“At one time you were separated from God. You were his enemies in your minds, and the evil things you did were against God. But now God has made you his friends again. He did this through Christ’s death in the body so that he might bring you into God’s presence as people who are holy, with no wrong, and with nothing of which God can judge you guilty.” (Colossians 1:21-22 NCV)
There’s a strain of thought among some people that they’re probably OK with God. They don’t do too many bad things and they do a lot of good things. If you were to ask them why they should get into heaven, they’d let you know that they were pretty good, or at least tried to be. Paul would probably be gentle about it, but he’d let them know exactly what he said to the Colossian Church: Unless you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you’re separated from God. You are, in fact, enemies with God. The good news is that He’ll forgive you because of Jesus’s death on the cross and He’ll see you as holy, without blemish, and not guilty.
There’s no greater miracle than the transformation from being separated from God to becoming His child. Paul reminded the Colossians of their transformation not to humble them because of how they used to be; he wanted to remind them that they held a special place in God’s heart. The key to all this is understanding that God did all the work to make this happen. Jesus died on the cross and paid the penalty for our sins. God offers us the free gift of forgiveness and a relationship with Him because of Jesus and not because of anything we do. God’s offer, a relationship with Him where He did all the work, is out there for everyone. God doesn’t want to exclude anyone. The problem is, too many people exclude themselves. The choice is clear: you can stay an enemy of God or you can accept His amazing offer of fellowship with Him, judged not guilty, and holy in His sight.
Lord God, thank You that Jesus paid the penalty for my sin and that You offered me the opportunity to come into Your presence, holy in Your eyes. I pray for anyone who hasn’t accepted Your gift and ask that You work in their hearts and draw them to Yourself.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.