Okay, I need to get this off my chest before I get too far into my blog. I wasn’t always a Christian, and I want to tell you, no, confess to you, the kind of life I lived before I knew Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Why? Because I want you to know that real hope exists on this earth!
Before I came to Jesus, I really enjoyed sin. Yeah, I said that, sin. I am a sinner. Saved by grace, yes, but sinner through and through. “Once I was blind, but now I see” has deep meaning for me. I am running this race set out before me by God by His grace, power, and mercy alone. Without the Holy Spirit I would be powerless against sin and it would control me.
I went to High School in the early 90s in St. Charles, IL, and graduated in 1996. I grew up in Colorado, but we moved to Illinois in the middle of my 8th grade year, and our lives dramatically changed due to a spiritual force that was living inside the house we moved into. Yes, haunted. Yes, it was scary, and yes, it changed my life forever. You can read about that in my book “One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life” (which is free on Kindle Unlimited by the way). I also talk about the angels I encountered after I accepted Christ, and what happened when I stopped breathing in 2012. Yes, angels and demons exist.
Due to the terrifying things that were happening to our family in the house, I dove deep into drugs and alcohol as I got older. I had long hair past my shoulders, wore Birkenstock sandals and corduroy pants, and generally listened to a lot of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Phish, and the Grateful Dead. I was depressed, angry, and hurting, and I wanted to die.
By the time I was a Senior, pretty much all I did was party, do drugs, drink as much alcohol as I could possibly consume, and have sex with as many girls as I could. That was the game plan, and that is how I lived. If there was a party, I was there, or I was hosting it (sorry Mom and Dad). If there were drugs, I was doing them. If there was a six pack, it was all mine, and of course there were always girls, and I was hookin’ up with them. You get the picture. I loved sin and I was good at it. Oh yeah, and I hated Christians and I would get very angry anytime somebody started talking about Jesus, Heaven, and hell. I thought they were self righteous people that needed a crutch, and I didn’t want to hear it.
I am telling you all of this because I want you to know that you have found a guy who is not pretending to be anything. I am not self righteous and I don’t think I’m better than you. I’ve lived and wallowed in the darkness. I’ve danced with the devil. I also know who I am in Christ, so I am free to share what He saved me from because He has removed my sins from me and taken away the shame. That is not me anymore. I am telling you about a guy who doesn’t exist anymore. That guy died when I accepted Christ, and I was born again into a new life filled with hope, love, and forgiveness! I’m here to tell you, you can have that too!
We all have sins. Don’t think you don’t.
Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 3:10 says, “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one.”
Sin. People hate that word, especially in today’s world where anything goes and everything seems to be relative. What is sin exactly? The Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language. The New Testament was written in Greek. There are several different words to describe sin. The simplest way to define it is that sin is doing something that is contrary to God’s nature. It is also described as evil, hurtful, or an offense that deserves punishment. In the Greek it means missing the mark like when an archer can’t hit the bullseye. Some of the Hebrew words describe sin as something wicked, morally perverse, or crooked. One of the best descriptions for sin is that it is a revolt and rebellion against God. In the end, that is exactly what sin is and it separates us from a Holy God. Sin is so serious it leads to death, meaning separation from God.
Sin isn’t just partying like I did. It is also hate, lust, greed, pride, rage, jealousy, adultery, coveting, and all the other nasty realities of our sinful nature we have to deal with down here. Lust is the same thing as adultery to God. Hating your brother is the root of murder. At what point you lust, you commit adultery in your heart. At what point you hate someone, you murder them in your heart. Heavy I know, but God is holy and He takes sin very seriously. He is also full of grace and wants to forgive! He proved that when He allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross and killed, so that we could be free!
We desperately need to be redeemed and reconciled with our Creator! However, all of that sin from every human being on earth had to be punished. A price had to be paid, but the price was too high and we could not pay it. God is 100% grace and 100% truth. He is just and He must bring justice. He is also forgiving and He must forgive. These are attributes of God’s character that do not change.
God saw that we could not pay the price for our sins on our own, so what did God do? He had compassion for all of His children, stepped off of His throne, and came to earth to pay the price for us!
Psalm 103:13-14 says, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”
He loves us! He loves you and He does not want you to perish separated from Him! He created us and put us here, and He has provided us a way out of the valley of the shadow of death, so we can get back home to Him!
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9
How did God come down from Heaven and save us? John talks about this in the first chapter of the Book of John:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”
John continues in verses 10-13:
“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
In verses 14-17 John explains who the Word is:
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'” From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
In the simplest terms that means Jesus Christ was with God in the beginning and He is God. He is the Word. God is three in one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God came down from Heaven and became flesh making Himself a man, so that He could be like us, feel our pain, go through what we go through, and ultimately die for each and every one of us. I know, the whole trinity thing still blows my mind, but He’s God and He can do anything.
So, what is The Way back to God? How do we get back home to our Creator? How do we get clean and have our sins completely washed away from us? Let me turn to John one more time. In chapter 14 Jesus is comforting His disciples because He knows His time is at hand and he will be crucified soon:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
In verse 5, Thomas (the doubting one) asks for further clarification:
“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
In verse 6, Jesus tells him clearly how to get to Heaven.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Now you know The Way too. Are you burdened by your sins? Would you like for all of them to be washed away and removed from you completely? You can have that today. You can repent of going your own way and turn to God right now and accept His Way. God gave you absolute free will and the choice is yours.
Here is a simple prayer to accept God’s Way and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. This is not about perfect words, it is about your heart towards God. He is waiting for you with open arms and He will forgive every single sin past, present, and even future. Christians still sin and make mistakes too. Believe me, we all need His forgiveness every day. Here is that prayer:
“Lord Jesus, I need you. Right here and now I give my life to you. I repent of my sin and I want to be forgiven. Please come into my life, fill me with your Holy Spirit, and make me the kind of person You want me to be. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer or you have questions about any of this, or you need prayer, please contact me! If you just accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, welcome home my brother or sister! You are a new creation in Christ, forgiven, and reconciled back to God! Check it out:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-19
One more thing, after I accepted Christ in October of 1996 I stopped partying. Jesus took me, cleaned me up, gave me gifts in the Holy Spirit, and set me to preaching on campus for 4 years, leading a Bible study for 3 of those years, and preaching sermons almost every Friday night at the campus ministry called Campus Crusade for Christ. I received my Bible, evangelism, and discipleship training through the director of Crusade at the time. My brothers and sisters in Christ and I witnessed a lot of our fellow students accept Christ and be set free from all kinds of sin. We preached the Gospel, baptized those who accepted Jesus, and we had an awesome time doing it! I met my wife in college, and we have been married and in love for 17 years now. We have two beautiful children and my heart is full.
Praise God He takes the ashes of our lives and makes something beautiful out of it! Now you have a better idea of why I love Jesus so much, and why I have been telling people about Him and what He has done for me for almost 22 years now. I am not judging you. I am not Bible thumping. I am trying to lead you to your Savior because I love you and I know it is all true because of what I lived through. I am also warning you about the spiritual realm and showing you the way to freedom! You know The Way now.
The Lord painted beautifully with my ashes. He can make beauty out of your ashes too.
Grace and peace to you!
“That 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.”
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”