Truth That Matters

"What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" - Jesus Christ

The Main Message

Before we get into the details, here's a claim: Truth is objective, absolute and accessible to all. Truth about man is determined by logical considerations, external evidence and personal experience taken in total. Any objections?

What’s my source of information? While I have my personal experience, the authentic, trustworthy source of knowledge about who God is and what He wants from us is the Bible, His message to man. The Bible is the ONLY book in the world to claim that it is God-breathed, absolutely pure and true, and capable of making a person “thoroughly equipped for every good work”. The Bible is also the ONLY book in the world to claim to be a record of this universe. Got any questions or objections?

I will be referring to the Bible extensively. The Bible consists of the Old and New Testaments (Covenants). Both testaments have books, and each book is divided into chapters and verses. For instance, John 3:16 refers to the book of John, chapter 3 and verse 16. If you hover your mouse pointer over Bible references in this website, a balloon appears showing you the text. Since I am referring to the Bible, I cannot avoid associations with "Christianity" and "religion" – two terms with a lot of negative connotation. This website endorses only the Bible, not all that passes off as religion or Christianity. Some clarifications

The following message is called the "gospel" or "good news". It has also been called "The greatest story ever told". It is the primary or first message that the Bible has for humans in general.

What is God like?

There are many attributes of God. Some of them are of immediate relevance:

  • God is personal (not a force). His most commonly used name in the Bible is Jehovah. This does not mean that God is made of atoms like us and has a physical body. But it does mean that he has features that we associate with personality: emotions, intellect and will.
  • We might say God is "super-personal". In the human realm, one being is one person. However, God is One Being, yet Three Persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
  • God is infinitely holy (morally perfect or true, and separate from His creation)
  • God is love; the three Persons enjoy perfect harmony, joy and peace with each other.
  • God is sovereign (in charge and in control of the destiny of each human being)

Although God is complete in Himself, He desires the loving company of intelligent beings who will reflect His glory. So God has plans to create a race of beings in His own image – humans.

More on the attributes of God

Got questions?

What are we like?

God created the universe (Genesis 1:1), all the biodiversity, and also the first human beings, Adam and Eve. Everything was very good (Genesis 1:31). There was no pain, evil, death or suffering. God gave Adam and Eve the freedom to obey or disobey Him, although He warned them of the consequences of disobeying Him. You can read the details in Genesis 2:1-25 of the Bible. God sustains the universe even today.

Unfortunately, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, and there were consequences:
  • Death came into the world; the natural concomitants are pain, evil, disease, and suffering
  • God cursed the earth. This was the beginning of having to work hard for a living: agriculture, and the rest of the industries.
  • Adam and Eve became sinful. All their children (the entire human race) inherited this sinful nature (Romans 5:12). We are sinners by nature, and so we sin.
  • Childbirth became painful.
  • Adam and Eve started wearing clothes! For the first time since they were created, they felt ashamed of their naked bodies.
You can read the details in Genesis 3:1-24. More on Adam and Eve's Fall
 
Thus, the entire human race is sinful. Sin is missing the mark of God's holy character in our thoughts, words and deeds. We all fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23) by an infinite amount.
 

The judgment of God on sin

Since God is holy, He will not tolerate sin and sinful people. In every judicial setup, a misdeed invites a punishment, a logical consequence. What is the consequence of sin in God’s judicial setup? The Bible declares:

“The wages of sin is death” – Romans 6:23

This is true at at least two levels:-

Level # 1
Death is an inseparable part of our existence on earth. It is tragic, and very difficult to handle. The kind of grief we feel at the death of a loved one should be enough to convince us that something has gone fundamentally wrong. This is not the way it was supposed to be. Indeed, God did not mean for us to die. However, in accordance with His warning to Adam, He brought physical death into the world as a consequence of sin.   

Level # 2
The Bible teaches that man is made up of body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Physical death is merely the separation of the soul and spirit from the body. What will God do with a sinful soul? Answer: banish it from His presence eternally! The Bible calls this the Second Death, and this is the ultimate consequence of sin – eternal condemnation. This death is the eternal separation of the soul from God in a horrible place called hell. Thus, all men and women (and most importantly, YOU) stand to go to hell and spend eternity there.

Realize that this is not because God is sadistic, but because He is just. His justice (which is higher than ours) demands that He punish sin. How much punishment does sin deserve? Sin against an infinitely holy God is infinitely serious, and hence calls for infinite punishment. Since He warned Adam and Eve of the consequences of sin in advance, He would make Himself a liar if He excused us!
 

