What I Wish and Pray For

What I Wish Everyone Understood and Believed for Eternal Life

Written by Beth Inman and Revised 8/27/19 (Please destroy any prior versions you may have.)

Introduction:

I am writing this document because I feel compelled to do so.  I want to share the good news of God’s love and His plan for a wonderful eternal life with others.  My understanding of all of the Bible gives me a sense of urgency to love others enough to warn them of the wrath of God to come against unbelievers, and the importance of believers staying in fellowship with and serving God.  I hope and pray you will read and consider this writing, and cry out to God for understanding of His truth.  I do not pretend to have all the answers to everything about the Bible and God, but I believe these basic truths I am sharing are accurate and life saving.  I do not know what the outcome of this writing may be, but if only one person is helped to be pointed to or encouraged in Jesus Christ, it will have been worth my effort.  This work has been of benefit to me in my personal studies, and is a work in process.  I may make future edits as my studies continue, however, I wanted to self-publish this now to make this available to you.

At the end of the document, I have included some scripture references that I believe explain and prove the points I am making.  I have included the scriptures referenced to make referring to them easier for you.  Scripture references begin with a summary in bold of the points they support.  Though many people find trying to read through a list of scriptures tiring or too difficult, I hope you will read the scriptures, because only the 66 books of the Bible were inspired by God.  I’ve tried my best to summarize some truths God has put on my heart, and I tried to keep it short.  Only God’s Word can be depended upon to be completely inerrant.  God’s Word has the power to help people truly believe in and follow God.  It would be good for you to later look up the scriptures for yourself and read them in context for more understanding.  BibleGateway.com is a good online Bible website (however, be aware it includes some historical books that are not part of the 66 books of the Bible).  I recommend the New American Standard Bible (NASB) or the New International Version (NIV) translations of the Bible.  The scriptures I’ve included are from the NASB.  (A few scriptures may inadvertently be from other versions.)  GotQuestions.org is an excellent source to search for any Bible questions you may have by topic.  I have utilized both these websites in preparing this document.

I pray God will use this effort to help you and others.  When I face God in eternity, when I am evaluated for my eternal reward, I want to have a clear conscience before God that I did my best to help point others to Him.  I don’t want any of my loved ones, friends, or anyone who has crossed my path in life to be able to say I did nothing to lovingly warn them of these truths.  It is so difficult in our culture, even in our own families, to find a “right time” to share and talk about God’s truth.  I am hoping that reading this in your own time and privacy will be a good way for me to share God’s love and truth with you, and this is shared with all my best love and concern for you.

  1. God is real, He desires to be in relationship with the people He created, and He is completely trustworthy.

God is real, good, sovereign (in control), holy, merciful, a righteous judge, with all power and understanding — He is trustworthy.  God’s many other righteous attributes and character traits are explained throughout the Bible, especially in the Psalms.

God exists as a “trinity,” 3 in 1 persons: God the Father, God the Son, Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit.  No one can fully comprehend the mystery of God being three in one, yet it is true as revealed in the Bible.  Failing to realize and accept Jesus as God is a fatal error.

God has always existed and always will exist forever; He has no beginning or end.  No one created God.  Triune God created all things.  God does not need humans or our fellowship, as He is all sufficient in Himself.  God created us out of His great love and goodness, to share life with us.  As Creator, God has the right to set the parameters and rules for our existence.  Our present physical lives are a gift from God.  Which of us can make our own heart beat?  Our future eternal lives, for those who believe, are a gift from Him also.

God has provided His Son Jesus Christ as the only way for sinful people to be made right with Him.  God the Father and the Holy Spirit somehow call and draw people to believe in Jesus Christ, resulting in salvation and fellowship with Him.  God somehow elects, or chooses, those who will believe in Him.  But humans are also responsible before God to choose to believe in and follow Him.  Even nature and creation (our physical world and the intricacies of our own human bodies) point to the reality of a Creator God.

God desires to give all people who will believe in Him a wonderful eternal life with a hope and a future.  God also promises to be with His believing people during their present lives on earth.  Believers are sealed and indwelled with God’s Holy Spirit, and are given a new nature that desires to follow and serve God.  Unbelievers by default are separated from God, stuck under the limitations of their old sin nature, and destined for eternal hell, unless they repent of sin and believe.  Even though some unbelievers do a lot of good works, any good done is still mixed with sin and mistakes, and so falls short of God’s perfection.  They remain separated from a right relationship with God.  Although humans cannot fully comprehend God, God has revealed Himself to us through His creation, His Word, the Bible, and through Jesus Christ.  Although it may seem to some that God is unfair because some people are given a better chance to believe in God than others (those born into a Christian home for example), God’s common grace is given to all people, and He wants all types of people to come to know Him.  If you’ve been given the opportunity to hear the truth of the gospel, and have concern for those in the world with less opportunities, this is all the more reason to respond well to the opportunities you’ve been given, and to believe in Jesus and get busy serving God to help others with less opportunities.  God expects all people to believe in His existence and to seek Him, even though He has a different plan and way of working and revealing Himself in each life.

