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GOOD NEWS! The Gospel of Jesus Christ...From Genesis to Revelation

 

The following is a transcript of

a message delivered to

The Fellowship at Weatherford

By Pastor Kirk L. Zehnder

 

 

 

I want to invite you to imagine

that you and I are having a

conversation together over a cup of coffee.

The style of this writing is .

I hope that you are blessed as you

read this book, and as you discover

the “Good News”

from Genesis to Revelation!

Pastor Kirk

 

 

Copyright © 2016

Resurrection Christian Outreach\

 

All Scripture quotations taken from the

New King James Bible, unless otherwise noted.

 

 

Shakespir Edition, License Notes Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

*
p<>{color:#000;}. HAPTER 1: Have you heard the Good News?

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p<>{color:#000;}. : It All Started In A Garden

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p<>{color:#000;}. : The World’s Most Misunderstood Tree.

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p<>{color:#000;}. : Choices… Choices… Choices!

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p<>{color:#000;}. : When Innocence Is Lost

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p<>{color:#000;}. : Is This Precious Baby A Sinner?

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p<>{color:#000;}. : What Happens When We Sin

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p<>{color:#000;}. : What Is Death?

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p<>{color:#000;}. : Where Is The Good News?

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p<>{color:#000;}. : Who Can Conquer Death?

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p<>{color:#000;}. : A New Baby Is Born!

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p<>{color:#000;}. : We All Need A Blood Transfusion!

*
p<>{color:#000;}. : A Parking Meter…Or A Lifetime Pass?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. : PAID IN FULL!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

*
p<>{color:#000;}. : How Can We Overcome Sin And Death?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. : Why Do So Many People Miss The Free Gift?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [*Believing And Receiving Is More Than Saying A Prayer!

*
p<>{color:#000;}. : The “Doorknob” Is Repentance

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p<>{color:#000;}. : Repentance Must Be Followed With Surrender!

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p<>{color:#000;}. [*Surrender Is Lived Out Through Confession!

*
p<>{color:#000;}. : Jesus Is Knocking! Can You Hear It?

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p<>{color:#000;}. : Your Blessed Assurance Of Salvation!

*
p<>{color:#000;}. BOUT THE AUTHOR: Kirk L. Zehnder

CHAPTER 1

Have You Heard The Good News?

Today I would like to share with you the Gospel of Peace – from Genesis to Revelation. Have you ever heard the Gospel? The Gospel in the Greek language is the word euaggelion (yoo-ang-ghel’-ee-on). It literally means “Good News.” As we study the Scriptures, we find that the Gospel is the Good News of salvation for mankind through Jesus Christ.

When I first entered the ministry, I was the pastor of a small church in Mt. Baldy, California. As the new pastor, I inherited seventeen weddings that were scheduled on the church calendar. I felt that I had to do more than just perform wedding services, so I met with each couple for three or four one hour sessions. The first thing I did when I met with them was simply to share the Gospel with them.

What I discovered is that most people had never really heard the Gospel. I learned that many people, even though they grew up in church, didn’t really understand the Gospel, the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ.

They had all heard preachers talk about Jesus, how they needed to accept Jesus into their heart, and how Jesus died for their sins. They had been told that if you did not accept Jesus, you could not have a relationship with God, and would not go to Heaven. However, they didn’t understand what that meant or why a relationship with Jesus Christ was so important. Why did Jesus have to shed His blood? Why did Jesus have to die? These are the questions we want to answer as we look at the Gospel of Peace – the “Good News”!

CHAPTER 2

It All Started In A Garden

Let’s begin by looking at the first book of the Bible, Genesis. In Genesis we learn that God created man without sin. This is where the Good News begins. In Genesis 1:27- 31 we read;

“…Then God saw everything that He had made, (when He made man and woman) and indeed, it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

In Genesis 2:9, and then also in 2:15-16 we read,

“…Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat.”

God created both man and woman and He said that they were very good. This new man and woman were placed by God into a perfect environment called the Garden of Eden.

How many times do we find ourselves looking for our own Garden of Eden? We try to make our backyards into our own personal Garden of Eden. We look for vacation spots where we can forget everything, sit under the palm trees, and gaze upon the beautiful blue ocean. We are all looking for a place where we can find total peace and harmony.

Why do we do this? The Bible tells us that inside each one of our hearts, God has placed eternity – a craving for the thing that we lost when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.

