"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:19).

"Go ye therefore and teach all nations that God is mad at them."

That's not what Jesus said in the Great Commission. But all too often, that is the message traditional religion has preached.

People (believers and unbelievers alike) have been told how unworthy they are. They've been told what sorry creatures they are. They've been told they don't act right or talk right or pray right.

Sound familiar? If so, I have some good news for you today: God is not mad at you. In fact, He's not mad at anybody!

The Bible says He [God] "was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them" (2 Cor. 5:19).

Every person ever born on this earth has already been guaranteed by God the right to stand before Him without any sense of guilt or shame. Every person, no matter how covered in sin he may be, qualifies to receive God's righteousness. Not everyone takes advantage of it, but everyone has the opportunity.

Statements like that shock religious people. Do you know why? Because, as Romans 10:3 says, "They being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."

That's what religion always does. It tries to establish its own righteousness, its own rules, its own right-standing with God. Religion says, if you act right, talk right, dress right and look right, then God will give you favor.

But God isn't religious. He says, I don't want you to establish your own righteousness. I want to give you Mine. But before you can receive it, you have to quit trying to establish your own.

You can't earn the righteousness of God. There's nothing you can do to deserve it. It's God's gift. All you can do is receive it.

Source: One Word From God Can Change Your Destiny
by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers