You Can Know God
Samenvatting: For a sophisticated, philosophical type audience. Based on the "Four Spiritual Laws"
|Thema:||New Nature; Holy Spirit; Saviour of Sinful Men; Nature, character of God; Creation; Faith, trust, believe in Jesus; Sin, disobedience|
Dit script dient als basis voor de vertaling en het maken van opnames in een andere taal. Het moet aangepast worden aan de verschillende talen en culturen om het zo relevant mogelijk te maken. Sommige termen en begrippen moeten verder uitgelegd worden of zelfs weggelaten worden binnen bepaalde culturen.
Alternate titles: "The four important steps" or "The four steps to life."
The creation of the whole universe was a small thing for God. There are no books written about it. In the creation report of the Bible, it is simply recorded, "God created..." How great are God's works - and how small is man in comparison! All things that have been created are merely God's footprints. We humans can see His creation and marvel at it. Truly, how great is His greatness and His excellence! How broad is the expanse of the heavens above the entire creation! Where does it begin and where does it end? That remains a mystery for us.
Do you know that there is also a mystery about mankind? The questions arise: Where do I come from? Where am I going? Why am I happy when I see something beautiful, and why am I sad when it passes away? What is in me that tells me the difference between right and wrong? Why do I seek a purpose for my life? Why am I afraid of death? You and I are a part of this world, but we seek for more. In us is a longing for something real, something certain - safe - for something that will always be. In us is a longing for God Himself. Though we can comprehend what is in the outer world, and we can see, hear and touch much, when we want to learn to know God Himself, the Creator of all things, we have to pursue another course. Through science, man explores many things. But in the spiritual realm, God takes the first step because man in himself cannot come to God. He wants us to understand that and to come to know Him. Yes, He is, even now, very close to you. And when He is close to us, we can be assured that He also wants to speak to us. Of course, we have to be very still so that we can hear His voice.
You can come to know God when you are willing to take four very simple, but important steps. The first step is that you realise that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. The world, which was made by Him, was wonderful and perfect, but the people whom He created are a thousand times more valuable than all the excellence and riches on this earth. Man is the crown of His creation. He Himself said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." (Genesis 1:26) That means that God has made us so that we should have a personal relationship with Him. Only when we have this personal relationship will we experience fulfilment and happiness in our lives. He is a God full of love; and His love is strong, holy, and righteous.
God is thoroughly pure. He is light. The Bible says that He is brighter than a thousand suns. In Him is no darkness. At the creation of man it was His plan that man should lead a life of peace and love - a life that really had a purpose. "Fine and good," you may say, "but if that is true, why is there so much suffering, brutality and despair in the world? And why do I feel so empty? Why do I have such a longing in me?" We learn the answer to these questions in the second step.
Listen! Have you ever thought about your being a sinner? It is true, man would rather not be reminded of this. Nevertheless it is true! That is why you don't have a relationship with your Creator. Sin is rebellion against God, and that is the deepest cause of all our problems. That was even true of the first people. They were created to have endless unity with the Creator. Deep peace and perfect harmony characterised their fellowship with the Almighty One. But suddenly, at the turn of a hand - it happened. Like a lightning bolt from heaven, disaster came upon them.
In the Holy Scriptures it is written that man, who in time populated the earth, was the same everywhere. People had everything from God, lived daily because of His mercy and goodness, but still they didn't give Him the honour that was due to Him. Man rejected Him, complained about Him, was proud and arrogant, presumptuous and unthankful. Do you see? And all of this is just the same today.
How often has God told people that they have to turn from their wicked ways, but they didn't listen to Him; their thoughts and deeds were far away from Him. They made their own gods and fell into superstition. And what is the result of this? Hatred, jealousy, greed, enmity, wars and mutual destruction. Nothing has changed since then. It has become dark within man. Yes, he who goes without God, goes in darkness, and is lost!
And now we progress to the third step. Do you know that God loves you in spite of your sins? That is why He sent His son, Jesus into this dark world as the Saviour.
Incredible as it may sound, but as man stopped seeking God, God sought man. And because man could not come to Him, He has come to us through Jesus Christ. The Bible says: "but when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman..." (Galatians 4:4). And, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes on Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Jesus came so that we could have contact again with God. It cost Him His life. He, Himself, was without sin, but He took our sins upon Him and paid the penalty for us all. After three days He rose again from the dead. He conquered death and the devil! Later, He ascended back into heaven, from whence He came, and is sitting now by His Father. He is the Mediator between man and God.
