As noted at the beginning of this chapter, many have the idea that Jesus died for us to eliminate any requirement that we obey God— and that a gentle, docile Jesus will admit us into His eternal presence if we will only acknowledge Him as our Savior, regardless of any way we would choose to live.
But to believe these things is to believe in a false Jesus and to completely miss the point of His promised second coming. He must return precisely because we will have followed the path of doing whatever we want and rejecting God's laws—and that path ends at the point of global extinction.
Which path will you choose? It's true that Christ's sacrifice demonstrated God's love, and nothing could be a more powerful demonstration of that love. But is that all there is to the story? Is Christianity a matter of only what Jesus has done for us? Or are we willing to follow Jesus by doing what He commanded and following His example?
Are we going to simply believe in Him, or will we believe His message too? There is a major difference. He preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God, the world-ruling Kingdom He will establish at His return. Are you preparing to be in the Kingdom of God? Do you really grasp that the Kingdom of God is a literal kingdom that will rule over all the earth and, in an ultimate sense, will extend throughout all infinity for eternity?
Jesus explained the laws of the Kingdom of God in His Sermon on the Mount. These are magnifications of the same laws He gave at Sinai, laws that He lived perfectly throughout His entire life. And Jesus said that if a person diminishes them in the least way, that person himself will be regarded as least (Matthew 5:19). Yet, tragically, the majority of those who claim to follow Jesus dismiss
It seems that the teachings of Christianity, from the time after the apostles passed from the scene, have focused on the appealing idea of One who loves you, forgives you, comforts you and accepts you. But few have explained that Jesus requires His followers to obey the Father's commandments, both for their own good and for the benefit and blessing of all those around them (1 John 2:3-6; 5:3).
If you don't understand God's commandments, you don't understand sin, because sin is the breaking of God's law (1 John 3:4). And if you don't understand what sin is, then how can you repent? Without repentance—turning from living vowr own way of life to God's way of life—how can you truly accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?
Jesus didn't die so we can feel better about ourselves. Jesus died to pay the penalty for the sins you and I committed. If we return to a life of sin after knowing these things, we "crucify again ... the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame" (Hebrews 6:6). Why would we despise His sacrifice and put Him to death all over again?
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