Wholeheartedly Messy is a ministry, and in this ministry we believe...
The Bible is God's true word, living and breathing, the only truth to be found in this dark world.
God created the world, and He created us in His image so that we may glorify Him. And He gave us free will so that we would choose to love Him and not be forced to. Unfortunately, we chose not to, and we sinned. Our sin tainted us and literally made us enemies of God. If we sin just once, we are not allowed anywhere near God or in Heaven, because God is pure and holy. Everyone has sinned, and we can no longer get to God on our own.
All through the Old Testament, God tried and tried to lead us back to Him, but again and again we chose the world over God. And nothing ever turned out well for us because of our continual sin.
But there's good news!
Because God longs for us to be with Him, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die in our place, to pay the price of our sins. And three days later, Jesus rose from the dead and proved that He is God.
Jesus was innocent and never did any wrong, yet He was persecuted, mocked, beaten, and killed. Being God, He had the power to stop these cruel things being done to Him, but He chose not to. He knew that the only way we were ever going to get to God was if someone so pure as God died as a sacrifice for our sins.
Now, because of His death, we are made right with God. Our sins are washed away, death and sin have been defeated. We have the freedom to pursue God, to be with Him, and to live with Him for eternity, if we choose to do so.
Notice how this whole story has been about choices? Well, after Jesus died, God gave us a choice.
He told us to repent (change our mind and actions) from our sins, believe his word, and follow Him to gain abundant life, or forever live separated from Him, enslaved to sin, and doomed to an eternity in Hell.
I know, heavy stuff. But elephants in the room should be addressed, not ignored.
If we choose to turn from our sins and follow Jesus Christ (giving up our comforts, desires, and sins to please Him), we will be saved from the punishment of our sin and be able to freely go to God whenever we choose to. We will have God living inside of us (the Holy Spirit), and when we die, we will live with God for all eternity.
It does not mean that life will be easy. In fact, it will probably be harder. Jesus said that those who follow Him must lose their lives to gain His eternal life. We will be mocked, persecuted, shunned, beaten, and/or killed. That's the reality of following a holy Savior in a broken world. However, I cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-turn-into-a-donkey, it's all worth it. Following Jesus will cost you, but your investment in His kingdom will lead to an eternity of rewards.
It does not mean that we won't mess up, because we definitely will. It means that even in trials and error, we pursue Christ with everything we are and everything we have. Suffering for Christ is always worth it, for those who follow Christ and give themselves completely to Him will find everlasting life, now and for all eternity.
But it all starts with a choice. Do you choose to believe and follow God? Do you believe in Jesus Christ's life, death, and resurrection? Do you believe in the Bible? Do you believe that He paid for your sins? Will you choose Him over the world and over yourself, following Him, no matter the cost?
Do you choose to believe AND follow Jesus Christ?
If not, I invite you to search for the truth and for the answers to your questions. This is your eternity, your life. Make sure you're right.
Not sure if you really believe? Notice that in James 2:17 ESV it says, "So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." In other words, if you really believe something, your actions will show it, your motives will prove it, and your words will illustrate it. Believing in Christ means that you will be changed from the inside out and made a new creation. But this comes by the power of the Holy Spirit, not your religious efforts. By that, I mean that true good works sprout from a heart that longs to obey Christ (a heart changed by the Holy Spirit), not a heart that does good works for show. This is how you can recognize if you or another is really a follower of Christ.
If you don't know how to accept Christ as your Savior or don't really have the words, below is an example prayer. However, the prayer itself does not save you. Rather, the belief in your heart is what God hears and this prayer is just an outward symbol of that belief and a starting place for action.
"Lord, I know that I've made a lot of mistakes. I admit that I've sinned, and that I desperately need You. I can't get to You by myself. Please forgive me for my sins so I can be Your child and live for You.”
"I believe that You sent Your Son down to earth to take my place on a cross. I believe that He paid the price for my sins, and I believe that He is the only way to Heaven and to You. I believe in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that lives in me because of that belief.”
"I choose to follow you, Jesus. I choose you over the world. I choose you over myself. I choose you as my Lord and Savior, my Leader and Forgiver, my Father and my Friend. Thank you for your grace. Amen."
Questions? No problem. Shoot me an email.