I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes ‭3:10-11‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

We all want it. We want the “fountain of youth”. We want eternity. We want our own personal Garden of Eden. This is true for both Christians and non-Christians alike.

Many today are trying to achieve a certain level of Karma, or are trying to enter into a new awareness, so they can experience a sense of peace and purpose. This points back man’s original desire – to return to his life in the Garden of Eden.

God created man to live in the Garden of Eden, eternally blessed. When the Lord placed Adam and Eve in the garden, He gave them a wide variety of foods, and He gave them complete freedom – except for one thing, He said;

“Here’s one tree – the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – you cannot eat of that tree.” Genesis 2:17 (my paraphrase)

CHAPTER 3

The World’s Most Misunderstood Tree

We have all seen commercials where the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is portrayed as an apple tree. No one really knows what kind of fruit was on this tree. It will be very interesting when we get to Heaven to find out what it really was. So for our sake of illustration, let’s just use the old adage that we’ve grown up with – an apple tree.

What is the significance of this tree? I don’t believe there was anything mystical or magical about this tree. I also don’t believe there was anything radiating from the fruit. The fruit itself did not hold some unknown power source. When they ate from the fruit, they did not – “BOOM” – find something magical happening to them. The significance of that tree was none of these, but it was profoundly much more than all of these.

Adam and Eve had just been invited to live in sinless perfection and harmony with the Creator of the Universe. They had the opportunity to live in total bliss and fulfillment for all eternity – IF they would simply follow and obey Him. Genesis 2:17 says,

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

This tree was a test of their obedience and willingness to live in submission under God’s Lordship. Lordship simply defines His rule, His care, and His direction for His creation. It also was a symbol of the gift to mankind of free will and free choice. You see, God wants us (just like any parent wants his child), to come to Him and love Him freely. Love demands both freedom of choice and freedom of will (action).

Recently, during one of our Sunday morning services, as we gathered together in individual prayer circles, my daughter came up to me and gave me a hug and a kiss. It truly blessed me. Now, I don’t want her to give me a hug and a kiss because I have said, “Every Sunday morning you will give me a hug and a kiss!” What significance would that hold? Yet, what a blessing it is when an action like this flows from spontaneity and her own free will. This is when it truly means something.

God wanted man and woman to serve Him willingly, freely, joyfully – as their choice. So the tree represents that gift of free will, that gift of free choice. We all know the rest of the story. Man did not choose wisely.

CHAPTER 4

Choices…Choices…Choices

And so the Gospel continues. We now encounter mankind’s fall into sin. In Genesis 3:1-7 we read about Adam and Eve’s life-changing choice.

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?’

And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”’

Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”

The bottom line of this account found in Genesis chapter 3 is this – Satan, in the form of a serpent, came and said to them…

“I’ll tell you what, God’s just pulling your leg. He really just wants you to be His personal puppet. He doesn’t want to share His wisdom and His knowledge with you. You can be your own boss, you can be your own lord, and you can run your own life. If you just eat of this fruit, you’ve got it all. God doesn’t want to share it with you. So go ahead, be your own boss! Call your own shots! Get behind the driver’s wheel! Don’t let God drive anymore! Wouldn’t it feel good to be your own boss?” (Personal Dramatization)

And so Eve and Adam both ate of the apple. They made the wrong choice.

Chapter 5

When Innocence Is Lost

The Bible says when Adam and Eve ate of the apple – all of a sudden their eyes were opened. They looked at each other and they realized that they were naked. Why is this significant?

Before Adam and Eve sinned they were clothed in the glory of God. After they sinned they forfeited God’s glory, which was the manifestation of His presence and His rule over their lives. They instantly became aware of evil and their own inadequacies, weaknesses, and failures. They became aware of their nakedness!

Do you remember when you were a child and you were innocent? Let me illustrate this. I believe you will get the picture.

I remember one time when all my childhood friends were doing obscene gestures with their hands. It was a common obscene gesture, and everyone was learning how to do it. However, I didn’t know how to do it. I was innocent. But – because all my friends were doing it, I wanted to do it too! So they had me train my hand using a pencil to get my hand positioned properly for doing this obscene gesture.

I will never forget what happened next. After I had learned how to do this with my hand, my hand would automatically go into that obscene gesture whenever I wanted it to. Suddenly, there was a wave of guilt that came over me. I wished that I didn’t know how to do it. I didn’t want my hand to know how to do it. I wanted my hand to go back to the way it was when it was innocent, before I knew how to make that gesture. I had lost my innocence, and all of a sudden I realized – “I was naked”. Do you understand what I’m saying?