  1. The Bible is God’s true message to the human race, and the importance of reading, listening to, and studying (taking in) the Bible cannot be overemphasized.

The 66 books of the Protestant Bible, also called “God’s Word,” in two parts, the Old and New Testaments, are God’s message to humankind.  Written by many different authors, over many different times, God inspired and caused the writers to record His message.  God’s Word is true and without error.  Jesus Christ quoted from, affirmed and fulfilled the Old Testament.  The four gospel writers all gave four consistent, though not identical, accounts of the birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and great commission of Jesus Christ.  The Apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ after Christ had ascended to heaven.  These writers’ testimonies, and all of the Bible, point to the reality and necessary perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ for humanity’s sin.  If desired, see the article on GotQuestions.org, “How and when was the canon of the Bible put together?” for more information about how the 66 books of the Bible were decided upon as the complete Bible.  See also the excellent book, “Why Trust the Bible” by Gilbert (Crossway).

It is important to interpret the Bible rightly and accurately, in context, and to understand the entire Bible message, which points to humankind’s need for and provision of a Savior to be made right with God.  I lack formal education, but have studied a lot as a lay person.  The more I study God’s Word, the more I am humbled.  It is inexhaustible in the way it speaks.  Though the writings are ancient, they are relevant to all people in all times, and God’s Word will last forever.  In writing this document, I’ve discovered how little I really know and have committed to memory.  I do not claim to know everything, but I strive to understand and interpret scripture accurately with the Holy Spirit’s help.  The Holy Spirit helps all believers understand and apply God’s Word, which is essential.  God expects all people who have the Bible available to them to study and take in the Bible to understand His truth and call on their lives.

The Bible is absolutely true, inerrant, and trustworthy.  Nothing should be added to or taken away from the Bible.  Human traditions and human teachers or prophets should never replace or supersede God’s Word.  Any teacher that points to him/herself or anything else instead of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord as a way to be made right with God is a false teacher.  All religions other than true Christianity involve having a person work to earn their right standing with God.  True Christianity is not really a “religion” but a relationship with our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ who gives us right standing with God that we could never earn.

“Man, in his creativity, has invented innumerable religions in his attempt to reach God.  God, in His love, has given us the truth:  the one religion, Christianity, in which God attempts to reach man.”  (gotquestions.org, “How is the Christian religion different from all the other world religions?”)

Although people tend to interpret some parts of the Bible differently, which has resulted in different “denominations” and different “religions,” there is only one absolute truth, God’s truth.  The Bible is clear on the basic essentials of Christianity which all true believers in Jesus Christ believe and follow.  Other gray areas of interpretation on non-essentials can exist without creating disunity amongst true believers in Jesus Christ.  Believers love and study God’s Word because it guides, corrects, protects, enlightens and sanctifies them (helps them live rightly).

Beware of common false or partially false religions which have added to, deleted from, and/or changed the Protestant Bible.  False religious leaders also tend to tell their followers to limit their study only to what the false teachers are teaching, and not to study the Protestant Bible or study and think for themselves.  Trustworthy Christian pastors and teachers encourage their fellow believers they lead to study and examine the 66 books of the Protestant Bible for themselves, and encourage them to pray God will give them their own understanding of God’s truth.  Faithful believing pastors and teachers always point their students to Jesus Christ and not themselves.  Believers have bold, confident direct access to God through Jesus Christ.  It is our responsibility to compare any pastor, teacher, prophet or pope’s teaching to the Bible, and to seek God’s understanding of His truth for ourselves.

  1. Human sin separated us from God’s fellowship, caused The Fall, and caused all human suffering.

God created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, and placed them in a perfect garden environment in fellowship with Him.  God set boundaries and gave instructions concerning what they were allowed to eat from the garden.  Satan is an evil angel, who wanted to be God.  He hates God and God’s people.  He appeared to Eve (the first woman) in the Garden of Eden as a serpent and lied to her about God’s Word and instructions.  Satan deceived Eve into sinning against God by eating from the wrong tree, and Adam chose to join her in that sin.  This “original sin” is the cause of “The Fall” and of all suffering and death.  “The Fall” is a term for all creation falling under the curse of sin and death because of this Satanic deception and human rebellion against God.  Suffering is being allowed by God, but suffering was not caused by God.  Suffering and death were caused by Satanic deception and human rebellion and sin against God.  To consider more about why God allows suffering, please see the book If God Is Good, by Randy Alcorn.

All human beings since Adam and Eve (except for Jesus Christ) sin and were born into sin and under the effects of the Fall because of Adam and Eve’s sin.  Sin alienated all people from God and caused all humans to be under His wrath, destined for hell, if they are unwilling to repent of sin and believe.  God is holy and cannot and will not be in fellowship with unrepentant, sinful people.