The solution that God has provided

God, being eternal, sees future, present and past altogether. So Adam's sin did not take God by surprise. The Bible presents God's response from at least two points of view:
  • God's standpoint: In Genesis 1:26, we see God's intention that there would be a race of beings who would be like Him, reflect His glory, and have wonderful joyful fellowship with Him. Nothing, not even Adam and Eve's failure would thwart His eternal purpose. 
  • Man's standpoint: Thankfully, God is not only holy, but loving as well. Because of His love for us, He has prepared a way out for us – a way out that does not compromise His justice and holiness.
When God first confronted Adam and Eve just after they had sinned, He not only pronounced the beginning of evil and hard times on them, but also promised a solution to the problem of sin (Genesis 3:15)
 
In the fulfillment of God's promise to our first parents, God the Father sent the Son down to earth as a man who would be the savior of the world. God chose the nation of Israel to be the nation through whom He would come. The Son of God willingly came to earth to be born as a man. This man is Jesus Christ, who lived about 2000 years ago. His birth was not a result of a sexual union between a man and a woman. The reason is that such a normal birth would make him inherit Adam’s sinful nature (Romans 5:12), and so disqualify him from being our savior and redeemer. His birth was announced by an angel to his mother Mary. The angel also gave her instructions regarding his name. He was to be called Jesus, which means “savior”. “Christ” is not his surname. It is a title meaning “the Anointed One”. A synonym is “Messiah”. You can read about Jesus’ birth in Matthew 1 or in Luke 1 and 2. More thoughts on Jesus’ birth.
 
Jesus was born and grew up. He lived a perfect, sinless life. When he was about 30 years old, he began his “ministry”. This consisted of telling his countrymen (the Jews) about God’s plans for them as a nation, about what God is like and what He expects from people, and also authenticating himself as the Messiah by performing miracles. You can learn more in the four biographies of Jesus (gospels) in the Bible; they are named after their authors: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
 
Jesus incurred the hatred of the Jewish religious authorities for certain reasons:
  • He exposed their hypocrisy (see Matthew 23:13-36)
  • He refused to adhere to their traditions – he even accused them of subverting God’s intentions through their traditions (for instance, read Mark 7)
  • He claimed to be God
  • He was popular among the common people (Mark 12:37, Luke 7:16-17)
So the Jewish religious authorities wanted him killed. At that time, Israel was part of the Roman Empire. So the Jewish leaders needed sanction from the Roman governor of Judea – Pontius Pilate. Pilate was not very convinced about the need to execute Jesus, but he agreed because the Jews were insistent. The details are in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23 and John 18-19. The image shows the Garden of Gethsemane, just east of Jerusalem, where Jesus spent time praying just before he was arrested. Some of the olive trees there are estimated to be two thousand years old!
 
It is important to realize that Jesus was not a victim or a martyr. Long before he was arrested, he made it clear that his mission was to die for the human race (Mark 10:45); as the time approached, he knew it and he told his disciples what was going to happen (Matthew 16:21). When he was being arrested, and his disciples made a clumsy attempt to defend him, this is what he said to them:
Do you think that I am not able now to pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?” – Matthew 26: 53-54
In other words, Jesus was deliberately giving himself up to die, knowing that he was fulfilling prophecy written about him hundreds, and even thousands of years earlier. He also told the Jews:
Therefore my Father loves me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it again.” – John 10: 17-18
The Roman method of executing non-Roman criminals was crucifixion – one of the cruelest and most painful methods of execution ever devised. The victim was first scourged, that is, whipped with a whip that had pieces of metal and bone attached to it, which would tear away the victim’s flesh. In Jesus’ case, the Roman soldiers also insulted him by putting a crown of thorns on his head (since the Jewish accusation was that he claimed to be a king, and so was a threat to Rome). 

Already having lost a lot of blood, the victim was then made to carry his (wooden) cross in public, from the court to the crucifixion site, which in Jesus’ case was a hill called Skull just outside Jerusalem [see image]. Once at the site, the cross was put on the ground, and the victim lied down on it. The victim was then nailed to the wooden cross. Big nails (like tent pegs) pinned the person’s wrists and ankles to the cross. The cross was then made erect.

The obvious question is: Why did Jesus voluntarily go through such pain?
Answer: Because he loved you!


