“For I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Michael continues that if we have not died to self, then we're not Christians, we're humanists. Christianity starts with "repentance" which means to turn around from worshiping self, to worshiping the true God because of Jesus' supreme sacrifice at the cross on our behalf. On Good Friday, we must remember God's goal for eternity. On Good Friday, the greatest good was done. For he who was without sin was made the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we should be made the righteousness of God in Him. What was the purpose of Good Friday, of Jesus having died on our behalf? Jesus came not for us, but rather because of His love for us. When Jesus prayed, "Father, if it be thy will let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not my will but thy will be done," what was God's answer to Jesus' prayer? The answer is in Hebrews: “He for the joy that was set before him endured the cross and is set down at the right hand of God, for God's glory”. He died because of the joy that God revealed to him: Jesus' love for those of us who would believe on Him ... those of us who would be saved because of His perfect sacrifice for sin on our behalf, to the glory of God the Father.
All men and women have sinned and have come short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death. We all deserve the righteous judgment of a just and holy God. From a Humanistic point of view, why would a loving God send anyone to hell and eternal death? Isn't the end goal of Humanism happiness? However, from God's perspective, our happiness doesn't matter. From God's perspective, sin and iniquity must be paid for by a righteous and just payment. Our happiness is immaterial. If our goal is happiness, then we are worshiping the God of self and not the one true God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The message of salvation is not to rescue sinners from hell. In all actuality, we are rescued from God’s wrath. Rather, we spread the message of salvation because God loved them and gave His only begotten Son on their behalf, that they might be made the righteousness of God for the glory of God. It's not about the glory of salvation and the saving of sinners, (though they are amazing natural consequences), rather it's about the glory of God through the saving power of his Son Jesus Christ. People are not judged for their sins, rather they are judged for their rejection of the Savior from sin, Jesus Christ.
Heaven is not about our happiness (though there will be indescribable happiness there). The present sufferings are not to be compared with the glory that should follow. That's why we endure, not because we're promised "happiness" in this life, but because of the Glory of God. Nothing else really matters. All is vanity except for the glory of God. Vanity is emptiness. Only a few things have substance, weight, glory, and value. Glory means weight. There is substance in the glory of God. The reason for the cross is so that God himself would be glorified. That which is seen is temporal, but that which is unseen is eternal. Only the things of the Spirit of God will be of lasting glory, worth, value and substance.
“So loved He the world that He gave us His Son . Who yielded His life an atonement for sin and opened the life-gate that all may come in. Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord. Let the earth hear His voice; Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord. Let the people rejoice. Oh come to the Father through Jesus His son, and give Him the glory, great things He hath done!” To God be the glory, great things he hath done. May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ, Michael