Most Thankful • 11/28/21

Before we become followers of Jesus, we often tend to think of ourselves as being close when it comes to a relationship with God and going to heaven someday. The Pew Research Center did a survey that found that roughly 7 out of 10 Americans (72%) believe in heaven which was defined as a place “where people who have lived good lives are eternally rewarded.” Those 72% believe they are close to a relationship with God and are going to heaven based on how they are living their lives. The problem is that’s not what the Bible teaches about our behavior in the here and now. The truth is our sins have separated us from God by a distance that we could never measure. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he said that when people sin they earn what sin pays which is death. Paul was not talking about phyiscal death which will be experienced by 100% of  humanity but he was talking about spiritual death which is eternal separation from God. He goes on to tell his readers that God has a wonderful promise in store for the people who put their faith and trust in Jesus to save them from what will be the payout of their sins later. God promises them salvation and eternal life in Jesus Christ.

Scriptures – Luke 19:10; John 14:6; Acts 16:29-31; Romans 3:23, 5:12, 6:23; 2 Timothy 1:12

Verse – The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them. Luke 19:10

Thought – The Bible tells us a lot about ourselves but probably one of the most profound revelations of all is found in Romans 3:23; “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.” “All” is a small three letter word but it includes nearly 8 billion people on the earth today. All includes you and me and everyone we know. This verse doesn’t sit well with most of the earth’s population, but God says we are all sinners whether we admit it or not. The Bible tells us that God instructed Adam that he could eat from any tree in the Garden of Eden except the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But in Genesis chapter 3 we see that Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s instructions. Just like small children who are told not to touch some prized family heirloom they made a beeline for the one thing in the whole garden that was off limits to them.  Because of their decision the entire human race was plunged into sin right along with them. “Adam sinned and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned and so everyone must die.” Romans 5:12 Paul’s not just referring to physical death here. The Population Reference Bureau estimates that the number of people who have ever lived on the earth is 108 billion people including today’s population. This means that about 100 billion people have been born, lived and physically died since Adam and Eve. Only God Himself knows how many of those 100 billion people not only died physically but also died spiritually. They would have died spiritually because they did not have a saving relationship with Him and did not go to be with Him in heaven.

Questions: 1. What are you most thankful for? 2. What amazes you about God’s salvation? 3. Why do you think more people don’t accept the gift of salvation? 4. Did you realize how lost you were before you got saved? 5. Why do you think some people lack the assurance of their salvation?

Response – If you have never done so, then make the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and become His follower for the rest of your life. Saying words in a prayer doesn’t save us but prayer can be a means of reaching out to Jesus in true saving faith. The following prayer is offered as a guide for you to use.

Prayer – Dear Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner and that I can’t save myself. By faith I receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my savior. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus and be my savior. Amen.  

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