"Evangelism: Sharing The Gospel" - Steve Wiggins Special Devotional Series
Let’s review: We have covered the 10 Commandments. I presented 2 diagnostic questions, which are designed to get people thinking about Heaven and whether they believe that, 1) They will go Heaven, and 2) Why. We also defined “GRACE” as a gift from G_d, and explained the Bible’s claim that salvation is not EARNED by good deeds/works. In the last email, I outlined WHY men/women cannot earn their own salvation, and I presented Bible verses that support that idea.
All of that info led-up to mankind’s great PREDICAMENT: How can a sinner, in the presence of G_d, Whose standard is perfection, ever commune with Him?
First, let’s address that question by considering the nature of G_d. There is a misconception about G_d, made by many Believers, that there is an “Tanakh (Old Testament) G_d” and a “”New Covenant (New Testament) G_d”. To them, the G_d of the Tanakh was always angry and needed to be appeased, but the New Covenant G_d is a happy, merciful grandfather type.
This opinion of an “evolving G_d” exposes people’s ignorance of the Bible. It is not like G_d went to the locker room at halftime and decided He needed to change His image, or else He was going to lose mankind. G_d’s character never changes. It never has, and it never will.
G_d has always been, at once, both MERCIFUL and JUST from the first page of the book of Genesis, all the way through to the last page of The Revelation. He is extremely merciful and gracious throughout the Tanakh; and the judgment of the L_rd towards sin in the book of The Revelation’s “Last Days” will make Sodom & Gomorrah and the flood of Noah’s generation look restrained.
YES, the Lord is JUST, and He must, therefore, punish sin:
“…I will by no means clear the guilty…” Exodus 34:7
“…the soul that sinneth, it shall die” Ezekiel 18:4
BUT, He is also MERCIFUL and LOVING:
“…God is love” 1 John 4:8
“…I have loved you with an everlasting love” Jeremiah 31:3
SO, how does G_d remain true to His character? How can He JUSTLY punish sin, AND MERCIFULLY pardon sinners, whom He loves? He solved mankind’s SIN PREDICAMENT through the person of Yeshua, the Messiah. WHAT is a MESSIAH? And what did He do that is so essential to mankind’s eternal wellbeing?
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Wednesday, January 29, 2014