Henry Mahan

So you are in trouble? In trouble with the law, with society, with your family, neighbors, and friends. Into drugs, alcohol, or gambling. Troubled in conscience, heart, and mind. Trouble is common to the flesh. "Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble" Job 14: 1).

It may be that you are so concerned about your present trouble and problems that you are not aware of the real source of all trouble! All of our sorrow, trouble, and difficulties come from one problem - we are in trouble with God. "Your sin has separated you from your God." "God is angry with the wicked every day" (Psa. 7:11). "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). Our relationship with others, with society, and with ourselves is messed up because our relationship with God is messed up! There is no way for one to be at peace with himself or others if he is not at peace with God! God is truth, God is life, God is light, God is love, and God is our hope and peace. If we have not God we have none of these things. Because of our sins we are without God, without help, and therefore without hope in this world.

Man hasn't always been in this condition. God created Adam holy and upright. In God's own image created He him, male and female. What happened? Our father Adam rebelled against God, refused God's reign and rule, believed Satan's lies, and brought ruin upon all of his children. The Scriptures tell us that because of Adam's sin, death, condemnation, and judgment came upon all (Rom. 5:12-19). We are born in sin; we come forth from the womb speaking lies. We are born with an evil nature that is not subject to God or His law. This evil nature causes us to love darkness and hate light, to think evil thoughts, to do evil deeds, and to speak evil words! We steal because we are thieves in heart. We curse because we have profane hearts. We hurt others because our hearts are filled with hatel Christ said, "You will not come to Me." "There is none that seeks God, no, not one!"

This fearful and desperate condition of the human heart led job to cry, "How can man be just with God? How can he be clean that is born of a woman? How can God be just and justify the ungodly?" This sinful state led the disciples to ask the Lord, "Who then can be saved?" Christ replied, "With men it is impossible!"

Is there a way out of the mess we are in? Can sin be pardoned? Can man be just with God? Can a lost sinner hope to have fellowship with God restored and therefore a right spirit toward others?

If there is a way out of the mess we are in it will have to be of the Lord, for "With God all things are possible." Our sins are against God; therefore, pardon and mercy will have to come from God on His terms and according to His conditions. If there is a way out, it will have to be honoring to His law; for that holy law has not been repealed. If there is a way out, it will have to satisfy His justice. We want no pardon that dishonors our Holy God! If there is a way out, it will have to be free; for we have nothing to pay. If there is a way out, it must reconcile, forgive, and pardon all sin (past, present, and future) and be able to overcome every enemy (even death and the grave)!

Thank God - there is good news! It is called the gospel of Christ our Lord! "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3:16). "The blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John 1:7). "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures" (I Cor. 15:13). Christ Jesus, God's own Son, came into the world in human flesh. He was made under God's law and as a representative man obeyed that law in every jot and tittle. Those who believe on Him have a perfect holiness and righteousness before that law and before God. Christ went to the cross bearing our sins. He was wounded, bruised, and died under the wrath of God for our sins.' Justice is satisfied, the debt is paid, and God is reconciled because the transgressor has met every demand of justice. This mercy and grace is free to all who believe on Christ. Come to Christ as you are. Look to Christ out of your misery. Receive Him as your Lord and Savior. In receiving Him, you receive all of the blessings, benefits and mercies of salvation!

Look not to yourselves. Look not to your works. Look not to your religious leaders and organizations. Look to Christ, for He is God and there is none else. He can save and no other. "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid - Christ the Lord!"

But do you wish to be saved? Do you really want to be delivered from the dominion of sin and evil? Do you truly want to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? This is a question which only you can answer and a question which must be answered. The Bible knows nothing of a fire-escape from Hell named Jesus, or a door-mat named Jesus to be ignored and walked upon. Jesus Christ is our Prophet, to reveal God in His mercy and grace. He is our Priest, to offer an effectual atonement for our sins. He is our Lord and King, Who reigns and rules where He lives. You cannot receive "half a Christ"! To believe on Christ is to bow to Christ To enter into His forgiveness and mercy is to enter into His body and His kingdom of bondslaves.

Henry Mahan, Pastor
Thirteenth Street Baptist Church
Ashland, Ky.

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