point where we get saved; when it feels like someone has pierced our heart, like taking a knife and driving it into our chest. This is when you finally realize that because of your sins , Jesus had to be tortured, crucified and die on the cross. Not because of anything He did wrong, but because of me and you. When you become convicted and repentant for your sins, you are then able to be restored with your Savior. This means that you now have conviction for your sins and are willing to do something about them. It may take time, but you now become determined to change the way you live with relying on the Holy Spirit which now resides inside you.
The bible explains in this passage how they were terrified as they finally realized what they had done ( see Acts chapter 2 ). So Peter’s reply to the crowd when they asked what they must do to be saved was simple and to the point; ” Repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38). The same message is for us today. The message will never change. You must change and be willing to stop living a life of lawlessness. No one can make you do it. The decision is yours. Act on it and start your new life with being baptized. You will never regret it.
This is the message of salvation as described in His Word. He provides us salvation and peace for all those who respond to His offer. It is a free gift, but even a gift has to be received.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matt.7:24 You must respond to what He says we must do. Do not put it off.
Ever since that day, many years ago, I got on my knees and ask God to forgive me of my sins, my life was changed forever. The peace of God entered my life from that point on. This can happen to you. Make that decision that will forever change your destiny. Do not put this off. Do it now.
If you have any questions, you may contact me by visiting our web site “www.executinghisword.com.”
May God bless you by removing your sins and giving you His peace.