ARE WE PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF LORD JESUS CHRISTCORRECTLY, EFFECTIVELY AND TRUTHFULLY?
Israel Jayakaran, Colonel(Retd)
Preaching the Gospel to people the world over, is Jesus’s command to every
Christian. It becomes our bounden duty as well. Have you ever asked yourself, “What is the real purpose of Evangelism?” I don’t know what answer you got from your mind, my answer was, “The primary purpose of Evangelism is, to enlighten the people about the reality of Heaven and hell and save them from going to hell and not to make a person a Christian or to get him/her baptized to add to the strength of the Christian population in India,” as many evangelists believe.
One of the elements of the ‘Good news’ announced by the Angels on the first Christmas night is, “Life of a human being doesn’t end with his/her death on Earth; their soul, in some kind of a recognizable physical form, has to live another life thereafter in another plane of existence over which a person has no control whatever. Everyone has to live this life without exception. There are only two places one could go to, to live that life - Heaven or Hell.
Heaven is a place of extreme bliss and joy and has several varieties of mansions to live in; and all these in the presence of God Almighty. In Heaven you will not have any memory of your past life on Earth.
Hell is a place of total discomfort and horror where there will be only weeping and gnashing of teeth. Possibly it is a closed hot place with the temperature running at 55 degrees celsius and without any house to live in; and this life will be away from God Almighty. In hell, you will remember all your past deeds on Earth and probably cry your heart out but you could do nothing about all the evils you had done except to regret them. You will also remember your family members and friends and all they did during your life time.
Heaven and hell are completely isolated from the Earth and there is no question of any inter-communication between them.
Whether Heaven or hell, the life there is eternal and for ever and possibly millions of years. Life in Heaven is also called “Salvation”.
You have to make a decision about one of them while you are alive on the Earth. God has spelt out a clear cut method of how you could get into Heaven. If this method is rejected, one is automatically assigned to hell. Note the word – reject.
It’s quite wrong to think that every Christian would go to Heaven or achieve Salvation. Not at all. Many Christians are in hell now. So, becoming a Christian would not mechanically save you from going to hell
What is God’s method of taking you to Heaven? What has He said about it? It is only by accepting ‘The Way’ proclaimed by Him. It is God’s blue print of action as well
‘The Way’ is God’s free gift to the entire human race - for a Hindu or Muslim or a Jain or a Buddhist or a Christian or even an atheist. The true God wants every human being to be in Heaven with Him; remember, everyone. He is extremely fond of the human beings.
The first man Adam was formed out of dust and his wife Eve, out of one of Adam’s bones. God placed them in the garden of Eden initially with the freedom to do what they liked; and for food, they could choose the fruits from any tree except the one in the middle of the garden.
Adam and Eve were the only two human beings ‘created’ by God and they were completely holy. All the others were/are to be born of women. People presently living on the Earth are all descendents of Adam and Eve regardless of our religious faith.
There are people in Heaven too. They are the Angels. God could create Angels in any number by a command from His mouth. And they would be Adults from the instant they are created. They are a work force of messengers and carry out God’s orders from time to time. Angels have eternal life; they do not die; they are holy; sin is unknown to them. Probably they have no thinking and reasoning power of their own.
The Human beings, born of women, would become real adults only after some 18 years or so with ‘ logical thinking and reasoning’ power. Their physical features and body chemistry are quite different from that of the Angels. It is these attributes that must have fascinated the true God a lot. He holds a special love and concern for the women-born human beings compared to the Angels who are His children too.
We don’t know what plan God had for our first parents; it was perhaps that they and their descendants should enjoy everything He had put on the Earth and later on join Him in Heaven. We do not know at what stage of their life or at what age they were expected to leave the Earth for the Heavenly abode. This information has not been revealed by God. Next, possibly, like the Angels, Adam and Eve too were not assigned to die because they were holy and God might have planned to take them to Heaven ‘alive’. Once again, God has not given any information on this point..
In course of time, Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command. Earlier, God had told them, “If you eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden you would DIE.” What did God mean by DIE? There could be two meanings: (1) Physical death, that is, life on Earth would be limited and sometime or the other they would physically die. And thus, death became a landmark event in a human being’s life. (2) Spiritual death. This death probably had two elements: (a) Separation from God because they had become unholy and had made themselves ineligible to live in Heaven. This also would have meant that the gates of Heaven had been closed for the human beings. (b) The souls of Adam and Eve and also of the entire human race would be wiped out from God’s list of the human beings.
As regards the other death punishment of extinguishing the souls of the human race, God had pended action. It was something like, placing them all in the ‘death cell’ awaiting execution at some later date.
Carrying out the ‘second death punishment’ would have also meant that Heaven would be devoid of any human beings and would be populated only by Angels. But, God’s love for the human race was so overwhelming and great that He did not want to write them off without trace. He wanted them in Heaven at any cost. So determined, He decided to go out of His way to ‘rescue’ or ‘redeem’ or ‘save’ the lost race. But then , there was a hitch - the unimplemented second death punishment of the souls. God could not condone or conveniently forget this punishment.
