Becoming a Christian
Becoming a Christian is the most important decision you can make. This decision determines the way you live on earth and where you will spend eternity. God really loves you and He wants to spend eternity with you.
All people have rebelled against God. The Bible says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23, NASB). The word sin means to miss a target. The target we are aiming for is "perfection" and we all fall short of it. Sin is the failure of a person to live the life which God has planned for him to live. Everyone sins. The cost of sin is very high. The Bible says, "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23, NASB).
The person who lives without God in this life will pay the awful price of an eternity separated from Him. The Bible calls this place of separation hell. Hell was "created" for Satan and his angels, it was never meant to be for mankind, but God could not allow rebellious people to enter into heaven. People who are enslaved to sin are not able to go to Heaven, since it is a place where God lives in perfect harmony with His people.
God loves us in spite of our rebellion against Him (our sin). The Bible says, "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8 NASB). Because of the righteousness of God, man must pay the penalty for sin, or someone who is acceptable to God must pay the penalty for mankind. Jesus Christ came to earth for two reasons. First, he came to show us how to live this life in fullness. Secondly, he came to die for us—for our sin. The death of Jesus on the cross is the greatest demonstration of the love of God for sinners.
Repent, turn toward God, and have your sins completely taken away. The Bible says, "Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19, NASB). The word repent means to turn around and go in a different direction. It means a complete change of mind and life toward God. It means voluntarily relinquishing the throne (control) of our life to Christ—making Christ Lord. If you are willing to turn to God, then God will restore you to childhood purity. Jesus described this experience as the "new birth." Your part is to confess your sin, and God’s part is to forgive and restore.
By God’s grace, you receive His free gift of eternal life, through faith which is also from God. It is not something we EARN by doing good works. The Bible says, "By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8, NASB). The word grace refers to the kindness and love of God in His willingness to forgive us and save us. Faith means to trust God to a point of commitment to Him. You cannot just believe in God—even Satan believes God exists. You must be willing to give your life to God’s teachings and God’s will. Salvation is God’s gift to you. Will you receive it?
Confess Jesus and believe that God raised Him from the dead. The Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved" (Romans 10:9, NASB). The word confess means to acknowledge to God that Jesus is Savior and Lord – to believe with all your heart that Jesus died on the cross for you and came out of the grave. Believe that He is alive and will change your life as you follow and obey His teachings.
Pray to the Lord and be saved! The Bible says, "Whoever will call upon the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13, NASB). Whoever means ANYONE can ask God for forgiveness of sin and turn from sin and follow Jesus. You cannot commit a sin too great for God to forgive.
If you want to receive Christ as Lord and Savior pray this prayer—or put it in your own words. It isn’t the words that save you, it is the attitude in your heart. "Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I know You died on the cross for me. I now turn from my sins and ask you to forgive me. I invite you into my heart and life. I trust You as Savior and will follow You as Lord. Thank You for saving me. Amen"
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