A Clean Heart
Grandes lignes: Refers to man's fear of death because of the fear of judgment. Man followed Satan and now it is his nature to sin. Refers to Muslims' concept of "good deeds," but points out that even a trip to Mecca does not change the person. Remedy: Christ, who is God, became man and became the sacrifice for sin. Believing and receiving forgiveness results in "good works." Fear of death leaves because sins are forgiven and heaven is certain.
|Numéro de texte:||161|
|Thème:||Death; Cleanse, purify; Fear; Grace and Mercy; Life of Christ; Faith, trust, believe in Jesus; Judgement; Sin, disobedience; Shame|
|Genre:||Bible Stories & Teac|
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Why does man fear death? It is because he knows he will have to appear before God after he dies. He knows he has sin in his heart and God will judge him. He is afraid of the punishment. Is this not so? He knows that those things he has done secretly will appear at the Day of Judgment. What is in our hearts? Do you know what is in your heart? You may have a photograph taken, but your thoughts do not appear in the picture. The prophet Jeremiah said, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" Solomon said, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." Jesus Christ said, "From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, murders, thefts, deceit, pride, blasphemy. All these things come from within and defile the man."
How did our hearts come to be like this? God created man in His own image. But man left God and followed Satan. His heart became full of sin. His punishment was death. It is in that way that our hearts became evil. If the well is bitter, without doubt all the water that comes out of that well will be bitter too. If sin is in our hearts, we will do sins.
Why does man sin? He sins because it is his nature to sin. How can our hearts change and become pure? Some people say that doing good deeds will change us. But if this is true, why do people say, *"Don't put confidence in the pilgrim from Mecca when he returns!"* The prophet Isaiah said that our good deeds were just like filthy rags in the eyes of God. Why is this? Because our hearts are unclean. We cannot produce holy deeds from unclean hearts. Can we pay the fine for our sins by old rags? No! What can we do then to pay for our sins? Will our money help us? No, that also is unclean because our hearts are unclean. Truly, we cannot pay. Therefore we must go to everlasting fire to suffer. But I rejoice to tell you that there is another way. It is not by our good works (deeds) but by the mercy of God.
Long ago God sent Jesus to earth to help us. He is Jesus Christ. He was born as a baby and grew to be a man. He was holy. He had no sin. He didn't come from that well of bitter water that we came from. He came to the world just to take away our sin. God said in the beginning of the world, "Without the shedding of blood there is no taking away of sin." Jesus became the Lamb of God and shed His blood and died on the cross. He became the sacrifice to take away our sins. He will take away the sin of all those who believe on Him, and turn away from the path of sin. Believe on Jesus today, before the opportunity passes. Tomorrow may never come to you. He will cleanse your heart and make it good. If you ask Him, God will accept you. His Spirit will live inside you and help you to do that which is good. You cannot trust in your good deeds to save you, but when you are saved, you will do good works because your heart is good. Then you will have no fear of death, because your sins are gone. God will never have mercy on your sins (accept your sins), but if your sins are gone, you will receive His mercy and His love. There will be nothing to keep you from going to Heaven when you die. He is even now preparing a wonderful place there for us to live in - for all those who believe in Jesus.
*Note: This is a saying in some areas. Do not use it unless it is a familiar quote.
Jer. l7:9; Prov. 23:7; Mark 21-23