What if someone told you that your every thought from the day you were born had been recorded and will be shown tonight on national TV? And not only that, but a website will flash across the screen during the programme, directing all your friends and family to where they can watch all of your thoughts about them. How many people would be angry with you? Everyone? Would you be angry with yourself?
Your thought life reveals the real, unrestrained you. Most people think they’re good enough to get to Heaven and God won’t send them to Hell, but God has seen every one of our wicked thoughts and actions. He has seen every time you’ve broken his commandments, lusting over someone you’re not married to, lying and stealing (no matter how little). He knows every time you’ve carved a false idol of God in your mind, a corrupt god of your own imagination who will turn a blinked eye to your sin. He has heard every time you’ve used His Holy Name in vain, using the name of the One who gave you life in place of a curse word. You wouldn’t do that with Hitler’s name, but you do it with God’s name! “The Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes his name in vain”. (Exodus 20.7) and “every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36).
Be honest with yourself, when you face God on Judgment Day – keeping in mind that he’s seen your every wicked thought and action – will He find you innocent or guilty? If God gives you what you deserve, should He send you to Heaven or Hell? God has written his moral law.
Now the question for you, dear reader, is this: is there any hope for someone like you? Is there any hope for the person who has defiled God time and again by rebelling against His will and refusing to love and worship Him? Is there any hope for the criminal who stands guilty in the courtroom of God? Yes, there is! There is forgiveness with God!
The Gospel (“good news”) is this: imagine you are in a human courtroom and the judge finds you guilty, and because he’s just, gives you the maximum fine of ten million pounds. But there is no way you can pay the fine, so you’re about to spend the rest of your life in jail. Then someone you’ve never met before steps into the courtroom and says, “I’ve sold all my worldly goods to pay your fine.” Your fine has been paid, so justice has been served and you’re free to go!
Well, two thousand years ago God became a man, Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, led a sinless life and then suffered and died under the wrath of God on the cross to pay the penalty in full for all your sins. Then he rose again in triumph over all the powers of death and darkness, so that in Him we can have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).
But it’s not enough to merely believe ‘intellectually’ in order to be forgiven by God. The Bible says that even the demons believe intellectually! James 2:19). In order to have real forgiveness, you must repent, as Jesus Himself said: “Unless you repent you will also perish.” (Luke 13:3). And repentance means turning fully away from your life of sin and turning fully to God, trusting in Jesus Christ alone to save you and not your own deeds; trusting in Him as the one who willingly stood in your place on the cross, taking God’s wrath for you, the wrath YOU deserve.
What are you waiting for; don’t gamble with you eternal salvation! “your life is a vapour” (James 4:14) and you have no way of knowing which send will be your last. “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:607) God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desires for you to turn from your sins and live! (Ezekiel 18@23).
You have a person invitation from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself: “Come to Me, wall who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)