  1. Jesus Christ is God, He atoned for human sin, and salvation/eternal life is available for all who will believe.

God provided His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for sin when Jesus died on the cross.  Jesus willingly laid down His life to suffer and die to be the perfect sacrifice for humans required by God in obedience to His Father.  Please take the time to read and really consider the four gospel accounts of the birth, perfect life, false trials, abuses of, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ for yourself (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).  The gospels explain the horrible physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual anguish that Jesus suffered to save humans from God’s wrath against sin.  Jesus died and took the punishment for sin that sinners deserve.

God caused the virgin Mary to become pregnant by the Holy Spirit (referred to as “the incarnation”), thus Jesus was fully God, and fully human, and was the only perfect human able to pay the penalty for our sin.  Multiple Old Testament prophesies were fulfilled in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, proving He was and is the promised Jewish “Messiah.”  The lineage of Joseph is given in Matthew 1:1-17, and the lineage of Mary is given in Luke 3:23-38, proving Jesus descended from the line of King David as was promised by God.

Jesus claimed to be God and God’s Son.  Jesus Christ, in professing to be God, was either truly God, a liar, or a complete lunatic.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

If you do not accept that Jesus Christ is God, the false Jesus you or the religion you are practicing are making Him out to be cannot save you.  The real God, Jesus Christ, will not save you unless you believe in who He really is.  We must believe in and follow Jesus Christ, the Holy Son of God, as He is revealed in the Bible, to be saved from God’s wrath and righteous judgment against sin.  Jesus Christ is the only way to right standing and peace with God.

All who believe in Jesus Christ are promised eternal life (heaven) that will be better than we can imagine, instead of eternal suffering (hell) that will be worse than we can imagine.  All people have eternal souls that will live forever, either in perfect fellowship with God and other believers or in eternal isolation and suffering.

Believers will be given a perfect, resurrected physical body in which to spend eternity, in a sinless environment with all suffering and sorrow removed forever.  Sadly, the agonies of hell are necessary for God to rightly do away with sin forever, but only for those who refuse to repent, believe in, and turn to God.  If there is one thing I could change, it would be that there would be no eternal hell.  But God is God, and I am not.  God as Creator has the right to, and has set, the parameters and eternal destinies for all the people He created.  God sent His only Son to rescue sinners, and Jesus Christ willingly laid down his life to rescue sinners; what more could God do?

  1. There are two eternal deadlines that all people face: death or the second coming of Jesus Christ. 

Everyone faces two eternal deadlines that could happen at any time, either their death or the second coming of Jesus.  Of course, we don’t like to think about it, but each person’s death can happen at any moment.  The Bible warns no one knows the time of Christ’s return and calls all believers to always be living in readiness, right with and serving God, watching for His second coming.  No amount of money, success, or power gained in this world can negate these realities of the deadlines we all face.  We all must be ready to face God.  The time to believe in and follow Jesus Christ is now.  There will be no second chance to believe in Jesus after your death.

Believers need have no fear of anything because God has sealed all believers and promises to protect and always be with His believers.  Believers should look forward to and be encouraged by the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Even if believers are called to endure difficulties, or even to be martyrs and die for the cause of Jesus Christ, God will provide believers the strength and grace to do so, and with great reward.

  1. Knowing and serving Jesus Christ is a privilege and a responsibility. An eternal reward is promised for believers

Following and serving Jesus is a tremendous privilege, but it does come with a cost.  Unbelievers often don’t like it when God’s people share the truths of God.  Yet that is what believers are called to do.  God’s “great commission” calls all believers to go into all the world, to all peoples, and share and preach the good news of God’s love and salvation through Jesus Christ (the gospel).  God calls us to begin with those closest to us and continue the work throughout all the world.

God sees and records every thought, prayer, word, or deed that a believer does for Him with a right motive of heart.  God will greatly reward believers in eternity according to what we have done for Him.  It is not wrong or prideful to look forward to our eternal reward, so long as we recognize all believers’ good works are done by God’s grace, and He alone deserves glory, honor and praise, for any good works done.  A believer’s eternal reward is a gift from God.

Unbelievers will receive no reward for any good works they do before salvation, because their sin causes them to be under God’s righteous wrath.  Unbelievers cannot earn their salvation by being “more good than bad.”  Unless human sin is covered by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, any human righteousness before salvation is seen by God as filthy and unacceptable.  Seeing some unbelievers as being better examples of “good humans” compared to believers is not an excuse for not believing in and following Jesus.

Apart from Jesus Christ, believers can accomplish nothing.  The good works and deeds done by believers must be done in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit, with the right motive of heart, to be worthy of an eternal reward.  It is amazing that God will reward believers for good works they did, when the works were all done by God’s enabling, strength, grace and power.

Believers cannot persuade or argue an unbeliever into believing.  The Holy Spirit does the work of calling and drawing believers to Himself by His power and grace, but God uses believers and often speaks through them as they proclaim God’s Word.  God gives believers the privilege of being useful and a part of His eternal purpose and plan.

Knowing and serving Jesus, and being in fellowship with other believers, provides strength, hope, and joy in this present life for believers.  God has promised to always be with His people, and to never leave, nor forsake them.

