God Loves You Very Much And His Gift of Jesus Is His Proof!

Now that we are in the swing of the holiday season there might be some of you who feel lonely or that no one cares. I am writing today to state categorically that is not the truth. Someone does care. That someone is Jesus Christ our Lord.

God gave all of us a very precious gift. His son. Jesus was born not only to love you in your times of loneliness but all of the time. And His most important display of love is that He died on the cross to save you from your sins.

He is always with you and waiting for you to reach out to Him. When you do He will surround you with His loving arms.

Is Being Gay A Ticket To Heaven or Hell? Find the Answer Here.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires he is lured away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.—James 1:13-15

The question of whether gay people go to heaven or hell is much discussed today, and there is confusion surrounding the issue. On one side are churches that teach that homosexuality is blessed by God. On the other side are churches that condemn all homosexual thoughts and actions as deserving of eternal judgment. Is being gay a ticket to heaven or hell?

First, a clarification. Our world labels people according to their weaknesses, sin tendencies, addictions, or sexual inclinations. When we do that, we create an adversarial, “us vs. them,” position. We begin to see people in categories, rather than as individuals, and this is dangerous. When we ask if gay people go to heaven or hell, we may be using the label gay rather than considering the individual who may be struggling with temptation or confused about his or her sexual identity. For the purposes of this article, we will define gay as “practicing a homosexual lifestyle.”

When God created human beings, He designed them male and female, in His own image (Genesis 1:27). Adam and Eve were created perfect, and God blessed their physical union in the first marriage (Genesis 1:28). Homosexuality was not part of God’s creation. When the first man and woman chose to disobey God’s command, sin entered the world (Romans 5:12). With that sin came brokenness of all kinds: thorns, tornadoes, drought, sickness, disease, cruelty, and sexual distortions.

Since that time, every human being has been born with a sin nature. Our natural selves demand the right to be our own gods. When we desire something contrary to the will of God, the desire itself becomes sinful (James 1:13–15). We may sin in different ways, but it is all sin. Some have an overwhelming desire to lie. Some are unfaithful to their spouse. Some may overcome outward sins—and are puffed up with arrogance. And some may be tempted to engage in sexual acts with their own gender. It’s all sin. It is all unacceptable to God. And we all need a Savior.

God, our Creator, could have wiped out the human race and started over. He owes us nothing. Because of our high treason against our Creator, we all deserve hell. Heaven is perfect, and we are not; we are disallowed from God’s presence. In His great love, God made a way that we sinners can be made righteous (Ephesians 2:4–5). Jesus, the Son of God, offered Himself as our substitute on the cross, thereby taking the punishment we deserve (John 10:18; 2 Corinthians 5:21). God poured out His wrath against sin upon His own Son so that those who trust in that sacrifice can have their sins transferred to His account (Colossians 2:14). In exchange, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us. God then declared that whosoever trusts in Jesus as their Lord and Savior be granted eternal life in heaven (John 3:16–18).

That divine exchange—our old life for His new one—brings about a transformation from the inside out. Second Corinthians 5:17 says that, if anyone is in Christ, he or she becomes a new creature. All the sin, selfishness, pride, and perversion that were part of our lives before that moment are wiped clean, and we are pronounced righteous before God (Psalm 103:12). God then takes on the task of conforming us into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29). We are not saved from hell to continue in the same sins Jesus died for. We are saved so that we can become all God designed us to be (Ephesians 2:10). That includes renouncing our past and our sinful tendencies and embracing the wholeness we were created to experience.

In answering the specific question about whether gay people go to heaven or hell, we can substitute the words gay people with other sin groups. Do adulterers go to heaven or hell? Do kleptomaniacs go to heaven or hell? Do prostitutes go to heaven or hell? Paul answers these questions clearly in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10. People who live in unrepentant sin have no place in God’s kingdom. Those who practice sexual sin, including homosexuality, are on that list. Paul, anticipating objections, says, “Do not be deceived” about this (verse 10).

But then Paul goes on: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). Notice the abrupt turnaround with the word but. The church Paul was addressing had members who in the past had practiced those very sins—BUT when trusted Jesus, everything changed. Their loyalty changed. Their nature changed. Their actions changed. No one is exempt from God’s righteous judgment on sin (Romans 6:23). But no one is exempt from His offer of forgiveness and transformation. When we surrender our lives to Christ, we must let go of all that defined us in our sinful state. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). We must die to our old sinful lifestyle. We must die to our right to be our own boss. And we must die to those desires in us that violate God’s righteous decrees.

Gay people go to either heaven or hell on the same basis that drunkards, liars, haters, and self-righteous church people go to either heaven or hell. Our final destination depends not on what we’ve done but on how we responded to Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. Unrepentant sinners will die in their sin and be judged accordingly. Repentant sinners are forgiven in Christ. When we receive Him as Lord, He becomes our final authority.

To be a Christian means that we now strive to model our lives after His perfect one. We want to please Him more than we want to please ourselves (Matthew 10:37–38). And there is no question that homosexual acts are displeasing to Him, just as heterosexual sin is displeasing to Him. If we insist on living a gay lifestyle, as if being gay was our identity, we are turning our backs on Christ’s sacrifice. We cannot expect God to simply overlook in us the very sins that put Jesus on the cross.

Many people who are same-sex attracted have come to faith in Christ and, in doing so, surrendered that particular temptation to Him. Some go on to marry and live in Christ-honoring, heterosexual marriages, and others choose celibacy, finding the fulfillment they need in intimacy with God.

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(Reprint with permission | GotQuestions.com |© 2018)

The Crucial Nature of Christ’s Death – Part 2

Yesterday we looked at what crucifixion is and why it was important for Jesus’ death to occur that way. Today, we will continue with our discussion about Jesus and His saving grace.

What we believe about Jesus is a critical issue.

The Bible says Jesus is the only begotten of the Father, the Son of God. His coming was predicted by Old Testament prophets as the one who would set people free from sin and rebellion against God. Yet this belief is becoming less popular in our day because it threatens a society that desires freedom to do whatever it wants. They resent anyone, especially Christians, who tells them how to live. And the more believers obey, worship, and live for Christ, the more uncomfortable those around them become.

Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross is at the heart of Christianity.

This was the primary reason the Son of God came to earth—to die as a substitute for us. Because He was divine and lived a perfect life, He was the only possible candidate to pay for mankind’s sin. Therefore, He was born of a virgin and became human in order to die on the cross for us. God the Father placed our sins on Him, and Jesus suffered the wrath we deserved. Without His atoning death on our behalf, there would be no salvation, and we would all die in our sins and be forever under God’s wrath.

Since Jesus is the only substitute, He is the only way of salvation.

  • Jesus affirmed this truth when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). There is no other means of forgiveness and reconciliation to God except through the atoning substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross. All who believe in Him as Savior and Lord, trusting in His sufficient sacrifice can be forgiven of all sin and made acceptable to God.

  • Paul also claimed that Jesus was the only way. Romans 5:8-10 describes this amazing transaction: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified [declared righteous] by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

  • Peter proclaimed Jesus as the only way. When he was defending the gospel before the hostile Jewish leaders of the Sanhedrin, he said, “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Although as Christians we may be accused of being narrow-minded, we must remain firm and hold to the truth of the Bible, which clearly tell us how to be saved. We can expect criticism, but we should never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In addition, we must be courageous in telling people about salvation through Jesus Christ. They need to know that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). All who trust in Christ’s death as payment for their sins and surrender their lives to Him can be certain that their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and that heaven is their future home.