The Ultimate Race Director has made a way for us to get back on course!  He has sent us the Ultimate Spiritual Endurance Athlete – the one who has never veered off course, who followed every rule and ran a perfect race (life) – Jesus Christ his son!  “But God demonstates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Ro 5:8 NIV)”  Jesus is the only one who can save us from our sin (lives of rule-breaking) and the punishment we all deserve. “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made rigtheous. (Ro 5:19 NIV)”  Jesus has the ability to make us righteous and clean in God the Father’s sight.  He satisfied God’s requirements for righteous living and obedience to His Law.  In other words, he can take away our disqualification!

Though all of us have broken the rules, Jesus took our penalty and God’s wrath on himself, “for Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.  He was put to death in the body, but made alive by the Spirit. (1 Pe 3:18 NIV)”  To take our punishment and pay for our sins, Jesus died a cruel death on a cross – a Roman instument ot torture and execution – but his race did not end there!  while it is true that, “Chirst died for our sins according to the scriptures that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures. (1 Co 15:3 NIV)”  That means that the Ultimate Endurance Athlete is alive today!  The fact that he has won the ultimate victory over death means that we too can live forever!  

In his wisdom, God has solved our sin problem by giving his son to the world.  His gift of a new life and forgiveness is freely offered to all of us – none of us can ever race well enough on our own to earn God’s favor or our way into Heaven.  Instead, God provides for us an incredible substitute, Jesus, with his perfect goodness.  Think of life like a relay race.  We ran the first leg and  it wasn’t very good (it was awful if we are honest with ourselves).  Yet Jesus is able to carry the baton, and us, over the finish line to victory!

So, how should we handle the God’s offer of forgiveness, a new life, and eternity with him in Heaven?  What does it really mean to know Jesus as one’s Savior and Lord?  How can anyone know for sure that they will go to heaven when they die? CONTINUE