  1. Believers are positionally “justified” and right with God, but are still sinners, saved by grace, and practical “progressive sanctification” (learning to live more rightly after salvation) is a process. Any good works believers do after salvation are done by God’s grace and strength, and God alone deserves praise. 

Though believers are forgiven of all sin, past, present, and future, when they believe in Jesus (being forgiven and made right with God is called “justification”), Christians sometimes still sin practically after receiving and believing in Jesus Christ.  God has provided Holy Spirit empowerment to live rightly for Him for all believers who ask for it, and God expects believers to repent and press on in obedience.  True believers repent of sin, are forgiven and restored to God’s fellowship, and press on to follow Christ in obedience, never losing their “justification” and right standing with God.  Any good works, or right living, in the life of a believer is done by God’s grace and will be rewarded.  Any failure by a believer to repent of sin or lack of desire to follow Jesus in obedience is cause for concern.

Only God deserves glory and honor for any good done by a believer.  There is no room for a believer having self pride or thinking one is better than another.

Although believers may be rejected, persecuted, or killed in this life, believers cannot lose eternally.  God has promised to complete the good work He started in each believer. and to keep them eternally secure.  All true believers will overcome the trials, tests, and persecutions of this life and will live and reign forever with Jesus Christ.

  1. Experiencing and observing poor examples set by believers is no excuse for not believing or following Christ.

A poor example of a professing Christian is no excuse not to believe in and follow Jesus.  I’m sure we have all experienced being misjudged or mistreated by someone who claims to know and follow Christ.  That is so hurtful and discouraging.  I have experienced these types of things many times.  We must remember that some who profess to be Christian are not really believing or following Christ.  And even true believers sometimes fail and sin and make mistakes.

Jesus Christ has set the perfect example for us of how to live as a human, and He alone is the One we should look to when humans fail us.

Many people have been hurt by churches, or individual Christians, but the answer to this hurt is forgiveness and pressing on in Christ with perseverance.  God will greatly reward believers when they persevere under trials, tests, persecution, and being hurt by another believer.  Even if a professing believer sins against us, and refuses to repent and apologize, believers are required by God to forgive the sin.

  1. True believers will bear fruit and live a changed life, and lack of “fruit” or evidence in believers’ lives is a cause for concern.

True believers are given a new nature and desire to live rightly before God.  Believers are indwelled with the Holy Spirit and have power and enablement from God.  Believers’ lives will bear fruit, and they will do good works and have a changed life, by the power of the Holy Spirit enabling them.

True believers read God’s Word, the Bible, pray, and meet regularly with and commit to other believers, which is best done in a Biblical local church.  True believers desire to and follow through with obeying and following Jesus Christ as He has commanded.  Believers allow Jesus to be in charge of their lives, and to live by the instructions given in His Word, the Bible.

Lack of any good fruit, good works, or the following of basic Christian disciplines in a professing believer is cause for concern.  Though believers are not supposed to run around trying to misjudge each other, believers are called to lovingly, with a goal of restoration, correct and help any fellow believer that has fallen off track in their following of Jesus.  This is best done in the context of a loving relationship, helping the believer with whom you are in close fellowship, usually within your own local church or your own close Christian friends.  Any correction must be done wisely, lovingly, and without misjudgment.

  1. Everyone is called to evaluate their spiritual destiny, believe in and follow Jesus, and to regularly evaluate the quality of their following of Jesus Christ.

God’s standard is that everyone must come to Him in faith and repentance through Jesus Christ.  So where are you at with God?  Are you right with God?  Are you ready to face God at your death or at Jesus’s return to earth?  Do you want to risk facing eternity or the difficulties of this present life without God?  Will you be ready to face God at His second coming or when you die?  Is the Jesus you believe in the accurate Jesus as God that is revealed in the Bible, or have you made Jesus into someone you desire, that fits your needs or your religion’s teachings, but that is untrue?  If you have never believed in Jesus as God as your perfect sacrifice for your sin, what’s stopping you from really believing in and following Him?  Please cry out to God for Him to speak to you and call you to believe.  Everyone who seeks God through faith in Jesus Christ will find Him.  Try reading the book of John (the fourth book in the New Testament) to learn the truth about Jesus Christ.  Do not wait until it is too late to find peace with God.

If you profess to be a Christian, God calls believers to regularly evaluate themselves to make sure they are in the faith.  God calls all believers to walk in a manner worthy of His high calling and wonderful grace of salvation.  What fruit or evidence is there that you are a believer?  Are you living in such a way that you could be convicted of being a Christ follower?  Keeping in mind that learning to follow Christ is a lifelong process of practical change, and we will never reach perfection this side of eternity, where are you in the process?  How do you desire to live?  Who or what are you living for?

