There is only one way to become a Christian. We must sincerely invite Jesus into our lives to be Lord and Savior, and allow ourselves to be born anew. When we do, we find new life in Jesus Christ and become a child of God. Through this transformation we find peace, joy and courage to live a victorious Christian life. The choice is ours. God has given every person the free will to accept or reject his offer of grace. It is not something we earn but is freely given. Jesus already paid for it through his death on the cross.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)
All humans sin. God knew when He created us that we would not be perfect. Even with our best intentions we still sin. Only God has the authority to forgive sins. God loves us so much that he sent Jesus, his only son, to walk the earth and make the perfect sacrifice so that we can be forgiven of our sins. Jesus had the power to overcome death and rise from the grave. That same power can defeat the sins that keep defeating us. By giving our lives to Jesus, and granting him all power over us, we are given victory over our sin.
If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, 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. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.
1 John 1:8-10 (MSG)
There is a body of scholarly evidence that proves that a man named Jesus walked the earth, had many followers and was crucified. Christians believe that after being pronounced dead and buried for three days, Jesus arose from the dead. There is powerful, scholarly evidence that he was witnessed by hundreds, including his disciples, over a forty-day period after His resurrection before ascending to heaven. We humans are given the free will to make decisions. All belief systems require followers to possess a certain amount of faith. The choice is yours. You can either choose to follow Jesus or not. You decide.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3:16-17 (NIV)
Life is about choices. We can choose to continue with business as usual, enjoying success based on the standards defined by our culture. Or we can take an honest look at the Jesus of the Bible and dare to ask what the consequences might be if we really believed and obeyed him. Each and every day, for over two thousand years, people around the world choose to follow this itinerant rabbi who gave his life and was raised from the dead so that all who follow him can enjoy God’s Kingdom and everlasting life.
“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field.”
Matthew 13:44 (MSG)
It’s a good question. God could eliminate Satan anytime and plans to do so on his timetable. Until then, we will all struggle and endure Satan’s schemes. As humans, it is our desire to have the one who leads us to temptation removed so we no longer sin or are tempted. However, Satan is not the cause of all evil, pain and suffering. The absence of God’s presence in the hearts of humans allows evil to manifest itself. The good news is that faith in Jesus Christ provides us with the promise of salvation and the strength to resist Satan.
I saw an Angel descending out of Heaven. He carried the key to the Abyss and a chain—a huge chain. He grabbed the Dragon, that old Snake—the very Devil, Satan himself!— chained him up for a thousand years, dumped him into the Abyss, slammed it shut and sealed it tight. No more trouble out of him, deceiving the nations—until the thousand years are up. After that he has to be let loose briefly.
Revelation 20:1-3 (MSG)
The idea of a loving God choosing to torment people in eternal hell is not only difficult to accept, it is simply not true according to God’s Word. The Bible teaches that God is love and yet it warns that those who choose to reject God’s offer of salvation, face everlasting punishment. Because humans are given free will, people choose for themselves whether they will accept Jesus or not and therefore they choose where they will spend eternity. Make no mistake, God wants every person to love him. When we choose to accept Christ as Savior, our lives are transformed, we are accepted into the Kingdom of God and the promise of eternity in heaven becomes ours. God doesn’t “choose” to send anyone to hell. That choice belongs to each and every individual.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
It would be nice to think that God looks at our lives and is keeping score between our good acts and those that are not.
Do more good than bad and you get an automatic “get into heaven free” card. But in the Christian faith your assurance of eternal life is much easier. According to the Bible, no matter how good or bad you are or have been, getting into heaven only requires an acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is as simple as that!
As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, Not even one.”
Romans 3:10-12 (NIV)
In today’s pluralistic culture it is popular to say every religion provides a pathway to the Divine. The insistence that a single tradition is “right” seems reactionary, regressive and overly righteous. In the Christian faith, the belief in Jesus being “the way, the truth, and the life in which no one comes to the Father but through me” is a distinctive promise that provides hope beyond what other religions profess. When we recognize that as the truth, all other pathways are dead ends.
Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, and the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”
John 14:6 (MSG)
If the vastness of the universe, the beauty of the world and the innocent touch of a baby are creations, there must be a creator. The evidence of God is present everywhere around us. How could anything so perfectly engineered be mere happenstance? When we accept that the intricacy of the universe in which we live could not have occurred on its own, we open ourselves to the possibility of faith in God. All other things begin to make sense. Think about it; can billions of people over the history of the world all be wrong?
God, it seems you’ve been our home forever; long before the mountains were born, Long before you brought earth itself to birth, from “once upon a time” to “kingdom come”—you are God.
Psalm 90:1-2 (MSG)
Interestingly, the greatest mystery of life is about what happens when we die. Some believe that after we die, there is nothing. Yet for for those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, death is the door that leads from one life to a far greater life. Christian’s believe that when our physical body dies our soul lives on. This is only possible through the belief in the resurrection of God’s son, Jesus Christ, that He assures us we will have everlasting life.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
Humans by nature are not perfect. In the beginning, God gave men and women the freedom to make choices and they chose to disobey God. Thus, sin entered the world and as a result of sin, there is hurtfulness. The good news is that when we draw on a source beyond ourselves for strength and courage, then we are not alone in our pain. A loving God stands ready to give us comfort when we have the faith to ask.
God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.
Colossians 1:13-14 (MSG)
God made people to love him with all their hearts, minds and souls and to love each other in the same way as we love ourselves. We were created foremost to bring glory to God, to be in right relationship to him and to worship him. We are here on earth to grow physically, mentally and spiritually. For those who are Christians, life means honoring God with your life, your work and through the enjoyment of God’s presence. God’s presence comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Life’s greatest adventure, beyond what you could ever dream or imagine, is to discover God’s exciting plan for your life and to pursue it with a passion.
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love. And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously.
Micah 6:8 (MSG)