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cropped-rose-white-and-pink2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”

It’s heartbreaking to realize that the majority of people in our world are spiritually lost and without Jesus Christ. You can find that the Bible is painfully realistic in its portrayal of people. It is no whitewashed version of the history of God’s people. In its honest presentation of its characters, the Bible proves that we all need to be forgiven of our sins. The “bad” people of the Bible is a constant reminder that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). For a very long time the old church sat empty and abandoned in a Philadelphia neighborhood. The decaying building blended naturally into the whole area. Storefronts were boarded up and an old school building was padlocked. Party stores flourished, but little else. Grim, unswept, forgotten – that’s how it all looked.

Then one night things changed. The old church sparkled with light. Parked cars lined the streets. The sound of music filled the air. What had been dead and abandoned had come to life. I’ve also seen people like that because for years they were dark and empty like that old church building. There was very little inside except anger, selfishness, and pride. Then one day all was changed. Suddenly the anger, selfishness, pride and darkness were gone. It was as if someone had turned on the lights and the old became new. My beloved, that someone was Jesus Christ, God’s only provision for salvation and a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus Christ is the only way into Heaven (John 14:6), and we can only gain entrance by putting our faith and trust in Him, our Savior and Redeemer.

Further thoughts:

The speaker, an unbeliever, was lecturing very boldly against God’s plan of salvation. A man in the audience stood up and walked toward the platform where he was speaking, peeling an orange as he came, and asked the speaker “Is this orange sweet or sour?” “How should I know?” said the speaker. “I have never tasted it!” “It’s the same with salvation,” said the man. “You have never tried it. I have, and I know it works!”  The point is that there are so many people today so adamantly against God’s Word who have never tasted it. Like the man in the audience, I have tried it and I know it works!

No matter what our age, we need to be thinking about the end of life now. The apostle Paul emphasized the urgency of this when he wrote, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Only a Bible-instructed faith focuses on Christ – His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). His sacrifice for sin is what makes it possible for us to “be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). However, despite the self-evident reality of a Creator (Romans 1:19-20) and the “many infallible proofs” that Christ is all He claimed to be (Acts 1:3), people often use ridiculous, self-serving excuses as reasons to avoid a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul warned us that, “They are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Salvation isn’t turning over a new leaf, but receiving a new life.