I am taking on a difficult task this morning. I am going to attempt to explain some spiritual truths as clearly as I know how in the confining medium of a blog post. My sources of information are the Bible, my own personal experience and study. This is a lattice work to be filled in by the reader. I am tempted to suspend the comments section, for this post only, because I am not seeking affirmation or argument. I am posting my beliefs. If everything were explainable or provable we would not have a faith based belief system.
God is the creator of all things.
God created man with a spiritual component that makes him different from all other created beings.
God wants to fellowship with man.
Man was created with his spiritual component in tact and placed in an idyllic setting.
Man was also created with a physical component and a free will.
Adam (the first man) chose to yield to his physical (carnal) yearnings in an attempt to gain equality with God.
Adam's selfish behavior fell short of God's plan and made it impossible for God to have fellowship with him.
Sin is best defined as falling short of the mark.
God cursed the rest of mankind (Adam's seed) with a spiritual death penalty.
God provided the Ten Commandments to define the mark for man.
God had a plan in place to redeem his creation in the person of Jesus Christ.
The time was not right for the redemptive work of Jesus to take place and the Old Testament is an account of how God confounded the world with unlikely servants who made it possible to bridge the gap between creation and the coming of Jesus. Old Testament prophesy is right on the mark.
When the time was right God sent Jesus Christ to be born of a woman. He was not of Adam's seed, but of God's seed.
Jesus Christ did not fall under the curse of Adam's seed and therefore was the perfect man necessary to pay the penalty for that curse. He was God and man together.
Jesus Christ willingly fulfilled his role as the sacrifice for Adam's (and all mankind's) original sin.
Jesus lived, ministered, was crucified, died and rose again.
Once again man could have fellowship with God directly by accepting the sacrifice provided by his Son, Jesus Christ.
All human beings are under the curse and therefore in need of accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We are saved from the curse and not our individual sins, so no matter how perfectly we may see our lives, we are still in need of redemption.
Once we've accepted the gift of grace from God in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ then our relationship with God is restored. No one can end this relationship.
However, we still have our physical/carnal component in tact and can choose to ignore God's direct influence through our spiritual side and fall short of the mark. This does not destroy the relationship, but it can ruin the fellowship. Just as a child stays well away from a parent when he has done something he knows is wrong, so we feel ashamed and want to hide from God when we miss the mark. When Christians choose to follow their carnal leanings, they can behave just like non-Christians and subject themselves and other believers to ridicule by those who don't believe.
Hell is eternity outside God's presence.
God provided the sacrifice and he gives us the simple faith necessary to believe things that seem unbelievable.
I accepted God's gift in Jesus Christ when I was ten years old. I received God's assurance and peace that it was real at that time and I still feel that assurance.
Life's experiences can make us bitter and leave us feeling unworthy, but remember God doesn't see things the way we do. We can't explain God.
He is the Creator and he deals with His creation as He sees fit. He just asks us to trust him and come in simple faith to accept His gift of grace. He even provides the faith we need when we give up on trying to do things our way. If you feel there has to be more to life than what you've experienced so far, that's God gently telling you to look up.