What are you in for? Well, I'm sure that if I had the audacity and extremely poor manners to ask you that question, you would probably give me a noncommittal answer such as "five to ten." Instead, I'd like to tell you what I was in for.
My crimes were horrible and many. For 44 years I claimed to be a Christian and, to some, I might have looked like one. After all, I attended church regularly, often serving as the pianist or organist. Occasionally, I was a Sunday School teacher.
So what did I do that was so bad? I crucified Jesus daily. Yes, I nailed Him back on the cross each and every day by my actions and words. By example, I taught my children that a Christian could lie, cheat, curse, tell dirty jokes, smoke, drink, do drugs, commit adultery, and never open a Bible.
You see, Jesus had already died to free me from the bondage of those sins, but although I claimed to know Him and accept His sacrifice, I didn't really know Him ~ not in my heart.
But now let me tell you the rest of the story. On August 10, 1997 I was pardoned by the world's highest authority. My life was suddenly changed when Jesus came into my heart. The change was total, complete, and irreversible.
I am convinced a person could never backslide after coming to know Jesus! Those who claim they have backslid were never with Jesus to start with. I really believe that Christ's grace is sufficient to save us. If you're saved then you're saved, and that's that. You may be convicted by your family, your friends, your neighbors, your church, your city and the Nation's courts, but if you're saved you're free and clear with Jesus.
Here's a little gem that I received from Fran Burk via e-mail. It's called "THE BLOOD."
One night in a church service a young woman felt the tug of God at her heart. She responded to God's call and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol, drugs, and prostitution. But, the change in her was evident.
As time went on she became a faithful member of the church. She eventually became involved in the ministry, teaching young children.
It was not very long until this faithful young woman had caught the eye and heart of the pastor's son. The relationship grew and they began to make wedding plans. This is when the problems began. You see, about one half of the church did not think that a woman with a past such as hers was suitable for a pastor's son.
The church began to argue and fight about the matter. So they decided to have a meeting. As the people made their arguments and tensions increased, the meeting was getting completely out of hand. The young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up about her past. As she began to cry the pastor's son stood to speak. He could not bear the pain it was causing his wife-to-be.
He began to speak and his statement was this: "My fiancee's past is not what is on trial here. What you are questioning is the ability of the Blood of Jesus to wash away sin. Today you have put the blood of Jesus on trial. So, does it wash away sin or not?" The whole church began to weep as they realized that they had been slandering the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Too often, even as Christians, we bring up the past and use it as a weapon against our brothers and sisters. Forgiveness is a very foundational part of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If the blood of Jesus does not cleanse the other person completely then it cannot cleanse us completely. If that is the case, then we are all in a lot of trouble. What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus....end of case!!!
Jesus loves you and I do, too! Don't you forget that!