"Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." - Galatians 2:16 NIV
This verse gives us a choice - faith in Jesus Christ or observation of the law. One will get us to Heaven and eternal life. The other dooms us to Hell and eternal damnation. Guess which one is which?
I have chosen faith in Jesus. By faith, I have been saved, justified and will spend eternity in Heaven, praising and worshiping God....no tears, no fears, no worries, no anxieties, no pain, no suffering.....HEAVEN!! Jesus came to this earth to become a living sacrifice for our sins. Because we are all sinners ("For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." - Romans 3:23 NIV), there is a chasm between us and God, the Father. When the choice is made to accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, that chasm is bridged by the blood He shed for us on the cross. We now have access to God through His Son!!
But there is another choice: observing the law. What exactly does that mean? In the Old Testament (or Old Covenant) it meant so many things - sacrifices of unblemished sheep, goats and cows. Blood sacrifices. Confession of sins to the high priests so that they could make atonement for those sins before God. Keeping the commandments. Cleansing of the body after having eaten, touched or gotten near something considered unclean. "Regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary." - Hebrews 9:1 NIV. Today it's believing you get to Heaven by doing good works, being charitable and believing in God. Satan believes in God! James 1:19 NIV says: "You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder." Believing in God is part of observing the law...but that doesn't give you access to Heaven. Good works and being charitable is part of having faith in Jesus, but by itself, does not get you into Heaven. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift from God - not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)
Jesus, by sacrificing Himself on the cross, took the place of "the law". He became the only way to God - a New Covenant. We no longer have to make blood sacrifices to God. Jesus shed His blood and became the living sacrifice that covers all of our sins. When we choose to accept Him into our hearts, our sins are forgiven, wiped clean, forgotten. He becomes our access to Heaven. The former way to Heaven - the Old Covenant - is no longer needed. Jesus is our new hope. Hebrews 7:18 NIV says this: "The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God."
The choice to trust and accept Jesus as Savior is completely yours. God does not force us to make that choice. We have been given free will. Your choice - Heaven or Hell. I made my choice. I'm looking forward to seeing Jesus in Heaven!! I hope you've made the choice to join me.
"He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent." - Augustine
Thank You, Jesus, for Your sacrifice for my sins. Thank You for becoming my Savior, Messiah, Lord and King. We have all been given free will and must make the choice between an eternity in Heaven or an eternity in Hell. I pray that if anyone reading this has not accepted You as their Lord & Savior, that they would make that choice right now. May they feel Your love surrounding them and hear Your voice calling to them. May they ask You into their hearts and know that You love them unconditionally. May they be assured that they will be spending eternity rejoicing in Heaven and not suffering in Hell. Jesus, Lover of our souls, I ask this in Your name, Amen.