“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
What follows has nothing to do with Stuck Station, but everything to do with you.
If you’re human, you’ve asked one of these questions at least once:
- Is there a God?
- Where do I go after I die?
- What is the point of life?
And I have good news: there are real answers.
Let me start from the beginning, the beginning of reality itself.
Billions of years ago, an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-caring creator made the universe.
This God (because there’s really no better word for an omnipotent and loving universe-creator) is a trinity—he is one being made up of three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Though there are three of them and each is equal in power, there is only one God.
Now, God wanted a family. He didn’t need a family—no one who is omnipotent needs anything—and he wasn’t lonely. It’s simply in his nature to love and to create.
So, after he made the universe, he made humans. They were part of his family, and he loved them deeply. It was a time of total connection with God. He gave them a few simple rules, and they lived with him in peace. God spoke with them and they spoke with him, the way we talk to our best friends.
But humanity screwed up. Both the man and the woman disobeyed God’s rules. This disobedience is called sin. So, God disciplined them. Unfortunately, that discipline included the inevitability of death, and the sickness, pain, and sorrow everywhere in the world today. Actually, humans got off easy. God could have incinerated them instantly.
Not only did their disobedience mess up the world, it also separated them from God. See, God is good like the center of the sun is hot. Evil cannot stand before him anymore than ice can survive a plunge through a star. It was evil that kept man and woman from the being the very thing they were created to be: part of God’s family.
The first humans could not cross the gap between them and God. And what’s worse, the man and woman passed their sin onto their children and their children’s children. All their children do evil. It’s part of their nature. Part of your nature and my nature. All of us are separated from God.
Think about how many times you’ve had a hateful, envious, or unkind thought today. I’m probably up to about 27,000 before I finished editing this. And that’s the problem.
It’s not just that we’re “not good enough,” it’s that we can’t make up the difference. Nothing we do will bring us closer to perfection. We can’t work our way back into God’s family. Even if we somehow stopped sinning—which we can’t— one sin is enough to keep us from our creator.
God could have ended the story right there. He could have left humanity to die alone and unloved, forever separated from him.
But this God, this being that made the galaxies, is compassionate. He still loves us deeply. He knew we couldn’t reconnect with him under our own power. His word, the Bible, says as much, “There is no one righteous. No, not one.”
Rather than let us spend eternity apart from him, God the Father sent his son, the second person of the trinity, to earth to be our stand-in, our substitute. More than 2,000 years ago, God the Son became a man, completely human and completely God at the same time. His name was Jesus.
Then, because he was A) perfect and B) didn’t have a sin nature, he lived a sinless life. He obeyed God flawlessly. He never lied, cheated, stole, or envied. He never even had an evil thought.
For 33 years, this Jesus walked the earth and did good for people. Then humanity killed him. They killed him because he didn’t fit their idea of a king. They killed him because they were jealous. They killed him because their hearts were evil. They spit on him, beat him, and nailed him to a piece of wood.
They tortured and killed the author of life on a cross.
But Jesus gave up his life willingly. He could have stepped down off that cross anytime because he made and controlled the very elements his persecutors were breathing.
Yet, he stayed on that cross for us. And for a moment, God the Father turned away from God the Son and punished his son for all the sins of the world past, present, and future.
Jesus paid the ultimate price for us. He took our punishment. It’s as if a judge stepped off the bench and took the death penalty for the serial killer he just sentenced.
The lord of the universe died on a hillside, alone.
Three days later God resurrected him. Jesus rose from the dead, showing that he was the savior, that God accepted his sacrifice, and that he has the power over life and death.
What does this have to do with you?
Jesus’ resurrection means that God accepts Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus bridges the gap between humanity and God, and now humanity can walk across that bridge into the creator’s loving arms.
And the good news, the great news, the phenomenal news is that, even though the gift is infinitely valuable, (it cost the life of God’s son,) God offers the gift to us for free.
The gift means we can join his family and find the joy and peace that comes from knowing that God has forgiven us. Not only that, we also become heirs to everything in creation and part of a holy priesthood of believers.
And, when we accept him as our savior, the Holy Spirit— the third person of the trinity—actually takes up residence inside of us. The Holy Spirit shows us how to love God as a father, a brother, and a friend.
“If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come,” God’s word says.
How do we accept this gift?
“If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” That’s what the bible says.
We also have to confess our sins to God, and he’ll forgive us. Then we repent and turn from our sin, not because we are trying to earn our way into heaven, (Jesus already earned that for us) but because in gratitude we obey him.
One of the great parts of being part of God’s family? A ticket to paradise, a place where we can have fun. I don’t know where the floating on a cloud with a harp idea came from, but it’s wrong. Heaven won’t be boring. It’ll be a place of wonder and discovery and of true connection with God and each other.
And, as much as people don’t like to talk about it, joining God’s family means an escape from hell, a place of eternal separation from God. Jesus’ sacrifice means we don’t have to go there, if we’re willing to accept his gift.
Jesus is the most important thing in the entire universe, the cornerstone of existence, and he loves you very much. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me.”
I’ve been a servant of Jesus for many years and I can vouch for the joy and fulfillment that comes from being part of his family. Of course, if you decide to accept this gift of salvation, you’ll still have problems. You don’t become rich. You don’t get perfect health. You’ll even be persecuted by people who don’t like God.
But it’s worth it. After all, knowing that Jesus loves you, that you’re part of his family, and that you’re forgiven is worth everything.
So wrapping up, the answers to those three questions?
- Is there a God?
Yes. He is the being that made everything and loves us very much. So much that he gave up his only son for us.
- Where do we go when we die?
If we accept the gift God gave us, we go to be with him in a paradise so perfect it makes every beautiful place in the universe look like a garbage dump. If we refuse the gift he offers us, we are separated from him forever in a place of torment called hell.
- What’s the point of life?
The point of life is to have a relationship with God. It’s why we were made. It’s what will bring us the most joy and fulfillment, even when life is hard.
If you want to become part of God’s family and don’t know where to begin, here’s a prayer to help you along.
If you believe what follows, please read it aloud:
Dear Jesus, I believe that you died for me. I believe that you rose from the dead. Jesus, you are Lord and God, and I will serve you. Forgive me for my sin. (Now confess your sins to him). Please Lord, accept me as part of your family. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Thank you for saving me.
That’s it! The Bible says that the angels in heaven rejoice when someone becomes part of God’s family.
If you’ve said the above prayer for the first time (and believed it), welcome to the family! Nice to meet you.
Now, I ask the Holy Spirit to prove this gospel message with miracles. And even if he doesn’t, I pray that the Holy Spirit will fill you with his presence.
I’d love to talk to you about any of this if you have any questions. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading.
I wrote this message because I feel it is my duty as a Christian. To paraphrase D.T. Niles, I’m a starving beggar telling other starving beggars where to find food.
I’m a sinner saved by the love of Jesus, and I’m praying for anyone who reads this.