I'd like to share with you about how I came to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.
Using John 8:21-30
Man's greatest fear - Rejection. My greatest fear: being rejected by God. And dying in my sin.
John 8:21 To the religious people Jesus uses tragic words of rejection, "I go away and you shall seek me and shall die in your sin. Where I'm going, you cannot come." Then again in verse 24, "I said therefore to you that you shall die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he, (the promised one), you shall die in your sins." Three times Jesus makes that tragic condemnation ...
You shall die in your sin. You shall die in your sins. x2
How does that happen? How does a person die in their sin unforgiven, unjustified, unprepared to meet God.
Four things I discovered would lead me to die in my sin.
1. Being Self-Righteous
2. Being Worldly
3. Being Unbelieving
4. Being Willfully Ignorant
1. Being Self-Righteous:
I thought I had no serious problem of sin.
Jesus says I would seek God. saying to myself, I had no serious problem of sin. God would reject me too Jesus was going away and told me where he was going I could not come.
I was counting on my religion of human achievement, counting on crediting my good works and my good deeds but still, without believing I would choose to die in my sins. I am already a citizen of the kingdom of darkness.
2. Being Worldly: What is the world system about?
Firstly, John reminds us that friendship with the world is hostility towards God or as James says it another way, I make myself an enemy of God.
Three things make up the worldly system or the kingdom of darkness.
a) Lust of the flesh, - Sex -uncontrolled passion for sex
b) Lust of the eyes, - Money - being greedy for what others have.
c) Boastful pride of life, - Power - being arrogant, aggressive and bitter.
Oh man, I was caught up in the whole three. Only ever thinking of myself, woe is me, I want this I want that, get out of my way. I was happy on the outside but very sad on the inside. My heart ached for truth for forgiveness.
3. Being Unbelieving: unless you believe in me you will die in your sins. I knew in my head the story of Easter: Jesus dying on the cross and rising again. Of course I'd heard claims that Jesus was the Son of God but didn't believe it to be true. I had no serious problem with sin anyway. What did it mean to me, I thought.
4. Being Willfully Ignorant: Jesus, Who do you think you are? v25 I don't want to listen to you. Who are you?I didn't want to acknowledge Jesus as Lord. I was in charge. I didn't want to hear, trust or obey Jesus.
I wanted to be ignorant of the words of Jesus in v26 that He will be my Judge. The Bible says, 'It has been appointed for man once to die, then the judgment.' Heb 9:27. I didn't want to hear it. I would be Sitting in church with my Fingers in my ears.
Willful rejection of Jesus results in facing his Judgment. And dying in my sins.
They even knew when he was lifted up. Jesus says "when you lift up the son of man, then you'll know" v28
He rose from the dead even and they chose to make up lies to cover it up. I knew this too. Jesus died but is risen.
'He has nobody to blame but himself'.
There is a saying in the natural world when a fool does something silly and should have known better.
Maybe you have said it? 'He has nobody to blame but himself'.
This is true in the supernatural or spiritual dimension as well.
In refusing to acknowledge God as my creator, and what creation reveals about God and by neglecting my conscience and what God says is good and what is evil.
I had nobody to blame but myself if I rejected the light of Christ because of my rebellion I would die in my sins. People choose to reject the light of Jesus Christ and rather choose darkness because they loved their sin.
John 3 tells us that Man loves darkness rather than light because his deeds are evil. Yes, I sought after God,
But I could only find the one true God through trusting in Jesus. I would have nobody to blame but myself if I rejected the light of Christ because of my self righteousness, worldliness, unbelief and willful ignorance of the claims of Jesus Christ on my life.
I was seeking a Saviour on my terms. But I would die in my sin.
So to become a follower of Jesus I acknowledged four things.
I had to trust in Christ' righteousness alone, not my own. I realized a had a very serious problem with sin in my life. Nothing I could possibly do would be enough to make me right before God on judgment day. I needed a Saviour.
I had to repent from my worldly ways and live life to please God in all things.
I could not control my passions or stop wanting more and more possessions, and my pride would not allow me to admit failure and or that I was really sad. I thought those things would fulfill my life, but they didn't.
I realized I needed to throw away my unbelief and change my thinking. So I simply asked Jesus to be Lord of my life and forgive me of my sins. I was sitting on the table at home after going out the front at a church meeting and telling mum and dad I had accepted Jesus that night when the invitation was given. I knew from that moment, deep down in my heart, I would no longer die in my sins. Jesus had rescued me from the kingdom of darkness and brought me into his kingdom of light.
I choose not to be willfully ignorant about Jesus and of what the Bible says but chose to daily read God’s words and seek after good things living to please God in all things. No longer ignorant about his commands but joyfully and devotedly prayer hear trust and obey him.
I recommend you choose to live without fear of God’s rejection today. Acknowledge your sin, Believe in Jesus and Confess your sin and live to please God. If you rather not follow Jesus tonight you sadly will choose to remain, Self-Righteous, Worldly, Unbelieving and Willfully Ignorant and you will have no one else to blame but yourself when you die in your sins.
To finish I want to leave you with my favourite reading from Titus 2:11-15.
Thanks for listening to my story. Brad Clarke
Brad’s Clarke Blog - Eternity Matters Now