In John, Chapter 10, verses 11-15, Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father–and I lay down My life for the sheep.” [NIV Bible]
Jesus was willingly crucified. He submitted to His captors, even though He was well able to stop them from killing Him.
Jesus did what only He could do. He came into the world as a human being and also as God on a mission that only God could carry out.
In Philippians Chapter 2, verses 4-8, Paul writes: Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! [NIV Bible]
Jesus took the sins of all people onto Himself, and He accepted the punishment for those sins, which was death.
In First John, Chapter 4, verse 9-10, it is written: This is how God showed His love among us; He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. [NIV Bible]
In Romans Chapter 3, verses 21-25, it says: But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty of our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. [NLT Bible]
People speak of heaven as a “better place” where people go when they die. The idea of heaven is used to cushion the blow of death. Our lives after this one are uncertain and unknown.
It’s difficult to imagine not fearing death. It’s revolutionary, even. God is revolutionary. Only the One True God is able to defeat death by allowing us to count on a life that lasts forever after this one is over.
I’ve said before that starting to believe in God is like waking up inside a dream, realizing that the dream is not real. Many people don’t believe in God. They refer to Him, say His name, often in vain. But they don’t know the difference between a “god” in theory and the only god Who actually is God.
In Isaiah Chapter 45, verses 18-22, it is written:
For this is what the Lord says–He Who created the heavens, He is God; He Who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited–He says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek Me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right. Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save. Declare what is to be, present it–let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, Who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no God apart from Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.” [NIV Bible]
God is talking directly to you in these verses! He says that He will save your eternal life. Just as only one God truly exists, eternal life does exist for everyone. It is so difficult to see past this finite time we have in front of us. We feel like all that matters is who we are now, what we have planned, what we will accomplish now in the years before we die.
If you bounce God around in your mind and try to figure out Who He is without consulting the Bible, you can’t find Him. Confusion and questioning set in, with no way to address them.
God does not fear skepticism or doubt. God is willing to show you that He is Who He says He is. He does that through the Bible.
No substitute for the Bible exists. To know God, you have to know the Bible. Something is always better than nothing where reading the Bible is concerned. You don’t have to have grand plans to read chapters every day. Even reading a few verses will increase your knowledge and understanding of God.
In one of the most famous Scriptures in the Bible, John, Chapter 3, verses 16-18, it is written: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the Name of God’s one and only Son. [NIV Bible]
God has promised that if you believe in Him and in Jesus, your eternal life is secure. You don’t have to fear that this life is all you have. You don’t have to wonder if you will still exist after you die. You will do more than exist, you will be alive!