The Diagnosis

If there could be a highway to the moon, it would take 20 months of constant driving at the rate of 400 miles per day to reach the land of the moon. If there could be a railroad stretching up to the sun, a streamlined train traveling 90 mph nonstop, day after day and year after year, would require 116 years to reach sunny land. An airplane flying at 500 mph would have to travel nonstop for 500 years to reach the nearest fixed star.

Yet far beyond the starry sky lie the pearly gates of God's great heavenly sky city. No one knows how far it is in miles, and no one will ever develop a space vehicle for going there, but every one of us can get to that beautiful place by taking three simple steps that we're going to talk about in this little book.

In the book of Revelation, John declared that "nothing which defileth" would go through the gates into that dwelling place of God. The only thing that defiles in God's sight is sin. Isaiah wrote, "your iniquities have separated between you and your God" (Isaiah 59:2). In order to live again in the presence of God, each individual must be free from the condemnation brought on by sin. The apostle John confirmed this fact by his description of that great multitude that he saw in vision standing before the throne of God. They had palms in their hands and were dressed in white robes, representing freedom from sin (Revelation 7:9).

So mark it down as the first giant step on the way from earth to heaven: we must have our sins forgiven. This is probably the best-known fact about the entire salvation process. Yet the most perplexing questions are raised about the way to take this step. The truth is that millions have only the vaguest idea about how to obtain relief from the guilt of their wrongdoing. How can a person obtain pardon and be restored to a saving union with God?

It is my belief that countless numbers of people really want to be Christians, but no one has made it clear enough or appealing enough to win their decision. In the next few pages you will read the most simple, bottomline explanation of the plan of salvation. Even the children should be able to understand what it means to be saved. I do not believe that it is enough to just tell people they are lost and need to be found. We must show them step by step how to pass from death to life. The doctor doesn't tell his patients that they are sick and need to be well without giving a prescription for their healing. In the same way, we must be prepared to offer a specific cure for those who have been diagnosed with the disease of sin.

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