What if I told you that you have a purpose? What if I said that no matter what wrong actions you are guilty of, an all-good and holy God still desires for you to spiritually be one of His children? What if I told you that God can even give you eternal life with Him? The “good news” (Gospel) of Christianity is that God will be redeeming this world He has created. A new perfect kingdom is coming, without evil, and your residence and eternal fellowship with God is possible through an act God performed on your behalf—if you want it. God came to earth as a man (Jesus Christ) and through an ultimate sacrifice of love gave you everything you need. Let me explain.
We were created for God, and we can recognize him as the “greatest possible being.” This means, among other things, that something by definition is not God if it could even possibly fail to be perfectly honest, just, loving and so forth. If you can think of something more worship-worthy than God, then that would be God.
As the all-good creator of the Universe, God would see reason to bring about good things, especially:
• #1 A world without evil.
• #2 Heavenly “Children.” These are incredibly valuable creatures. We can say they are children in that they resemble God in certain ways (having rationality, morality, knowledge, power etc.). We can say they are heavenly in that they freely choose to love and submit to the Good. What creation could be more valuable than a kingdom ruled by God, ultimately lacking all evil, and populated forever with these heavenly children?
This all said, moral agency is required for any such children to become heavenly—to make this free choice to love and submit to the good. And moral agency is part knowledge and part power:
Here is the kicker. Creatures with the power part—with free will—are going to always mess up, at least accidentally. They cannot stop. So do you see how a world containing creatures who are free to sin will always be a world with evil? God will not tolerate evil forever (or even for a time unless there is a good reason). However, he also does not want to create children who never had the free choice to submit to Him and to be good.
So how can God obtain both a world without evil and Heavenly children? Logically, the only possible way to get these two great things together requires two steps:
“God, you have stepped back and allowed this world run its natural course. It has allowed me to see first hand that, with our freedom to keep sinning, the evil will never stop. It's clear that, like the rest of humanity, I am the problem. And yet you are Good. I see on my own now that the world needs you as King, and being God I'm sure you will not tolerate sin for long. So with the free will that you've lovingly given me, I freely choose now to submit it back to you. When your judgment and Kingdom comes, my free choice is to be morally perfect in it the only way possible: transform me. I give myself to you. Take control. You're the only one who can make me fit for a world without evil.”God thereby obtains agents who will forever be such that they have in their own freedom chosen God and to always do what is morally right. Consequently, all future good they do is grounded in their free decision—it's theirs. This submission is the only way for an agent to freely choose the good and to remain in that choice.
• Matthew 3:12 -- “He will gather His wheat [His children who submit to Good] into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff [everyone who clings to their own ways] with unquenchable fire.”
• Matthew 10:28 -- “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
So God's heavenly children are children who have opened up to God's moral transformation, and then at the end are transformed for the new world, being now able to enjoy eternal life both with God and all others who have freely accepted such transformation.
But what about the evil that has already been performed by these agents? All of us are guilty of sin.1 A righteous judge like God can't pretend it didn't happen, right? That wouldn't take sin seriously. The more pure and holy God is, the more lying, stealing, raping, murdering etc. will shock, repulse, and righteously enrage God. Recall then that God is perfectly holy, so we all ought to be terrified. In the afterlife, our sin will be decisively punished2 by this sovereign, holy Being. Truly, “The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth” (Psalm 97:5).
God seems to have set up a system in nature so that as we break God's commands, we are naturally marked with more and more “sin”—a sort of spiritual dirt that makes us unclean in God's sight. It is the harborers of this dirt that God's wrath will fall upon in the future. As it happens, however, God is not only just, but also loving. And so in c. AD 30 Israel, none other than God incarnate (Jesus Christ)-—visiting Earth as man—-took on a special substitute role for those who freely choose to submit to His project of transformation. What role is that? Jesus lived without sinning even once, and his ministry of love and miracles culminated in his being nailed to a wooden cross, where he also accepted the necessary Divine punishment for all possible dirt (sin) that exists. It was a spiritual agony.3 As a result, for those who submit to God's transformation, they are gifted with two things:
b) Despite all their previous sin and due punishment, they are gifted with a clean slate. Jesus paid the penalty for them and gave to them His righteous record instead. For those of us who accept his gift…
◦ “…He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross” (1 Pet. 2:24)
So, borrowing the words of Isaiah 1:18,
◦ “…He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Col. 2:14)4
“‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow’”
This swap—this salvation from due judgment—is a free gift available to anyone who will accept moral transformation. What's more, on these children who choose to submit to the Good, God forever lavishes His mercy and grace and blessing. Nothing is withheld from His beloved.
Becoming a heavenly child of God is easy:
If you wish, you can also meet God in prayer. He hears you! There is no formula, but you can pray something like this:
“Lord, I know that your righteous frustration with me for my sins is great, but I know your loving-kindness is as well. You have promised to grant forgiveness to the undeserving like myself if they repent and turn to you. Your perfect goodness ensures this promise is trustworthy, and so this is precisely what I'm doing. Forgive me and take control. I'm yours to do with as you will.”
You can praise and thank God in complete confidence now. As He promised, your sins are covered. Of course, the Christian life does not end here. Jesus Christ spiritually indwells believers, and so will constantly build into you, for you to grow a morally better character. You should immediately find a way to be fellowshipping with others who have made the same decision. You should also get baptized (which is sort of a wedding ring before others like you). The Christian life is not easy. You will still struggle with sin, and no material prosperity is promised. However, as Jesus spiritually abides in you will find a fellowship with God and supernatural joy that kept early Christians singing praise to the God even as they were being martyred. Have confidence in God's promise to you. Jesus is Lord, conqueror of death, holy destroyer of sin. His new Kingdom, the final stage of this grand plan, is on its way. :)