"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerlywalked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." Ephesians 2:1-10
The Good News (The Gospel)
God created the heavens and the earth perfect. Adam and Eve were created with the ability to choose between right and wrong. God only had one command for them, which was to not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. However, they chose to disobey God which brought sin, disease, death and suffering into the world. Adam and Eve were kicked outside of the garden and every one of their descendants were born sinners with God's wrath upon them.
God has a standard for living which is perfection. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and Galatians 5:19-21 says the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God; that is no person who practices sexual sin, worships idols, is an adulterer, a thief, greedy, practices homosexuality, gets drunk, cheats people, or is abusive, will enter the Kingdom of God.
Jesus Christ the Creator of the Universe stepped into human history by humbling himself as a servant and entered into the womb of a virgin. The One who holds the universe together became a man to live a perfect life for you and me. He never lied, stole, disobeyed his parents, lusted after the opposite sex, was prideful, conceited, was drunk, entertained an evil thought or coveted the possessions of others. He was tempted in every area you have been tempted and never sinned or submitted to Satan. Then, He was nailed to a cross to take on the punishment for your sin which you rightly deserve.
God the Father made Jesus who never sinned to become sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus Christ willingly gave his life for you (John 10:18) because he loves you (John 15:13). Isaiah 53:5-6 says, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." NIV
Do you understand the punishment which you deserve for your personal sins was put on God?
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—" Galatians 3:13 ESV
Jesus did not stay dead but resurrected from the grave proving he has power over Satan, sin and death.
Now God commands you to repent (change your mind about the way you are living, a turning away) of your sin and turn to him for salvation. Jesus is the source of eternal life (Hebrews 5:9). God on judgment day will judge your life by the life of Jesus if you do not repent and turn to him for salvation (Acts 17:31). Repentance is not simply asking for forgiveness of sin but recognizing that you have sinned against a holy God not just against others and changing your mind about the way you view sin.
"This will take place on the day when God judges people's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares." Romans 2:16
"In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge". 2 Timothy 4:1
Jesus said that you must be born again (John 3:3) . This is a transformation that only God the Holy Spirit can do. God will give you a new identity, forgive your sins and not hold them against you. Because Jesus was tempted in every area you have been tempted He is able to give you power and victory over your sin. You do not get into heaven by being a good person because no one is good but God (Mark 10:18).
Acknowledge and confess your sin before God. Change your mind about the way you are living and trust in what Jesus did for you because he loves you; he died, was buried and was resurrected.
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8
"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?"
2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV
Have you been transformed by the Holy Spirit? Has the cross put you in a completely different direction than the life you were living before you knew Jesus?
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
"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." Galatians 2:20 ESV
Do you seek holiness and sanctification?
"Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14
Do you forgive others when they wrong you?
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15
What do you desire? Do you want to read the Bible?
"I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread." Job 23:12 NIV
"With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You." Psalm 119:10-11
Do you love God more than anything in your life?
"So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27
"Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." James 4:4
Do you love others?
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:7-8
Do you love and seek the truth?
"And with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved."2 Thessalonians 2:10
"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." 1 John 1:5-6 NKJV
"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments." 1 John 2:3 NKJV
"In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome."
1 John 5:3 NIV
"This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it." 2 John 1:6 NKJV
The Bible speaks about those who are false converts. False converts are those who practice sin. Do you make a habit of sinning?
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
"The cross does not give us a minor shift or two with regard to a few of our ethical and moral and religious values. The cross radically disrupts the very center and citadel of your life from self to Christ. And if the cross has not done that, you're not a Christian!" - Albert Martin, sermon, "Warning to Professing Christians"
Are you really saved or are you just playing church?
"And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" Matthew 7:23