Accordingly, God desired to carry out this punitive measure in a different way altogether. Instead of executing and obliterating the entire humanity, why not let someone else die in their place in fulfillment of the judgment and release the human race once and for all from the death penalty?
That someone else cannot be another human being. God considered all the human beings as sinners. How could one sinner take on the punishment of the rest of the millions of sinners? So, it has to be someone very special, exceptional, extraordinary, super natural and most important, completely sinless as well. And that singular sinless person could be only God Himself and no one else.
But, God cannot be killed nor could He die a natural death like us. God therefore, had planned to come to the Earth as a human being Himself to die in our place.
It was God’s law that a person cannot live on the Earth unless he/she is born through a woman. Angels cannot come to the Earth and live here because they are not born of women. The same law would apply to God also. If God has to be a resident on the Earth like any of the human beings, He cannot simply descend although it was in His power. God always abides by His own rules and laws. So, it was necessary that He be born of a woman in order to stay in the Earth. If He has to die in place of all people, He has to be an unusual human being too. How could such conditions be met? God evolved a superb plan, It was a real master stroke - He would be born of a woman mother but without a human father. In other words, a Virgin birth.
The name of the earthly woman chosen for this role was Mary. She was betrothed to be married to one Joseph. When Joseph came to know that his fiancé was pregnant, he wanted to disown her secretly lest she invited some ridicule and disgrace from the society. But in a dream, an Angel told him, “The baby growing in Mary’s womb is an extraordinary and special child and has been conceived by God’s power. So, don’t think in terms of casting her out.” In obedience, Joseph continued to live with Mary but as a husband in waiting. Joseph had also been told by the Angel that it would be a boy and he was to name him JESUS. Thus, Joseph was Jesus’s foster father and not a biological father.
Therefore, we should not look at the ‘virgin birth’ as something sinful and immoral. It was God’s remarkable and most logical modus operandi. There has been no virgin birth till that time nor would there be one ever in future. Virgin birth was an one time occurrence under God’s authority and power and that’s how the Man Jesus was an incomparable person to die in the place of millions of human beings.
Jesus was both a Man and also God. A Man, because He was born of a woman and was like any of us. God, because He had no biological father and was conceived by the power of God.
As Man, He was like any other man, in that, He felt hungry and had to eat 2 or 3 meals a day; He needed to sleep 8 hours a day; He felt tired after walking a distance of say 10-15 miles and so on.
Though a Man, he was completely holy like the Angels in Heaven. Jesus had no sin in Him nor did he lead a sinful life on the Earth.
As God, Jesus performed numerous miracles. Jesus was not a magician. A magician is a trickster. Whereas, Jesus healed blind people who were blind right from birth. He made the dumb and deaf hear and speak. Born lame persons were commanded to stand up and walk and jump and they did so immediately. He brought to life a person who had been inside a grave for 3 full days. With five loaves of bread and two fishes, He fed some 5000 people. A woman who was suffering for 18 years with bleeding was healed instantaneously when she touched Jesus’s garment in tremendous faith. Full fledged lepers were made whole and normal with clear skin just at His bidding. Has any other person in the entire human history claimed and demonstrated such powers?
Jesus walked on water, which no human being could do till date. We, including all the scientists, have no control over nature. Nature would obey only God’s command. And nature did obey Jesus’s command.
Aren’t these adequate proofs to show that Jesus was someone exemplary and unique who belonged to another world called Heaven although He had a human body, form and shape?
Jesus took ‘our death punishment’ upon Himself by dying on the cross in our place at Calvary. One man, a special man at that, dying for all people ! Nothing like this in law had happened before. Death by a substitute indeed is an one time affair. That one man was God-Man. Jesus died on the cross as ransom for the entire humanity in the capacity of a human being. Our souls have been set free from the death punishment by Jesus’s death on the cross. It was not an accidental death. It was a type pre-determined by God in compliance of His own verdict in the garden of Eden.
Once this life- sentence had been carried out, the gates of Heaven had been thrown open for the earthlings. Just because the gates are open, one cannot walk into Heaven at one’s will. There is a condition. 100% holiness is a pre-requisite before one could step into Heaven.
Can any man or woman lead a 100% holy life on this Earth?? No. It is impossible. You cannot spot out even one such individual who is 100% holy according to God’s standards. God doesn’t accept even 99.9999% holiness; one hundred percent and nothing less. All of us are sinners or have sinful nature inherited from our first parents. God does not tolerate sin, even the smallest sin in a person. Sin is an abomination to Him. With sin painted all over your face, you cannot stand before God nor see Him much less live with Him and God wouldn’t look at you either.
But, God wants you in Heaven, anyhow.. To have you there, He has to make you totally and completely sinless and holy.
His blood shed on the cross alone has the power to make you holy and cleanse you from all the ill-effects of sinning . You could be washed off all your sins and made 100% holy only by Jesus.
