IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

 

 

 

Is It Possible To Know God Personally ?

 

   In the last 30 years, evidence has been mounting that something is seriously wrong in the Western World.   That evidence, based on numerous surveys and studies reveals that people in the Western World have not become happier as they have become more affluent, enjoyed shorter working weeks, had more discretionary money to spend on pleasure, and generally enjoyed a higher standard of living. In fact, looking at the other side of the coin, there is an explosion of people who live with depression and anxiety, who would if asked confess that they are very unhappy.   A young CEO of one of the largest New England corporations had everything he thought he needed to be happy. He had power, he had a prestigious high paying job, he had a beautiful wife and children, and he lived in an exclusive estate development.   But despite all this, he would often wake up at night feeling dissatisfied and empty. In his words, he said: “My life felt like it had a huge hole in the center, and no matter how many things or relationships or pleasures I put in it, I always felt empty.”

 

     Any examination of the evidence for this exploding unhappiness in the West eventually causes some questions to surface. What is the meaning of life; how did we get here; Is there a God, and if there is, what is He like and how does His existence affect my life?   It is not my purpose to answer those questions. If these are questions that are pressing on your mind, I will provide a list of books at the end of this article that can guide you toward answers.

 

     Today, I want to work from the basis that God does exist, and that life cannot be lived to the full without some meaningful relationship existing between you and God.

 

  

 

     Assuming those two things, I would like to ask you a question.   Has anyone ever explained to you how you can know God personally and be sure that you will go to heaven to be with Him when you die?   If you would give me 5 minutes of your time, I would like to explain from the Bible how you can know for sure that you will go to heaven.   Since I want to talk to you on a personal level, and first names make such a conversation very personal, I am going to speak as if your name was Bradley. But wherever you see the name Bradley, just replace it with your own name.

 

     A close friend of mine went to the doctor for a routine physical. When his blood work came back, the doctor called him into his office and said: “You either have a Vitamin C deficiency or you have cancer. We will do more tests and let you know in two days.

 

     That was a shockingly blunt way to put it. My friend waited impatiently, hoping of course that he did not have cancer. Within a week, he was in Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, for a radical treatment to stop the cancer in its tracks. That blunt news gave my friend the change to fight the cancer and seven years more of life. Often, being blunt about bad news is the best way to face a problem and to solve it, so that a person can enjoy a much better future, whether that means good health, better relationships, or just plain enjoying truth instead of living lies.   Bradley, God has some blunt news for you.

 

IT’S BAD NEWS, BUT IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE                        

 

   God says that you and every person on earth are Sinners.   What that means is that God says that we have all broken His standard for living. We stand guilty because we have broken His laws.   Bradley, you might say: “Well, I am not a bad person. I have been a good husband and father and I try to help out people who are in need.”   That may be so, but it does not change the fact that God calls you, Bradley, a sinner. Let me explain it this way.

 

                                 Suppose God had an athletic contest

 

     Suppose God had an athletic contest to see who would get into heaven. You must run the 100 meter race as fast as you can.   So you practise, and practise and then, along with all the rest of humanity, the day comes for the race. Some people take over 50 seconds to run the race. Others run the race in 20 seconds. And you think, “I can do better than that.” You run the race and do it in 14.5 seconds. Bradley, you feel really good about yourself. Then Donovan Bailey, the Olympic gold medalist from 1996 Atlanta games runs the race and he does it in 11 seconds. Then Usain Bolt, the world record holder runs the race and he does it in 9.75 seconds. Now you are not feeling so good about your time, but still, you think, “I am so much better than most.”  

 

     When everyone has run the race, God then stands up and announces : “To get into heaven, you must run the 100 meters in under 1 second.”   The point is, God is perfect and His standard that He sets is unattainable by any human being. We all fall short of His standard.   In the Bible in Romans 3:23, God says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

 

THAT IS THE FIRST BAD NEWS.   YOU ARE A SINNER.

 

     THE SECOND PIECE OF BAD NEWS IS: THE PENALTY FOR SIN IS DEATH.

 

God in Romans 6:23 says: “For the wages of sin is death.”  

 

     Bradley, say you were a carpenter and I hired you to build me kitchen cupboards, and we agreed that you would earn $30 per hour. If you took 40 hours to do the job, I would have to pay you $1,200. That is your wages. You earned that money. In the same way, when we live day by day for a lifetime, breaking God’s laws, we have earned certain wages as well. God says the pay we earn by sinning when we break His laws is death. Physical death is separation of the spirit of man from the physical body. But the wages we earn by sinning is spiritual death, separation from knowing God in this lifetime, and then being permanently and irreversibly separated from God forever after we die physically. It means we will never enter heaven or have the chance to know God who loves us and created us to love Him.

 

     THAT IS A LOT OF BAD NEWS.  FIRST, YOU ARE A SINNER, BRADLEY.   SECOND, BECAUSE YOU ARE A SINNER, YOU MUST FACE THE PENALTY OF SIN WHICH IS DEATH (separation from God and being denied entrance into heaven)

 

     BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS !

 

     THE FIRST GOOD NEWS IS THAT GOD LOVES YOU INCREDIBLY, BRADLEY, AND ALLOWED HIS ONLY SON, JESUS CHRIST TO DIE FOR YOU so that your Sin could be forgiven and you could escape the Death Penalty of Sin.

 

God tells you about this first Good News in Romans 5:8 “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

                                        Jesus Christ Died For You

 

     “How is Christ dying for me Good News,” you ask. Let me explain to you Bradley. Suppose you and I were best friends. But you had cancer. It had spread throughout your whole body. You are dying and the doctor says you only have a week to live.   Bradley, as your best friend, I come to visit you in the hospital. And I say to you: “Bradley, we have been friends for over 25 years but in all those years there is something I have not told you. I have special powers. I can heal you of your cancer. If you reach out your hand and grab hold of my hand, all the cancer cells that are killing you will travel through your arm and enter my body, and all my good cells will travel through my arm and enter your body, leaving you cancer free.”  

 

     But you respond. “That’s not possible. It is medically impossible.”

 

Bradley, believe me, it is possible. You have to trust me. I would not lie to you. I am your best friend. Please, take hold of my hand. You will be healed if you will only take my hand.

 

                                           You will be healed

 

     Bradley, you looked into my eyes, and saw that I was dead serious. Slowly, you say: “I believe you. Let me grab hold of your hand.” But then you stop before taking hold of my hand. You speak again: “But if the cancer cells leave me and enter your body, won’t you get ill and die in the process of saving my life?”

 

     And I would say, ‘Yes.’ That will happen. But I care about you so much and want you free of cancer that I am willing to get sick and die for you.

 

     Bradley, you think about your life and want so desperately to live & be free of this cancer that you say: “Please save my life,” and you grab hold of my hand. And as you grab hold of my hand, this amazing miracle takes place.   Colour comes back into your face. Almost instantly, you start feeling better. You sit up in bed. You jump to your feet, and hug me and thank me. But I begin to stagger. I fall onto the bed, and in pain I slowly begin to die.  In gratitude, you grab hold of me and thank me for the new life you have.   And as I gasp for my last breath of air, you come close to me and whisper in a voice choked with emotion: “Thank you my friend. For as long as I live, I will never forget what you did for me. In fact, if you had not saved my life, I would be dead. So I am going to choose to live the rest of my life exactly the way I think you would have lived the rest of your life.”

 

                That story tells you exactly what Jesus Christ did for you

 

   That story tells you exactly what Jesus Christ, the Son of God did for you. He died in your place. He took the sin of the world on his shoulders when He died on that Roman cross outside the city of Jerusalem. He died in your place so that the sin which is killing you and keeping you from God and ultimately, keeping you out of heaven, can be forgiven so you can live spiritually, know God personally, and when you die, be certain that you will go to heaven to be with God forever.

 

   But you, Bradley, ask: “If Jesus Christ died in my place, paying the penalty for my sin, why am I still a sinner and feel that God is a total stranger to me?”

 

   YOUR QUESTION INTRODUCES YOU TO

 

THE SECOND PIECE OF GOOD NEWS.   Remember in the story, when I told you that if you wanted to be healed, you must grab hold of my hand. You needed to believe that what I was telling you was the truth.   Most people today don’t believe the bad news that God tells them. That they are sinners and that as sinners, they will pay the wages for their sin, which is spiritual death.   And even more people don’t believe the good news, that Jesus Christ died for them.

 

   To use the story, they don’t believe what God says so they don’t reach out their hand to grab hold of the hand of Christ.

 

   THAT IS THE SECOND PIECE OF GOOD NEWS.   GOD SAYS

 

You can be saved from the penalty of your sin just by your faith in Him.  

 

Bradley, when you were dying of cancer, all you needed to do to be healed was believe what I said was true. Be convinced that what I told you was true so that you reached out your hand to take hold of my hand.   God says in Ephesians 2:8,9 “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is God’s gift –not from works so that no one can boast.”

 

     Bradley, do you believe what God says is true. Do you believe that if you reach out to God, accepting that Jesus Christ died in your place, your sin will be forgiven and you will be able to know God and live with Him in heaven forever?

 

     God did all the work by letting His Son die for you. It is grace. It is something you Bradley, do not deserve but which He freely offers to you.   You can have this gift by FAITH.   Faith is totally trusting in what Christ did.

 

                            Faith is totally trusting in what Christ did

 

Bradley, if I asked you to sit on this chair, you need to trust

 

that the chair will hold you up. If you did not believe the chair was strong enough to hold you,

 

you would not rest your full weight on it. Faith is resting your full weight on what Christ did. It is having complete confidence that when He died on the cross, He took care of all your sin completely.

