How does One Become a Christian?

How does One Become a Christian?

Maybe you’ve gone to church when you were younger, but never took that step to become a Christian. Maybe you’ve been living your life your own way and not taking into account what it takes to live life differently, one with meaning and purpose. Man looks on the outside but it’s really our hearts and our character that God is concerned about.

Becoming a Christian requires a decision. In the Bible we read:

“if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that He was raised from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:8-11

Jesus waits patiently for our decision and our heart to be open to receive Him and His love. God responds to genuine humility and sincere acknowledgment that one is a sinner in need of a Savior and seeks God’s forgiveness and acceptance. God is loving and merciful and does not want anyone to be lost.

If becoming a Christian is the desire of your heart, I encourage you to talk to God and voice this simple prayer. You can do this aloud or silently because God hears your heart speaking as well as your mouth. In your own words, admit you are sinner in need of a Savior. Then ask God to help you turn away from your old way of living and thinking. (This is called repentence.) Invite God into your life and promise to follow Him for the rest of your days.

When you pray this sincerely, God, in the form of the Holy Spirit will enter your your mind and heart bringing peace, forgiveness of your sins, and assurance of eternal life with God after you physically die.
When you seek God’s forgiveness for your sin and acknowledge Jesus as your savior, you become a child of God. In effect, you become ‘born again’, a new creation in Christ and enter into a personal relationship with Him. The old life will have passed away and a new life will begin. Will everything in this life suddenly become perfect? No. But how you see and react to your circumstances and the people around you will change for the better.

Giving your life to Jesus is the most important decision you can ever make. Eternity hangs in the balance; heaven or hell. Today is the day of decision.

 

Was Jesus’ Resurrection real? Is He alive today?

Was Jesus’ Resurrection real? Is He alive today?

Few events in antiquity are as well documented as the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Anointed One. All of Christianity hinges on the answer to this question. If there was no resurrection, there would be no Christianity.

Consider this: there were over 500 witnesses to Jesus’ return to life after being crucified dead and buried. The Romans made no mistakes when they killed someone. They were expert at the art of death. Yet, three days later, Jesus appeared to his disciples, to several women, to two men walking on the road to Emmaus, to a doubting Thomas and two others. Jesus was definitely dead and he was definitely resurrected. But unlike others who were raised from the dead only to die again at a future date, Jesus was very much alive when he departed this earth in front of witnesses. He was and is alive today, but not in the human form in which he lived 2,000 years ago.

Today, Jesus reigns with His father, God, in heaven and is preparing a place for every believer to join Him there. But one doesn’t have to wait for the end of life on earth to encounter Jesus, because when he departed he promised to send his Spirit to serve as advocate, counselor, and comforter to those who believe in the resurrected Jesus and sincerely ask him to be his or her savior.

Jesus, who has the power and authority to hold together every atom in the universe, is the same Jesus who died for the sins of mankind and was resurrected to declare his power to triumph over death. One day Jesus will return to earth just like he left it to rule and reign as King of kings. Are you ready to meet him in this world or the next? If you would like to learn more, please visit our Next Steps page.

Does man have a Noble purpose or do we just exist? Part 2

Does man have a Noble purpose or do we just exist? Part 2

Last week we took an overview approach to answer this question focusing on God’s love. This week we have taken an in-depth search of Scriptures to see what else we can discover about whether or not mankind has a noble purpose ordained by its creator, God.

First, what is man that God is mindful of him? (Psalm 8:4). Well, God created man, a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5), with a purpose to rule over the planet Earth (Genesis 1:28). This purpose was in direct conflict with the former most powerful ruler of Earth, Satan.  Satan attacks man even to this day to remove man as ruler and for Satan to try to gain back his rule over Earth and to destroy Israel.

But, Jesus the Lord God takes on flesh of a man (Hebrews 2:9), coming to Earth as the “son of man.” This son of man defeats Satan at the cross, and is crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9; Psalm 8:5). Jesus raises man to a highly elevated position as a son of God and brother of Jesus, through placement in Christ (Ephesians 2:6) and adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5), for those who receive him (John 1:12). Man is thus raised to the highest place of significance far above that of the place of Satan.

Such a work of God brings glory to God revealing his wonderful grace and mercy. Further, after having raised man to a high position in Christ, God then uses man to join with Him in order to carry out God’s will on Earth.

Man’s purpose is thus: To be an instrument used by God in the face of a powerful enemy, wherein God rules planet Earth through man, to accomplish God’s purposes, and so bring glory to God (1Peter 4:11; Ephesians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 10:31). Therefore, we can conclude positively from the Scriptures that man has a noble purpose. A purpose that is good and honorable. A purpose that can be admired due to its impressive value in and through the work and activity of God.

If you would like to learn more about how you can become intimately connected to God and truly understand his purpose for you, please go to our Next Steps page.

(Note: The reference to man refers to mankind and includes both men and women, sons and daughters).

How can I leave a Legacy as a Christian?

How can I leave a Legacy as a Christian?

Before we present the answer to this question, allow us to pose another for you to ponder. It may sound a little strange, but think about it for just a moment: what do you want people to say about you at your funeral? Do you want people to say that you were funny, or that you were financially successful? Do you want people to think you were generous or friendly, or a hard worker? Is that enough for you or do you want more? A legacy is about how we are remembered when we are gone. We all leave a legacy. It’s simply a question of what it will be. In fact, you are building your legacy right now. When we die, our legacy lives on. A legacy may even last forever. The Bible says three things in life last forever: God (Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalm 100:5) The Word of God (Isaiah 40:8, Psalm 119:89) The souls of people (Daniel 12:2, John 3:16, Hebrews 9:27).

