Where do I start?
Everybody has a longing for God that they try to fill with money, sex, career, volunteer work, etc. None of them bring us perfect joy. Augustine prayed, "You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you." Search around on this site for answers to your questions.
What is the Gospel?
Religion is not for me
Religion scares us because it is a list of rules. We don't see the point of these rules and sometimes courteously tell people, "Well, that's good for you." We see people running to religion as a crutch, as a support in hard times. That makes us think religion is for weak people who cannot stand on their own. Sometimes we think religion is people trying to make up for doing bad things or wasting their life. This is not what Christianity is about. Christianity is unique.
Christianity is unique. "Yeah right..."
 It is unique because it says that we cannot earn our way to Heaven. God is good and perfect. We do bad stuff all the time, like having a bad attitude, being arrogant, telling white lies, thinking badly of someone, being bitter, holding a grudge, reacting badly to someone, etc. The smallest bad action, or sin, deserves Hell. "But I'm not a bad person," we say. The Bible says, "Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it" (James 2:10). It's like we're hanging onto God by a chain. If you break one link, no matter how small, you fall. "Why such a big punishment?" God is like a judge. He has to punish evil. The smallest bad action is an evil against an infinitely huge God. That means the punishment is going to be infinite too. Our link to Him, our relationship with him, is broken forever.

Religions are often a bunch of people trying to earn their way back to God, but you can't erase the past. A billion goods don't erase a bad. We're condemned. Yet, God loves us. So he comes to earth, becoming human. This is his Son Jesus. You see, Jesus is God. God is in two places at once (and everywhere else). God takes our punishment and puts it on Jesus. That's why he died on the cross. Our punishment is now paid for and we're free. Our relationship with God is restored. The chain that connects us is repaired and can never be broken again. God does this because showing love is the greatest display of himself and his glory. Salvation is for God's glory and our joy. But we can't earn it. That's why God gives it to us as a gift. This is a free gift, which is why Christianity is unique (you can't earn your way to Heaven).

Hold on. What about people who reject this gift? They reject God and still get punishment. How do you accept this gift? Talk to God. Don't worry, he'll hear you. Say you're a sinner and are evil. Tell him you want to change and obey him. Tell him you are his. Ask him for help. Praying doesn't save you. God saves you. If you just say words in an empty room, God will hear you, but they're meaningless if you're not sincere. "Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:17). This doesn't mean we earn salvation by our action. It means that if we go back to living like we always did before, that shows that we weren't sincere when we told God we'll follow him. It might help to ask, "What is faith?"
What is faith?
Faith is hanging onto what your reason has already figured out when your emotions don't want to. We trust some people more than others. Why? They've proven themselves. We're not going to trust a stranger on the street with our bank info. It's the same with God. We search for reasons to believe or disbelieve. We'll never get all our questions answered, but we eventually get to a point where distrusting God makes less sense than trusting him. Keep searching around for those answers.
 
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    4900 Cedar Grove Rd | Shepherdsville, KY 40165 |  (502) 543-4101
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