To acquire such holiness, all you have to do is, to have faith in Lord Jesus and in His sacrificial blood poured out from the cross at Calvary. The moment you accept Jesus in your heart and have Faith and Trust in Him as The Saviour, you are made completely eligible to walk into Heaven. Sounds too simple, doesn’t it? It is indeed a very very simple formula. It has been made unsophisticated so that every individual could go to Him without exception.
You cannot enter Heaven by any other method. Jesus Himself had said, “I am THE WAY”. No other god has such a power to send you into Heaven. Jesus did not say, “I am one of the ways; Mine is a better Way.” He said, ” I am the only Way to allow you inside Heaven.” “And this is the Truth as well.” Jesus had also said, “I am the Life.” This means that He alone could give you eternal life in Heaven.
Jesus died as Man but as God He could not remain a dead man in a grave. So, He became alive on the third day. Jesus is alive today and is waiting to receive you in Heaven.
So, my friends, here is a free gift to every one. We have not made any effort nor are we capable of earning Salvation by our own efforts but God has worked out a method to save every human being from going to hell. Rejecting Jesus would mean, rejecting Heaven or Salvation or an eternal life.
Even today, many of you say on the death of a person, “Mr. So and So, has gone to be with God; he has gone to God’s home…. ” Is that statement correct? Has any religious scripture given you an assurance such that every person on death will reach God’s abode even a hard core criminal ? Is it an automatic process; a process applicable to every sinner, small or great? It can’t be. It doesn’t stand to logic at all. It’s like God saying, “Do what you like, tell lies, steal, commit adultery or kill any number of people and don’t even feel guilty about them all and I will receive you with open arms for a place in Heaven?” Don’t you think such a concept is most illogical and would sound ridiculous even to an ordinary brain?
Friends, don’t forget there are several gods and goddesses in the world today. They are self appointed gods. They are none but the rebellious angels, declared sinners and banished out of Heaven. Unfortunately, the true God has permitted these ex-angels to live on the Earth. We don’t know why. It is also said that some Angels found the women on the Earth most attractive and so they came down without God’s permission and married them. These women produced ‘demons’ and not beautiful looking human babies. The demons also perhaps enjoy eternal life; they do not die. Is it correct to worship them? Is your worship and adoration so cheap that it could be directed at anything or anybody?
Nevertheless, these false gods and demon gods seem to have been given some ‘power ‘ to deceive the people. And such power is also subject to veto by the true God. He could order them, “This far and no farther…” However, it is believed that they have full power to give you ‘riches’. The world’s riches are controlled by them.
Next, they cannot do any kind of harm to a person who has believed and has put his trust in Jesus.
Apart from these deceptive gods, there are among us also some man-made gods. Some ordinary mortals ordain themselves as gods and make themselves equal with the true God. In God’s eyes we are all sinners. How can a sinner claim the place of God? They are imposters and you should pay no attention to them and certainly you cannot kneel and extol them.
Are you aware that some dead people are pronounced as ‘Saints’. Strangely, a number of people go and dote on them and also seek favours from them? Mind you, the dead people whether in Heaven or Hell, have no sanction or authority whatever to answer anyone’s prayers. They cannot give any kind of benefits to you nor could they communicate with you .by any means. If you pray to them, it is possible that the demons and false gods may answer it and perhaps give you some blessing within the limited power they have. Here again, such answering is only for the purpose of turning you away from the true God and directing you to hell. Therefore you should desist from adulating any human beings dead or alive.
We are all God’s creations? We are born of women and placed on the Earth to worship and glorify the Creator-God only. Are you sure you are honouring the true God who created this Earth and everything in Space? The counterfeit gods, although they too had lived in Heaven and were holy angels once, had no part whatever in the Creation process.
It would appear that the true God has put a great burden on you, that is, to identify Him from the rest. And there is another restriction too on us – you will not bow down nor pray to anyone but your Creator- God; deification is due only to the true God and none else.
These other gods cannot give you Salvation nor any kind of passport to Heaven. They have no such mandate at all. Their main purpose is to generate doubts in your mind about Salvation and about the true God and mislead you. Do remember that they too can perform some kind of miracles but such miracles will be always short lived and some may not materialize at all. They want the maximum number to be kept away from knowing the true God. It’s all their purpose. Whereas the true God wants everyone to come to Him.
Now, the choice is yours, friends. If you accept Jesus as the Saviour and Salvation giver with your full heart sincerely and honestly, you are assured of a place in Heaven after your physical death on the Earth and that is eternal life as well. After acceptance, you are expected to give up all your bad ways, turn into a new person loving everyone around you and lead a clean life to the extent possible revering and venerating the true God continually This may sound rather elementary to some of you. But don’t forget, He has paid a great price to get you into Heaven. And He has made the whole process extremely simple too. Just have faith in Jesus and that’s all that is required to be in Heaven. Discarding Jesus, would amount to going to eternal hell voluntarily. Jesus had said so Himself.
Think it over, friends. You have to make the choice while you are alive on the Earth and not after death when you would find your self (your soul, in fact) at the junction point of the road to Heaven and the road to hell. It will be too late then and nor would you be permitted to exercise a second option. So, make up your mind today and right now.