The Gospel Message is the most important piece of information that one can ever receive during his appointed time here on Earth.
As of the Church Age it is one’s chosen response to the Gospel Message that determines where one will spend all of Eternity. It doesn't get any more important than that!
There are differences between the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and the Gospel Message itself. The Gospels begin with documenting the relevant events that preceded the birth of Jesus and concludes with His Ascension. The Gospel Message, found within the Gospels, documents the need (e.g. John 3: 7), the means (e.g. John 3: 18) and the significance of being born again, as it pertains to salvation.
Many individuals did and do accurately quote Old Testament Scripture (Acts 15: 21/Acts 18:4). Many Church Age individuals and organizations can and do accurately quote New Testament Scripture. Never-the-less, many such religious persons, past and present, have stumbled over the chief corner stone (Matt. 21: 45/Romans 10: 2-2).
One can be able to quote the Bible from cover to cover and yet still fall short of identifying and/or understanding the Gospel Message. This is but one of the differences between being educated in Christian Religion and being a disciple, that is a student and applier of Word of God under the teaching ministry of a Biblically qualified pastor teacher.
The devil himself has a history of being able to accurately quote Scripture (Matthew 4/Luke 4). In truth, the devil has a better understanding of the Gospel Message than many who claim to be Christians. Having this understanding in mind, he does all he can do to propose and to promote alternative Gospel Messages.
Paul wrote of believers being presented with a different gospel than the one he preached (Gal. 1: 8/2Cor. 11: 4).
John 3: 16, 18 cut to the chase.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3: 16 NASB).” He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, (Why?) because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3: 18 NASB italics mine.”
With the pre-salvation ministry of God the Holy Spirit (Acts 16: 14/1Cor. 3: 7), God makes his plan of salvation so plain that it can be understood by even a child after he has reached the age or stage of moral accountability. Accordingly, there will be no excuse that is going to hold up in the Court of Heaven for choosing to reject it.
God created Man in His own likeness (Gen.1:26), but this likeness has not got anything to do with His or our overt appearance. Common sense tells us that God in His appearance cannot be both tall and short, fat and skinny, old and young, male and female or any of the many, many different characteristics that each one of us have that distinguishes us as individuals or groups.
The likeness of God in which Man was created refers to the "everlasting" life that will never end. Being like someone is not the same as being that someone. Man is like God in that like God, the soul of Man will never die. Man is unlike God, in that there never was a time when God did not exist.
One must learn to distinguish the all important difference between the everlasting life that every created soul possesses, and the eternal life that one receives only if he is born again. Everlasting life means that one’s soul will never die. Eternal life means that as one lives on, he does so in fellowship with God.
For the souls that find themselves in Heaven, the everlasting life of the soul is a blessing. For the souls that find themselves in the agony (Luke 16: 24) of the fire of Hades, only to later be thrown into the never-ending lake of fire (Rev. 20: 13, 15), the everlasting (and therefore never ending) life of the soul can hardly be called a blessing.
If God had not denied Man access to the tree of life, the members of the human could have lived on indefinitely here on Earth (Gen. 3: 22-24). What to some appears to have been a negative event was actually blessing. As long as fallen Man remains here on Earth, he will never be free from battles with the sin nature (Romans 7) that takes place at the moment of physical death.
It is the soul that has been born again that has received eternal life. It is the eternal life that the soul with everlasting life receives that qualifies him/her to spend eternity with God.
On the other hand,”… He said again to them, “I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come (John 8 :21).”
Q.: Why couldn’t they come?
A.: Because unless they are born again, they die in their sin and cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
There were (and are) those who seek God through the products and practices of religion, but not having been born again, they cannot and therefore will not go where (Acts 1: 11) He has gone.
All roads may have led to Rome, but not all roads lead to Heaven.
We do NOT all worship the same God (Psalms 96: 5).
There are NOT “other paths” to the same God/god (John 14: 6).
