Have you ever thought, I could never be a Christian, I don’t know what all this hope is that they talk about, they always think they’re better than me and I’ll never be good enough.
Have a quick look through the New Testament however, and you will soon find otherwise.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.
“Ok…so nobody is good enough…and we’re all going to die…”you might say. Show me the hope!
The thing is the hope does not lie in any one of us. The only good things that come out of us flow from the saving work of Christ when he died on a cross for all our sins and was raised from the dead three days later….because God is indeed that great.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Christ dying for our sins does not mean that sin is no longer a big deal. (Just like any other good relationship, you wouldn’t want to do things that made the other person frustrated with you) Rather the opposite, it shows how holy God is, that he cannot tolerate sin so a substitute needed to be made. Rather than let each of us die for our own apart from him. He loved us enough to give up his only son, Jesus, who had never done anything wrong, so that He would suffer and die in our place so we could be justified and declared righteous through His hard work on the cross.
16 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.
It’s not just a cliche line. This scripture should blow your mind every time you read it. God gave his only son so that whoever believes in him. Whoever takes what He has to say seriously, whoever says “Yes Lord, You call the shots from now on, however You handle things that’s how I will handle them too” can have eternal life and be spared from burning forever in Hell (which is a very real place by the way). The gift of eternity is more than just living a long time. It is about living together with your Creator, who loves you more than you can ever know, with nothing getting in the way just as it was originally intended. It does not matter where a person starts in life. The sacrifice of Christ’s life provides everyone with an equal opportunity. We were all in the same boat at one point in our lives, nobody is without excuse. This is the hope. We did not deserve this, and we can’t do anything to earn it. The work has already been done for us…and it wasn’t because we deserved it either. All of us, even the best Christian you know, deserve to burn in Hell forever, but because of Christ’s sacrifice….for those of us who accept His gift of salvation….His righteousness gets transferred to us, so that when God looks at us on judgement Day…which is coming by the way….he sees the righteousness of Christ covering those of us who have made Him Lord of our lives.
But the hard part is admitting that we as Christians, even after Jesus Christ becomes Lord of our lives, we still mess up very badly. When Jesus becomes Lord of our lives, we don’t suddenly become perfect people. He takes His time working on us, shaping us to me more like him. He is not in a hurry. this process is called Sanctification, and it takes our entire lives. We don’t like to admit our failures, even though by admitting our short comings as Christians. Perhaps if we did, it might make it easier for them to come to the point to allow Jesus to work in his life and subsequently come to the same saving knowledge.
The only thing stopping you is running away. All you need to do is turn around. You’re not too far away. There’s nothing you’ve done that Christ’s blood cannot cover.