Prior to understanding these 23 truths I was only “clipping” the “Redemption coupon” out of the Bible and clinging to it as some kind of free “fire insurance.” I never realized that this short jaunt through the Bible was all anyone needed to understand exactly why God created mankind, and why mankind can only be restored to fellowship with God from rebellion, and go to heaven this way. And to think that I was once fooled into thinking I would somehow make it to heaven because I was a decent person who went to church, and even read the Bible. And that’s the most dangerous place in the world to be.
Here are 23 truths that everybody should know before dying:
1. God created heaven and earth.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1)
2. Angels were created to worship God.
“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.” (Neh 9:6)
3. God established the penalty for disobeying Him as death.
“…but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:17)
4. Hell was created for the angels who rebelled against God.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'” (Matt 25:41)
5. God created people.
“…then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Gen 2:7)
6. God created all things, including people, for his glory and just because it made Him happy to do it.
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev 4:11)
7. God created people so He could love them as His children, and so people could love Him as their Father.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1a-b)
8. What does it mean to love God?
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14;15)
9. God wanted this love to be real, so he gave mankind an opportunity to choose to love Him.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” (Gen 2:16-17)
10. The archangel, Lucifer, chose to turn away from God.
“You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper,
sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you. (Ezek 28:13-15)
11. The archangel, Lucifer, wanted to be worshiped like God.
“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’” (Isa 14:13)
12. Lucifer staged a rebellion against God and was thrown out of heaven.
“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (Rev 12:7-9)
13. Lucifer, now known as Satan, motivated by vengeful hatred of God, took the form of a serpent in order to deceive the first people, Adam and Eve, into disobeying God, knowing that God would have to sentence them to death just like he was.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.”
“He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden”?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”‘ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” (Gen 3:1-5)
14. Adam disobeyed God, just like Satan did.
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (Gen 3:6)
15. Sin, and therefore the sentence of eternal death in hell, spread throughout the entire human race because of Adam’s first sin.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men…” (Rom 5:12a-b)
16. When people sin they are rejecting God and rebelling against Him and following the devil. God says to these…
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
17. Perhaps Satan thought he had backed God into a corner: Now God would be “forced” to treat humanity justly, which means death. Remember…
“For the wages of sin is death…” (Rom 6:23a)
18. Blood is required to atone for sin.
“Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Heb 9:22)
19. For the time being God established a system in which people would symbolically place their sin on a perfect and highly prized animal, and shed its blood instead of their own.
For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. (Lev 17:11)
20. The sacrificial system was only a symbol. It could never really pay the infinite price of a crime against an infinite God.
“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” (Heb 10:4)
21. God Himself, gave His perfect Son as an eternal sacrifice to atone for mankind’s sins — past present and future.
“But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified… then [God] adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’ Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.” (Heb 10:12-14, 17-18)
22. Why did God sacrifice His own Son for our sins?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
23. How to be saved.
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’” (Rom 10:9-11)