I mentioned earlier that God’s justice demanded that sin be punished. You and I deserve to suffer eternally for our sins. But the punishment for our sins was laid upon Jesus Christ. This is not an after-thought that someone invented, but was communicated to us by God through the Jewish prophet Isaiah in around 700 BC. This is what Isaiah had to say about Jesus:
His appearance was disfigured more than any man and His form more than the sons of mankind [that’s what crucifixion does to a person - in Jesus' case, the venomous thorns piercing his brow might have also resulted in an infection or swelling]” – Isaiah 52:14
He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one to his own way; and Jehovah [God] has laid upon Him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all. Yet it pleased Jehovah to crush Him; to grieve Him; that He [Jesus] should give His soul as a sin-offering. By His knowledge shall My [God’s] righteous Servant [that is, Jesus] justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.” – Isaiah 53: 5, 6, 10, 11
The following analogy may help. Imagine you’ve committed a crime, and have to pay a huge fine, failing which life imprisonment awaits you. You don’t have the money to pay the fine, and so you stand to spend the rest of your life in prison. But someone else shows up, and at great cost to himself, offers to pay the fine on your behalf, so that you can walk away free. That’s what Jesus has done for you. Isaiah goes on to say:
He [God] shall see the travail of His [Jesus’] soul, and shall be satisfied.” – Isaiah 53:11
In other words, the sacrifice and suffering of Jesus Christ satisfies the requirements of divine justice – God accepts it as a valid payment for sin. Although the concept of sacrifice is ubiquitous, no other sacrifice enjoys the same validation from God.
 
Just before he died, Jesus cried out out: “It is finished” (John 19:30). The Greek word teleo used in the original includes the sense of a payment; thus: “paid in full”. Jesus proclaimed that humanity’s sins were paid for in full.

Note how Jesus fulfilled our requirements:
  • The wages of sin is death, so someone needs to die in our stead. The punishment of sin that we deserve needs to fall on someone else.
  • Human sin has to be paid for in human blood. For the death to be a valid payment for our sins, the person who will suffer and die has got to be a human. Only a human can represent humans before God.
  • The person to die has got to be perfect. A sinful person cannot pay for the sins of someone else.
  • The person has to be infinite. If the person was finite, he would have to suffer for an infinite time to pay for our sins.
  • This person has to be authenticated. There should be evidence that people can use to make out that He indeed is the Savior. Jesus Christ fulfilled dozens of prophesies that predicted details about the Savior hundreds of years in advance. Another list. Also see various ways in which Jesus authenticated himself
Do you get it? We needed someone to pay for our sins, and God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us and pay for our sins! The Bible says:
  • For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man some would even be bold enough to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:7-8
  • We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” – Ephesians 1:7
  • God made Jesus (who knew no sin) to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." – 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • "The Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" – Jesus' own words about himself in Mark 10:45 and Matthew 20:28
  • "Who [Jesus] himself bore our sins in his body on the tree..." – 1 Peter 2:24
What was the effect of Jesus' death?
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent” – Matthew 27:51
Amazing! The veil of the temple guarded access to the Most Holy Place, the seat of God's presence, where NO ONE was allowed to go. Jesus' death opens access to God! Dear reader, don't dream of access to God without Jesus Christ!! God is so holy, if sinners like us look at Him, we'll die there and then! It is only the payment that Jesus' blood provides for our sins that will prevent God from destroying our souls [if we avail of Jesus' blood!]. If the Spirit of God has helped you realize the truth of your own sinfulness (the Bible calls this conviction or reproving – John 16:8), then your conscience torments you because you have offended your holy Creator, the God who sustains you even today. However, the shed blood of Christ is a valid payment for sin, and therefore, a legitimate remedy for your sense of guilt and condemnation. It is the blood that satisfies a torturing conscience (Hebrews 10:19-22). There was one hardened Roman professional who was supervising the crucifixion. What was his reaction?
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.” – Matthew 27:54
What are you going to say?

