How to Become a Christian
You're not here by accident. God loves you. He wants you to have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus, His Son. There is just one thing that separates you from God. That one thing is sin.
The Bible describes sin in many ways. Most simply, sin is our failure to measure up to God’s holiness and His righteous standards. We sin by things we do, choices we make, attitudes we show, and thoughts we entertain. We also sin when we fail to do right things. The Bible affirms our own experience – “there is none righteous, not even one.” No matter how good we try to be, none of us does right things all the time.
People tend to divide themselves into groups - good people and bad people. But God says that every person who has ever lived is a sinner, and that any sin separates us from God. No matter how we might classify ourselves, this includes you and me. We are all sinners.
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Many people are confused about the way to God. Some think they will be punished or rewarded according to how good they are. Some think they should make things right in their lives before they try to come to God. Others find it hard to understand how Jesus could love them when other people don't seem to. But I have great news for you! God DOES love you! More than you can ever imagine! And there's nothing you can do to make Him stop! Yes, our sins demand punishment - the punishment of death and separation from God. But, because of His great love, God sent His only Son Jesus to die for our sins.
God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
For you to come to God you have to get rid of your sin problem. But, in our own strength, not one of us can do this! You can't make yourself right with God by being a better person. Only God can rescue us from our sins. He is willing to do this not because of anything you can offer Him, but JUST BECAUSE HE LOVES YOU!
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. (Titus 3:5)
It's God's grace that allows you to come to Him - not your efforts to "clean up your life" or work your way to Heaven. You can't earn it. It's a free gift.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
For you to come to God, the penalty for your sin must be paid. God's gift to you is His son, Jesus, who paid the debt for you when He died on the Cross.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
Jesus paid the price for your sin and mine by giving His life on a cross at a place called Calvary, just outside of the city walls of Jerusalem in ancient Israel. God brought Jesus back from the dead. He provided the way for you to have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus. When we realize how deeply our sin grieves the heart of God and how desperately we need a Savior, we are ready to receive God's offer of salvation. To admit we are sinners means turning away from our sin and selfishness and turning to follow Jesus. The Bible word for this is "repentance" - to change our thinking about how grievous sin is, so our thinking is in line with God's.
All that's left for you to do is to accept the gift that Jesus is holding out for you right now.
If you confess 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 confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
God says that if you believe in His son, Jesus, you can live forever with Him in glory.
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)
Are you ready to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering you right now? Let's review what this commitment involves:
I acknowledge I am a sinner in need of a Savior - this is to repent or turn away from sin
I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead - this is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for my sins
I confess Jesus as my Lord and my God - this is to surrender control of my life to Jesus
I receive Jesus as my Savior forever - this is to accept that God has done for me and in me what He promised
Take a few moments and pray to your Heavenly Father, repenting of your sin and asking for His forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Confess your faith in Jesus and what He has accomplished on the cross for you. Receive Him as your Savior and ask Him to cleanse you from all your sin. Jesus promised that you will be "born again" - beginning a new life in Christ that will last forever! Then call Heartland Church and visit with one of our pastors. We'll celebrate your decision and explain how you can grow in your faith and deepen your relationship with Christ.
(Adapted from www.sbc.net/knowjesus/theplan.asp)