BY CHARLES WOODRUFF
There is much talk about "change" in this election year of 2008. Some are saying "we are getting a new start" because George Bush will retire as president, and we will either have Obama or McCain. I have been alive long enough to know that change does happen. I have seen much change in my own lifetime. Yet, as a Christian, I see that, sadly, much of the change has not been good. As far as new starts, I have seen a few of these too. This article is sort of a new start. I have not placed a new article here in over three weeks. So today I am starting over.
Actually, in our lives we start over every day. For many of us, today will be no different from tomorrow.That is also sad, because there is not much worse in life than "getting in a rut". This is especially true if you are in the "rut" of sin. One of the worst things about sin is that you are born in it, and you cannot change that. We are told in Romans 3:23 "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God". Every human being is a sinner. You may not want to admit it, but you know it is true.One proof -- have you ever broken one of the ten commandments? Maybe you don't know what they are. They are found in Exodus chapter 20. One of them is "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain" (Exodus 20:7. Broken that one? or what about this one "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). Broken that one? Okay, there are eight more. You have broken at least one, likely more than once. What does the Bible say about this? "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law" (James 2:10,11).
So, based on this, wouldn't you agree that you are a sinner?
Perhaps you have even tried to change from being a sinner. You have tried to make that new start, but have been unable to do so. You are not alone. Millions are there with you. You can't change yourself from a sinner to a saint. You do not have this power. By now the average person has turned me off, maybe saying "he just wants to give us this Bible stuff, but I don't want to hear it, it is just "kid stuff". You may even say the Bible is not true. I will give you one example to prove its truthfulness. It is a truth that man would "change" immediately if it were possible to do so. Hebrews 9:27 says "And as it is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment." You cannot deny the first part of this verse and be considered rational. Everyone knows that we all die -- it is just a question of when. Now, you know that the first part is true, so why not the second part "after this the judgment." People do not want to believe that, yet the one who told us why men have to die (because of sin), as Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." The same Bible that tells why we die tells us that God may give us eternal life. Many have testified over the centuries that indeed God has given them this eternal life.
You cannot buy this life. You cannot just pick it up on your own. You cannot just change, or make a new start and acquire this life by your own efforts. You cannot earn it, or make a deal to get it. Yet it is obtainable. I can't give it to you! No preacher, or priest, or pope, or rabbi, or guru can give it to you! There is only one that can give it to you. "The gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ". It is a gift to those whom He chooses, yes, those whom He has chosen "from the foundation of the world". (See Ephesians 1:4). You ask how you may know that you are one of these. If you are interested in this change, this salvation, it may be that God has put the desire in your heart. There is nothing I can find in the Bible about a sinner who wants to be saved whom God will not save. If He has moved in your inner being (your heart), to draw you, and made you willing to confess and forsake your sins, even those sins you love dearly, I can tell you "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9) . There is the answer for your new start in life, right from God's word. My friend, it still works in the 21st century. Christ died to pay the price nearly 2000 years ago,and even in our time when many scoff at God, He still saves to the uttermost those who come to Him. If He has convicted your heart, why not ask Him to save you -- yes YOU! He can and will do it!
If you still have questions, and are interested, read the entire book of Romans--slowly. It is only 16 chapters. I have read it many times, and it is the heart of gospel truth. It can change your mind and heart about God. If you still want to ask questions you may ask short ones here, or please email me with longer ones at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will assist you if I can. God bless you. (CW)