 

     Bradley, if you believe the bad news and the good news that I have just told you, then your sin can be forgiven and you can know God and live in heaven with Him one day. Just tell God what you believe by talking to Him in this simple prayer. “God, You know and I know that I am a sinner. There are many things I have done in life that have violated your Laws. Please forgive me for breaking your Laws. I accept the fact that Christ died in my place to forgive my sin and I rest all my hope in the gracious gift of God offered me in the death of Jesus Christ.

 

   Thank You God for rescuing me from my sin. I ask that you would help me to get to know you personally and to live my life every day just the way Jesus Christ would if He was walking in my shoes, since He died for me. Amen.”

 

   Now that your sin is forgiven, and that you want to thank God by living the rest of your life as Jesus Christ would live, take time each day to read the Bible. It will tell you what God is like and how He wants you to live. Someone said that the Bible is God’s personal love letter to you. Also, this new life of being a forgiven sinner is not meant to be a journey with just you and God. God has plans to help you grow and to encourage you along your pathway with Him. He wants you to travel with other Christians along the path with Him. The best place to do that is to regularly attend a church that believes in the Bible and which teaches its truths. A church that believes the Bible will believe first that Jesus Christ is the only One who can save us from our sins. A church that believes the Bible will also accept the Bible as our only authority on how we should live.   Be cautious, because many churches claim to believe the Bible but place more authority in personal experiences and supposed revelations of truth from God. The Bible must always be our only authority. The people there, though they may be new to you, God designed to be your spiritual family, who will help you on this journey.

 

   Besides reading the Bible, and attending a church regularly, you have the privilege of talking to God at any time of day or night in prayer. Prayer is just telling Him about yourself and what you are going through. Tell Him about everything. And when you read the Bible, and see in its pages how God loves you, or the promises He gives to you to help you life, then in prayer thank Him for who He is and what He has promised to do for you. He wants to hear you and He loves you. And because He is the all powerful Creator of this universe, He will act upon your prayers and guide your life so that you will come to know Him better and better.

 

 

 

 

 

Suggested Reading if you have questions:

 

  1. What is the meaning of life?
  2. How did we get here?
  3. Is there a God?
  4. If there is a God, what is He like and how does He expect me to live?

 

 

 

The God Question     by J.P. Moreland,       Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene Oregon

 

Is God Real      by William Lane Craig & Charles Taliaferro,    Pub. by IVP Connect,     Downers Grove, Illinois

 

Reasonable Faith         by William Lane Craig        Published by Crossway Books,       Wheaton, Illinois

 

Mere Christianity         by C.S. Lewis                     Published by Walker & Company       New York, N.Y.

 

The Case For Faith       by Lee Strobel                   Published by Zondervan                     Grand Rapids, Michigan

 

The Case for Christ     by Lee Strobel                   Published by Zondervan                     Grand Rapids, Michigan

 

 

 

The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel                   Published by Zondervan                    Grand Rapids, Michigan

 

By Design or by Chance by Denyse O’Leary         Pub. By Castle Quay Books              Kitchener, Ontario, Can.

 

 

 

Basic Christianity       by John Stott                      Published by Inter-Varsity Press         Downers Grove, Illinois

 

Knowing God             by J.I. Packer                     Published by Inter-Varsity Press         Downers Grove, Illinois

 

 

 

 


Join the Meadowbrook Church family

Meadowbrook has lots to offer.  We are a rural church with a big heart:  we really care about our community - we really care about you. We believe that God really cares about you, too!

We have a place for you in our worship services, Sunday School, Bible studies, VBS, music and so much more.  There are lots of activities for kids, teens, young adults to golden agers, as well as many opportunities for you to participate and be part of our church family.

We are located 16 kms. north of Hwy 12 on secondary Hwy 792 (Lincoln Rd.),  in Alberta,  Canada ( See Contact Page for Map )

Worship Time:  Sunday 9:30am

Pastor:Richard Adrian.    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Who We Are

We are a Bible-based non-denominational rural church.  We operate under the umbrella of Village Missions Canada.  Village Missions sends missionaries/pastors to rural communities to help build effective Bible churches that reach their communities for Christ.

At Meadowbrook Church our Mission is to:

Bring people to Jesus Christ through evangelism.

Involve people in the Body of Christ through fellowship

Build people to maturity through sound teaching.

Liberate people to serve through ministry opportunities and training.

Exalt God through worship.

We believe in the APOSTLES' CREED

This Creed is called the Apostles' Creed, not because it is a
production of the apostles themselves, but because it contains a brief
summary of their teachings. It sets forth their doctrine, as has been
well said, "in sublime simplicity, in unsurpassable brevity, in
beautiful order, and with liturgical solemnity." In its present form it
is of no later date than the fourth century. More than any other creed
of Christendom, it may justly be called an ecumenical symbol of faith.

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven
and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary;
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell;
The third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God
the Father Almighty;
From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit.
I believe a holy catholic Church, the communion of saints;
The forgiveness of sins;
The resurrection of the body;
And the life everlasting.

AMEN.