We've all been there at one time or another. One of my least favorite
places is a waiting room. In a way, you're a captive of your own making.
After all, you didn't have to come here, but for some reason it was to
your best interest to do so. Sometimes that is even hard to figure out at
the time, that it's somehow for your own good. Maybe this is one of those
I was setting in this waiting room and didn't have anything to do until my name was called so I picked up a little black book laying on an end table. It turned out to be a New Testament. That is what the last part of the Bible is called. The first part is called the Old Testament. Those names have something to do with how God has worked with people ever since He created Adam and Eve. You know that story, don't you?
Seems like Adam and Eve, the first people God created, lived in this beautiful garden and took care of it. They had free run of the place and could eat anything they wanted except the fruit of one tree. God told them not to eat it. Well, one day a angel that had disobeyed God and had become evil came along in the shape of a beautiful snake. He told Eve that God didn't mean what He said about the fruit and talked her into eating some. She gave some to Adam and now, just like the snake, [who turned out to be the devil] they were sinners.
The Bible says that God can't stand sin in His presence, so they were sentenced to work hard all their lives and then die and return to the dust that God made them out of. Everybody that has ever lived or ever will live descended from those two, Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were sinners so everybody since has been born a sinner. You get apples from apple trees. You get lambs from sheep. You get sinners from sinners. When the devil sinned, God created hell for him and his followers.
Since we are born sinners that is where we would go if God hadn't made a way for us to escape it. God did just that, He made a way out for us when His Son, Jesus, died on the cross for our sins. When I opened this little New Testament I found out how I could be saved from going to hell for ever and ever. I opened it to see where it might have come from. I knew the New Testament is divided into what they call "books" with different names. Those are divided into chapters and verses. It's an easy and accurate way to find what you want to read that way.
Inside the very front cover was written, “Page 313, and of course, my curiosity got the better of me, and I had to look. On page 313, marked in red ink was Romans 3:23. [Romans is one of the books and chapter three and verse 23 was easy to find because it was marked in that red ink]. At the bottom of the page was written “page 318” and I couldn’t resist turning to it. This went on through a number of scriptures and I had to keep going to see what it said next until I’d found out what God wants me to do and what He wants from me.
Here are the scriptures that were underlined. [These are from the New International Version of the Bible.] Not all Bibles have the same page numbering so you will have to use the references, that is, book, chapter, verse. Page 313 Romans 3:23 "All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." [We're all sinners and need salvation. We know that from the Adam and Eve story] Page 318 Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." [Wages paid for our sin will be spiritual death away from God in hell. God's gift to us is eternal life through the death of His Son, Jesus, who died in our place for our sins on the cross.] Page 388 Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast." [We can be saved from hell by faith in God's Son. It's a gift from God, not through anything we can do to get this salvation.] Page 163 Luke 18:13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner." [This man was praying to God. He confessed his sins and asked God for forgiveness]
Page 189 John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." [God loves everybody, the whole world, but He has this one stipulation; "Believe in Him," ] Page 324 Romans 10:9-10 " That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess (that you are a sinner) and are saved. [How to be saved. Confess our sin to God and believe that Jesus died on the cross in your place and for your sins. Jesus took your punishment for you so you won't have to.] Page 367 2 Corinthians 6:2 " For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation. [God wants you to believe this now. He doesn't guarantee you tomorrow. Now is the day.] Page 405 1 John 3:23 "And this is His command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ," That's all there is to getting saved from God's punishment. God wants everybody to trust that His Son died and gave the blood sacrifice that God demands for sin, and since Jesus was sinless, His blood paid for your sins and my sins. That satisfied God. Now, God wants you and me to know that we are sinners, to believe that we can't do anything ourselves to pay God for those sins. He wants us to confess to Him that we are guilty sinners and just trust that He took payment for our sins from the blood Jesus shed for us. We have three choices in this matter of believing God. We can just refuse to believe that He would require this of us and reject it. Or, we can just ignore it and do nothing. In these two options the outcome is guaranteed in the Bible. You will spend eternity in hell. We find that in this little book, at the very end of the book called The Revelation. It says, very plainly, "But the unbelieving--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." We can believe Him and be saved for eternity. He guarantees us that in the Bible verses we found underlined in that little book, too.