For centuries, the United States of America has been portrayed as a nation of opportunity and hope. A destination for people accross the globe to relocate and start a new life, chasing after the "American Dream." But looking closer at the realities of American society, we find a very different picture portrayed...unemployment and financial losses destroying careers and savings accounts. Divorce and infidelity tearing apart families. Natural disasters leaving major cities devastated with millions of dollars in damage. Acts of terrorism and violence sweeping newspaper headlines. With realities like these, it can only leave us wondering...is there any hope for America? The answer? YES But this hope will not be found in any federal budget plan, political candidate or political party. The only hope is outlined by God in the Bible. UNDERSTAND GOD'S PURPOSES-PEACE, FULFILLMENT, AND ETERNAL LIFE God loves you and wants you to experience inner peace and eternal, fulfilling life. The Bible says... "We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1 "God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10 Why don't most people have this peace and the fulfilling life that God intended for them to have? ADMIT THE PROBLEM-OUR SIN AND SEPARATION God did not create us like robots to automatically love and mechanically obey him. God gave us a will and the freedom to choose. The first man and woman chose to disobey God and go their own willful way. And we still make that choice today. This results in separation from God. The Bibles says... "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 "The wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23 Our attempts to reach God People have tried many ways to bridge this gap between themselves and God. The Bible says... "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death." Proverbs 14:12 "Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God." Isaiah 59:2 And no "bridge" reaches God...except one. DISCOVER GOD'S BRIDGE-THE CROSS Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the grave. Though he is God's sinless Son, he became a human, took our place, and paid the penalty for our sins, bridging the gap between God and us. The Bible says... "There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 2:5 "Christ...suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God." 1 Peter 3:18 "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us...the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 5:8, 6:23 "Christ died for our sins...he was buried...he was raised on the third day." 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 God has provided the only way to forgiveness of sin and eternal life. But each person must make a choice. EMBRACE THE TRUTH-TRUST IN CHRIST We must trust Jesus Christ as our Savior and receive him by personal choice. Jesus says... "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 The Bible says... "To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12 "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life." John 3:36 WHERE WILL YOU PLACE YOUR HOPE? The only hope for America lies in believing in the truth of the Bible. But each one of us needs to make this decision of where to place our hope. Will you receive Jesus Christ right now and trust in him alone for forgiveness and eternal life? The Bible says that's the only way to find peace with God Admit your need-that you are a sinner in need of God's forgiveness. Be willing to turn from (repent of) trusting in anything else for eternal life, and trust only in Christ. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross and came back to life from the grave, and is your only way to heaven. Accept Jesus' offer to forgive your sins and come into your life as your Savior. Do you want this hope? If you do, you can tell Jesus in your own words in a prayer like this: "Dear Jesus, thank you for making it possible for me to find peace with God I believe that when you died you were paying the penalty for my sins. I now receive you into my life as my Savior, so I can have forgiveness and never-ending life from God Thank you for the gift of eternal life "