If you want to leave a legacy as a Christian, you must build your life around these three eternal things. As a Christian you leave a legacy by investing your time, talent and treasure in God and in the things of God. You get to know him, love him, and serve him. You worship him regularly, and learn his ways. You do things that will give him glory. You give financially to his kingdom through churches, ministries and missionaries who are spreading his word. You listen to his Spirit as He guides and directs you throughout your life. As a Christian, you leave a legacy by knowing the Bible and speaking it to everyone all around you with your life, your words and your actions. You teach God’s word to your kids, you share with your neighbor. God’s word is your authority and source of hope in a lost and broken world. You study God’s word to allow it to inform your life. As you do this, your character changes and you become more like Jesus.

As a Christian, you leave a legacy by investing in other people. People live forever, either with or without God. You share with others how they can know Jesus to ensure they will spend eternity with him. You disciple and mentor people, you love and serve and guide them. People and relationships are the most important thing to God. Jesus loved people and taught them, fed them, healed them and ultimately gave his life for that. At your funeral, what if instead of people saying that you were funny, they said, “here was a man who changed the world because he invested in eternity,” or “here is a woman who invested in God, the word of God, and other people. She is someone who left a great legacy.”

If you want to leave a legacy as a Christian, you must situate your life around these three eternal things. As a Christian you leave a legacy by investing your time, talent and treasure in God and in the things of God. You get to know him, love him, and serve him. You worship him regularly, and learn his ways. You do things that will give him glory. You give financially to his kingdom through churches, ministries and missionaries who are spreading his word. You listen to his Spirit as He guides and directs you throughout your life. As a Christian, you leave a legacy by knowing the Bible and speaking it to everyone all around you with your life, your words and your actions. You teach God’s word to your kids, you share with your neighbor. God’s word is your authority and source of hope in a lost and broken world. You study God’s word to allow it to inform your life. As you do this, your character changes and you become more like Jesus.

As a Christian, you leave a legacy by investing in other people. People live forever, either with or without God. You share with others how they can know Jesus to ensure they will spend eternity with him. You disciple and mentor people, you love and serve and guide them. People and relationships are the most important thing to God. Jesus loved people and taught them, fed them, healed them and ultimately gave his life for that. At your funeral, what if instead of people saying that you were funny, they said, “here was a man who changed the world because he invested in eternity,” or “here is a woman who invested in God, the word of God, and other people. She is someone who left a great legacy.”

Will I recognize my parents in heaven?

Will I recognize my parents in heaven?

Many Bible scholars agree that Christians will recognize Christians who have gone to heaven before them. That assurance is based on the example of Jesus who, after his resurrection appeared in his glorified body yet was still known to his followers. In Matthew 17:1-3 we have the record of Jesus meeting Moses and Elijah while Peter, James and John watched and they recognized them. These examples give us great hope that we will definitely know those we do on Earth who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That is one reason why it is so important for us who believe to tell our loved ones and friends about Christ. 

What we will look like in heaven is somewhat a mystery. We are promised that we will have resurrected and glorified bodies like Jesus. But Jesus was killed in the prime of his life. He did not reach old age on earth as will many of us. So we don’t know what physical characteristics we will have in heaven. Will everyone be in the prime of life even though they died in old age? The Bible does not reveal this answer. However, in the book, Heaven is Real, a young boy’s near death experience suggests this as a possibility. And what about little children? Will they be children or have matured into young adults? Again, it is a question to which we will discover the answer once we are there. Certainly those who died as infants will be in heaven. While all who are born inherit a sin nature, infants, little ones, while in their age of innocence will be ushered into the throne of God. 

We will probably all be surprised at who we meet in heaven and who is not there. It is likely that Adam and Eve will be there. Others we might expect to meet would include Noah, Jonah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, Moses, Joshua, King David, Joseph and Mary, John the Baptist, the Apostles, the Prophets, and more recent persons like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John Adams, Patrick Henry, John Jay, Andrew Jackson, Fanny Crosby, Charles Wesley, John Knox, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, Chuck Colson and millions upon millions of others who have put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And finally and most importantly each believer will have direct face-to-face fellowship with God and with Jesus Christ. 

If you are interested in reading more about heaven, we suggest The Heaven Answer Book, by Billy Graham and Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven. These books by notable Christian authors offer Biblically-based insights into heaven that are realistic and dependable.

Image by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay

What does it mean that the wages of sin is death?

What does it mean that the wages of sin is death?

​First, we need to remember that God is holy and will not have sin in any form in His presence. Basically, sin is disobedience. Breaking God’s commandments and laws is sin. Jesus even went further; he said that hateful thoughts and the like are also sin.  So, by these standards, all have sinned and fallen way short of God’s standard of perfection.
Consequently, with sin came death to mankind. This is the ‘price to be paid.’ Death is universal. All men and women die. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment.”

There is no purgatory and there is no reincarnation.
It is important to remember that death separates but does not annihilate. In other words, when a person’s body dies, it is not over. In fact, there are three deaths as a result of man’s sin. This is important to understand.

  1. Spiritual Death: 
    The original sin happened in the garden of Eden. It separated man, Adam, from God spiritually; this is spiritual death.
  2. Physical Death:  
    Adam’s sin brought about natural death which separates the spirit and the soul from the body.
  3. Eternal Death:  For the unsaved there is final death which separates man from the mercy of God forever.

This eternal separation means that man will continue to exist but without hope and without ever experiencing God’s love again. He or she is then condemned for all eternity; condemned to a place where Jesus said, “there is utter darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth; a place from which there is no hope of escape.

It is clear from God’s word that death is certain and without faith in Christ it is the worst possible outcome a human being could ever experience.

Finally, one last thought on death to keep in mind. God sends no one to Hell. Actually, people choose to go there when they reject God’s loving offer of grace and salvation in Christ. The good news is that in Christ we have passed from death to life. (John 5:24)