As a result of the many different so-called Christian religions, all so-called Christians do NOT worship God as He desires to be worshiped (John 4: 23).
The truth is, one cannot worship God nor do anything else as long as he/she is “apart from God (John 15: 5).” Fallen Man comes into this world “apart from God,” and remains “apart from God” until he/she is born again!
As a result of the everlasting life of the soul, every soul that God has ever or will ever create is as much alive and conscious as he/she was the day God (not the parent) created it and placed it in the body of His choosing. Rather or not any given departed soul has gone or will go where He has gone (Acts 1: 11) depends on rather or not he/she was or will be born again.
Our biological parents (John 3: 6), by way of the function that God designed, reproduces and provided us with a body. Such bodies do NOT have everlasting life. Each body has an appointed life span with a beginning and an end time, in accordance with the individual plan that God has in mind for the soul that He placed in each body.
Our soul, that God created (John 3: 6) and that God placed in the body of His choosing, will live on forever.
Life after the death is not a question of if, but of where and how it will be experienced by the departed soul.
Fallen Man comes into this world physically alive, but spiritually dead. Spiritual death is not a state of non-existence, but existing while separated from God.
Unless one is born again (John 3: 5, 7) he remains spiritually dead. Those who choose to reject the Gospel Message leave this world in their sins (John 8: 21) and will eventually spend all of eternity in what the Bible has labeled the lake of fire (Rev. 20: 13, 15).
This lake of fire is NOT a place of extermination, but one of never-ending torment, separated from God.
Being born again means to have one's dead human spirit regenerated (Titus 3: 5). This regeneration immediately takes place if and when one is born again.
This regeneration is the Work of God the Holy Spirit.
It is then that the believer receives the "eternal life." It is by receiving this eternal life that qualifies and enables the soul to experience fellowship with God, now and in Heaven.
In the event that the body of any given soul dies before the soul reaches the age or stage of moral accountability, the soul continues to live
Q.: Does the Bible indicate where such souls continue to live?
A.: I believe it does (Romans 15: 4).
The soul of David’s physically dead son (See 2Sam. 12)) departed the body. Scripture teach that the departed souls of the Old Testament believers went to the Paradise section of Hades. This section of Hades provided departed souls with rest and comfort (Luke 16: 25).
2Sam. 12 teach that during the Old Testament dispensation, the departed souls of children that did not reach the age or stage of moral accountability went to Paradise, as did the souls of believers.
David, a believer, knew that he and his departed child would be reunited again when it came time for David to depart this world and enter Paradise. For all of his faults, David was a man of great faith.
The lake of fire is for unbelievers (Rev. 20: 15). An unbeliever is one who is/was presented with the Gospel Message and then chooses to disbelieve it. This would not be the case involving children (or adults) who never reached the age or stage of moral accountability.
This same Paradise was the one that our Lord spoke of while in conversation with the believing man on the cross next to His. It was in this Paradise that the Lord spent three days and three nights before being reunited with His body that was raised from the tomb on what we call Easter.
All of the departed Old Testament believers that were (past tense) in Paradise are now in the 3rd Heaven (2Cor. 12:2) where the Lord Jesus is presently seated (Mark 16: 19).
Many see the gravesite as being their last point of contact, and a place where they can “visit” the departed soul. In truth, their last point of contact was the last time that they interacted with the now departed soul before the soul left the body. The window of opportunity to interact with the departed soul closed when the soul departed at the moment of physical death.
No arrangements, wake, funeral, or religious activity can change the location or environment, for the better or the worse, that the soul that has already departed soul experiences. The location and the environment that any given soul experiences were already determined by the choices he/she made while he/she was here on Earth.
The only significance of the bodily remains of a born again believer is that it will be raised up in resurrection form when the Rapture takes place. At that time, the departed soul that had been in an interim body in Heaven (2Cor. 5: 1), will then be reunited with the body he/she left behind after it is raised in resurrection form.
