God does have a plan for our lives; for eternity, and concerning our relationships with others. The answer comes in the form of the Gospel, or Good News.
In order to understand why the Gospel is Good News, we need to take a look at the Bad...
The bad news is that man has a problem. The Bible calls this problem sin. Sin is disobedience to God. The Bible says that because we sin, we deserve death. (Rom. 6:23) Not only do we deserve it, but we receive it physically and spiritually (Heb 9:27).
One test to see if you've sinned is to look at the Ten Commandments:
You may be thinking to yourself, "Everyone has done at least one of these!
This is why the Good News is so important! Jesus said, "whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not have life, but will remain under God's punishment." (Jn. 3:36) This is why someone gave you a gospel tract. They love you!
There's more bad news...
Since all have sinned ("for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Rom. 3:23), and do not reach God's standard of perfection (remember, it's His standard we look to not our own-otherwise we'd have 7 billion standards!) we deserve death.
Romans 6:23 says the "wages of sin is death." Since we've sinned we actually earned and deserve death. Eternal punishment and separation from God.
10 out of 10 people die. We all do. When this happens, we will stand before God and be judged. Hebrews 9:27 says, "it is appointed for men to die once, then the judgment." Outside of Christ, all have earned and deserve hell.
People tend to use many excuses at this point:
The bad news is that ALL PEOPLE are in the same boat. The person who gave you a gospel tract isn't picking on you due to your religious background, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, or sports team affiliation!
There's even more bad news...
There's nothing you can do about it on your own.
People try all the time by trying to reach God in their own way. They say things like this:
We need God to do something for us! We need Good News!
There's Good News For You!
The Good News is that even though you and I deserve to be punished for disobeying God, He shows His love for us by providing the payment for the punishment we deserve through His Son. He is both just and loving in doing so!
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
What do I need to do?
You need to be "born again."
John 3:3 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
You become born again by repenting of your sin and putting your faith in Christ alone.
Mark 1:15 "Repent, and believe the gospel."
Repentance is more than saying you are sorry. Of course a guilty sinner is sorry. To repent, you need to not only be sorry, but turn from your sin toward Christ. He is the payment for that sin.
Being good, baptism, or church membership does not save us. It is a gift from God that we cannot earn.
Eph. 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
To be born again, you must repent (turn from your sin) and believe the gospel (the Good News that Jesus died for your sins).
Would you like to do this today? Pray to Him in your own words that you repent of your sins and are turning to Christ for forgiveness. Psalm 51 is a good chapter to read. It describes how King David felt when he'd sinned against God. If you've turned to Christ or need more information, please contact us here. We'd love to share more information with you.
I've been born again, what's next?
If you've been born again, God now resides within you in the form of the Holy Spirit. You'll want to: