IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS
What if I told you its not about going to church? What if I told you it's not about Emmaus Road Church, or any other church for that matter? What if I told you it's not about how good you are, what you've done or not done? What if I told you it's not about you? What if I tell you it's all about Jesus and everything He has done for you?
I met a guy last week who told me, "I don't think you'd like me very much." I was surprised and asked why and he replied, "Because I'm living in sin." I didn't know this guy and he knew we had a lot in common, but he knew I was a pastor so he assumed I wouldn't like him since he was living with his girlfriend. I told him that it's not about that. He asked me later, "What do I have to do to be forgiven? Go to church?" And I answered, "No, it's not about church, it's about Jesus. He loves you and He has already forgiven you. It's about what Jesus has done for you. Jesus wants a relationship with you." He walked down a different trail and disappeared into the woods, I kept walking and prayed for him.
It's all about Jesus.
Jesus really is who He said He is, and He really did what people said He did, and He did it for you. Jesus is the Son of God, born a poor helpless baby and that's hard to believe, but that's the true story. He lived a perfect life, yes, perfect. That's really hard to believe, but it's true. Jesus said some crazy off the wall things and did some amazing stuff because He loved people and because He could. Jesus told His friends that the rulers were going to kill Him and He wouldn't fight back because it was God's plan. People either didn't believe him or argued with God's plan (I understand since I don't always understand or like God's plan.) but Jesus did it anyway. At just the right time, Jesus was arrested, tortured and killed like a criminal, hung on a cross, not because he did anything wrong, but because it was God's plan.
Why would God allow people to make fun of His Son? Why would God allow His only Son to be disrespected? Why would God allow people to hurt His Son? Torture His Son? Murder His Son? Why, because God loves you. I know I said, "What if it's not about you," but it's a little about you and me and your mom and your friends. God knew that we have this issue with Him, even though God made us, we keep going our own way doing whatever we want, even if God's way is better.
You see when we go our way instead of God's way it's called sin. God is perfect and He loves us perfectly, He wants to spend forever with us, but there is no sin allowed near the perfect God. So God made a plan to get rid of all the sin so He could hang out with the people He loves forever. God sent His Son to die a perfect death in our place as our sacrifice, so that our sin could be forgiven and we can enjoy a perfect relationship with God.
That's why Jesus died for you, and me and my wife, my kids, my friends, and all the people you love. God loves you and the people you love.
So how do you get this forgiveness? Do you have to do something? Do you have to be good? Well you can't be better than perfect and Jesus has already done that? Do you have to give something up? Jesus has already given up His life for you, so He's already done that. Do you have to go to church? No, church is just a bunch of people celebrating what Jesus has done for them. So what do you have to do? Jesus has done what you had to do, He died for you, just believe in Him and He gives you everything you need. Jesus gives you faith to believe the unbelievable and grace that forgives the unforgivable. Jesus gives you a ticket to forever with Him, but why wait? Forever starts when we believe Jesus and follow Him, getting to know Him.