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Would You Like to Meet Jesus?

 

Would You Like to Meet Jesus?

by Jennifer Ann Burnett , MD

February 2004

 

            The articles that I have written here have as their primary purpose to provide Christians with an understanding of the biblical principles that speak to the issues surrounding Gender Dysphoria. But it would be remiss of me not to include an article aimed at those who do not really know or cannot comprehend a Christian’s faith in a Man from ages past or why they place their trust in a centuries-old Book that purports to be the “Word of God”. It is beyond the scope of this webpage to give you a full understanding of what and why we as Christians believe as we do. But if you are truly seeking God and desire to develop an intimate relationship with Him (just as I have described in my other articles), then here are “The basics”.  This is how you can personally meet the same Jesus of the Bible that I love and worship and become part of God’s Eternal Family:

 

Some of you who do not know the Lord might think that we who are transgendered are especially in need of God’s help, and this is indeed the case! Psalms 46:1 says, “God is our refuge, a very present help in times of trouble.” For all of us who have gone through and continue to face the problems and stresses related to living our lives in a world that does not easily accept us, God is always our first and best hope. He is the One we look toward for comfort and assurance. It is His unfailing love and acceptance that we rely on daily for our strength. It is by His wisdom and guidance that we seek to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him; for we know that when He is in control, He is always working things out to our ultimate best interest (Romans 8:28). But God is not here for only those who are in crisis or in need of special help. Everyone was created to best function in a relationship with his or her Creator.

Blasé Pascal, the famous French mathematician and theologian, stated it best when he said. “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which only God can fill.” This “hole” exists inside of each of us and, like a vacuum, and demands to be filled. If we will not seek the One who made us in the first place to occupy that void, we are destined to spend the rest of our lives trying to fill this hollow up with something else; whether that be sexual pleasure, money, power, material things or whatever.

The problem is that only God Himself can truly satisfy that inner longing we were born with. Therefore, we believe that it is an imperative in this life for each person to know the message of God’s gospel- the “Good News”- that He has created man in His image and for the purpose of sharing an intimate, life-giving relationship with Him. And when man initially rebelled against God, He was even willing to send His own Son to earth to die a gruesome and painful death to pay off our debt us and make us His own children.

In order to understand the gospel, we must first understand who God is and why we are the way we are. First, we as Christians are convinced that God is the Creator of the whole universe but yet is neither contained within nor bounded by His creation. He originally made mankind to inhabit this world and be in continual fellowship with Him- a relationship of love and understanding and closeness that even supersedes that which we might find in an ideal marriage. So God created a perfect man to inhabit His perfect universe. But God loved man so much, He even endowed him at the time of his creation with an awesome and fearful power- the ability for man to make his own choices, even to the point of rejecting the love and the relationship with God that He freely offered.

This choice to reject God, to disobey God’s plan for mankind, was made by the first man and woman and has been essentially repeated throughout every generation since. Everyone in his or her own way has made a choice to either not recognize His existence in the first place, or to reject His sovereignty over us by choosing to do the things that in our hearts we know we shouldn’t. This is what the Bible means by the term “sin”.

The consequence of sin is the death of our ability to ever initiate or maintain a relationship with God. This is “spiritual death”- our separation from God, which has as a further consequence the “corruption” our own perfect bodies, leaving us now at the mercy of aging, disease and eventual physical death. But this process even spilled over into all of God’s creation causing corruption and decay in the entire world around us (Romans -21).

It is this problem of sin which now keeps us separated and unable under our own power to truly seek God and return to the fellowship with Him that we were created for. God is the essence of Truth, Purity, and Goodness. As such, mankind in its sinfulness, is unable to exist in a relationship with God any more than absolute, pure white can be combined with any hint of blackness and still maintain itself pure and uncorrupt. God could not be fully God and be in intimate relationship with sinful man without first dealing with man’s sin.

Now some people might point out someone they thought was really good, like Gandhi (or for those who lack humility, perhaps even themselves) as a life that certainly could not be classified as “black”, because of all the “good” they had done. But even Gandhi, at the end of his life, acknowledged how far off he was from the God he sought. Maybe there are people who are not all “black”. Maybe there are some who are even a lighter shade of gray. But remember, gray is still black and white mixed together and God cannot tolerate any blackness/sin in His presence. As it says in Isaiah 64:6, “All our righteousness (good deeds) is like filthy rags” in God’s sight. If it were only up to us, we all would have remained separated from Him and the love relationship He still desires for us.

For that reason God made provision to deal with sin in the only way consistent with His divine character- to remain totally Pure and Good, but to be Just and Loving at the same time. It is consistent with God’s Justice that every sin must have a penalty attached to it. For every wrong, there is a price to be paid. Romans tells us “The wages (or penalty) of sin is death.” Thus every one of us is under a (spiritual) death sentence for the wrong that we have done.

