To those of you expecting to see a beautiful girl here or cool looking guitar, I’m sorry to disappoint you guys? I know, you must be wondering what gives What’s with the “1st Love” thingy?

Hold on to your horses folks. Before I continue, here’re a couple of questions for you to ponder.

What would you say if I told you someone had willingly took a bullet for you? Will you reciprocate the love of your “hero” or just go on living life as if nothing had happened? Will you be so moved with gratitude that you will take care of your “hero’s” family or interest the rest of your life? Won’t you tell everyone you know about your close shave with death, the heroics and love of your savior?

Well, I’m a recipient of such amazing love. Remember reading in “the Scoop” about some truths being absurd. Well, this one here takes the cake!!! I “experienced” the love of my life some time in February 2001 and my life’s been totally transformed by this extraordinary, one-of-a-kind love!

Before I knew my Savior, I’d questioned the existence of life. What’s the meaning of life and what’s my purpose here? I knew even then, there’s more to life than just the paper chase and the rat race of material fulfillment.

I thank God for opening my eyes and heart to my Savior. I now realized all that’s happened in my life, the good and the bad are all part of a greater scheme of things. Even my ability to design, build and work on guitars is a Divine gift! I have no doubt about that in my mind!

I’ll be sharing 3 facts or truths about humanity and I hope you’ll agree with me. If you don’t, it’s no biggie coz what I’m sharing with you is not from me per se. It’s from the One who’s responsible for the air we breathe, the One who knows what our future holds and the One who decides when we’ll be meeting Him so I hope you’ll read on seriously.

The 1st Truth is all of us have a common problem and that’s sin. Sin??!! What’s that you may ask. Well, the Bible describes sin as “lawlessness” in 1 John 3:4. Simply said, it’s the breaking of God’s law. The Bible goes on to state “There’s none righteous, no, not one;” Romans 3:10 and “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23.

Nobody is perfect! We have in some way or another fallen short of God’s standard, which is absolute moral perfection. I don’t think I’m making a sweeping statement when I say all of us have lied. Lying is wrong and a sin in the eyes of God. Some of us may think and even believe there’re “small” sins and “big” sins but the fact of the matter is sin is sin! James 2:10 tell us “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” What this verse means is even if a person lived a morally perfect life except for a single white lie, the reality is he or she is still a sinner. It’s been asked how many people do you have to kill before you’re named a murderer, just one right? You’re a murderer regardless of how many people you kill. The same way, we’re all sinners regardless of how many “big” or “small” sins we’ve committed.

The 2nd Truth is there is a penalty or judgment for our sins. The Bible tells us “For the wages of sin is death,” in Romans 6:23

Most of us work a job and get paid at the end of the month. We deserved to be paid our wage or salary by our employer because of the work we’d put in for the month. The same way, the wages we deserve for our sins is death. However, the death that the Bible speaks of here is not our 1st or physical death because eventually, all of us will die of old age, sickness or disease. The Bible describes the 2nd death in Revelation 21:8 “the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death”. We commonly describe the 2nd death as hell and as heaven is eternal, so is hell! Heaven is where we will be eternally reunited with God and hell is where we will be eternally separated from God!

The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,”

We all have to face judgment from God at the end of our lives. The sad reality is all of us because of our sins, will experience the 2nd death. Please realize that it is never God’s intention to send us to hell. We send ourselves there by rejecting Him and His Truths.

Alright so far, we’ve learnt that all men have a common problem called sin and our eternal destiny is hell because of our sins. Those are bad news!!!

Here’s the 3rd and final Truth and thank God it’s wonderful news. There is indeed a silver lining behind every dark cloud.

The Bible tell us in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”

Yes! Someone has died in our place for our sins! Someone has taken on our punishment for us! Now isn’t that good news!

