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Why We Believe? - The Tomb is Empty.

Story by Randy Grathen

Murder, blasphemer, liar, thief. Adulterer, pedophile, envious, glutton, greedy, lustful, prideful, lazy, and angry. All of these are sins according to God. But will any one of them condemn you to hell? No.

We are condemned to hell from birth. The list is just some of the reasons why. But more importantly, those sins are but symptoms of the true reason for our condemnation. Our natural state is that of a sinner. No one, with the exception of Jesus was born without sin and remained so throughout his life. Why are we condemned from birth? Because we are descendants of Adam and Eve. There was no sin in the world until Adam and Eve disobeyed, defied God’s command to not eat from the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. Not long after they were evicted from the Garden. They proved what was now in the heart of man when Cain killed his brother Able and lied about it. It was done out of a prideful heart, morphed into jealously then finally anger. Angry enough to kill. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?"

That genetic trait has been passed on through all generations to this day. It is written into our DNA.

Saul was a prideful, arrogant man. He proudly claimed to be a Pharisee of Pharisees. He hunted down ‘Christians,’ arrested them, had them thrown in prison and killed many of them. He thought he was doing the right thing defending the Jewish faith against these people making blasphemous claims about their Messiah being the King of the Jews and Savior of the World. So, did Paul go to hell? No.

Saul, who was renamed by God as the apostle Paul, was one of the most prolific writers of the New Testament. Paul by the way means humble.

Saul’s Conversion Acts 9:1-6

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

We have a death sentence hanging over us but, we can receive a full pardon, declared not guilty by accepting Jesus’s gift of salvation, of redemption. Jesus paid the price to have our death sentence cancelled because he was executed in our place. He was the perfect sacrifice that could ‘take away the sins of the world.’ He was crucified, died, and was buried but… He rose again. Death could not defeat him.

Can we work off our sin debt? Can we be good enough to get a free pass into heaven? Can we do any amount of works or good deeds to tip the scale in our favor? No.

Did the thief on the cross do anything to earn his salvation? No.

The man could do nothing to earn his salvation. How could he? He was hanging on a cross next to Jesus. But what he did do was this. In his last moments on earth, he realized the truth, acknowledged that Jesus was who he claimed to be. The son of the living God, The Messiah, the Christ, the redeemer. He accepted Jesus and was saved.

He said, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise’” (Luke 23:39-43).

Don’t live like hell and think at the last moment, after you’ve had all your fun, then you will stop doing the bad stuff and be good person. You can’t earn it, you can't be good enough, and you don’t know when your last moments on this earth will be.

Easter is the crowning achievement of Christ's life and ministry. The fulfilment of God’s promise to redeem His people.

Birth. Death. Burial. Resurrection. Salvation. Debt paid in full.

Check out this video

The Man on the Middle Cross Said I Could...

New Song explains it all

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