Adam and Eve’s nakedness was the symbol that they had lost their innocence and the blessedness of living eternally in this state of perfection with God – The Creator of the universe. They now had entered into sin, and that sin has passed on from generation to generation since that fateful day.

Chapter 6

Is This Precious Baby A Sinner?

I will never forget the day my daughter was born and I held her in my arms for the first time! I looked at this wonderful, beautiful, little package and I thought to myself, “Nothing bad can ever come out of this beautiful little life; she’s perfection!”

When my beautiful little daughter was about two years old, she started to defy and test both her mother and me. When she started to defy us, her sin nature, the ability to do what’s wrong, all of a sudden just activated – automatically! Her mother and I looked at each other and said, “Where did that stuff come from?” We knew the answer – It came from her mom and it came from me.

So Adam and Eve forfeited the blessing they had received in the garden. The significance of the tree was “free will”. They both exercised their freewill incorrectly. They entered into sin, and that “sin nature” (the propensity to sin) now dwelt within them, and has been passed down to all of their offspring, including you and me.

Chapter 7

What Happens When We Sin?

God had told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – “…they would surely die…” (Genesis 2:17). The penalty for Adam and Eve’s sin (their willful disobedience) was death. The Bible tells us that all men will face death. Ecclesiastes 8:8 says,

No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, And no one has power in the day of death. There is no release from that war, And wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.”

Hebrews 9:27 says,

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”

(For those who believe in reincarnation, this is bad news, but it is the truth.)

You live once, you die once, and then you are judged. There is no reincarnation. All men die. You and I will die. We cannot escape it.

Chapter 8

What Is Death?

As we study the Bible we learn that death is both physical and spiritual. When a person dies, they do not simply cease to exist, their life goes on.

Jesus often taught in parables (an earthly story conveying a spiritual or heavenly truth). When He taught in parables He never gave personal names to individuals. In Luke 16:20-31 Jesus speaks about a rich man and a poor man named Lazarus. He spoke about this poor person by name. So we can conclude – this was not a parable – this was a true story!

Jesus speaks about how both men died and how they both went to Hades (the name that is used in the Old Testament for the abode of the dead). On one side of Hades, in torment, was the rich man who had lived his life for himself and did not serve the Lord or others. On the other side was “Abraham’s bosom” (this was the abode of the faithful awaiting the coming of Messiah – before Christ’s death and resurrection). Dwelling in peace in “Abraham’s bosom” was Lazarus. Lazarus, although poor, had both faithfully honored and served the Lord and others. Both the rich man and Lazarus were alive in spirit. One was alive in torment, and the other was alive and was being comforted.

So from this “true life” account we discover the stark reality – when we die physically, we do not die spiritually. We do not cease to exist. We continue to live eternally in the presence of God, or eternally in torment.

So what is “death”? Death is the separation of the body from the spirit. When a person dies his spirit is either separated or united with God throughout all eternity. They continue to exist either in God’s presence, or excluded from His presence.

This is what death is.

Chapter 9

Where Is The Good News?

By now I am sure you are asking – “Where is this Good News you keep talking about?” If our story stopped there, there would be no “Good News”. Yet, in the midst of all that looked bleak and hopeless – God would make a way!

Here is the “Good News”. God loved you and me so much that He made a way for us to escape death. However, for God to make a way for man, it would have to be in harmony with both His love and His justice. God is a loving God, but He is also a just God. He could not just wipe away man’s sin until the penalty for sin had been paid. The Bible reminds us again in Genesis 2:17 –

“…in the day that you eat of it (this fruit) you shall surely die.”

Death was separation from God. It was not only a separation from the Garden of Eden, it was being eternally separated from God’s presence. This was our plight – unless something was changed.

The penalty of death would have to be paid. Genesis 18:25 says,

Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

Psalms 9:7-8 says,

But the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment.

He shall judge the world in righteousness, And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.”

God is a just God. He is a righteous God. The penalty of death had to be paid. Even though His love was extended to man, He could not wipe away the penalty of man’s sin until that price was paid. Someone had to conquer death!

Chapter 10

Who Can Conquer Death?

The million dollar question is, “Who can pay the penalty?” “Who can conquer death?”

