STEP 1 : Understand that God loves you and wants to have an intimate relationship with you.
Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
God is not an angry old man in the sky trying to zap you for being bad. He is your loving Creator who is trying desperately to reconcile you to Himself despite your sin. He sent His only Son to bridge the gap between you and Him.
One of my favorite T-Shirts shows a picture of some large nails and an old fashioned hammer next to an ancient scroll letter. The letter simply reads, “Dear Son, I want you to build a bridge. Here are all the tools you will need. See you soon, Love Dad.”
STEP 2: You must believe that Jesus rose from the dead.
The Bible tells us, “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.” (Romans 6:8-9)
Only Jesus Christ can offer you eternal life. For two reasons:
One: Only Jesus lived a sinless life and qualified to be the pure sacrifice for our sins. Other spiritual leaders may have been good men and great teachers but they also sinned.
Secondly: Only Jesus was raised from the dead. We’re not talking about an out-of-body experience here. Jesus didn’t faint on the operating table and see a light at the end of a tunnel or envision angels then come out of a coma. Jesus was completely dead for a solid three days. Christ conquered death. He is as much alive today as He ever was. But now we experience Him through the presence of His Holy Spirit. Other religious leaders of old have gone on in death and are just as much dead today as when they were buried.
STEP 3: You have to recognize that because of your sin, you have become separated from God.
The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It also says,”For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Everyone has sinned. And we’re all destined to die eternally because of our sin. However, Jesus is the only One who never sinned. So He didn’t have to die for His sins because He never committed any. That meant He could choose to die as a sacrifice for us so we can live forever.
STEP 4: You must realize that you can never be “good enough” to earn eternal life.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
It doesn’t matter how good you are or how much community service you do. You cannot wash away your sins by trying to outweigh them with good deeds. If you helped little old ladies across the street every day of your life you would still have to pay for your sins. And that price is your eternal death.
“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;” (Isaiah 64:6)
STEP 5: You must ask God to forgive you of your sins and turn away from your sinful lifestyle.
This is called “repentance” in the Bible. It means to turn in the opposite direction. You cannot hold onto God with one hand and hold on to the pleasure of sin with the other. You have to choose.
“And they (the apostles) went out and preached that men should repent.” (Mark 6:12)
“And Jesus said to them,”Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)
“The Lord is “patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
There is no such thing as forgiveness without repentance. I would be lying to you if I said you could just recite a little prayer and presto you’ve got God in a headlock for eternal life because you said the magic words. It doesn’t work that way. God isn’t a genie in a bottle trapped into doing your bidding. You have to really desire to give your life to Him. Remember, He knows what you are really thinking. You have to truly turn away from your sinful lifestyle to be forgiven.
Some people think that if they just “love God” they will be saved. Yet they define love in a shallow way that has no substance. They think it doesn’t matter if they deliberately continue in a sinful lifestyle. Jesus said, “If you love Me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:21) Jesus isn’t fooled by a sticky sweet emotion that isn’t genuine. He wants real commitment. That seems only fair since it took real commitment for Him to die on the cross for us.
If a person continues to deliberately live in sin then their repentance wasn’t genuine. Being truly sorry for your sins produces a repentant heart.
“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:9)
STEP 6: You have to ask Jesus into your heart.
The Bible instruct us, ”that 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; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
No one is automatically saved. You may have been prayed for as a baby. Your parents might have been very active in church. Perhaps you grew up going to Sunday School. While those things are good, none of them mean that you have actively received the gift of eternal life that God is offering you.
The Bible says, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)
You have to take full responsibility and receive Christ for yourself.
STEP 7: Embrace your new identity as a child of God and a follower (disciple) of Christ.
Once Jesus has washed away your sins they no longer exist. Sure, there might be consequences of your past actions that you cannot escape in this life but Jesus doesn’t hold them against you in eternity.
“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
One of the things the Devil (yes, there is a devil) tries to do is to keep you feeling guilty and condemned over your past so that he can cripple your future. He wants to steal the joy of Christ away from you. When these feelings come over you, you must remember God’s promises in the Bible.
“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
Don’t live in guilt. Live in the freedom that only Jesus Christ can provide. The Bible says, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
Don’t wait until you feel “good enough” to accept Christ or until you “clean up your act.’ You can’t wash away your own sin. It would be like washing a pig in a mud puddle. You could work hard but never get the job done. God accepts you just as you are right now, imperfections and all. The Bible says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Some will try to convince you that “all spiritual roads lead to God” and other such philosophies. They will tell you that as long as you are sincere in your belief that you will ultimately find eternal life. However, the Bible is very clear that only Jesus Christ can save you.
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Even Jesus Christ taught that there was no other way to get to God when He told His apostles in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” This proclamation from Jesus is very clear. He actually clarified that other religions do not lead to God no matter how sincere they may be. That is why it is so urgent for we as Christians to help others understand God’s plan of salvation through the cross of Christ.
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:8-11)
You see, everyone will one day bow before Jesus Christ and proclaim that He is Lord. The question is will they do it before they die, or after? The answer to that questions decides their place in eternity.
Don’t wait any longer. A decision to wait to receive Christ’s gift of eternal life is the same thing as saying, “No” to Him. Examining the evidence is one thing, but procrastination is another.
There is no time like the present. None of us are promised tomorrow. If your house was on fire, how long would you procrastinate before running for your life? The Bible teaches us to have a sense of urgency about accepting Christ. “Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
The fact is that Jesus is very patient toward you. And He is also a gentleman. He will not push Himself on you. He politely speaks to you in a quiet voice to open your heart to Him.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:20-21)
He will wait as long as you want Him to, but one day it will be too late.
“And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” (Hebrews 9:27)
Prayer For Salvation
I hope you respond to the Lord’s invitation to receive Him as your Lord and Savior. If you do, you will be the guest of honor at a party thrown in heaven. “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10)
Just believe in your heart that Jesus is God’s Son and died for you. Then pray this prayer, “Dear God, I believe in you and in Your Son, Jesus Christ. I believe He died for me and rose from the dead. I know that I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. Please forgive me for my sins and come into my heart and be my Savior. I give my life to you now. I want to live with you forever in your Kingdom. Help me to live for you and forgive me when I fail. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer sincerely then the angels in heaven are whooping and hollering with joy. Welcome to the family of God.
The Next Step
Now you need to begin your walk with Christ. The Devil is going to want to steal away your new faith. You need encouragement and fellowship as well as more knowledge of God’s word and will for your life.
God created you for the purpose of being a part of His family (called the church). Here you will not only learn more about your new faith but you will be able to discover God’s will for your life and how you can find purpose and meaning.
Please contact us today to find out how you can take the next steps that are so important in your spiritual journey. My email is email@example.com and our church phone number is (985) 781-3172. Congratulations!
Talk to you soon,
Pastor John Raymond