There is not one soul in a corpse, a funeral parlor, an urn, a casket, or a cemetery. There are only the bodily remains in different stages of turning back to dust (Gen. 3: 19).
The bodily remains of born again believers (wherever they are and whatever stage of decomposing they may be in at the time) will be raised in glorious resurrection form when the Rapture takes place. No disaster or event here on Earth can or will keep God from doing so. This truth can be a source of great comfort if graves are destroyed or when the bodily remains of born again believers are not available to be buried or otherwise take care of by the ones he/she leaves behind.
Departing souls of the Church Age do not go to the Paradise of Hades. At the moment of physical death the soul and the regenerated (Titus 3: 5) spirit of born again believers go to the 3rd Heaven (2Cor. 12: 2).
Departed souls of Church Age believers are presently In Heaven in their interim bodies (2Cor. 5: 1-3). Among other activities, they are there awaiting the bodily resurrection that takes place at the Rapture (1Thess 4: 16). Those who are in interim bodies when the Rapture takes place exchange them for their resurrected bodies of glory.
The Church Age believers who are physically alive on the Earth when the Rapture takes place are instantaneously (1Cor. 15: 51-53) transformed into their resurrected bodies. As of that time, all of the believers who had been in interim bodies in Heaven and all the believers who are on the Earth when the Rapture takes place are united into one group, meeting with the Lord in the air (1Thess. 4: 17).
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I believe that God inspired (2Tim. 3: 16) the human author of (2Sam. 12) to include the details concerning the reasons for the death and the status of the departed soul of David’s dead child. I believe He did so not only to demonstrate the severe divine discipline that David received (2Sam. 12: 10-14), but to reveal to us the status of souls that leave this world before reaching the age or stage of moral accountability.
I believe that the loss of a child by way of miscarriage, abortion, still birth, or through physical death at a relatively young age can be one the greatest losses and sorrows that a human soul can experience.
David not only had to face this loss, but had to deal with the knowledge that, in his case, it was he that was responsible (2Sam. 12: 9, 10, 14). There can be times when the hardest one to forgive is the one we face in the mirror.
David had spent days and nights tearfully pleading with God to spare the life of his sick son (2Sam12: 15-18). When the child died, those involved were afraid to tell him, fearing he would inflict harm to himself (2Sam. 12: 18).
David’s rather quick recovery (2Sam. 12: 20) and the willingness to move on with the plan of God was itself, I believe, a miracle.
One of the lessons to be learned is that one can be eternally saved and Heaven bound, and yet still sin and suffer the crushing weight of severe divine discipline (Heb. 12: 6) while here on Earth.
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Q. What about those who by no fault of their own never hear the Gospel Message?
A. I believe that such souls are judged by God on the basis of their chosen response to what information they did receive during the course of their time here on Earth. This information begins with the concept of eternity that God places in every soul that He creates (Eccl. 3: 11).
Concerning the salvation of the Old Testament people of God, one might ask, “Believers in what?” The name of Jesus had not yet even been announced (Matt. 1: 21).
The concept of a coming Savior through the seed was first referenced after the Fall in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3: 15). Many more details would be released in God’s timing as to the identity of who this Savior would be throughout the course of Biblical history.
This Genesis 3: 15 revelation was passed down by oral tradition and revealed to some by way of what some call the Gospel Written in the Stars. Since Creation, there is a line of constellations (Psalms 19: 4) that symbolically tell the Gospel Message. As of the days of Moses (around 1500 years BC), the oral words of God began to be recorded in what we now refer to as the Written Word of God, aka The Bible.
Old Testament souls became “believers” (Gen. 5: 17) by choosing to place their trust and confidence in plan of God, to the extent that God had made it known to them during each dispensation (period of time) in the plan of God.
Here in the Church Age, the Gospel Message could not have been made any clearer. With this clarity however, comes responsibility. For to whom more information is given, there is more accountability and responsibility.