Jesus was crucified on a Thursday noon (not Friday!). He was buried before sunset. Even before he had died, Jesus had said how he would die. He also said that he would remain dead for only three days and three nights!
For as Jonah [a Jewish prophet from the 9th century BC] was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” – Matthew 12:40
So count three days and nights: Thursday – day and night, Friday – day and night, and Saturday – day and night. This brings us to dawn on Sunday. Just as he said, Jesus rose again from the dead on Sunday morning (This is why Christians worship on Sunday morning; it is a commemoration of Jesus’ victory over death.) The image shows The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, which is in all probability, Jesus' empty tomb. What are the implications of the fact that Jesus Christ rose again from the dead?
  • It is an authentication of Jesus Christ. Since he called himself the resurrection and the life (John 11:25), and predicted his own resurrection (Matthew 16:21), he must rise again or be dismissed as a fraud.
  • Just before dying, Jesus had said, "It is finished!" It is well and good for the person who is paying the penalty to say that the payment is finished, but what about the creditor? By raising Jesus from the dead (Acts 13:30), God gave His stamp of assent to Jesus' claim of finishing the payment for sin. With the sin no longer on Jesus, death (which is a consequence of sin) had no legal claim on him. Thus, the resurrection proves that Jesus indeed fully paid the penalty for our sin (Hebrews 1:3) and therefore we can be justified (have a right standing) before God (Romans 4:25).
  • The Lord Jesus Christ had victory over death. This means that He can give you victory over death. All other religious leaders lie rotting in their graves (or are reduced to ashes). They're of no use to you!

What does God expect me to do now?

As mentioned earlier, Jesus, the man from God, who was also God himself, suffered and died as a payment for our sins. His resurrection amounts to victory over death (remember, death was a consequence of Adam’s sin) and an authentication of himself as whom he claimed to be. So now, forgiveness of sins is available in Jesus Christ:

  • It is by grace that ye are saved, not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works” (Ephesians 2:8,9)
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
  • Jesus said to Philip, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father [God] except through Me.” – John 14:6
  • Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men that is required for us to be saved.” – Acts 4:12
  • There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 2:5
  • "We are justified freely by His [God's] grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be  a propitiation through faith in his blood..." – Romans 3:24-25

In the light of what God has done for you, this is what God expects you to do:

Repent (have a change of mind):

  • Admit you’re a sinner deserving of God’s condemnation
  • Be genuinely sorry for leading a sinful life that was not perfectly aligned with God’s character.
  • Turn over the lordship of your life to Jesus Christ

Believe:

  • That God (the God behind the Bible!) exists [and all other gods are false], and He as Holy Creator has the authority to judge everyone
  • That Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He was born as a human, died for your sins, and rose again after three days.
  • His death is the ONLY VALID and COMPLETELY SUFFICIENT payment for your sins; thus, you need to rely on Jesus as the ONLY way to escape God’s wrath.

Some Bible passages in this connection:

  • God commands everyone everywhere to repent”– Acts 17:30
  • Unless you repent, you will perish” – Luke 13:5
  • If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10: 9
  • He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who believes not is CONDEMNED ALREADY” (John 3:18);
  • whoever believes in Him shall NOT PERISH but have EVERLASTING LIFE” (John 3:16)!
  • "Truly, truly, I [Jesus] say to you: He who believes in me has everlasting life" (John 6:47)
  • Therefore, being justified [declared not guilty] by faith, [past tense after believing in Jesus] we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1)
  • "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved..." – Acts 16:31

Got any questions?

If you are convicted (only God can genuinely convict you – all the evidence presented in this website is only to answer your honest questions, not really prove or convince you of anything), cry out to God. There is no prescribed prayer. God wants to hear what you genuinely have to say to Him. Admit your helplessness (to save yourself or earn His favor), ask Him to accept you as His child and receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. God has promised:-

  • The one who comes to me, I will in no wise cast out” – John 6:37
  • As many as received Him [the Lord Jesus], to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those believing into His name” – John 1:12
  • He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” – 1 John 5:12
  • Truly, truly I say unto you: He who hears my [Jesus'] word and believes in Him who sent me, has everlasting life, and will not come into condemnation, but has passed from death to life.” – John 5:24

Do not treat this lightly. Your eternal welfare depends on it. God in His love for you, has stepped into history in the person of Jesus Christ, who demonstrated his love for you by suffering such a horrid death so that you wouldn’t have to go to hell but can enjoy a relationship with God for eternity in heaven. Jesus waits with open arms to receive you. However, this opportunity will not last forever. You have to make your decision before you die:-

  • Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation” – 2 Corinthians 6: 2
  • It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” – Hebrews 9:27

When anyone receives the Lord Jesus, they are transformed. Read testimonies of some people who were changed by Jesus Christ.

What next?

If you have have received the Lord Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, there is lots more for you to learn. Or read another presentation of the same message