If you are not living rightly for Christ, please repent, be restored to God’s fellowship, and begin following Him now.  Don’t waste the opportunity to earn a great reward in eternity by serving God now by His grace and strength.  No matter how many times a believer stumbles and falls, sins, or misses the mark of following Christ in a worthy manner, we never run out of second chances with God, except for the two deadlines explained above.  Before the deadlines of a person’s death or the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, God will always welcome us back from sin and error, and He will help us to follow Him if we ask for the grace and help to do so.  See the story of the “Prodigal Son” in Luke 15:11-24 in which Jesus illustrated how gracious God is in welcoming back unbelievers or believers who have strayed away from Him.  True believers have full assurance that they are positionally right with God and will go directly to be with Jesus when they die or Jesus returns.  But how do you want to be found living at the moment of your eternal deadline?  Will you be embarrassed or filled with joy at what God has been doing in your life when you face your Lord?

Do you want to be useful to God?  Do you want to help point all the lost people God causes to cross your path in life to Jesus before it is too late?  Can you stand the thought of anyone you know enduring the agonies of eternal hell?  Don’t you want to be involved with, loving, encouraging, and helpful to the fellow believers in your circle?  I’ve written this document because of my desire to warn unbelievers of the importance of knowing Jesus Christ to escape God’s wrath to come, but also because I have an overwhelming desire to encourage believers to make the most of the opportunities we have now to serve God and build up and encourage His church.  The teaching in this regard is convicting for me personally.  We must not presume we will have more time; the deadlines we all face can happen at any moment.  God, please make me first, and everyone I know, secure in Your love and grace, and useful to help point others to You, for eternal life.  Help me and all true believers to live in a manner worthy of You, and help us make the most of the time we have left in this present life.

Everyone is either an unbeliever, a believer growing in fellowship with God, or a believer who has fallen away and is outside of God’s fellowship.  Please consider evaluating yourself to be sure you are ready to face God.  Please see the next section for a self-evaluation tool.

A Self Evaluation:

____  I have never heard God call to my heart.  I will seek Him and find Him.  I will begin to read the Bible and will cry out to God to help me understand His truth.  I will seek out a believer and/or a local Bible church to help point me to Jesus Christ.

____  I now understand my need for Jesus as my Savior and Lord.  I will pray and believe in Jesus now.  God I know You are real and that I am a sinner.  I believe Jesus Christ paid the price for my sin when He died on the cross.  Please forgive me of all my sins and help me to learn to follow You in obedience.  Thank you for Your great salvation.  Help me take steps to meet with other believers, tell others of my salvation, and begin to follow You.

____  I have heard God’s call, believed in Jesus by God’s grace, know I am right with God, and desire to serve God out of gratitude.  Since I believe in Jesus, and though I am not perfect in my practices yet, I am in the process of learning to follow these commands in obedience and out of gratitude for my salvation.  (Of course, these are just some, not all, of the basic disciplines and commands of God for believers, but are a good starting point for self evaluation.)

  • I study, read or listen to the Bible and pray daily (sometimes called personal devotions or quiet time).
  • I regularly meet with my local church to worship and serve God, and I am committed in fellowship to other believers.
  • I study God’s Word with an organized plan with a class or church and/or by myself.
  • I share the good news of Jesus Christ with others as God leads.
  • I repent when I fail/sin, and press on in Jesus Christ.
  • I desire to serve God and be useful for His purposes as He leads me.
  • The hope of eternal life and God’s present presence in my life bring me peace, strength, and joy to endure the difficulties and challenges of this present life.
  • The hope of eternal life gives me no fear of death or the second coming of Jesus, and I look forward to a bright, wonderful eternal life, better than I can imagine.

____  I have been professing to believe in Jesus, but I realize I am failing in following Him in obedience.  I will repent, turn back to God, and begin the process of learning to follow God in obedience out of gratitude for my salvation.  I will seek out a mature, loving believer and a local church fellowship to help me in this.

My Personal Self Evaluation and Plea to You:

I have evaluated myself once again, and by God’s grace and strength, I do pass the test of being a true believer.  I believe God is real, good and trustworthy.  I have confessed and repented of my sin, and I am trusting only the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross to make me right with God.  I claim and believe God’s Word which says that since I have believed on Jesus, and have confessed Him with my mouth to others, that I am truly a believer and will be saved from God’s wrath to come.  By God’s grace, I am “justified” before God.  Although I am imperfect and in process practically, there is “fruit” in my life that shows I am following Jesus Christ in obedience.  I know I will be given a life in eternity with Jesus and other believers, in perfect fellowship and purposeful life forever.  I trust God to be my strength and help no matter what difficulties He allows in my present earthly life, and that God will enable me to endure and persevere through trials, tests, persecutions and suffering, but this daily trust is the hardest part of following Christ for me personally.  I am learning to trust God one day at a time, without worrying or stressing about the future.  I truly regret and repent of my many failures and sin, especially sins I have committed since my salvation, but I know I have repented and all my sins are covered and paid for by the grace of God, because of Jesus’s perfect life and death and the price He paid for my sin.  I ask you to pray for me to live in a manner more worthy of Christ.  I pray that God uses this writing to help many believe in Him through Jesus Christ, and to find peace, strength, and no fear of facing God, thus gaining eternal life.  My greatest desire in life is that everyone I love and everyone I even know casually will make it into eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, so we can be together forever in perfect, sinless life on the new earth.  My greatest sorrow will be seeing anyone miss out on eternal life and instead suffering in eternal punishment.  I believe God will wipe away that sorrow somehow as I enter my eternal reward.

