STORIES and TEACHING by Rozalia Makai
Istvan Varga & Rozalia Makai website



/Based on Bible references found in the Thompson Chain Reference Bible/
I knew some people who were quite religious, even faithfully attended church, but followed a religion which was not based on the Bible, or the Word of God. Meaning that it taught and spread false doctrines. Some of those didn't believe in the Trinity, others in the deity of Jesus, etc. Most of their members however, wanted to end up in Heaven because they believed that after death either hell or heaven is going to wait for them. But when anyone talked to them about the biblical way of receiving eternal life, they proclaimed: "I can't accept that because my church doesn't teach it that way, and I will never give up my religion." This is only one of the many excuses people use to avoid to receive eternal life by believing in Jesus and receiving him into their heart. Yet, there are many more.

For example, we all heard the defense that "There are too many hypocrites in the Christian churches, and since I'm at least as good as they are; there is no reason for me to invite their Jesus into my heart and join them." Yet, the Bible warns us not to look at each other, or at men; for in that case we will be disappointed because - as long as we live on this earth - we will sin; even if we are God's children already. Albeit, Christians will not sin on purpose, nor stay in sin. But somehow they will disappoint others who watch them. Instead, we should "...fix our eyes on Jesus..." (Hebrews 12:2 NIV) who lead an exemplary life and therefore is worth to follow. But for those who are still tempted to look at others, the Lord recommends, what he recommended to the apostle Peter: "What's that to you? You follow me!" In other words: "do not pay attention to those who disappoint you. Rather take your own future seriously enough to take the necessary steps in order to receive forgiveness and eternal life. For, if we - looking at others - neglect our own salvation, we will pay for it forever.
Furthermore, "I'm too young to receive Jesus now. Maybe when I get older. In the meantime, let me enjoy life." - Is the defense of others. Although the Bible warn us about waiting because death can reach us at any age. "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth" and "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near." - We read in Proverbs 27:1 and Isaiah 55:6(NIV). Thus, it is quite dangerous to wait with the invitation of Jesus into our heart! Even others may excuse themselves by saying that for them it is too late. For, they sinned so much that God will never be able to forgive all their sins. However the Bible teaches that Jesus is willing and able to forgive anyone, as long as they live; regardless how many sins they have committed. "...whoever comes to me I will never drive away." And "everyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved." - Declares the Word in John 6:37 and Romans 10:13 (NIV).

Moreover, "I am a good person. I don't steal, murder, cheat, or commit adultery. Therefore, I don't need forgiveness of sins and a Savior." - Explain some. Yet the Bible clearly declares that there are no sinless people. Therefore all of us need the Savior and forgiveness. "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And "...the wages of sin is death..." - Proclaims Romans 3:23 and 6:23 (NIV).

Then there are those who state that - "since God is a loving God; he will not send anyone to hell. Therefore it doesn't make sense to worry about the hereafter, or care about Jesus." But they didn't get that out of the Bible; only out of their own imagination. As the Bible clearly states that only through faith in Jesus as the Son of God; honest repentance of our sins, pleading for forgiveness, and the invitation of the Savior into our heart, do we receive a place in Heaven. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Therefore, "He that believeth in him, hath eternal life, he that believeth not is condemned already." - Says the Bible in John 3:16 & 18 (KJV). Then, in 1 John 1:9 (KJV) we find that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Furthermore, in John 1:12 we read: "To all who received him… he gave the right to become children of God..." Which means that people who think that God is a loving God, therefore he will not let anyone go to hell; are mistaken! For, these verses prove - as mentioned earlier - that without faith in Jesus, confession of sins and pleading for forgiveness, and the invitation of Jesus into our heart; no one will enter into heaven!
Furthermore, "If I invite Jesus into my heart, I will have to give up too many things, I enjoy; and may have to participate in things that are unpleasant, instead." - Complain some individuals also. Meaning that they are afraid that they will have to give up their favorite sins, entertainments or hobbies and therefore their life will be boring. Or, they may have to go somewhere, or do something, they don't want to.
Like become a foreign missionary, or work with prisoners, or the sick, or orphans and widows. Although according to the Bible, to follow Jesus and do his will leads to a very blessed, fulfilled life here on earth, and even greater joy in heaven. For he promised: " one has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life." (Luke 18:29-30 NIV) After all, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" - We find in Mark 8:36 (NIV) In other words, it is quite worth while to not only receive Jesus, but also totally yield ourselves to him so that he may use us any way he wants to, and anywhere he pleases. Then, we will obtain a very fruitful, fulfilling, happy life here, and an even happier one in Heaven. Furthermore, once we’ll get there, we will look back and realize that it was worth it all. Would to God that we may all decide to choose that life NOW!

Finally, "I can not turn my back to my family, friends and religion." - We hear some people explain. Meaning that "I can not hurt my relatives, friends, and my church; even if I know that they are heading in the wrong direction, and that Jesus would like everyone to believe in him, receive him, and thereby go to heaven; and fearlessly lead others there too. Like the first disciples did when - even though they were forewarned by leaders of their congregation never to speak about Jesus again, they replied: "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:19-20 NIV) In other words - in order to spare disappointing others, or to avoid persecution - it is not advisable to avoid to receive Jesus, or - if we did - keep silent about him.
There are many more excuses. But these were enough to show us that excuses lead to hell! Because while we are using them, we avoid or miss to confess our sins, ask for and receive God's forgiveness, and - believing in Jesus - invite him into our heart, and receive eternal life. Regardless of whether we excuse ourselves by saying that Christians are not better than I am, therefore, I don't need Jesus; or I'll do it when I get older; or that I sinned too much, therefore God can never forgive me; or that I'm so good that I don't really need forgiveness, or the Savior; or that God is so loving that he will not send anyone to hell therefore I have nothing to worry or do anything about it; or I can't do it, because I'd have to give up, and/or do too many tiring things; or that I can't turn my back to my family, friends, and church. For, as long as we come up with all kinds of excuses, the Lord will not forgive our sins, move into our heart, and give us a place in heaven. In other words, we will stay on the way to hell.

Our Dear Listener; If you already heard the call of Jesus, but - looking for excuses - avoided repentance, confession of, and pleading for forgiveness of your sins, and the invitation of Jesus into your heart; we plead with you; please understand that excuses lead you to hell! Therefore it doesn't pay to wait any longer. Instead confess your sins to Jesus. Ask him to forgive you. And invite him into your heart NOW. Don't wait another minute, because by the next minute it may be too late.
On the other hand, if you already received forgiveness and Jesus already moved into your heart; please spread the good news about what he did for you and with you. So that your loved ones, friends, and others may follow your example and eventually rejoice in heaven forever with you.