God has a purpose for your life, we call it salvation, and a desire that you spend eternity in His presence. However, the choice is yours.
You may choose to follow him through faith in Jesus Christ or to go in other directions. Jesus made clear, however,
“I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to (God) the Father apart from me”.
There are many roads that promise to make you happy such as pleasure, possessions, power and money. None of these, however, are God’s way. Only Jesus is.
Any other way is sin. Sin is when we say, “I’ll do what I want, no matter what God says”.
The Bible says:
“We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way”. (Isaiah 53:6).
“If we claim that we’re free from sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense”.
(First John 1:8)
Sin breaks our relationship with God and with other people. We try to deal with it in different ways but nothing really helps. The Bible tells us that the end result of sin is death – spiritual death.
You’ll end up in hell, separated from God. This is not because God wants you there. His purpose is for you to spend eternity with Him in heaven and he’ll do everything he can to get you there, except one thing. He won’t force you.
The decision is yours. He has, however, offered us his help. He did something about our sin.
We sometimes try to do a lot of good things thinking that our actions and good deeds will get us into heaven. The problem is that we don’t know how many good things we have to do to get there. Or sometimes we compare ourselves with others to find a standard, but the problem is that God is the standard, not other people! What can we do then?
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed: by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
This is how God dealt with your sin. Imagine a courtroom. You have been found guilty of sin. The penalty is death. This judge declares the sentence. But imagine this judge is your father. He knows the law, he knows your crime demands death, but he knows that he loves you too much to let you die. So in a wonderful act of love he steps down from the bench, takes off his robe, stands by your side, and says, “I’m going to die in your place”.
This is what God did for you. He left His throne in heaven, came to earth in Jesus Christ, and took your place.
“God put the world square with himself through the Messiah (Jesus), giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God”.
(Second Corinthians 5:19,21).
What does God want you to do in response to this? How do you become a Christian. There are three simple steps.
1. Admit that God has not been in the first place of your life and ask him to forgive your sins.
“If we admit our sins – make a clean breast of them – he won’t let us down: he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing”.
(First John 1:9)
2. Agree that Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins and that he rose from the dead and is alive today.
“Say the welcoming word to God – “Jesus is my Master”- embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything: you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation.
3. Accept God’s free gift of salvation. Don’t try to earn it.
“Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing.
Would you like him to save you right now? Then just follow these three steps. Simply pray to him, “I am a sinner in need of your gift. I believe Jesus died for me, and for my sin, on the cross. I accept your offer of salvation”.
Once you’ve done that there are three steps that are essential to your faith.
The first is to demonstrate and celebrate your decision to follow Jesus by being baptized. This symbolizes God’s grace cleansing our sin. Jesus said, “Whoever believes and is baptized is saved…”
The second step is to begin to read the Bible. God reveals himself to us through his word by the Holy Spirit. “Let the message about Christ – completely fill your lives.”
Finally, become part of a local church. You’re not strong enough to survive as a Christian alone. The Bible teaches us that the church is the “body of Christ” on earth today.
(First Corinthians 12:27).
If you have become a Christian through reading the above, or through some contact with our congregation, please let us know by sending an e- mail to email@example.com and telling us your story.
(All Bible quotations from The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (2002)