If I can be of assistance to you in seeking peace with God through Jesus Christ, please call on me.

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURES (BIBLE VERSES):

These verses are just some and not all of the verses that could be cited.  I’m sure there are some important scriptures that I have not yet included.  What other Bible verses can you find in support of these points?  (Most scriptures are from the NASB Version, a few may inadvertently be from other Bible versions.) 

  1. God is real, He desires to be in relationship with the people He created, and He is completely trustworthy.

God is Real, God Exists, Creator. Genesis 1:1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

God Is Good.  Psalm 31:19  Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!

God Is Sovereign / Trustworthy.  Numbers 23:19  “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

God is Sovereign.  Psalm 103:19  The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.

God Is Holy.  Isaiah 6:3   “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”

God is Merciful / Trinity.  2 Corinthians 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort

God Is a Righteous Judge.  Psalm 19:19  The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.

God Is a Righteous Judge.  Revelation 19:1b-2  “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;  because His judgments are true and righteous.

Power Understanding / Creator.  Isaiah 40:28  Do you not know? Have you not heard?  The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired.  His understanding is inscrutable.

Trinity/ One God.  Deuteronomy 6:4   “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!

Trinity.  Matthew 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Trinity / Father, Son, Spirit Present at Jesus’ Baptism.  Mark 1:9-11  In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

Trinity / Deity of Jesus Christ.  John 1:29-34  The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

Trinity/ Jesus is God.  John 8:58  Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”  (Jesus claimed to be and is God.)

Trinity / Holy Spirit Saves.  Titus 3:5  He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.

No Beginning/No End/God Was Not Created.  Revelation 1:8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

God is Real, Exists, Creator.  Genesis 1:1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

God is self sufficient and does not need us.  Exodus 3:14  God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”  [I AM means God is simply God – all sufficient God.]

God Has the Right to Set Parameters and Rules.  Ephesians 1:11  also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

God Is In Charge.  Job 42:2  [Job said to God:]  “I know that You can do all things,
and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”

Our Lives Are a Gift  / Creator, Sovereign.  Acts 17:25  *** nor is He (God) served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;

Jesus Is the Only Way for Salvation.  John 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

God Draws Believers.  John 6:44  (Jesus said), No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

Election/Salvation by Grace.  Ephesians 2:8-10  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Election / We Are Somehow Chosen by God.  Ephesians 1:3-14  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Humans are Responsible / Creation is a Witness Romans 1:18-20  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Believers Have an Eternal Hope and Future.  Jeremiah 29:11  ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’

God Is Always with Believers.  Hebrews 13:5b  for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

Believers Are Sealed/Indwelled with the Holy Spirit.  Ephesians 1:13  In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Unbelievers Are Under God’s Wrath.  Romans 1:18-19  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

All Humans Fall Short of God’s Perfect Standard Before Salvation, So Are Stuck Under Sin and Wrath.  Romans 3:21-24  But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

God Is Not Fully Comprehensible.  Romans 11:33-36  Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!  For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?  Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again?  For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

God Is Revealed through the Bible (God’s Word) and through Jesus Christ.  John 1:1-5  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him (Jesus), and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

God is Revealed through Jesus Christ.  John 1:14-18  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John (John the Baptist) testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’”  For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.  For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.  No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He (Jesus Christ) has explained Him (God).

God Wants All Types of People to Come to Know Him.  1 Timothy 2:4  [God] desires all men [humans]to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

God Expects Faith in and Seeking of Him.  Hebrews 11:6  And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

It is foolish to Not Believe in God.  Psalm 14:1  The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”  They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.

  1. The Bible is God’s true message to the human race, and the importance of reading, listening to, and studying (taking in) the Bible cannot be overemphasized.

The Bible Records Historical Truths of Jesus Christ.  John 20:30-31  Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

All Scripture Was/Is inspired by God.  2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

God’s Word Is Inspired By the Holy Spirit/God.  2 Peter 1:21  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus verified the Old Testament.  Matthew 5:17-18  “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.  For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) Were Written By Eye Witnesses, or Those Very Close to an Eyewitness of Jesus.  (Matthew and John were disciples/apostles, Luke was close to Paul, an apostle, and Mark was close to Peter, a disciple/apostle). 2 Peter 1:16  For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

The Apostle Paul Wrote Much of the New Testament and Is a Trustworthy Witness.  Galatians 1:1-3 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture Was Inspired By God.  2 Peter 1:21  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Scripture Is God’s Truth.  Psalm 119:160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

Word of God Endures Forever.  Isaiah 40:8  The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.