One time Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes unto the Father except through Me!" (John 14:6) That means that we have to open up our hearts to Jesus Christ if we want to have a personal relationship with God. Jesus is like a bridge over a deep gulf. He alone can lead us to God. Intellectual assent that such a bridge exists doesn't help us at all. We have to cross that bridge. That is the meaning of faith!
The fourth step tells us: Accept Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Saviour and Lord. Confess your sins to God and tell Him that you are sorry for them. Ask Him to forgive you because of Jesus Christ's payment and tell Him that you want to stop living your old life without Jesus, and you want to begin a new life with Jesus. God will then give you new life; one that is totally different from your old one, and on top of that, wonderful fellowship with Him!
Now you have heard God's offer. This opportunity may not be open to you tomorrow and then it will be too late. You don't know what tomorrow may bring. That is why the Bible so often says,"Now, now is the acceptable time." Ask the living Christ in prayer to come into your life. Prayer is speaking with God. You can take this step now. Speak to Him with simple words. You will be forgiven and God's Holy Spirit will come into your life.
He will change your thoughts and character and will live in your heart. Only then will your whole life have a purpose. Don't miss this opportunity.
Speak with God, perhaps like this: "Dear God, I thank You that You in Your grace have shown Your great love to me. You know that I have sinned and that I am lost. Have mercy upon me and forgive me for my sin! I thank you, that Jesus Christ came and died for me so that He could save me. I thank you also, that His shed blood has cleansed me from all sin. Please come into my life. I would like you to take control of my life from now on. Thank you that I am now able to be a child of God. Amen."
In the Holy Scriptures we find God's promises which apply to all of us. It is written: "But as many as received Him, to them gave He the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." (John 1:12) God's children shall never be lost again because Jesus Himself has promised it:"..and him who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37)
Through the death of our Lord Jesus, the relationship between God and man has been made brand new. He loves man, just as he is, and forgives all sin.
That makes our life new. Everything is made new for the child of God. It would be rather terrible if we were to go on living like others who don't know anything of Jesus Christ - or don't want to know anything. Now Jesus is resurrected and has made a way free for all of us who believe on Him, to live a new life with Him. The knowledge of a new life is not enough; you must also live that way. You need God's Word as a guide along this new way. It tells you what He intends for you and what you should do. You can find this guidance in the Holy Scriptures. If you want to be true to the living Lord, He will make His Word clear to you. Then it will not only have something to say to you on Sunday, but it will be a guide in all of your everyday matters. That is why God has promised us the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit fills us with power so that we can be obedient to the Word which the Lord says to us. He will help us to do that which is right before God and man. It is so easy. It is like when after the long winter, the sun receives more strength. Then the snow and ice melt by themselves. The fields become green and the flowers start to bloom. All of this is a result of the warmth of the sun. And so it will be for you, when Jesus shines into your life. Then the ice in your life will melt, which has made you hard towards people who don't appeal to you. Yea, and much more will happen. A person who changes like the weather can be transformed into one that one can fully trust and rely upon.
An alcoholic can be freed from his addiction, a thief doesn't have to steal any more, and one doesn't have to flee and lie any more. The husband doesn't have to hide any more secrets from his wife; the wife doesn't have to hide any more secrets from her husband, and the children don't have to hide things from their parents and vice-versa. A person can lead an honest, fine and transparent life. Those who were superstitious can now put their trust in God alone. The saying is true: "Where faith goes out the door, superstition comes in through the window." But when someone believes in Jesus Christ, the words of the Bible become true for him, "I am the Lord, your God. You shall have no other gods before Me." (Exodus 20: 2a, 3).
Now you can live as the proverb says: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Now love is ruling, ruling in the family between the husband and the wife, between parents and children, between young and old, between poor and rich. Don't you think that a life which has so much light and warmth generates a bright light for the other people who don't know anything about the joy and freedom which make you capable of doing what is right? A person who is faithful to the Lord Jesus is like an open book. Others can see what God's grace through Jesus has accomplished in him. Someone once said, "When I see a real Christian, then it is hard for me not to believe in God."
A person who follows Jesus must also have fellowship with like-minded people, people who love the Lord Jesus and who are always in contact with Him and who are waiting for His second coming.
We don't need to be afraid. God's promise is true for every child of God, "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) Surely, all problems will not disappear immediately, but we know that we are not alone. Jesus said, "I will not leave you nor forsake you." There is no difficulty, outward or inward, which He is not able to handle. It is really worth it to lead a life with Jesus.