“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8
o The Bible is the story of Jesus. It is God’s plan through time of the redemption of his people through his son’s ultimate sacrifice and victory over death.
o There are 66 different books in the Bible, written by over 40 different human authors. These authors were kings, shepherds, doctors, prophets, fisherman, tax collectors, farmers and more.
o The Bible was written over a time period of more than 1500 years.
o The Bible is divided into two main sections, the Old Testament and the New Testament.
o The Old Testament is the “old covenant” or promise of a coming Savior. It is full of history, laws, stories of kings and judges, poetry, songs of praise and books of wisdom. It also contains writings of the prophets of long ago who foretold the coming Messiah (also called the Christ or Savior).
o The New Testament is the “new covenant” or promise. This new covenant comes because Jesus enters the world as a fulfillment of all of the old prophecies. The new promise is that if we believe in him and accept his gift of payment for our sins on the cross, we become part of his family and can live with him in Heaven someday. He also promises to return to earth soon to judge all people and establish his new Kingdom.
o The first four books of the New Testament are the four gospels (gospel literally means “good news”). They are four stories from four perspectives of the life of Jesus on earth. They are the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
o After these gospels comes the book of Acts (or Acts of the Apostles). This book tells of what happened after Jesus was resurrected from the dead and went back to Heaven. This is the story of the early church, what they did and how the good news of Jesus began to spread across the world. Also about the persecution that began to rage against Christians. You will find much about Peter and Paul in these pages.
o What follows the book of Acts are letters and narratives written by Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude. These writings expound on why Jesus is the Messiah and how we are to live and act in light of this.
o The final book is a prophetic future account of what will happen in the end times (coming very soon according to the Bible). This is the book of Revelation written by John.
Where do you start? Get to know Jesus. Pick one of the gospels to read first (John may be my favorite, but all are good). Then read Acts and on to Romans. Reading these three books will give you a solid foundation of who Jesus is and what his life, death and resurrection are all about. But after these, do not stop, just keep going!
Why do I trust the Bible? Faith. I have full faith in all the Bible says. This is not blind faith, the scriptures are full of evidence that prove the existence of Jesus and of the events described. Most people are either blind to it, don’t care or are too lazy to open the Bible and see it for themselves. Don’t be one of them; don’t settle for anything less than the truth. Don’t rely on someone else to tell you what it says (even me). Belief is between you and God, pray and ask that he opens your eyes and heart to understand the truth.
How do I know the Bible is accurate? A consistent story of one main character written by a variety of authors (who mostly did not know each other), over a time span of 1500 years. Explain that apart from a Holy Spirit’s divine direction. Also, because the Bible says so. “All scripture is breathed out by God.” 2 Tim 3:16. Once you understand the authority the Bible has as the full and inerrant word of God, there is no other source that we can compare it to. If this isn’t enough walk outside, did all of this creation happen by accident and random chance? “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans 1:19-20.
What does the Bible mean for you? Life or death, and the choice is yours to make… “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20
Jesus = Life
Above all else, my heart’s desire is that you come to love Jesus. Plain and simple. Yet this has immense eternal significance. Please allow me to walk you through why this is so vitally important and keep in mind, if I didn’t care about you, I wouldn’t waste my time and effort to put this together and give you this gift of God’s Word. How hateful it would be for me to possess the cure for eternal death and not share it with you. Not only the cure for death, but also the only way to experience peace beyond understanding, true joy and full security while on this earth knowing my soul is safe in the hands of a Mighty God who has redeemed me to be his own. So here it is…
God is our Creator, he is holy, perfect and just. In his presence joy, peace, and love abound. Where he is is where Heaven is. In order to be with God we must also be perfectly holy, God will not tolerate anything less in his presence. No sin is allowed.
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” – Revelation 4:11
“Since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” – 1 Peter 1:16
Sin enters the world. The very first man and woman God created (Adam and Eve) chose to sin and rebel against God. Since that moment humankind has continued to sin against God. Have you ever sinned? Have you ever told a lie, lusted, wished evil on someone, envied someone? Then yes, you are a sinner. We all are, me too. When we sin, we are rebelling against God and his rules, we are putting ourselves above him.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” – Romans 3:23
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” – Romans 3:10-13
God will not tolerate sin. God is a loving God, but also a just God. Sin must be dealt with and brought to justice. What does sin cost? Remember sin cannot be present with God. Someone with sin must be removed from God, that place is called Hell. Since we sin, we deserve Hell.
“For the wages of sin is death” – Romans 6:23
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” – Hebrews 9:27
So is there any hope? Yes! That is why the story of Jesus is called the “good news”! The bad news is we are sinners and the price for sin must be paid or God would not be keeping his word. The good news is, because of God’s great love for us, he had a plan all along to redeem us. He sends Jesus, his son, to put on flesh and come to earth. Jesus lives a perfect life, free from any sin at all (read the gospels to check this out). He then offers himself up to his Father as the one who will take the punishment of our sins upon himself. Jesus will pay for our ugly sins, every single one of them.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” – John 1:14
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God,” - 1 Peter 3:18
We can be forgiven and saved from death! God pours his wrath and judgement upon his own perfect son instead of upon us. Though innocent, Jesus dies a horrible death and is crucified on a cross in our place. God’s wrath is satisfied, the debt is now paid in full forevermore… but only for those who accept this sacrificial gift and believe in Jesus. Those who continue to rebel and live life their own way will be separated forever from God.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;” - Isaiah 53:5
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” – John 3:36
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” – John 3:18
When God calls you to be his own and you chose to believe in him, there is no going back. He replaces your heart of stone with a heart of flesh that beats for him. This becomes evident in your new love for Jesus and in how you live your life for him. There will be noticeable changes in your life. You are a new creation and not the same. You have moved from death to life.
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” – Ezekiel 36:26-27
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” – Colossians 1:13
If this event ever takes place in your life, I want to know it. I want to rejoice with you and praise God with you.
Jesus is alive today. Jesus did not stay dead, after three days in the grave he arose, victorious over death. He ascended into Heaven and sat down at the right hand of his Father God, his work was complete.
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,’” – John 11:25
“But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,” – Hebrews 10:12
I will be praying that God will open your heart and call you soon. I want you to choose Jesus so badly I will give up anything in my life to see it happen. Call me with questions or to meet to talk. Read about Jesus and make your decision soon.