The Good News
"God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go either wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot. If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata - of creatures that worked like machines - would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.
Man could keep God's commandments or he could live his life apart from God. Man chose to go his own way. This resulted in a separation between God and man. God is completely holy and perfect, while man is sinful and imperfect. The Bible says, "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way" Isaiah 53:6 NIV. People continue to go their own way today. And this applies to all men. Each one of us is guilty. All of us have made decisions and done actions and had thoughts that were contrary to what God desires. We have been like wandering sheep.
The result of turning away from God and doing things that are displeasing to God is spiritual death-eternal death. The Bible also says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23 NIV. For now we will just look at the first half of this verse.
Paul states here that the consequences or payment we receive in return for our sins is eternal death. So you can see that on man's side we have eternal death, and on God's side there is eternal life. The last part of this verse talks about the free gift of God being eternal life, and that will become clearer as we develop this diagram. For now, we seem to be stuck on the death side.
Read Hebrews 9:27 . You can see as we look at this verse that each of us will die physically, and after we die physically we will face judgment. The Bible teaches that there will be a day of judgment when God will judge the actions and thoughts of every man and woman. In Revelation 20:15 the Bible says that "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." NIV
So you can see that on man's side we have sinned, and the penalty of those sins is eternal death. Also we see that the consequences of our sins is for us to face the judgment of God. This gives a pretty dismal picture of our situation on this side of the chasm that separates us from God.
Only one adequate bridge can cross the gulf that exists between man and God, and that bridge is through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross.
The Bible also says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8 . NIV
The Bible teaches that when He died on the cross, He died in our place. He paid the penalty and took the judgment for our sins so we could be forgiven for all our wrongdoings. The slate could be wiped clean.
"The time has come," Jesus said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" Mark 1:15 NIV. Repentance means to reverse direction. We must give up our efforts to reach God by man's remedies and accept God's remedy for our sins.
The Bible also says, "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God" John 1:12 NIV. We "reach out" to God through prayer and receive the gift of eternal life.
So the door on which Jesus is knocking is the very center of our lives-the heart, the core, the innermost part of our lives. He is knocking and would like to come into our lives. So He wants us to open the door and invite Him in.