We are so glad you have decided to join us in this study. We believe that the Bible, consisting of 66 different books, is the inspired Word of God. It is divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and directed to the Jews. The New Testament was written in Greek. It begins with the life of Jesus and is written for everyone, both Jew and Gentile. We will be spending our time in the New Testament, which is where we find God’s plan for our lives. It would be helpful for you to have your own Bible so you can see the scriptures we will refer to for yourself. Unless otherwise stated, we will be using The New International Version.
There is indeed a beautiful place called heaven. You have probably heard all of your life that the streets are paved with gold. Revelation 21:21 says, “The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.” Revelation 21:4 tells us “He (God) will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” The joy that awaits those that know the Lord is far beyond what we are able to comprehend right now. In writing to believers in Corinth, Paul puts it this way, “However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” I Corinthians 2:9. Everything about eternal life and heaven is more glorious than we can ever imagine.
Who would not want to be in heaven one day? God has prepared all this for those who love him. So what does it mean to love God? Do you? How do you develop a genuine relationship with him?
Remember, God put Jesus here on earth to show us the way. In Matthew 11:28-30 he said this, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” If you are weary or burdened and seeking rest from it all, Jesus is your answer. When he said, “come to me,” he is saying… follow me, believe in me. How do we believe? – By faith. And when we do believe we have this promise:
From Romans 10:9-13, “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 and are saved. As Scripture says, “Everyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
In John 14:15 Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” If you are thinking, now here it comes – a list of everything I can’t do. That is not it at all. Let’s look at a few passages.
. John 15:12 – “My Command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
. Mark 12:28-31 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
. 2 John 1:6 – “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”
This is God’s wonderful plan for your life. Believe in Jesus; learn all about him and love him with all of your heart. Your reward will be eternal life in heaven.
In 1 John 5:5 we read, “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” And in 5:11-12, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
In our next study, we will learn all about him – what he did for us and why. To discover the plan that gives you salvation, please continue. And may God bless you.