Well, you are right about one thing, God is love. But additionally, God is just, righteous and merciful. In order to show us how He expects us to live our lives, he gave us an instruction book called the Holy Bible. In that instruction book is a set of rules called the Ten Commandments. To break even one of those commands, is to break the "law" and is deserving of punishment. Those commands can be found in Exodus, chapter 20.
- You shall have no other gods before me.
- You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.
- Honor your Father and your Mother that your days may be long in the land.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet what someone else possesses.
About right now, you might be thinking to yourself, "Well, that's easy, I've never broken any of those." Let me share a few more verses with you.
God came to earth in the form of a man, the only begotten son of God, and His name is Jesus. Jesus lived an exemplary life on earth, setting an example for how we are to live our lives. Jesus gave a sermon which we refer to as The Sermon on the Mount. It can be found in the Holy Bible in the book of Matthew. In verses 21-22, Jesus explains:
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, ' You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment."
Have you ever been angry with someone? I know I have and I think most of us have at one point or other in our lives. So according to the Words of Jesus, being angry with someone is just as if we had murdered them. That would make us murderers and we have just broken #6 of God's commands. Murder is a capital offense punishable by death.
What about adultery? In verses 27-28 Jesus states,
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery." But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman [or a man] with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her [or him] in his [or her] heart."
If we have even lusted after another person we are guilty of breaking #7 of God's commands.
Let me ask you this, have you ever taken something that doesn't belong to you? Office supplies from work? Supplies from school? Extra change given to you by mistake at the cash register? Failed to pay a bill you owe? Borrowed something from someone and never returned it? Claimed a deduction on your taxes you weren't really due? If so, by God's definition, you are a thief and guilty of breaking #8 of His law.
I could go on, but I feel by now you have the point. We are all law breakers. Guilty as charged. And as such, we are deserving of punishment, not heaven. Anger alone earns us the death penalty. Everyone needs Jesus because we have all sinned.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus', tells us in Romans 3:10-11,
"None is righteous, no, not one;...no one does good, not even one." In verse 20 he tells us, "For by works of the law, no human being will be justified in His sight." and in verse 23 "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
The price of our sin is death. A spiritual death which will separate us from the love of God forever, casting us into hell. "For the wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23
How, then, can any of us be saved? Are we all doomed to spend eternity without God?
Fortunately for us, God is not only a just, and righteous God, He is a merciful God. He designed a way for us to be forgiven of our sins, wiped clean of our transgressions. He gave us a path to eternity with Him, through the shed blood of His only begotten son Jesus Christ. "For God so love the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 Jesus is the only way.
"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person - though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Having now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God." Romans 5:6-9.
Jesus took our death penalty for us and died on the cross at Calgary, His body lay in the grave for three days, then He broke the chains of death as He arose from the grave on the third day. All that is left now for us to do is to believe in Him and confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord.
We receive salvation and eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. "...because if you 'confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For the Scripture says, 'Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame...Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' " Romans 10:9-13
Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ puts us into a relationship of peace with God. "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:1-2 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of Life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:1-2
"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 9:38-39
Won't you put your faith and trust in Jesus today?