How many of you know anyone who will never die? When I ride my bike I go by the Weatherford graveyard near downtown and see all the assorted marble tombstones. Every one of them represents a person who could not escape death (this is also true for the ones still alive who have purchased their grave-sites in anticipation of their death). I don’t know anyone who will not face death. None of the great philosophers of this world have escaped death. None of the great religious leaders have escaped death. The grave of Confucius is still there, as is the grave of Buddha. People regularly visit these graves. They go on long journeys to see the grave of Mohammed.

But, there is only one empty tomb – and that is the empty tomb of Jesus Christ!

So to recap, man was totally incapable of paying his penalty and conquering death. Only God Himself could pay the penalty. Only He had the power to conquer death. And God had a plan!

Chapter 11

A New Baby Is Born!

The only way God could pay our penalty and conquer death was if He became a man. So as we continue our journey from Genesis to Revelation the Good News continues. God decided to humble Himself and become a man. Jesus, the “Word of God,” God Himself, became a man, and entered the world as a perfect, sinless baby boy. This is what we celebrate each Christmas. John 1:1 says,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

In Matthew 1:23 we read,

BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which is translated, ‘God with us.’”

John 1:14 goes on to say,

And the Word (was made flesh or) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus, God Himself, came and walked in our footsteps. He faced every temptation, difficulty, and experience of human suffering that is common to man. He did all of this as the perfect man, without failure, without sin, so that He could pay our penalty and become the ransom for our sin. Finally, there was someone who could both understand our plight and free us from the power of sin and sentence of death! Listen to Hebrews 4:15,

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

And Galatians 4:4-5,

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

Matthew 20:28 goes on to say,

“…just as the Son of Man (Jesus) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Chapter 12

We All Need A Blood Transfusion!

Have you seen the movie “The Passion of Jesus Christ”? Many have watched this movie, and in a profound and impacting way, they have learned about the death of Christ. They watched as Jesus shed His blood when he was mercilessly whipped and crucified. This is a very hard movie to watch. It is extremely intense, and many have criticized the Christian religion saying – “It’s just a bloody religion.” In fact, today some churches will not even sing songs that speak of the blood of Christ like, “There’s Power in the Blood,” “There is a fountain that flows from Emanuel’s veins,” along with many others.

Many today ask, “What’s the significance of the blood? Why did Jesus have to die? Why did He have to shed His blood for us?” Romans 5:9-11 says,

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

Jesus came to atone for our sins. Atonement means that He came to secure for us a formal pardon – not a parole. We are not on parole! As believers in Jesus Christ we are not subject to parole officers. He came to give us a full and complete pardon. This means that He came to wipe away the complete record of our sin and shame. When we are pardoned through Jesus’ death and resurrection we receive forgiveness of sins, we are restored in fellowship with God, and all the guilt and its resulting punishment (death – eternal separation from God) is completely removed.

The price for atonement is blood.

We have seen that the penalty of sin is death, complete separation from God, both physically and spiritually. Death is the opposite of life. The life of the flesh is in the blood. Therefore, the price of our atonement was a life for our death, or the shedding of blood. Leviticus 17:11 says,

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”

This is true both spiritually and physically.

In March of 2003 I underwent aortic heart valve replacement surgery. After the surgery, I was alive; the valve replacement was successful, but I was slipping away during my recovery because my blood count was rapidly dropping. The healthy blood cells were not being reproduced fast enough in my body. Everything else was correct, the artificial valve was sewn in carefully, and my heart was working properly. However, I was still drifting downward. I needed a blood transfusion!

Before I received this blood transfusion I was unable to see clearly. My vision was blurry, and I was all alone. I can still remember it vividly. It was 10 o’clock at night when the nurse came in. She connected the bag of plasma (blood) to my IV, and I watched as the blood began traveling down the clear plastic tube toward my arm. Now, without any exaggeration – instantaneously, when that blood hit my body, it was as if all the lights had come on in the room and I could see! My blurry vision was completely gone! I had a new infusion of life! Such it is with the blood of Christ.

Chapter 13

A Parking Meter…Or A Lifetime Pass?

God ordained blood (life) for the Atonement. In the Old Testament the animal sacrifices were given as a temporary means of atonement. It was kind of like a parking meter. You had to keep feeding it or you would be in violation. The Old Testament sacrifices had to be repeated over and over again, as they looked toward a final payment that would be made in the future. Using the parking meter analogy, the final payment, instead of continually having to put coins in the meter, took place when the meter was removed and we were given a lifetime pass!

