When a person is caught breaking the civil law of the land, they are naturally punished. The same is true when a person breaks God’s law. When a person doesn’t break the law of the land, they are not congratulated, for it is their duty to be a lawkeeper and not a lawbreaker. Likewise, when a man tries to keep God’s laws to the letter (which incidentally is impossible), he is not congratulated by God, he is condemned because he is unable.
The laws of God and the law of the land are given for one reason: to warn people not to break the law. Therefore, the law is similar to a perimeter fence. Stay out, or face the consequences.
A disobedient child is punished by its parent, an employee shirking their responsibility is disciplined by their employer, a person caught breaking the law is arrested and put before a judge. So, different people caught doing different things wrong in society are naturally punished in different ways. When a person dies, therefore, and stands in the presence of God, they too will be judged and based on their sins, their punishment will fit the crime, meaning different levels of hell.
God’s forgiveness for one’s sins isn’t something one can receive by being good or trying to impress God. As far as God is concerned, what people need is a personal and unconditional pardon, that being available in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus was God’s perfect, final, and ultimate sacrifice between God and man.
For those that think they are good and haven’t ever done anything wrong, the Bible declares how all of mankind have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Sins, such as stealing, pride, and taking God’s holy and sacred name in vain, will result in one spending forever in the lake of fire, known in the Bible as hell:
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).
However, by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died on the cross for YOU and was raised from the dead after three days, God will completely forgive all your sins and give you everlasting life.
This is what the Bible calls being “born again”:
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:23-26).
The above verses wonderfully demonstrate how a repentant sinner who is sorry for their sins and then turns to God by putting their faith in Christ’s shed and divine blood alone for salvation is forgiven and forever kept saved.
But for the self-righteous sinner/sceptic, who is still convinced that their works (like going to church, keeping the Sabbath, or being baptized) can earn them forgiveness with God and a place in heaven, the following verses should suffice:
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall NO flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin…Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith WITHOUT the deeds of the law” (Rom. 3:20; 3:28).
To remain in constant fellowship with God, have one’s prayers answered, and be a strong witness to non-Christians, the following is offered:
1) Where possible, water baptism by total immersion should be sought:
“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him” (Acts 8:36-38).
2) Study your King James Bible every day, ask God to open your eyes and ears to better understand and obey its teachings to the best of your ability:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
3) Tell people that you are now born again and how they too must be:
“Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also” (Acts 15:35).
4) Pray to the Lord daily and ask Him to guide you and help you to live for Him:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).