Preserving and presenting the unadulterated Gospel Message to spiritually dead souls is the primary external (outside) mission that was given to the Church. The internal (inside) mission of the Church is to make disciples (students and appliers of the Word of God) out of those who have already settled the issue of their salvation.
The adulterated (compromised) gospel messages consist of those that contain additional requirements beyond placing one’s faith (trust and confidence) in the Person and the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ in order to either obtain or to retain salvation. Gal. 1: 8, 9 speak of there being different gospels being presented to believers in the ancient city of Galatia. 1Timothy 4: 1 speak of demons being involved in the promotion of false teaching within the Christian Community during the end times.
Among these “requirements” is the supposed need to participate in religious rituals, good deeds, and good behavior. While some of these things are a part of the post salvation life of discipleship, they have nothing to do with obtaining, restoring, or retaining salvation. The post (after) salvation spiritual life (John 15: 5) does not even begin until the issue of one’s salvation has already been and forever resolved.
Many Man-made (Psalms 96: 5) "religions” (including some so-called Christian religions) have put the cart ahead of the horse.
Religion places salvation as something to be worked for and to be received at the end of the road (life here on Earth. Christianity places the receiving of salvation first; followed by the post salvation spiritual life of discipleship.
Some so-called Christian religions would have us believe that it is through the practicing of religion that one "finishes" the Work of salvation that Christ started on the cross.
Many teach that it is through the practice of religion one retains or restore salvation. Like salvation itself, the work of sustaining the salvation that one has already received is the Work of God (Romans 14: 4). It is because it is the work of God that the believer is eternally secure.
Christianity teaches that the Work was “finished – John 19: 30 NASB) on the cross. The benefits (e.g. eternal life) become one’s personal possessions by making a one-time choice to believe when presented with the Gospel Message. Upon doing so, the believer then and there receives the irrevocable (Romans 11: 29 NASB) gift of eternal life.
Romans 9: 1 teach that there is no condemnation (as far as salvation in concerned – Heb. 12: 6) for those who are in Christ. One is forever and remains in Christ from the moment he is born again forward.
Christianity teaches that the work of salvation was finished (John 19: 30) on the cross, and becomes personally applicable upon believing in the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The sustaining of the integrity of one's salvation is the Work of God.
It is because it is the Work of God, and not of our own doing, that we can confidently stand on the no condemnation principle of Romans 8: 1.
Granted, discipleship requires MUCH more than the simple faith it takes to be saved. But one does not even become a disciple until after the issue of his/her salvation has already been eternally resolved.
Because many Christian religions have put the cart (discipleship) ahead of the horse (salvation), many of its followers believe that the Christian life is all about either earning one’s salvation () that one might receive when life here on Earth is done, or striving not to lose the salvation that he/she has already received. Either position reveals that the one involved does not understand what the unadulterated Gospel Message has to say.
Such believers will never experience the John 8:32 freedoms that God desires His children to experience here on Earth.
On the other hand, born again believers who interpret eternal security as being a license to sin will reap the consequences (Heb. 12: 6/1Cor. 3: 15) of that choice, as well. The salvation of all born again believers is forever secure, but this does not mean that born again believers are above being subjected to the most severe forms of divine discipline (e.g. Acts 5/2Sam 12) here on earth, or that the quality of their post salvation spiritual life will not impact how they will experience Heaven (1Cor. 3: 14, 15) and eternity future.
With this background in mind, let's take a look at the Gospel Message itself.
It's really quite simple, but it takes the pre-salvation involvement of God the Holy Spirit to open up the hearts and the spiritual ears of the recipients (Acts 16: 14). This can take place at any time, in any place, and under any circumstances the God the Holy Spirit chooses to have the Gospel Message presented.
Fallen Man, without this pre-salvation work of God the Holy Spirit will consider the Gospel Message foolish (1Cor. 2: 14). Fallen Man, on his own, will have no genuine interest in God or in the things of God.
