My life was changed forever on Feb. 7, 2002, when I entered an office building to meet with a pastor for a simple job interview.
That day, this pastor asked me a simple yet profound question — one I had never fully been confronted with. He said, “Cory, if you died today, and stood before your Maker, what would you say when He asked you why He should let you into heaven?”
I replied with the answer most Americans would give when asked this question: “I’m a good person. I’ve lived a good life.”
I had, after all, lived a good life and was a good person … in the eyes of man.
I deemed myself worthy because for the most part I didn’t lie, cheat, steal or kill. I played by the rules and did all the right things. I could even look back and see many acts of kindness done toward my fellow man, like giving to the less fortunate, and treating others as I wanted to be treated.
But as I learned, in God’s Word, the Holy Bible, all my good deeds are like “flithy rags” against the backdrop of a pure and perfect righteous God.
I, like every man, was guilty of living a life devoid of God. In my almost 26 years of existence, I had not sought my Creator, or His wishes or desires for my life.
For years, I had suppressed the truth of God. I had completely ignored the fact that I had a divine Owner and Judge. I had respect for God, I even acknowledged Him, but not enough to seek out His plan and purpose for my life. It was a superficial respect. I imagined the God I wanted and cut and paste him from my life experiences.
But a “cut and paste” God is a man-made God … and that is idolatry.
I was indeed, like all men, alienated from God, and on Feb. 7, 2002, I became hauntingly aware of the deep canyon, the enormous rift between me and the God of the universe.
I was on an island … and God was distant.
In fact, after later studying the Bible, I realized not only was I distant from God, but I was an object of His holy wrath because I was living in rebellion to Him.
Friends, that is a scary place to be.
The Bible says, all men are dead — completely insensitive and unresponsive — to God because of sin (Eph. 2:1).
Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). It is trespassing against the holy law of God. Sin is what creates the distance, the alienation, the estrangement from God because He is perfectly pure, and demands perfect obedience to His laws.
The Bible paints the perfect picture of man’s relationship to God: “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way.” (Isaiah 53:6)
Indeed, I had decided to forgo God’s plan for my life and crown myself king, supplanting the rightful King for the image in my bathroom mirror. I had set off in my own direction, pleasing myself and fulfilling my own desires.
Even worse, I knew there was a God, yet I did not honor Him or give Him thanks or seek Him. (Romans 1:19-21)
All that changed on Feb. 7, 2002. The condition of my relationship to God was revealed to me … and the message of Jesus Christ was presented to me.
What I heard on that day was that Jesus Christ offered me the forgiveness I could not earn for myself in any way. He offered me a way back to a right relationship with God.
The Jesus I had heard about for many years going to church off and on became truly alive to me that day. Christ was and is the bridge to God for the lost sheep of mankind.
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
He message is simple: You can be reconciled to God through Him.
Jesus lived to die … for me. He lived the perfect life, in perfect obedience, to die as a perfect sacrifice for man. There is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus bleed and died and paid the price of my sin on the cross.
His offer of pardon and forgiveness and reconnection with your Maker stands today ….
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
Do you hear the voice of the Savior Jesus Christ today?
If we are truly honest with ourselves, we will all acknowledge that we have lived our lives in total estrangement to God, looking up for help only in personal crisises, and modeling some sort of exterior reverence toward God while being totally devoid of the Spirit of God inside us.
That paragraph completely described my relationship with God before February 7, 2002.
But today, I write as a committed follower of Jesus Christ. I began The Walk — living day to day in submission and obedience to Him, as my Lord and Savior. I heard His voice and I accepted, with rejoicing, His offer of forgiveness and reconiliation.
This offer is open to you today as well …
Cry out to Him. He is waiting.
Today, if you have realized that if you were to die physically you would spend eternity without God and would like to receive the forgiveness only Jesus Christ can grant, call out to him today in prayer …
If you would like to know more, please send me an email ([email protected]). I would love the privilege of praying for you and helping you become reconciled to God through His Son Jesus Christ.