Hello again. I hope you all enjoyed time with your family over the holidays. It is now time to get back to work.
This is a question that I personally have wrestled with for a long time; I know I am not the only one! Just for a little bit of personal testimony, I have not always been in the church or even on the path that leads to the church. In my teens, the church seemed so far away and I felt like I could never get to it and I eventually quit trying. My friends were like me and we were like magnets to each other and we feed off of each other. The more despicable we could be was the most fun that we had. We cussed, drank, smoked, and that led into even more experimentation with other drugs. By the time I went to the military at 18 years old I was going down a deep dark path of destruction. Once out of boot camp we were free to travel to the city (Chicago). It is safe to say that by the time that I made it to my ship I had a drinking problem. Even though I was not old enough to drink that green military ID worked wonders. If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “If you are old enough to serve our Country, you are old enough to drink in my bar,” I would be a very wealthy man today. I have so much more to add but that will be a different blog.
So back to my initial question, am I too far gone? You can take this question many different ways, but the point of this question is Am I Too Far Away From GOD to be saved. The answer is a big NO! God is always closer than you think He is, He is just waiting for you to answer the door, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20 ESV). John 3:16 tells us that God loved the world so much that he “Gave His only Son”. Yes, I know, everyone knows that verse but how many know the following verse? “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:17 ESV). God wants us to come to Him. Jesus did not die in vain, He was the sacrifice that washed our sins away.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:39-43 NIV)
We have all heard about the thief on the cross beside Jesus, Right? The Romans did not crucify for just mere theft but any other details are not known about this man or other crimes committed. As you may know, the third man was a murderer. You can see Jesus’ response to the thief and if that is not encouraging to you then nothing will be. That one simple conversation changed his destination. The same can happen to you, it just takes the courage to have that conversation. Humility is a hard thing for someone that has lived for just himself, I know, been there and done that.
Even though I have been involved in the church for several years I wasn’t a true follower of Christ. I was out to take care of me but Christianity is about being like Jesus, Sacrificing, Serving, Compassionate, and Teaching. Have I done bad things in my life? Yes! Will I continue to make mistakes? Yes! Over the last few years, my FAITH has saved more than just my soul, it has saved my life and my marriage just to name a few. I was on a dark path that was leading me away from God but thankfully I have a wife and a daughter that love me along with many friends and with their help, I am back on course and you can be too. So NO, you are never to far gone that Jesus cannot bring you back.
If this seems a little scattered, it probably is. I have been trying to do this in between runs today and my train of thought is easily derailed anymore LOL.
If you have any questions about Salvation, (eg. how to be saved or why be saved), please just ask. If I don’t have an immediate answer, I will get you one quickly. If you think you are too far gone, come see me and I will prove Biblically that you are not.
Debbie…This is Ressie’s sister and she is still battling cancer. Please keep her and all her family in your prayers.