What does it mean to have "a relationship with God"? Church-goers hear this phrase on a regular basis, but it transcends all religion and certainly any ritual. First off, it means accepting that God is our Creator, in fact the Creator of all things, that He sent His son Jesus Christ to live on this earth for about 33 years (the real reason for celebrating Christmas), and that His Spirit lives within each of us, as individual temples of His creation. Simply put, "God created us, Jesus died for us, and the Spirit lives within us!"
Even as the Son of God, Jesus
was born on this earth some two thousand years ago to live as a true man, to
experience - and overcome - all of the evils, temptations, and miseries that
this world has to offer, including all of the things that we ourselves fall
victim to everyday in our own lives. Such was His first coming, and He will come to earth a second time!
The purpose of Jesus' first coming to earth was testifying to the truth. His truth is that none of us can enter the kingdom of God (Heaven) without first accepting Him in our lives as our Savior. Christ overcame all evil on this earth by living a perfect life without sin, the only man ever to do so, and He overcame death by dying on the cross and being resurrected from the grave by God three days later (the real reason for celebrating Easter)!
So many people bore witness to His birth, so many people bore witness to His death, and so many people bore witness to Him still on earth after His death and subsequent resurrection, just prior to His ascension to Heaven. For all of us, that's more than just "WOW!" It's our right relationship with God, i.e., to recognize and accept this incredible truth, this miraculous gift available to all of mankind throughout time, and to give Him our eternal praise and gratitude. It's only through the grace of God, and not the result of anything good we have done or ever could do, that we receive this precious gift!
The First Coming of Jesus, His life and teachings to us on this earth, are fully recorded in the gospels of the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). It's a must read for all of us, because it's what our relationship with God is based upon. It's true that when we die, we do go to our earthly rest, i.e., we "rest with our fathers", as referenced many times throughout the Old Testament in the Bible. But the Bible goes on to say that each and every one of us will be roused from that rest at the Second Coming of Jesus (often referred to as Judgment Day). On that day, each of us from all of time will find one of two things: either our name written in the Book of Life (entry to Heaven), or be thrown into the lake of fire (Hell) - Revelations 20: 12-15. Each one is for eternity - hence the reason our relationship with God is the most essential one of our lives here on earth!
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