Jesus Christ, through His life and obedient death on the Cross, and through the shedding of His innocent blood for our sins, became the final sacrifice or payment for our atonement – our formal pardon. Hebrews 9:12 and 28 says,

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place, once for all, having *obtained eternal redemption*…So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”

Jesus Christ has done it all! He has done it all! He paid the complete penalty for our sins through His shed blood. He has defeated sin! He defeated not only its penalty, but He defeated its power over our lives! Hallelujah! That’s Good News! 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, 54-57 says,

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve… So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Brothers and Sisters, that’s Good News! That’s Great News! We can be restored to a loving relationship with God, and we can be freed from the penalty and power of sin and death, through the blood of Jesus Christ, His atoning death for us. But the question now is, “How do we do it?” How can we personally be saved from the power and penalty of sin and death?

Chapter 14

PAID IN FULL!

First let me tell you what you cannot do. You cannot add anything to what Jesus Christ has done. Again, let me say it to you very plainly. He has done it all! It’s a completed work, not a work in progress. When you try to add something (other than Jesus’ death and resurrection) in order to obtain a right relationship with God, you’re trying to do it through works. This is a losing proposition. You see, no matter how hard you try, no matter how good you are, you’re never good enough to reach the level or standard of perfection that God requires.

There is only one person in life who did that, and that is Jesus Christ. You and I can’t do it. Jesus did it all. JESUS GAVE HIS LIFE! THE PENALTY FOR SIN IS – “PAID IN FULL!”

Chapter 15

How Can We Overcome Sin And Death?

As we have established, we cannot add anything to what Jesus has already done. Again – He has done it all! However, each one of us has to personally respond to what Jesus has done for us. There are only two responses that you and I can offer, and it’s really simple. Let me give them to you.

The first thing we can do is . John 3:16 says,

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The second thing we can do is . John 1:12 says,

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right (power, ability) to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

Chapter 16

Why Do So Many People Miss This Free Gift?

Here is where it gets a bit blurry. This is really where people miss it.

What does it mean to believe?

How does one receive?

Today there is no context for a Biblical understanding of what it means to believe and receive. Many have heard people say, “Just believe in Jesus”, or, “Receive Jesus into your heart.” However, I have come to learn in my years as a pastor, most people do not really understand what these two things mean.

Believing and receiving are more than an intellectual acknowledgment of the facts. There are so many people today that believe in the facts, but they still don’t know Jesus. Did you know that the Bible tells us in James 2:19 that even the demons believe and shudder? And it goes without saying – there will not be any demons in Heaven! Surely everyone will agree that demons are not saved! So believing and receiving are not simply an intellectual acknowledgment of the facts.

Believing and receiving is also more than simply saying, “I believe there is a God.” Or, “I believe there was a man in history whose name was Jesus.” Or, as many acknowledge, “I believe Jesus was a good teacher.” This is not what the Bible is speaking of when it calls us to believe in Jesus and to receive Him as our Lord and Savior.

Believing and receiving is when someone makes a total heart and life commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in his life.

Let’s take a journey back to the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were declaring, “I no longer choose to live under God’s rule and authority. I’m going to do things my own way!”

When we come to Jesus Christ, we must be willing to put the apple back on the tree.

We must be willing to turn from our sins and acknowledge our sinful nature. We must believe in and receive the Good News!

In other words, we must discover what it means to make a total life and heart commitment to Jesus Christ!

Chapter 17

Believing And Receiving Is More Than Saying A Prayer!

You don’t become a Christian simply because you say the “sinner’s prayer”! You don’t automatically have a relationship with God simply because you are born into a Christian family, or you believe in God, or you acknowledge that Jesus was a good teacher.

Each and every person must individually and personally ask Jesus Christ into his heart and life to be his Lord and Savior! As you are hearing (reading) these words, Jesus is knocking upon the door of your heart.

The Gospel of Peace, the “Good News” that began in the book of Genesis, now comes to its ultimate end with a personal invitation that is found in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation.

Revelation, chapter 3, verse 20 says,

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock, (the door of our hearts), If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and dine with him, and he with Me.”