The Holy Spirit Reveals Truth.  John 16:13  But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

Humans Need Jesus as Savior.  Romans 5:9  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

Humans Need Jesus as Savior.  Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Scripture True / Inspired by God.  2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Scripture Is Truth.  John 17:17  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

No add/ no delete from God’s Word.  Revelation 22:18-19  I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book:  if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

God’s Truth, Not Human Versions of Truth.  2 Peter 1:21  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

False Teachers Deny Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 2:1  But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

Tests Spirits and Teachers.  1 John 4:1  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Beware of False Teaching.  2 Corinthians 11:3-4  But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

Beware of False Teaching.  2 Corinthians 11:12-15  But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

Careful Interpretation / God’s Truth not Human Truth.  2 Peter 1:21  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Basic Essentials of Believers = Believe and You Shall Be Saved.  Acts 4:10-12  Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health.  He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone.  And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.

Unity of Believers Is Essential.  Ephesians 4:2-6  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

The Word Guides and Corrects.  2 Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

The Word Protects.   Psalm 119:11  Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

The Word Guides and Enlightens.  Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

The Word Sanctifies.  John 17:17  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

Examine the Word for Yourself.  Acts 17:11  Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

God Gives Understanding. 1 Corinthians 2:12-13   Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

  1. Human sin separated us from God’s fellowship, caused “The Fall,” and caused all human suffering.

Adam & Eve’s Sin.  Genesis 3:9-13  Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”  And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Sin Separates Unbelievers from God.  Isaiah 59:2  your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

Satan Deceived Eve.  Genesis 3:1-5  Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

All Humans Are Under Sin, Salvation/Justification Is Necessary.  Romans 3:21-26   But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction (between Jews and Gentiles); for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Believers Are “Saved” and Have Eternal Life, Unbelievers Are Under God’s Wrath and Judgment for Sin.  Revelation 21:5-8  And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

  1. Jesus Christ is God, He atoned for human sin, and salvation/eternal life is available for all who will believe.

Jesus Perfect Sacrifice.  Hebrews 9:24-28  For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own.  Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

Jesus Perfect Sacrifice.  Hebrews 10:12-14  but He (Jesus), having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.  For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

Jesus Willingly Laid Down His Life.  Philippians 2:5-8  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus Was/Is Fully God and Fully Human.  Matthew 1:18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.

Messiah Prophesies Were Fulfilled in Jesus (one example, born in Bethlehem).  Micah 5:2-3  “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”  Therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren
Will return to the sons of Israel.

Jesus Claimed to Be and Is God.  John 10:30  “I and the Father are one.”

All Must Be “Born Again” (Believe) to be Saved. John 3:3-8  Jesus answered and said to him (Nicodemus), “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Believe = Life.  John 3:16-17  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Believe = Life.  John 6:47  Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

Salvation from Wrath.  Romans 5:9-10  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Sin=Death; Believe = Life.  Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Believers Are Justified/ “Saved” from God’s Wrath and Unbelievers Are Under God’s Wrath.   Romans 8:1-8  Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Salvation by Grace.  Ephesians 1:7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace

Salvation by Grace.  Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Salvation by Grace.  Titus 3:4-7  But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Jesus Only Way for Salvation.  John 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Eternal Life / New Heavens, New Earth.  Revelation 21:1-4  Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Eternal Suffering / Hell.  Matthew 13:40-42  So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.  The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Eternal Life Will Be Better Than We Can Imagine.  1 Corinthians 2:9  Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.

Eternal Life.  John 14:1-3  Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

Believers Get Resurrection Perfect Bodies.  1 Corinthians 15:42-53  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.  So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.  However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.  The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.  As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.  Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.  Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Hell Is Necessary to End Sin.  Romans 2:5  But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.

Jesus Christ Willingly Laid Down His Life to Redeem Us.  John 10:18  “No one has taken it [my life] away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

Father God and Jesus Christ’s Plan of Salvation.  John 6:37-40  “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who  sent Me.  This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.  For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

  1. There are two eternal deadlines that all people face: death and the second coming of Jesus Christ. 

Death deadline. Hebrews 9:27  And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

The Time to Believe Is Now 2 Corinthians 6:2  for He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you, And on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”

No one knows when Matthew 24:36  But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

No one knows when Acts 1:7  He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”

Money and “success” don’t protect.  Matthew 16:26  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

No second chance/judgment. Revelation 20:11-15  Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

  1. Knowing and serving Jesus Christ is a privilege and a responsibility. An eternal reward is promised for believers

Jesus Lord in Charge / the Cost of Believing.  Matthew 16:24  Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

Jesus Lord in Charge.  Luke 14:26-28 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?”

Unbelievers Don’t Like the Witness of Believers.  2 Corinthians 2:14-17  But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.

Command to Share the Gospel.  Matthew 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

No Pride of Good Works / God Rewards.  Matthew 6:1-4  Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.  So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

God Sees and Will Reward Everything Believers Do.  Revelation 22:12  Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

God Will Reward Believers and Punish Unbelievers.  Matthew 25:31-46  31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’  “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Eternal Reward / Crown of Life.  James 1:12  Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

All Have Sinned.  Romans 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Human Righteousness Is Filthy Compared to God’s Holiness.  Isaiah 64:6  For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Human Hearts Are Desperately Wicked and Sick.  Jeremiah 17:9  The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?

