Are You Sure? How To Be Sure You Have Peace With God
Rudyard Kipling, the English poet, once gave a public speech on some of the peculiarities of the English language. He illustrated his point by saying that there are two words in English, which begin with the letters 'su', but are pronounced shu. A very well-to-do lady was present at his talk and later wrote to the poet, intending to correct him. In her letter she stated, "You are wrong. There is only one word of that kind - sugar". Kipling wrote a brief reply, which simply said, "Dear Madam, are you quite sure?"
There are some areas in life where we can afford to be mistaken. No one is right about everything. Human error is an inevitability of life. There is one issue, however, about which we must be absolutely certain. When it comes to where we stand before God and where we will spend eternity we need to be on rock solid ground.
Are you sure you are at peace with God? When you die, do you know where you will be for eternity? Thankfully, God has not left us in the dark about this crucial matter. He has given us His Word, the Bible, to provide us with answers to the many problems of life. The main message of the Bible addresses this question: "How can I know I have peace with God?"
Seedtime and Harvest
Have you ever wondered why you were born? Do you ever ask yourself questions like, "What is the purpose of life?" "Where did I come from?" "Why am I here?" "What happens when I die?"
The Bible tells us clearly that we are to look upon our lives on earth as a time of sowing. What we sow in this life we will reap in eternity.
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap" (Galatians 6:7)
This life is seedtime, the next life is harvest-time. It is during our life on earth that we determine where we will spend eternity. Countless millions have found the way to peace with God and eternal life in the message of the Bible. It is not an accident that you are reading this little book at this time. My prayer is that by the time you have finished reading the pages of this book you will have made your peace with God and that, even if you should die before the end of this very day, you will know you have eternal life. The major purpose of your life and mine is that we might come to know God in our lifetime, and then go to be with Him for all eternity.
Some dismiss their responsibility of being sure of their eternal destiny by claiming to be an atheist. An atheist, supposedly, is a person who doesn't believe in God. Actually, the word atheist, which comes from the Greek language, does not mean one who does not believe in God but one who is without God. To be an atheist is to live a God-less life, i.e. to live as if there is no God. In that sense there are many that are atheists. There are many that are without God. They desperately need to come to God while they have the opportunity to do so in this life.
The Bible leaves us in no doubt about God's estimate of an atheist:
"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1)
This verse tells us two important things about an atheist. First, God calls an atheist a fool. Now remember that God never makes charges lightly. Neither does He call a person a fool without good reason. A fool speaks beyond his knowledge. To say there is no God is a dogmatic assertion. How can anyone say for sure there is no God? Has he been to every place in the entire universe? Maybe God is some place where he has not been. Furthermore, the Bible says that God is Spirit, i.e. invisible, immaterial.
The second thing this verse informs us of is that atheism is not primarily a condition of the mind, but of the heart. "The fool has said in his heart there is no God". Atheism is an attempt to escape from God. It is deliberate blindness and suppression of man's most fundamental instinct - the knowledge of a Creator. In his heart man does not like the idea of a God to whom he must answer and so looks to his mind, his intellect, for support in his rejection of God. The sad fact of atheism is that haters of God become deniers of God.
If you say you are an atheist, you are making an absolute statement - there is no God. My question to you is "Are you sure?"
Unlike the atheist, the agnostic does not deny the existence of God. Instead, he believes it is impossible to know whether God exists or not. His existence, says the agnostic, is unprovable. Agnostics are "fence-sitters". They claim they neither believe nor disbelieve in God. They plead ignorance. In fact the Latin word which is equivalent to agnostic is ignoramus. So whilst the agnostic does not deny God's existence, he still lives without God.
There are two kinds of agnostics - honest and dishonest! Dishonest agnostics enjoy their doubts. Their ignorance about God is a willed ignorance, a convenient ignorance. It is something to hide behind and to keep them from God. A dishonest agnostic is not really seeking answers but excuses. For every answer you provide for a dishonest agnostic he will have at least one more question.
A dishonest agnostic is glad about his doubts, but an honest agnostic is different. He is pained by his doubts. He freely admits that he does not yet know whether there is a God, but he wants to know. An honest agnostic is a true seeker. He will seek until he finds. God will always reveal Himself to an honest agnostic. All those who truly seek God will find Him.
So, if you say you are an agnostic my question is "Are you an honest, or a dishonest, agnostic?" If you come to God with an honest heart, even with honest doubts, God will make Himself known to you.
Peace With God
The main priority of every human being is to find peace with God. Mankind is separated from God because of sin. Most people do not see themselves as sinners. According to popular opinion to sin is to commit such acts as murder, rape, armed-robbery, etc. The average person would be offended if they were to be told they have sinned. Yet this is God's record of us.
Imagine two men trying to escape from an erupting volcano. As the red-hot molten rock gushes down the side of the mountain heading towards the two men they make a desperate run for their lives. They eventually find themselves out of space to run any further. Their only option is to jump across a stream of hot, smoking lava measuring ten metres wide.
The older of the two men is the first to attempt jumping across. He falls hopelessly short of the other side of the stream and is burned alive in the bubbling mass. The younger man makes his attempt to leap to the other side of the boiling stream and, although he covers much more distance than the older man, he too falls to his death in the burning lava.
The Bible describes sin as a falling short of the standards of God. Some, like the older man, fall short of God's standard by far more than others. Yet, all have fallen short.
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”(Romans 3:23)
"Sin", said Augustine, "is believing the lie that you are self-created, self-dependent, and self-sustained". We have all chosen to walk in the darkness of our own ways and have turned our back upon God and His commandments. We have not given Him His rightful place as the Lord and Creator of our lives. There is hardly a day goes by that we even think about Him, let alone thank Him for His goodness and worship Him with all our hearts as He deserves. We stand convicted by our own conscience and condemned by God's Word.
"There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God” (Romans 3:10&11)
God loves us intensely. It was in love that He created us and made us the pinnacle of all His works of creation. He created us in His image and likeness, that we might have fellowship with Him. But our sins have separated us from Him. If God were to fellowship with us in our sins He would cease to be holy. Holiness is a divine attribute. If He is no longer holy, He is no longer God. As long as we remain in our sin we are cut off from God.
"Your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you" (Isaiah 59:2)
The Bible describes this condition of being separated from God by sin as spiritual death. This is a most serious thing. There is nothing more terrible than being cut off from God. If we remain in this state until we die then we will be eternally separated from God. Worse than the torments of burning lava we will experience the pangs of everlasting separation from God in hell.
It is for this reason that we must see that our priority in this life is to make our peace with God. As long as we are in our sin we are not at peace with God. In fact we are at enmity against Him.
The word gospel means "good news". The good news of the gospel is that it is God who has made a way for us to be at peace with Him. Someone once said:
He that falls into sin is a man.
He that grieves over sin is a saint.
He that boasts of sin is a devil.
He that forgives our sin is God.
How true are these words. To sin is human. All, without exception, have sinned.
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8)
All are in the same category with regard to our status before God - we are sinners. When it comes to what we do about our sin, though, the line diverges and goes in different directions. Some brazenly boast and brag of their sin. Others live in denial and try covering up their sin. When we confess our sin, however, we are candidates for God's forgiveness.
"He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13)
The question which many will ask is, "How can God Who is holy, forgive our sin and still be holy?" It is true that God cannot forgive our sin in a manner that is inconsistent with His righteousness. His forgiveness must be based upon His truth and justice. There is no way that God can forgive us if it means that His holiness is violated.
Yet God's love has found a way to pardon all those who confess their sin to Him - a way which upholds His righteousness.
There is a way to peace with God. But there is only one way. It is God's way. Some have mistakenly seen God as being at the top of a mountain with many different paths going up the mountain. The idea is that it doesn't matter which path you take as long as you reach the peak. This is totally wrong. This is man's way of thinking and reasoning, but it is contrary to what is clearly revealed in the Bible.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12)
Before we look at how we can know peace with God - His way -we are going to look at some of the ways man has tried to make peace with God.