Please try and picture this in your heart and mind. There is a door upon your heart. This door only has one door knob, and it is on the inside of your heart. Jesus is knocking on your door. Yet, Jesus will never break the door down. Why? Because Jesus will never violate your free will, the very gift that He gave you (and all mankind) in the Garden of Eden. There is no doorknob for Him to turn. There’s only one door knob, and your hand is on it!

The only one who can invite Jesus into your life by opening the door of your heart – is you!

You are the only one who can turn that knob. Yet, you ask –

How do I turn the knob?”

How do I open the door?”

You do it through three simple steps that I am going to share with you right now in closing. These three simple steps are the key to believing and !

Chapter 18

The “Doorknob” Is Repentance!

The First Step toward opening this door is to Repent. We must each personally repent of our sins. What does it mean to repent? It’s not simply saying, “Oh, God, I’m sorry.” Most of the time, in all honesty, we are only sorry that we got caught, or we regret the consequences that have resulted from our sin. True repentance is when we are sincerely sorry that we have violated what God has told us, and when we own up to the fact that God alone is righteous, and we are sinners in need of a Savior. This inward revelation brings us to the realization that – We need God! Now that is repentance! It’s turning from our old way of life, acknowledging the fact that -

I cannot be my own boss.”

I cannot be the lord of my life anymore”

My life is a mess!”

God, I need You! I need you in my life!”

When I was 17 years old, I moved out on my own into my first apartment in Fullerton, California. I thought I had it all together. I had a good job, and a fast car; all of my life was before me. However, I was miserable and confused inside. I fought depression and wondered if life was even worth living. Miserable, defeated, and lonely, one night I knelt down on the floor in my apartment and cried – “God, I need You!” “If you don’t come into my life right now, if you don’t change me, I’m done with this life!”

And there, humbly on my knees, something wonderful happened -

God came into my life in a powerful way!

Mark 1:14-15 says,

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, Repent and believe in the gospel.”

Chapter 19

Repentance Must Be Followed With Surrender!

The Second Step is . We must be willing to surrender our will (our need to be “the boss”) to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This simply means that we must get out of the driver’s seat and let Jesus take the wheel! We not only get out of the front seat and into the back seat – we also give Him the keys, the steering wheel, the registration, and our license!

We must surrender all!

We are no longer going to drive solo. We are going to let Him drive. Everyone who has driven a car can relate to this. This is what it means to invite Jesus Christ to be the Lord of our lives. We allow Him to lead us, and His Word becomes our roadmap.

As I was on my knees crying, I said, “God, if You don’t take control of my life right now, I’m going to do something really stupid. I’m going to ruin my life. I need You to take control. Jesus take the wheel! I’m tired of driving.”

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 says,

For the love of Christ compels us; because we judge thus; that if One died for all, then all died; And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”

So, first I need to repent. I need to own up to my own sinful condition and my need for God. Second, I need to surrender! I need to lay down my will and surrender to the Lordship (rule and direction) of Jesus Christ in my life.

Chapter 20

Surrender Is Lived Out Through Confession!

What is the Third Step? I need to make a ! I need to publicly confess Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I need to do this both verbally and through the actions of my life. And in this third step we enter into the Biblical reality of believing and !

This is not a call to put a Christian bumper sticker on my car, or to simply say the “sinner’s prayer” with someone. It is a call to repent, surrender, and live my life daily as a follower of Jesus Christ!

If Jesus Christ has really transformed my life, I need to let people know it.

I need to confess Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord publicly – through both word and !

And I need to remember that the way I live my life speaks louder than my words.

Romans 10:8-11 says, (my paraphrase),

For what does it say, the word is near you. Right now the Word is right at the door of your heart. It’s knocking, it’s at the door of your mouth, upon the thresh-hold of your heart, that is what the Bible says. *It is the word of faith which we preach,_ [_*that if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.] For the Scripture says whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Chapter 21

Jesus Is Knocking! Can You Hear It?

Please take a moment to reflect on the words that we have shared. Look back and reflect upon all that we’ve heard as we have explored the Gospel of Peace, the “Good News”, from Genesis to Revelation.

I believe right now the Holy Spirit is speaking to many hearts to reaffirm a commitment which you may have already made, as you embrace anew the importance of that commitment. Perhaps you’ve jumped out of the back seat and have climbed back into the front seat once again. If that is so, simply repent and surrender to Jesus anew!

Perhaps this is the first time you have really heard the Gospel of Peace, the “Good News”. You may have heard many of these words and terms before, but you never understood the real message. You never seriously considered God’s plan of salvation for your life.

