Europe is going through major changes. Our aim is to look at the key issues in our continent from a biblical perspective.
God took the initiative to solve your problems, out of love.
1992 was an important year for Spain, especially for Barcelona. The 25th Summer Olympics were held in that fair city, and several records were broken for the number of Olympic volunteers, number of participants, and sports records themselves.
But the greatest record was for forgiveness. All of the sportspeople who had been disciplined by their respective federations were pardoned at this special time.
That's an important kind of forgiveness, but it's not the greatest in history. In a little village almost 2000 years ago, and on a "stage" few would imagine - a Cross - the greatest manifestation of love and forgiveness in history took place.
You've probably heard it before, but let me tell you again. That was the most important day of your life, even though you may not think so. With Jesus' death and resurrection, God reconciled to himself, and forgave, the whole world - including you.
You may say: "I never asked him to!" but God took the initiative to solve your problems, out of love. We are all guilty before the law, and we can't do anything to improve our image.
We are destined to die, spiritually as well as physically. That's the bad news. God could have left it that way, and no one would ever be free. It would be like trying to swim across the Atlantic from Europe to America; you might get so far, but nobody could do it. It's impossible.
Even so, God doesn't leave us without a solution. He himself decided to bear our guilt, and pay our price.
How wonderful! None of us would have thought of such a thing. How simple! Jesus paid our debt before God and made it possible for God to accept us by looking at his son and accepting him.
You may say: "That's all right, then!" Yes, but you have to accept his forgiveness! Just as a sporting pardon is no good if the competitor doesn't accept it and participate in the Olympics, God's forgiveness does you no good if you don't believe!
Forgiveness has to be accepted. If you don't take it personally, you're still lost, eternally condemned! It's just like not wanting to leave jail even though you're free. God has offered you forgiveness; now it's up to you.