But how then can that debt be paid off if we are all condemned to death? Only One who is sinless would be able to pay the penalty for our sin and redeem us from our fate. But who is capable of paying such a price? God’s divine answer was to send His own Son to be born as a man, to live a sinless life, and then freely offer Himself as a sacrifice and full payment for our sins. Because He was fully man, He could die in the place of man. But because He was also fully God, he could pay the price of not only one man’s transgressions, but for those of all men- past, present and future. In this way God could be both Loving (providing a way for man to again come back into fellowship with Him) and Just (each sin fully paid for, the “books” fully balanced).

Many people would argue that there must be many pathways to God. But the God of the Bible disagrees. Jesus, God’s only Son, categorically denied alternative paths when He stated, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Besides, if God really thought there was any other way to bring us back to Himself, do you believe that He would have sent His only Son to suffer and die a terrible death for nothing?

For those of you who are parents, would you willingly allow your own child die needlessly? The only way you could “justify” his death would be by your child dying many, many other lives would be saved in the process. In the same way, God loved us so much He was actually willing to offer up Jesus to die in our place and pay the penalty for our sin. That is why it is such an affront to believe that we could earn our way into God’s kingdom on our own merits or by following some contrived plan of our own.

Imagine, if you will, receiving an engraved invitation which has been hand-carried to your door by the servant of some rich and noble gentleman. You open it and find that this wealthy and powerful individual has asked for your presence at an intimate dinner, and you are to be his only guest. You are puzzled, for you have certainly heard of him in all the papers and the news, but you had no idea he even knew you existed. Yet, here is the invitation, to appear for dinner 1 week hence. You give his waiting servant a positive reply. During the week, you learn that this gentleman, who is a gourmet cook, has spent days personally planning and gathering all the ingredients to prepare for you many marvelous dishes.

The time has come; you are picked up by his personal chauffeur and taken to his elegant house. Everyone’s attention is directed to you. Your host personally pulls your chair out from the table so that he can seat you himself. The room is festively decorated and you are the only one sitting at this long, ornate table. The servants are all standing at attention, awaiting their cue to bring in a lovely feast; every delicacy imaginable, prepared in your honor. But then, from your own pocket you pull out a paper bag with a dry peanut butter sandwich on stale bread and say, “No thanks, I brought my own food.” What an incredible display of ingratitude! How incredibly offensive this would be to your host!

Yet that is not even close to the reality of all that God has done for each and every one of us by sending his Son to die in our place. For us to imagine we could earn our deliverance from death or approach God in any other way than that which He has so lovingly and sacrificially prepared, is the most despicable thing conceivable! God gave His very Best for us- How can we possibly reject such an offer? How can we turn our backs on such an incredible display of God’s love in sending His Son to die in our place?

Yet, it is not enough just to know these facts. Knowledge of something does not constitute a change in a man’s life any more that merely knowing that one’s cholesterol level is high is sufficient in itself to correct the problem. God expects each of us to respond and act on the message He has given us. John 1:12 states, “But as many as received Him [Jesus Christ], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His Name.” “Receiving Christ” means that we accept that His death on the cross was to pay the penalty for our own sin (not just someone else’s). “Believing in His Name” is our acceptance by faith that He indeed is God’s one and only Son, born as a man for the purpose of reconciling sinful people to His loving Father.

Romans 10:9 clarifies the process a bit more: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, then you will be saved.” Confessing “Jesus is Lord” is the acknowledgement that you have received His sacrifice for your sins and now accord Him the “first place” in your heart, as the Lord and Master of your life. Believing that “God raised Him from the dead” is the acceptance of God’s witness that Jesus is exactly who He says He is- the Son of God, Master of all things, including death itself!

If you have come to the point of believing that these things indeed are true, and would now like to begin the most marvelous and life-changing relationship conceivable, with the very One who created and controls the Universe, you need only pray. (Praying means simply talking directly to God, for He is listening to you right now!) This is all you need to say, as long as you truly mean it with all your heart:

 

“God, I freely admit that I am a sinner, which has resulted in my spiritual death and separation from You. I believe that You sent Your only Son to live a perfect life as a man and freely give that life in payment for the penalty of my sin. I ask now that You come into my heart, change me and make me Your child. I thank You for the forgiveness I have now received and the promise that I will have eternal life with You (John 3:16). You have now claimed me for Your own and You have promised that You will never leave me or forsake me (Heb 13:5)!

                                                                                                                                   

If you have sincerely prayed this prayer, you have now become part of God’s eternal Family. Please go and tell someone else that you have become a Christian and get in touch with a local, Bible-believing church. They will let you know what to do next and will help you grow in your new relationship with the Lord.

 

God bless you!

 

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