As we have explored the “Good News” together it has felt like the words have been jumping off the page and into your heart. For the first time in your life you are aware that someone is knocking at the door of your heart.

It is Jesus, and He is waiting for you to answer!

You sense a strange tugging upon your heart. It is as if someone has taken a blindfold from your eyes. You sense a humbling recognition that you are a sinner and that you need a Savior. With a mixed sense of joy and humility you understand why Jesus had to die. You understand why Jesus had to fulfill the righteous requirements of a just and holy God. And you now see that the blood Jesus shed was given to purchase your full pardon! You stand amazed, realizing that Jesus has paid the full penalty for your sin!

Now you know that His death and resurrection are not just a story that you once heard. This story, this “Good News” has become a firm reality for your life! You know that Jesus alone can break the chains and the power of sin in your life – and so you put your hand on the door knob.

You are ready to open the door!

You are ready to believe and !

Just as I knelt on the floor in my apartment in Fullerton, California, right now – you can kneel wherever you are. With a heart directed toward God in sincere repentance, and in full surrender, you can open the door as you proclaim,

I need You, God!”

The door knob turns when you recognize your need for Jesus!

To take this step of faith you do not need to pray a canned or lengthy prayer. All you really have to cry out is, “LORD!” It’s as simple as that!

The Bible says – “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” And so, right now, just cry out,

LORD JESUSCOME INTO MY LIFE!”

When we cry out to the Lord Jesus Christ and open the door of our heart through humble repentance, personal surrender, and sincere commitment – when we Biblically believe and receive – Jesus Christ comes into our lives and we are forever changed! It is a change that brings true forgiveness, full pardon, eternal and abundant life – for eternity!

Father, I pray for everyone right now who has called upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that You will come now and flood their hearts with the abundant reality of Your love. I pray that You will flood their hearts with Your presence. I pray that you will flood their hearts with the assurance of eternal life. I pray that through Your Holy Spirit they will know, that they know, that they know, THAT THEY KNOW…they are now a child of God, through Jesus Christ their Lord!

What a Great Day!

What a Victorious Day!

What “Good News”!

In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Your Blessed Assurance Of Salvation!

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:12-13

Thank you for taking the time to read

“Good News…The Gospel of Jesus Christ”

If you have believed and received Jesus Christ as your

personal Lord & Savior for the very first time,

we want to encourage you to find a good Church Home

that faithfully teaches the Word of God!

Please visit with your local Pastor to discuss taking

the next step of following Jesus Christ in Water Baptism!

 

For additional resources and helps

please contact us via email at:

[email protected]

 

Or write to us at:

Resurrection Christian Outreach

P.O. Box 2290

Weatherford, TX 76086-7290

 

God Bless You!

Pastor Kirk

About The Author:

Kirk L. Zehnder is the founding pastor of The Fellowship at Weatherford, a Foursquare Church in Weatherford, Texas. Pastor Kirk has been involved in both business and pastoral ministry for over 40 years. Kirk founded Resurrection Christian Outreach at the very beginning of his ministry to be a support ministry to help churches and individuals reach their full potential in Jesus Christ!

If you are interested in other resources from this ministry, or if you would like to secure a speaking engagement, please email us at:

[email protected]

Or write to us at:

Resurrection Christian

Outreach

P.O. Box 2290

Weatherford, TX 76086-7290

 

 


GOOD NEWS! The Gospel of Jesus Christ...From Genesis to Revelation

GOOD NEWS! is an investigation into the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This journey begins in the book of Genesis and ends in the book of Revelation. Many people have heard of the "Gospel", but so many really don't understand what it is all about. This book will address the questions: What is sin? What is death? What happens when a person dies? Why did Jesus have to come? Why did Jesus have to die? What is all this talk about "the blood"? Can a person really be forgiven of their sins and change? What does it mean to "believe" in, and "receive" Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord? The reader will find that and discover that believing in the Gospel goes much deeper than just saying - "Ask Jesus into your heart." The Gospel is a call to a radical transformation that will change your life for all eternity!

  • Author: Kirk Zehnder
  • Published: 2016-06-29 02:05:13
  • Words: 7582
GOOD NEWS!  The Gospel of Jesus Christ...From Genesis to Revelation GOOD NEWS!  The Gospel of Jesus Christ...From Genesis to Revelation