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First, the bad news… you're a no good sinner!

Whoa! Wait! Don't click, don't go away, and don't panic. Read on one minute. Jesus said, "…there is none good but one, that is God…" (Matthew 19:17) That's why I can say—without even knowing who you are—that you are a no good sinner, because we all are. The Apostle Paul says in the Bible, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

Down in our hearts, in places that no one else can see, we all are aware that there are things in our life that we have done, maybe still do, that are not right—that are not good. And something tells us that many of the things in our lives that we explain away to others—and often to ourselves—we surely know down deep inside that those things are not right to God.

It doesn't matter how young you are, how old you are, how much money you have or don't have. It doesn't matter how "good" or how "bad" you have been. "There is none righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10)

Uh Oh, it's going to get a little worse before it gets better, so hang on.

You can't make it right! There is nothing that you can do to make yourself OK with God, " one is justified by the law before God..." (Galatians 3:11) You can't make it all better by donating to your favorite charity or feeding the hungry or going to church or making new year's resolutions. Your momma can't do it for you, or your husband, your wife, or your priest or your pastor! "No man can by any means redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him: for the redemption of his soul is costly" (Psalm 49:7-8) Yikes! and here's the kicker, regardless of what the world says, "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23) Only one penalty here, and no plea bargains.

Time for some good news—whew!

God loves you anyhow! "For God so loved the world (including your very own self) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever (there you are again) believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world (still including your very own self) should be saved through Him." (John 3:16-17)

He did for you what you couldn't do for yourself! You see, while it is true that the penalty for sin is death, that verse goes on to say, "but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) God spoke through the prophet Isaiah and said, "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins." (Isaiah 43:25) You know, even God has to "play by the rules." He cannot lie and cannot go against His own word, and His word says that it is, "blood by reason of the life that makes atonement (pays for the sins) (Leviticus 17:11) So, let's see, God will atone for our sins, but it takes the shedding of blood to do it—God has to bleed!

Welcome to the word of, the glory of, the cross. It is recorded in the gospels that Pontius Pilate, who represented all of the power of the Roman Empire, tried Jesus Christ—found Him innocent—and condemned Him to death! (John 19:6-16) Who was so guilty that somebody had to die. Me and you. Jesus hung on that cross and paid the price for our sin—all our sin, and then prayed, "Father, forgive them"

So now what? The Lord wants to take the sin, and the penalty for sin, from your life. He wants to give you a fresh start, a brand new life. All you have to do is outlined in the Apostle Paul's letter to the church in Rome so long ago: "confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, 'Whoever (there you are again!) believes in Him will not be disappointed.'" (Romans 10:9-11)

And now is the time! "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." (Hebrews 4:7) Confess the fact that you are a sinner (He already knows, so you're not letting the cat out of the bag) and ask Him to come into your heart as your Lord and your Savior. When you do, a few things happen:

     • The stain of sin in your life is gone — Isaiah 1:18
     • You have become a new creation, not just an old one cleaned up — 2 Corinthians 5:17
     • God and all the angels in heaven are rejoicing — Luke 15:6-7

Welcome to the Kingdom!

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