Not By Deed, Creed Or Breed
We will look briefly at three common misconceptions concerning the way to peace with God.
Not By Deed
Many, whilst acknowledging their sin before God, think that He can be appeased by performing good deeds. They have the notion that good works somehow cancel out bad works. Some religions, for example, teach that at the end of our lives we will each have to walk a tight rope across a canyon and beneath us we will see the fires of hell. As we walk the tight rope our lives will be weighed in the balances of God's righteous justice. All the good deeds we have ever performed, they say, will be placed in the pan on one side of the divine scales. All our bad deeds will be placed in the other pan. If our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds we will make it safely across to the other side. If our bad deeds are more than our good deeds we will plunge to the fires beneath us.
This teaching betrays a total lack of understanding of the righteousness of God. Good deeds do not blot out sin before a righteous God. God is Holy and in accordance with His righteousness every sin must receive its just reward. To think that somehow our good deeds can compensate for our sin is as absurd as making scrambled eggs from two good eggs and one bad egg. Try eating them - you'll soon get the picture! The Bible makes it clear over and over again that our good deeds will never bring us back to God.
Because we have sinned against God anything we offer to Him, while in our sin, is as offensive as that recipe for scrambled eggs.
"We are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6)
It is most humbling for man to learn that he is not his own saviour, any more than he is his own creator. Contrary to humanism, New Age teaching and human potential philosophy man is incapable of saving himself by any efforts, works, performance or achievements of his own doing. They are all worthless before God. The Bible speaks of those who have found peace with God in this way:
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5)
This verse makes it clear that it is impossible to be saved by any works of righteousness. No one, until they are first reconciled to God, is capable of offering any works to Him, which are worthy of His acceptance. No one who is at peace with God ever saved himself or herself. They were saved by His mercy.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8&9)
The word 'grace' means that which is unmerited or undeserved. When God saves someone it is not because they deserve it but because of His mercy, His grace. We are left in no doubt that the way to peace with God is not by deed.
Not By Creed
Every church and religious group has its creed. A creed is a formal list of beliefs. There is nothing wrong with a body of people formulating a collection of those things that are commonly believed amongst its adherents. The problem exists, however, when the claim is made that peace with God is to be found through that creed and through that creed alone. Any group that tells you that you must belong to them and believe all the tenets of their creed before you can be saved is in error. God's way of salvation, as we shall see, is not by creed.
Not By Breed
Others feel that they are right with God because they are born in a so-called Christian country, or in a Christian family. They claim to have peace with God because of their breed.
Being born in a Christian country does not make anyone a Christian any more than being born in a stable makes a person a horse! You may have had the privilege of being born into a Christian family, but whilst God has many children He doesn't have any grandchildren. You need to know Him yourself. If your parents are Christians it is only because they have found peace with God. You too must get right with him. You can be saved today, but not by breed.
What is the way to be at peace with God? We have now come to the point where we must examine very carefully the way God has provided for us to be right with Himself.
There is a way for you to know peace with God today. It is a way which God Himself, in His love for you and I, has provided. That way is in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is called "The Way".
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6)
God is holy and cannot have contact with us while we remain in our sin. But He is also love. He loves us with an amazing love, more than we can ever know. So, on the one hand He cannot look upon us because He is holy. Yet on the other hand He yearns for us to be reconciled to Him. It was this love which won through and found a way for us to be restored to Him once again.
God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth as a man two thousand years ago. He was born as a baby in the land of Israel and grew up experiencing what it like living as a human being on planet earth. Though Jesus is God the Son and has a divine nature, He also received a human nature like us, at birth. He went through all the processes of human development that we go through. As a man he experienced the normal human emotions and experiences known to all. He was hungry, thirsty, weary, happy, sad, grieved, tempted, tested, etc. There was only one area where He differed from us - He never sinned.