Yet, fallen Man often holds in high esteem (Luke 16: 15) the teachings and practices that are the products of Man-made religion (Psalms 96:5). Man-made religious teachings and practices have been found and continue to exist within many areas of the so-called Christian Community, as well. The devil has a long history of working day and night to introduce and maintain false teachings and practices within the Christian Community at large (Galatians 3: 1).
When one chooses to listen to the pre-salvation calling made by God the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 3: 7), God the Holy Spirit provides them with the ability (1Cor. 2: 14) to understand the Gospel Message. If one then chooses to believe what he/she has then been enabled to understand, he/she is then born again.
An unbeliever can never know when he/she has heard the voice of God calling him/her for the last time.
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Since the Fall of Man we come into this world spiritually dead. This is the result of the spiritual death that Adam and the woman (later called Eve) received on the day they sinned.
This spiritually dead condition is passed down to the generations of Man at the moment of conception (Psalms 51: 5) by way of the male partner in the reproductive act.
This is an important principle to master, as it explains why God had to eliminate the participation of Joseph, but could use Mary to bring forth the sinless humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. This subject is a good lesion for another day.
If we choose (by rejecting the Gospel Message) to leave this world spiritually dead, we, as unbelievers (in the Gospel Message) will spend all of eternity in what the Bible calls the lake of fire (Rev. 20: 15).
This is true regardless of how many "religious" rituals we go through or are put through. This is true regardless of how much religious activity or acts of human good we choose to perform.
There is NOTHING (outside of believing in the Gospel) that we can do (or have done) to change our spiritually dead condition with which we all came into this world.
The Lord Jesus Christ atoned (paid for) the sin debt of the entire human race (1John 2: 2) while ON the cross. While on the cross, He experienced the spiritual death (separation from God the Father-Psalms 22: 1) in OUR place.
In the capacity of the sacrificial Lamb of God (John 1: 29) He shed His blood. In doing so, He atoned (paying the sin debt) that was generated by every sin that was ever committed; that was being committed; or that would be committed throughout the course of human history.
That is, with one exception.
By divine design, that one exception is the sin of disbelief (John 3: 18).
For the sin of disbelief, there was no atonement made. Therefore, for the sin of disbelief there is NO forgiveness is this life or in the life to come. It is for committing, and only for committing the sin of disbelief that all unbelievers will spend all of eternity future in the lake of fire.
For all other sins, the debt has been stamped PAID IN FULL by the very blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. God cannot be true to His own Word and then require any further payment towards a debt that has already been stamped PAID IN FULL by the very blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Q.: Is this not where the idea that eternal security is a license to sin comes from?
A.: While it is true that salvation cannot be lost (Romans 8: 1), there is never the less divine discipline (Heb. 12: 6) that can be very severe (Acts 5/2 Samuel 12) as a result of sins that are committed after being saved. Discipline in not for payment. Discipline is for redirection.
Any (James 2: 10) post salvation sin will take the born again believer out of fellowship (2Cor. 13: 14) with God. Being out of fellowship does not mean loss of salvation, but does open the door to divine discipline while here on Earth. Fellowship is restored through the 1John 1: 9 confession (to God). Fellowship is maintained by forsaking (John 8: 11) the same sin in the future.
The PAID IN FULL status of the world’s sin debt is either the greatest truth or the greatest lie that has ever been told to the human race. I, for one, believe it to be the truth!
It is by believing that the Work that He accomplished on the cross is what saves us.
Q.: Saves us from what?
A: It saves us from otherwise spending all of eternity in what the Bible (Rev. 20: 15) refers to as the lake of fire. This lake of fire is NOT a place of extermination. It is a place of never-ending torment, separated from God.
Q.: Can someone on his death bed, on death row, or facing immanent physical death receive the assurance of salvation and a home in Heaven?
A: The answer to this question is found in the often misunderstood lessons that Jesus taught in the parable of Matt. 20.