Believers Need Jesus/the Holy Spirit’s Empowerment.  John 15:1-6  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

God Draws Believers.  John 6:44  (Jesus said), No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

Unbelievers Are in Darkness Until the Holy Spirit Enlightens.  2 Corinthians 4:3-6  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

God Uses Believers in His Eternal Purpose.  Ephesians 2:10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Joy of Believing.  Psalm 16:11  You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Strength of Believing.  Psalm 18:2  The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Hope and Help in Believing.  Psalm 28:7  The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

God Is With His People.  Hebrews 13:5-6  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?”

  1. Believers are positionally “justified” and right with God, but are still sinners, saved by grace, and practical “sanctification” (learning to live more rightly after salvation) is a process. Any good works believers do after salvation are done by God’s grace and strength, and God alone deserves praise. 

Believers Justified Positionally.  Romans 8:1-2  there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Believers Sin After Salvation, Repent, and Are Restored (Process).  1 John 1:5-10  This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.  (Note this 1 John letter was written to those who had already believed in and were following Jesus.)

Believers Press On.  Philippians 3:12-14  Not that I have already obtained it [perfection] or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Believers’ Good Works Are Done by Grace.  Ephesians 2:8-10  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that [faith] not of yourselves, it [faith] is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Believers’ Good Works Are Done by Grace. 1 Timothy 1:12  I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,

Believers Created By and Good Works Done by God’s Grace.  Colossians 1:16  For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Reward for Believers’ Works. James 1:12  Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

Reward for Believers’ Works.  Mark 9:41  For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.

Reward for Believers’ Works.  Colossians 3:4  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

God Alone Is Worthy of Praise.  1 Timothy 1:17  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.

No Human Pride 1 John 2:16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

No Human Pride  2 Corinthians 10:18  For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.

God Completes Believers.  Philippians 1:6  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

God Will Keep Believers.  John 10:27-30  My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them  out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Believers Will Reign With Christ Forever.   Revelation 22:5  And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

  1. Experiencing and observing poor examples set by believers is no excuse for not believing or following Christ.

False Prophets in Church.  Matthew 7:15  Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Not Everyone Who Claims to Believe Is a True Believer.  2 Corinthians 11:14-15  No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

True Believers Still Sometimes Sin After Salvation.  1 John 1:5-10  This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.  (Note this 1 John letter was written to those who had already believed in and were following Jesus.)

Jesus to be Considered as the Only Perfect Human Example.  Hebrews 12:3  For consider Him (Jesus) who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The Example of Jesus.  Philippians 2:5-11  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Forgiveness Is Required of Believers.  Ephesians 4:32  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

God’s Reward for Believers.  James 1:12  Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

  1. True believers will bear fruit and live a changed life, and lack of “fruit” or evidence in believers’ lives is a cause for concern.

Believers Have a New Nature / Right Desire.  Ephesians 2:1-10  And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Believers Have a New Nature/Right Desire.  2 Peter 1:1-14  Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Believers’ Lives Bear Fruit/Changed Life.  John 15:5  I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

The Importance of Taking in God’s Word.  2 Timothy 2:15  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

Pray.  Romans 12:12  rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,

Pray.  Ephesians 6:18  With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

Pray. Philippians 4:6  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Pray.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Meet Regularly with Believers.  Hebrews 10:23-25  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;  and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Desire to Obey God.  Psalm 37:4-6  Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.   Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

The Word / Desire to Obey God.  Hebrews 4:11-13  Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Jesus Is In Charge.  Matthew 16:24  Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

Good Fruit Expected of Believers.  Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Believers Are Called to Help and Correct Other Believers When Necessary.  1 Thessalonians 5:14-15  We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.   See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

  1. Everyone is called to evaluate their spiritual destiny, believe in and follow Jesus, and to regularly evaluate the quality of their following of Jesus Christ.

God’s Standard/ Jesus Is the Only Way to Salvation.  John 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

All Who Seek God Will Find Him.  Matthew 7:7-8  “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Whosoever Will May Come.  Romans 10:9-13  that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.  For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Whosoever Will May Come.  Revelation 22:17  The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

Everyone May Cry Out to God for Help.  Psalm 5:2  Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, For to You I pray.

We Must Seek God While He May Be Found.  Isaiah 55:6  Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.

Believers Must Regularly Evaluate Themselves.  2 Corinthians 13:5  Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?

Walk in a Manner Worthy of Christ.  1 Thessalonians 2:11-12  just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

Walk in a Manner Worthy of Christ / and a Prayer for Believers Colossians 1:9-12  For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

Out of Fellowship Christians and Unbelievers Can Always Repent and Be Restored Before the Final Deadlines.  1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Nothing Can Separate Believers from God.  Romans 8:38-39  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Don’t Waste the opportunity to Serve.  Galatians 6:10  So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Don’t Waste the Opportunity to Help the Lost.  Colossians 4:5-6  Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

Unbelievers Will Be Sent to Eternal Hell.  Matthew 13:41-42.  The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

A Prayer for More Understanding/Salvation.  Ephesians 3:14-19.  For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Enter/Believe by God’s Narrow Way.  Matthew 7:13-14.  Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

 

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