Today's encouragement comes from John 8:24b, where we find our Lord Jesus saying this:
" . . . For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
Jesus is speaking to very religious people here. It is interesting that He does *not* say, "If you don't straighten-up your acts you will
die . . . "; or, "If you don't do enough good deeds you will die . . . "; or, "If you aren't more religious you will die . . . " Instead, Christ de-mands one thing (only): believing that He (Jesus) is the Son of God--or else we will die in our sins.
Why is this so hard for us sinners to grasp? The gospel is so simple that self-righteous people find it highly offensive. Jesus' blood atonement virtually *excludes* anything that we could add to it, via works or self-sacrifice, etc. This gospel brings God glory, and us good, (but we get no credit for our salvation).
[Puritan quote of the day: "Zeal makes the blood rise when God's honor is impeached. . . . He who zealously loves his friend cannot bear to hear him spoken against and be silent." --Thomas Watson, in, "The Godly Man's Picture"]