There could be many reasons for clicking through to this section of my blog, but I suspect that many who do are simply curious. You are probably asking yourself, “Recycled humans? What is that about?”. That’s fine. Let me tell you what I mean by new life and a new purpose for people.
To begin with, I am not really talking about “recycling” in the strictest sense of the word, but more of a transformation. Perhaps most people would not consider a total transformation necessary. True, there are things about ourselves (and others!) that we would like to change, but nothing so major as a total transformation. Most of us believe that we are pretty good people; after all, we don’t murder people or hold up banks, and we donate to charitable causes. But the basis of our belief is always a comparison with other people. We can always find someone whom we believe is worse than ourselves. I question the validity of our measuring stick. Are we really as good as we think we are and is our opinion of our conduct the rule by which our lives will be judged at our deaths, or is there some other standard of measure?
Regardless of whether they classify themselves as religious or not, studies show that the majority of Americans believe in God. When tragedy struck our nation in 2001, prayers and signs invoking His blessing on the United States were everywhere. That being the case, it is interesting that many people have never really given much thought to their lives in relation to Him. Does He really care about how we live? Can we know what He thinks about us; whether He is pleased or angry? Is He like a “heavenly grandfather” who will reward our best efforts and grant us all access to heaven at our deaths or is there some chance that we have displeased Him and will face His wrath?
God gave us the opportunity to know His standards when He gave us the ten commandments: “thou shalt have no other gods before me, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not bear false witness (lie) against thy neighbor”, and so on. These are just five of the ten. Most of us feel like we keep them pretty well, but when Jesus Christ walked the earth, He revealed to us that God’s standard went farther than the “letter-of-the-law”. He taught that the ten commandments were to be applied to the motives of our hearts and not just our actions. He taught that hatred was the same as murder (Matthew 5:21-22), and lusting after someone was the same as committing adultery (Matthew 5:28). Be completely honest with yourself. Have you ever taken something that was not yours? Have you ever hated anyone? Ever lusted or lied? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you have broken the law of God.
The Bible tells us that God created us to serve Him and to have joyful fellowship with Him. However, we have made ourselves enemies of our Creator through our sin. In other words, we all have disobeyed His law and dishonored Him. Scripture tells us plainly in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Scripture goes on to warn us that the just punishment for sin is death and eternal separation from God and all that is good. God is holy and righteous and therefore He must punish sin. “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6).
Perhaps you are now questioning, “Yes, but what about all the good things that I do? Doesn’t that count for something?” The Bible says that we are completely unable to save ourselves. Jesus said, “With men this is impossible” (Matthew 19:26). We cannot by our own efforts – no matter how sincere – be good enough to save ourselves and earn the right to go to heaven. The Bible tells us, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags…” (Isaiah 63:6). That is how God sees all the “good” things that we do —as filthy rags! According to the Bible, we are rebels against God, and our best efforts to approach His righteous standards amount to refuse; like the trash that is headed for the landfill. We are in desperate need of transformation. We need Someone to give us a new life and a new purpose.
Thankfully, there is good news! God is a holy God and He must punish sin, however, because He is also characterized by love and mercy, God is willing to forgive us and take us to heaven when we die. “For thou LORD, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee” (Psalm 86:5). Though it is true that our salvation is not possible in our own strength, Jesus went on to say, “…but with God all things are possible.” What we cannot do for ourselves God through His Son Jesus did for us. Two thousand years ago Jesus Christ came to this earth as a perfect man and died on a Roman cross. In so doing He was in love laying down His life for us. The Scriptures testify that three days later He rose from the dead. In dying and rising from the dead the Lord Jesus did what was necessary to save mankind. Romans 4:25 says, “(Jesus) was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification (salvation).”
Yes, the Lord Jesus did what was necessary to save us, but we must respond with repentance and faith. To repent means to humble ourselves before God and admit to Him that we have sinned and therefore deserve death and eternal condemnation. Repentance is not just regretting that we might suffer for our sin but being truly sorry for having sinned against the Lord. Repentance involves a genuine, heartfelt desire to live in obedience to God. It is not just wanting to escape the consequences of sin but wanting to turn our backs on sin as something offensive and dis-pleasing to a holy God.
Faith goes right along with repentance. Faith refers to believing that Jesus is the Son of God and trusting in what He did on Calvary as the basis for forgiveness and salvation. We cannot earn salvation (eternal life) through our own efforts –but we can humbly receive it as a free gift. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Have you ever received the gift of eternal life that Jesus, the Son of God, made possible by what He did on the cross at Calvary so many years ago. If not, God invites you to do so. Acts 2:21 says, “…whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” If you want to be forgiven, be saved and receive the gift of eternal life, call upon Him now using the following suggested prayer. God has promised He will hear you when you call out to Him sincerely.
Dear God, I admit that I am a sinner deserving of death and hell. Thank you for loving me in spite of my sin and for sending your Son to die for me. I now ask you to forgive me of my sin and I place my trust in Jesus Christ alone as my Lord and Savior. Come into my life, make me your child , and help me to live for you from now on. Father, I thank you that, based on your promise, I now have eternal life and will be with you in heaven when I die. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
If you have sincerely prayed this prayer, the Bible tells us that the Spirit of God has begun a work of grace in your heart and you are now a “new creature”. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians5:17). You have been transformed and given a new life! You have also been given a new purpose – to glorify God with your life. Get to know the One who gave His life for you and grow to be more like Him.
Also, if you prayed this prayer and would like to have more information on how to live as a new creature with a new purpose, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.