We are living in a dying world – where everyone from little infants to old men & women die and return to the dust. Is this how God intended it to be in the beginning? We see that death was introduced by Adam because of his sin of “self-sufficiency”. In the beginning, God promised to provide every need for man, but Adam decided to trust in his own wisdom/knowledge/strength – trying to become like God. This is the sin of unbelief in God but trusting in human strength.
GENESIS 3: To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” 20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. 21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”
God had created Adam from the dust, but when the man decided to trust in his own strength and wisdom – then man was destined to return back to the dust in death.
God barred mankind from the tree of life – preventing man from living forever.
Romans 5 “12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—”
We all die in this world and its because we are born as Adam’s children, committing the same sin of Adam – trusting in human wisdom and strength.
But God so loved the world that He gave His only Son Jesus Christ – who never sinned – but He always trusted in God. He never did anything in His own wisdom but only depended completely on the Father
John 5 “19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
Jesus died for OUR SINS but rose from the dead because He never sinned!
Everyone who believes in Jesus has passed from death to life!
John 5 “24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.”
So what happens to those who do not believe in Jesus Christ?
1st Thessalonians 4 “13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
The Gospel is not about theology or eschatology. It is about life and death. Adam introduced death to the world and we will all die! But Jesus – the second Adam brought IMMORTALITY by His death and resurrection!
2nd Timothy 1 “9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.”
If we believe in Jesus, then we receive immortality! It is that simple.
John 3 “14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
1 John 5 “12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
If a person believes in Jesus, then at the end of our lives, we will enter the heavenly city of the New Jerusalem where there is only LIFE – there is no curse or death/sorrow/pain. We are finally allowed to eat from the tree of life and live forever – receiving the healing of immortality.
Revelation 22 “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.”
Only those who wash their robes by the blood of Jesus – by faith in Him – are allowed entry to the heavenly city. But those who reject Christ and love wickedness, will perish forever.
“14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”
The “dogs” are those who trust in their own works – like Paul called the Pharisees the dogs here:
Philippians 3:2: “2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—”
The “dogs” are the unbelievers in Revelation 21 who trust in their own flesh and not in Christ.
Revelation 21 “6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Jesus and the eye-witnesses (Apostles) preached in the 1st Century. Today, we have not seen Jesus, but we are BLESSED with eternal life – if we simply believe
John 20:29 “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Law could not save anyone – the Israelites ate manna but perished in the wilderness. But Jesus is the true BREAD of LIFE – if we eat (believe) then we live forever!
John 6 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
John 11 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;
Believing in Jesus is NOT a WORK! Faith in Christ means that we don’t boast in our works but we receive salvation by GRACE as a FREE GIFT !
We are dead in sin, but Jesus died WITH us and raised us WITH Him into Immortality !
Ephesians 2 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast
A person has TWO choices: If he trusts in his own works/goodness to go to heaven, then he will receive the wages – which is death. (Romans 6 – wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ).
But if he realizes that he cannot save himself, but TRUSTS in God to justify the sinner, then such faith is credited as righteousness!
Romans 4 “4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”………“God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
When we acknowledge that we cannot save ourselves by our efforts but BELIEVE that Jesus died for us and was raised for the dead – then we are declared RIGHTEOUS freely by grace as a FREE GIFT !!
Acts 10 39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in Jesus receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
EVERYONE who BELIEVES in Jesus Christ receives the forgiveness of sins!
EVERYONE who BELIEVES in Jesus Christ receives IMMORTALITY!
What a simple Gospel – what glorious good news!!