In this parable, there was a landowner who hired separate groups of laborers at different times during the course of the day. At the end of the day, each group received one denarius from the landowner. The denarius was in that day and age considered a full day’s pay for a full day’s work.
The ones who had spent all day in the vineyard grumbled when they saw that the ones who only were in the vineyard for an hour received the same one denarius as did they.
In response, the land owner pointed out to the grumblers that they received exactly what had been promised. Furthermore, the grumblers were told that he (the landowner) could give to anyone, anything, in any amount, that which belonged to him.
Human viewpoint would argue that the one who labored all day in the hot sun earned more than the ones who only there for an hour. But what human viewpoint does not understand is that salvation is not received on the basis of how much labor one does in an attempt to earn it (Eph. 2: 9).
In the spiritual realm, eternal life is an irrevocable (Romans 11: 29) gift that is God’s to give. Gifts are not earned or deserved. God has chosen to give this gift in full to everyone one who chooses to make a one-time decision to believe in a presentation of the Gospel Message (John 3: 16).
God provides both the opportunity (Acts 16: 14/Romans 10: 14) and the ability for one to understand (Romans 8: 7) the Gospel Message when it is presented to him. Without this enabling, the Gospel Message sounds like foolishness in the minds of an unsaved soul (1Cor. 1: 23).
When, where, how, and by what means each soul is to be presented with the Gospel Message is in the hands of God. These presentations can take place at any time, in any place, in any set of circumstances that God chooses to use once the soul has reached the age or stage of moral accountability.
The decision to believe or disbelieve the Gospel Message is in the hands of one to whom it is presented. No one knows when he/she had received his/her last opportunity.
Each soul’s chosen response to the Gospel Message is what determines where he/she will be spending all of eternity.
No matter when in the course of one's lifetime that one is born again, all born again believers are forever and equally saved.
This point (Matt. 16: 30) is what Jesus closed with when He used this parable to teach on salvation.
The “last” (those who were saved towards or at the end of their time here on Earth) were/are just as “saved” as the “first” (those who were born again early or earlier during their time here on Earth), and vise versa.
The issues of how (with or without rewards/privileges) each born again believer will experience Heaven is another subject for another day.
A saved soul can decide at any time to get back on track and move forward in the post salvation spiritual life, but the time(s) that God provides any given soul to be saved is in the hands of God. Thus we have the warning of (Heb. 3: 7).
Without the enabling power (John 15: 5) of God the Holy Spirit opening up (Acts 16: 14) the inherently hostile (Romans 8: 7) hardened heart of a spiritually dead unbeliever is inclined (Gen. 6: 5) to reject the presentation of the Gospel Message.
Physical death can come upon anyone at anytime without warning. Some global statistics report that as many as 150,000 deaths a day, with their departure being the last thing that was on their minds or on the minds of many knew them. The “Intake Center” in Heaven is a busy place, and Matt. 7: 14 suggest that the Intake Center in the Torments of Hades is even busier!
The Gospel Message informs the unbeliever of the need (John 3: 5) to be saved, and then how (John 3: 18) to be saved. One’s chosen response (John 3: 18) to the Gospel Message is the only thing that determines where he/she will be spending all of eternity; be it in Heaven or in what the Bible calls the lake of fire (Rev. 20: 15).
Rather or not the born again believers in Heaven will experience eternity with (1Cor. 3: 14) or without reward (1Cor. 3: 15) and privileges (Rev. 2/Rev. 3) is another study for another day. It will do one no good to know all about the rewards and privileges of Heaven if he/she is going to be spending all of eternity in the lake f fire.
There are a couple of verses (John 3: 16 and John 3: 18) in the Gospel of John that do a good job of summing up the Gospel Message in just a few short words.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3: 16 NASB)." He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3: 18 NASB)."
To perish can mean to die, but the type of death being spoken of here is spiritual death.