God created us because He loves us and desires a relationship with us. However, because of our sins, the relationship between God and men is hindered or rather broken. God who is holy, just and righteous cannot tolerate sin but at the same time, He loves the sinners. The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

As mentioned earlier, it is never God’s intention to judge and condemn us. We condemn ourselves by willfully disobeying and rejecting Him. Because of His love for us, God sent Jesus Christ, His Son, to die for our sins so we can be reconciled with Him. Throughout history, there have been instances where heroic man died for their family, friends and country. The amazing fact of Christ’s death is that He didn’t stay dead. Jesus Christ was resurrected 3 days after his death! By His resurrection, Christ proves that He has overcome sin, death and hell. Christ bled while hanging on the cross and the Bible tells us in 1 John 1:7 “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

You may have seen placards reading “John 3:16” at NBA, NHL, NFL games on ESPN or some sports program on cable TV. John 3:16 tells us “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

A lot of people think Christianity is a religion but in reality, it is a relationship between an Omniscient and Omnipotent Creator and His creation. Think about it, religion is man-made; it is all about man’s effort in trying to appease or reach God. John 3:16 tell us God loves us and sacrificed His Son for our sake!!! It is God reaching down to man!!! Romans 5:8 drives home the point “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

One of my favorite preachers sums it up most succinctly. “Jesus Christ came to pay a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay.”

Jesus Christ Himself says “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:17-18

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:37

Jesus Christ never condemns anyone and accepts all who came to Him. John 3:16 say, “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” You may think you’re not deserving or worthy of His Love. The fact of the matter is none of us are worthy or deserve His Love. That’s why salvation is a gift from God. The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” One can either accept or reject a gift. I hope none of you when offered a present by a loved one offers to pay for the gift. If you’d paid for something, it’s no longer a gift!

Alright, the million dollar question now is how does one receive Jesus Christ? Are you ready to accept your free gift from God? May I add that this will be the best gift you’ll ever receive in your life!!

1 John 5:13 tell us “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

As soon as we believe on Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God promises us eternal life in heaven with Him! Eternal life begins the moment you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior! Now how does one believe in Jesus Christ? We sure can’t see, hear or touch Him.

To believe in Christ is to simply acknowledge the fact that we all sinners destined for eternal damnation. Accepting the fact that there’s nothing we can do that will help gain favor with God. Accepting the fact that Jesus Christ died for our sins and His shed blood cleanses us from all sins. Most importantly, it is by casting all our total dependence on Christ’s act of redemption alone to save us from sin and hell.

You may be asking what do you mean? Let’s take for example you’re on a cruise and the ship capsized. You’ve been floating in the ocean for hours. You’re tired, cold, hungry and about to give up. Just then, a rescue boat comes along and a hand reaches out to you. Now you know those people in the boat can and will save you. But thinking and believing that will not save you. You have to reach out to the hand of the rescuer, trust and depend on him or her. That’s what it means to depend 100% on Jesus Christ. You must come to the realization that there’s nothing that can save you from eternal damnation except by accepting the works of Christ and by receiving Him.

All it takes is a simple prayer. Please know that the prayer does not save you. It’s your absolute belief and trust in what Jesus Christ has done for you that will save you!!!

You may pray:

“Dear God,

I come to you as a sinner destined for eternal damnation. I know there’s nothing I can do that can save me. I thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to die for my sins. I thank You for the shed blood for Jesus Christ which cleanses me from all my sins. Lord Jesus, thank You for loving, dying and saving me. Help me to repent from my sins and the best way I know how, I’m casting my total dependence on You alone to save me from sin, death and hell. In Jesus name, Amen.”

I said a similar prayer in February 2001 and my life has taken on a completely new perspective. If you have said the above prayer and meant it from your heart, congratulations and welcome into the family of God !!!

Please e-mail me at saved@mtlutherie.com so I can be blessed and rejoice with you.

If you’re looking to for a church to visit, it’s my honor and privilege to invite you to my church. Let me know when to expect you.

If you’re living in Southern California, I would like to encourage you to visit Harvest Christian Fellowship located in Riverside, CA or Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa located in Santa Ana, CA.

All scripture quotes are from The New King James Version.