This past week, the much-anticipated movie Les Misérables was released in theaters. The movie is based on the popular musical of the same name which is based on the French historical novel written by Victor Hugo in 1862. The novel is considered to be one of the greatest works of literature of the 19th century.
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Les Misérables is the story of Jean Valjean, a man who was imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread for his starving family and then trying to escape jail. After Javert, the jailer, releases him on parole Jean breaks parole and is nearly taken back to jail. But through the kindness of a priest, he is saved from prison. Jean's life is so impacted by the priest's generosity that he sets about to redeem himself in the eyes of God by doing good. He goes to a town named Montreuile under an assumed name and invents a manufacturing process that puts many of the townspeople to work and brings great prosperity to the town. Eventually, he is chosen to be the town's mayor.
Javert, however, is committed to the law and is determined to see Jean put back in jail. Throughout the story, he attempts to hunt down Jean so that he can make him pay for his crimes.
Jean, on the other hand, strives to redeem himself. He adopts the daughter of a poor, dying woman who works in his factory and raises her as his own. During a violent uprising in France, he saves the life of a wounded young man who eventually marries his adopted daughter. And when he has the opportunity to kill the jailer who had been hunting him down he lets him go free instead.
Jean's attempt to redeem himself in the eyes of God is similar to what many of us do in life. Just like Jean, we know that we are condemned in the eyes of the law and deserve to be punished for our wrongdoings. And just like Jean we try to make ourselves righteous in God's sight by doing good deeds and helping others. However, God's Word says that no matter what we do, we can never be made righteous in the sight of God on our own. The Bible says in Romans 3:10, "There is none righteous, no, not one." Titus 3:5 says, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us."
Just like Jean, all of us have sinned and broken God's laws. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: "For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not." Romans 3:23 reads: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
Because of our sins, we are separated from God. God is Holy, and cannot allow sin in His presence. Because we are born sinners, we are automatically cut off from fellowship with Him. In some way, each of us feels this separation, and that is why we try to repair this relationship in our own strength.
If we live our lives without being reunited with God, we will eventually die and, because of our sins, we will go to a place of punishment called Hell or the Lake of Fire. Revelation 21:8 says, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
However, the good news is that God does not want us to die and be punished forever. So he sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for us -- taking the punishment that you and I deserve for our sins on Himself. He was put to death on a cross two thousand years ago. After He died, He was buried and rose from the dead.
Because Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins, we do not have to die and go to Hell, and we do not have to remain separated from God. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Because God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, we can make peace with God and live with Him in Heaven for all eternity after we die.
If you want to begin a relationship with God today, you can do so by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and asking Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
We cannot begin a relationship with God by doing good works like Jean tried to do. We cannot even begin a relationship with God by abiding by the law like Javert did. But we can begin a relationship with God by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
If you want to begin your relationship with God through Jesus Christ right now, you can pray something like this to let God know about your decision:
Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today and forever. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God and congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your new found faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read "What To Do After You Enter Through the Door". Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of sixteen books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel's Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master's degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3.