He Took My Place
When Satan, the devil (a fallen angel), came to tempt Adam and Eve, he lied to them and said, “You will not surely die … for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”6 This was a part truth—one of the most deceptive forms of lying—because what the devil didn’t tell them was that if they disobeyed God, they would not only know good and evil but would be forever confirmed in a state of evil that would eternally separate them from God. But Adam and Eve decided to believe the devil rather than God and ate of the forbidden fruit. This is how sin and evil (the breaking of God’s laws) entered the entire human race—a tragic consequence that affects all of us for “there is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory [or standard] of God.”7
The tragedy of sin is that it separates us from God and destroys us spiritually. It’s not that God destroys us but, rather, we destroy ourselves in that all sin has its logical consequences: death! The result is that a sinner can no longer survive in the presence of God—a God of absolute holiness—any more than a moth can survive in a flame.
God is also a God of absolute justice. This means that all sin (the breaking of God’s laws) must be judged with absolute justice. As God’s Word, the Bible, says, “The wages [consequences] of sin is death”8 which is eternal separation from God, the author of all love and life in the place the Bible calls hell—wherever and whatever that may be. Of one thing we can be certain: hell will be HELL where lost sinners will be separated from God, love, and loving relationships for all eternity. Such consequences are unthinkable.
That’s the bad news. The wonderful news is that not only is he a God of absolute holiness and justice, but also a God of infinite love. This is why he sent his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay the just penalty of all our sins so we could be freely forgiven and given God’s gift of eternal life and, in the afterlife, to live with God in the place the Bible calls heaven—whatever and wherever that may be. Of this we can be certain—heaven will be HEAVEN where there will be no more sorrow, sadness, sickness, suffering or dying and where love will rule supreme forever and ever.
This, my friend, is the purpose and meaning of Christmas. Jesus is God’s incredible Christmas love gift to the world—to you and me individually.
If you have never accepted God’s Christmas gift for you, I urge you to do that today because eternity is forever and none of us has any guarantee of tomorrow. The following prayer will guide you in doing this:
“Dear God, I believe that Jesus is ‘Son of the living God,’ and that he came to earth on that first Christmas to live as a man so he could die on the cross to pay the penalty for all my sins. I confess that I am a sinner and repent of (turn from) my sins. Please forgive me, and I invite you, Jesus, to come into my heart and life to be my personal Lord and Savior. Please help me to live in harmony with your will always in all ways so that I will become all that you envisioned for me to be. Thank you, Jesus, for dying in my place, for your forgiveness and gift of eternal life. Gratefully in Jesus name, amen.”
If you prayed this prayer sincerely, please click on the Yes to God link below, fill in the form, and we will send you the link for a free copy of the e-brochure, “How to Grow,” to help you in your new Christian and spiritual life.
1. Doug Batchelor, Broken Chains, Pacific Press 2004. Cited on WITandWISDOM. 2. Psalm 19:1 (NIV). 3. See John 3:16. 4. Genesis 2:9 (NIV). 5. Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV). 6. Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV). 7. Romans 3:22-23 (NIV). 8. Romans 6:32 (NIV).
5. All articles on the ACTS International website are by Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise noted.
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