An Invitation to Believe
DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP
WITH JESUS CHRIST?
A personal relationship with Jesus is the most important decision you could ever make in your life. It is unlike any other relationship. For if you go into eternity without this relationship, you will spend eternity apart from Him.
So, if you will allow me, I'd like to tell you how you can come into a personal relationship with Jesus.
First you need to recognize that . . .
God Desires a Personal Relationship With You
God created you (Genesis 1:27). And He didn't just create you to exist all alone and apart from Him. He created you with a view to coming into a personal relationship with Him.
Remember, God had face-to-face encounters and fellowship with Adam and Eve, the first couple (Genesis 3:8-19). And just as God fellowshipped with them, so He desires to fellowship with you (1 John 1:5-7). God loves you (John 3:16). Never forget that fact.
The problem is . . .
Humanity Has a Sin Problem that Blocks a Relationship With God
When Adam and Eve chose to sin against God in the Garden of Eden, they catapulted the entire human race - to which they gave birth - into sin. Since the time of Adam and Eve, every human being has been born into the world with a propensity to sin.
The apostle Paul affirmed that "sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin" (Romans 5:12). Indeed, we are told that "through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners" (Romans 5:19). Ultimately this means that "death came through a man...in Adam all die" (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
Jesus often spoke of sin in metaphors that illustrate the havoc sin can wreak in one's life. He described sin as blindness (Matthew 23:16-26), sickness (Matthew 9:12), being enslaved in bondage (John 8:34), and living in darkness (John 8:12; 12:35-46). Moreover, Jesus taught that this is a universal condition and that all people are guilty before God (Luke 7:37-48).
Jesus also taught that both inner thoughts and external acts render a person guilty (Matthew 5:28). He taught that from within the human heart come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly (Mark 7:21-23). Moreover, He affirmed that God is fully aware of every person's sins, both external acts and inner thoughts; nothing escapes His notice (Matthew 22:18; Luke 6:8; John 4:17-19).
Of course, some people are more morally upright than others. But we all fall short of God's infinite standards (Romans 3:23). In a contest to see who can throw a rock to the moon, I am sure a muscular athlete would be able to throw the rock much further than I could. But all human beings ultimately fall short of the task. Similarly, all of us fall short of measuring up to God's perfect holy standards.
Though the sin problem is a serious one, God has graciously provided a solution:
Jesus Died for Our Sins and Made Salvation Possible
God's absolute holiness demands that sin be punished. The good news of the gospel, however, is that Jesus has taken this punishment on Himself. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to bear the penalty for our sins!
Jesus affirmed that it was for the very purpose of dying that He came into the world (John 12:27). Moreover, He perceived His death as being a sacrificial offering for the sins of humanity (Matthew 26:26-28). Jesus took His sacrificial mission with utmost seriousness, for He knew that without Him, humanity would certainly perish (Matthew 16:25; John 3:16) and spend eternity apart from God in a place of great suffering (Matthew 10:28; 11:23; 23:33; 25:41; Luke 16:22-28).
Jesus therefore described His mission this way: "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). "The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost" (Luke 19:10); for "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3:17).
But the benefits of Christ's death on the cross are not automatically applied to your life. God requires you to ...
Believe in Jesus Christ
By His sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus took the sins of the entire world on Himself and made salvation available for everyone (1 John 2:2). But this salvation is not automatic. Only those who personally choose to believe in Christ are saved. This is the consistent testimony of the biblical Jesus. Listen to His words:
* "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" (John 3:16).
* "For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:40).
* "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies" (John 11:25).
Choosing not to believe in Jesus, by contrast, leads to eternal condemnation: "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son" (John 3:18).
Free At Last: Forgiven of All Sins
When you believe in Christ the Savior, a wonderful thing happens. God forgives you of all your sins. All of them! He puts them completely out of His sight. Ponder for a few minutes the following verses, which speak of the forgiveness of those who have believed in Christ:
* "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace" (Ephesians 1:7).
* God said, "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more" (Hebrews 10:17-18).
* "Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit" (Psalm 32:1-2).
* "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:11-12).
Such forgiveness is wonderful indeed, for none of us can possibly work our way into heaven, or be good enough to warrant God's good favor. Because of what Jesus has done for us, we freely receive the gift of salvation. It is a gift provided solely through the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). And all of it is ours by simply believing in Jesus.
Don't Put If Off
It is a highly dangerous thing to put off turning to Christ for salvation, for you do not know the day of your death. What if it happens this evening? "Death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart" (Ecclesiastes 7:2).
If God is speaking to your heart now, then now is your door of opportunity to believe. "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near" (Isaiah 55:6).
Follow Me In Prayer
Would you like to place your faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, thereby guaranteeing your eternal place in heaven along His side? If so, pray the following prayer with me.
Keep in mind that it's not the prayer itself that saves you. It is the faith in your heart that saves you. So, let the following prayer be a simple expression of the faith that is in your heart:
I want to have a relationship with you.
I know I can't save myself, because I know I'm a sinner.
Thank you for dying on the cross on my behalf.
I believe you died for me,
and I accept your free gift of salvation.
Thank you Jesus.
Welcome to God's Forever Family
On the authority of the Word of God, I can now assure you that you are a part of God's forever family. If you prayed the above prayer with a heart of faith, you will spend all eternity by the side of Jesus in heaven. Welcome to God's family!
If you've just become a Christian, We want to help you. We'd like to send you some free material that will help you grow in your faith. Also may we encourage you to fellowship with other christians. Pray that the Lord will lead and guide you to a bible believing church.
If you're already a Christian, we'd like to hear from you too. Email us and together we can rejoice in knowing the King of King and Lord of Lords.