Here on Earth, there are many distractions (health, finances, family, friends, jobs, careers, hobbies, etc.) that make it relatively easy for our hostile nature (Romans 8:7) to ignore or think less of the status of our spirit. But in eternity, when all these earthly distraction are gone, God and the things of God will be all that one will have.
Both Heaven and Hell were created by God to serve divine purposes!
The same God that is preparing a place for all born again believers to be with Him (John 14: 3), is the same God that has prepared a lake of fire for the devil (Rev. 20: 10), his forces of evil (Eph. 6: 12), and all unbelieving souls of the human race (Rev. 20: 15)!
With the enabling power (John 15: 5) of God the Holy Spirit, receiving salvation is relatively easy for us.
But never lose sight of the fact that providing the means of salvation was anything but easy for the Lord Jesus Christ. Prior to His incarnation (taking on human form) He, as God the Son, had always been in Heaven along with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
In order to fulfill His part in the plan of salvation, He had to leave Heaven and take on the same type of humanity (void of the sin nature) that Adam had prior to the Fall of Man.
Except when called for (to perform various miracles) called for in the plan of God, He had to suspend the benefits and the use of His deity. Trying to have Jesus use the power and benefits of His deity other than when it was called for was what was behind the temptation to turn the stone into bread (Matt. 4: 3).
The atoning Work that He accomplished on the cross was accomplished with the self-imposed limitations of His humanity.
In the limitations of His humanity, He could have, but did not, sin. If sin had not been a possibility, there would have been no temptation. One cannot be tempted to do what one could not do in the first place..
(Heb. 4: 15) teach that He was tempted in all ways that we are, but without having committed sin.
In order to retain the status of the (John 1) Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ had to keep from all SIN throughout His entire 30-33 years, here on Earth before reaching the cross. This was quite an accomplishment when one realizes that He do not do so with the power of His deity (than could not sin), but within the limitations of His humanity that could have, but didn’t (Heb. 4: 15).
Had He not maintained the integrity of the sinless humanity that He received at birth, He would have self-disqualified Himself as the unblemished Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world (John 1: 29).
As indisputable as His physical suffering was leading up to and while one the cross, His greatest agony was the hours of spiritual death (separated from God the Father) that He spent in OUR collective and individual place.
It was during those hours that EVERY sin of EVERY soul that had ever been born or would be born throughout the course of human history was poured out on His suffering humanity, as the shedding of His blood atoned for our sin. He felt the weight of the entire world's sin debt crushing (Isa. 53: 5) His humanity.
We all know what it’s like to feel guilty, imagine feeling the guilt of the entire human race.
If He had not done so, and if His atoning Work had not been accepted to satisfy the justice of God, we would still be headed for the Hell that we all deserve. No amount of "religious" activity, good deeds, or good behavior would or ever could satisfy the justice of God.
When our Lord cried out, "My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?" He was NOT asking God the Father a question. The Lord Jesus Christ knew that this was reason He took on the form of Humanity and came to Earth to die on the cross. He tried to make this clear to His disciples before they arrived in Jerusalem (Matt. 20: 18/Mark 10:33/Luke 24: 7).
Even His closest disciples did not yet understand the Gospel Message!
When crying out with these words, He was reciting the 22nd Psalm. The 22nd Psalm contains prophesies (in amazing detail) that were written some 1,000 years before they were fulfilled on the cross.
It is likely that you have heard or have had the opportunity to hear the Gospel Message before today. If have and have believed, you already are born again believer. If so, my prayer for you is that you will advance in the post salvation spiritual life and share the Gospel Message with others. You are holding the keys to gates of Heaven that many of those around you (by divine arrangement) need to receive.
If this was your moment of truth in that God has opened your heart to hear the Gospel (Acts 16: 14), my prayer for you is that you will choose to respond by believing (placing your FULL trust and confidence) in the Gospel Message, and be born again.
This completes our study of the Gospel Message.