A man in the Bible named Job asked the paramount question. “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14) This is the question that religions and philosophers have considered, a question that is outside the realm of what is normally called science. However, God has not left us to stumble about in our human reasoning but has given a clear and authoritative answer in the Bible.
The Bible teaches that, though an individual dies physically, he will after that death face a judgment by God: “And as it is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment;” (Hebrews 9:27), and “So then, every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). At death, the soul and the body are separated (the body eventually decaying), but at the appointed time for judgment, God will resurrect the body and reunite it with the soul to stand before Him: “there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Acts 24:15). At that time, the unjust will be sentenced to be tormented for ever in the fires of Hell, never consumed but consciously suffering the wrath of God: “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night” (Revelation 14:11). The just (or righteous) will be welcomed into the joy and perfection of eternal life in Heaven: “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:46).
If the unjust are tormented forever in Hell, but the righteous enter Heaven, who then will be judged as righteous by God? Both the experience of man and the teaching of the Bible declare that every person is a sinner by nature and by choice, meaning that we all habitually violate the commands of God and are there fore unrighteous: “For all have sinned and come sort of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23). Sin is disobeying or failing to keep God’s commands found in His law, the Bible: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law,” (1 John 3:4). The most well known of God’s commands are called the Ten Commandments which forbid worshipping false gods, taking God’s name in vain, sexual sin, stealing, lying, dishonoring parents, murder, and coveting that which belongs to someone else (see Exodus 20:1-17; Luke 18:20). No person has kept all these commands (except Jesus Christ): “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one;” (Romans 3:10). This truth was expressed in the book of Proverbs in the form of a discouraging question: “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” (Proverbs 20:9).
Our condition is desperate before an Almighty God who is perfect in His holiness, knows our every sin (whether in thought or act), and who will eternally torment sinners in the fires of Hell. That is, our situationwould be desperate if God Himself had not provided a way for us to be washed clean from the guilt and defilement of our sins. As our Creator, He has an unmatched love for each of us – a love that is so great that He was willing for His Son to suffer in our place for our sins that we might escape the judgment we deserve: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
God the Son came to live in this world by the miracle of a virgin birth. In temporarily setting aside His glory as God (but not His deity), the Son took upon Himself the full nature of man. However, because He had no human father, He had no sin nature and never chose to sin during the course of His life: “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth:” (I Peter 2:22). Because of His perfect obedience to the commands of God, He did not incur the penalty of death. Yet, He freely gave His life as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring to us God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” (1 Peter 3:18). The proof of the effectiveness of His sacrifice to pay for our sins was His physical resurrection from the grave: “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of he seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:” (Romans 1:3-4).
Because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has suffered for us, we are now able to receive forgiveness for our sins: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Ephesians 1:7). However, though Jesus Christ has provided forgiveness and redemption from damnation, no soul can have them until he repents of his sin and commits himself in faith to Jesus Christ: “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). To repent is to turn from a life of sin and seeking one’s own will and to reject them as evil. Faith in Christ means to regard His death and resurrection as the only means of salvation and to commit yourself in complete trust to Him as your Savior and Lord: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
When someone repents and believes upon Jesus Christ for salvation, he immediately receives eternal life: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). He experiences a spiritual birth as God the Holy Spirit comes to live in him and gives him a new nature and new direction in life: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel no that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:6-7); “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17).
If God has been working in your life, and you have come to the place where you are willing to turn from your sins and to believe upon Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you should call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save you from your sins and give you eternal life: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). If you do believe upon Christ and call upon Him to save you, you should then obey the Lord’s command to be baptized by immersion in water into the membership of a New Testament Baptist church: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls…. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:41, 47b).
As a new Christian, you should begin to learn more about the Bible and about how to live to please his Savior, Jesus Christ. God has created the New Testament church to accomplish this purpose: “And he gave some … pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11-12). You must find a church that strictly teaches and obeys the Bible. Usually such churches will be called Baptist. Sadly however, there are many churches that do not follow the Bible. If you have called upon Christ, please contact us, and we will be glad to help you find a Biblical church in your area where you can grow spiritually and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.