The reason that God sent His Son into the world as a man is that He was to become the Saviour for mankind. He was to suffer the full penalty of man's sin. It was necessary therefore that, in order to suffer for the sin of mankind, He had to become a man.
In order to qualify as a sin-bearer He needed to live a life of total righteousness and obedience to God. He had to keep God's commandments entirely. Just one act of disobedience would have made Him unfit for His role as Saviour. Jesus lived a spotless life. Though He was tempted in every area that we experience temptation, He never succumbed. Throughout His thirty-three years on earth the Bible records that He knew no sin, He did no sin, and in Him there was no sin. He was the only perfect human being ever to have lived on earth.
Then, when it was God's time, Jesus suffered a cruel death at the hands of wicked men. He was crucified upon a cross where He died in our place, as our substitute. Crucifixion is a prolonged and tortuous death in which the victim is nailed to a wooden cross by his hands and the cross is dropped into a hole in the ground. As the crucified person hangs there every movement is painful. His lacerated veins and crushed tendons throb with unrelenting pain. His wounds are inflamed and gradually become gangrene. His arteries become swollen; he endures the pang of burning and raging thirst; and all the while he is fighting against suffocation as he has to pull himself up by the spikes in his hands to take every breath. All this Jesus endured - for you and I. Someone once said, "I asked Jesus how much He loved me. He stretched out His arms and said, 'This much' - then died".
It was for our sins that He hung there and died. All our unrighteous thoughts, words and deeds were laid upon Him as He became our sin-bearer.
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6)
A boy was travelling with his father in a car one day when a bee flew in through an open window. The boy happened to be highly allergic to bee stings and one sting could prove fatal. As the boy saw the bee he panicked and jumped around in the car trying to avoid getting stung. The father reached across and grabbed the bee in his hand. Then, as he opened his hand, the bee flew around again in a threatening manner. As the boy screamed out his father said, "Look, son". He opened his hand before his son and the boy saw that the bee had stung his father. "His stinger is gone", said the father. "He can't hurt you any more".
Jesus took the full sting of our sin on the cross. The wrath of God against our unrighteousness was totally discharged upon His Son.
"Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24)
This is God's way of salvation for you and I. As we receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour, by believing in His sacrificial death for us, we are forgiven all our sin and are at peace with God. Jesus will come to live in our hearts by His Spirit and we will know a relationship with God our heavenly Father.
All this is God's free gift to us. We cannot earn it, merit it or pay for it. It is offered to us freely.
The Only Way
Jesus is the way back to God. He is not a way. He is the way. There is no other way. If there was some other way for us to be saved and to be brought back to God He would never have allowed His Son to die that painful death upon the cross. We cannot be saved by our deeds, our creeds or our breed. There is no other way, but through Jesus.
"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)
Many years ago a man was walking through the grass with his daughter on a Canadian prairie. They soon discovered that a prairie fire was heading towards them and in a short time the fire would surround them. The father knew that there was only one way to safety. He started a fire right where they were standing, burning a large area around them. As the fire approached they stood on the patch of ground which had already been burned. The little girl was terrified as the fire came near. Her father comforted her with these words, "Don't be afraid. The flames cannot get to us. We are standing where the fire has already been". Sure enough, the wild prairie fire licked up the tall grass all around where the father and daughter stood, but it never came near them.
There is coming a day when every person who has ever lived must stand before God. Every thought, word and deed will come before God on that day. The fires of His judgment and wrath will burn against every sin of mankind. For those, however, who have received the salvation that God has provided in His Son Jesus Christ the flames cannot come where the fire has already been. He has already endured the judgment of God for our sin. Will you be standing on the grounds of His salvation in that day, or will you be hoping in some other means of salvation. There is only one way to be saved, that is God's way - through Jesus Christ.
The Great Exchange
Religion tells us that the way to be accepted by God is to change. God tells us that the way to acceptance with Him is not by change but by exchange.
When Jesus died upon the cross a great exchange took place. Our sin was imputed to Him and He suffered its penalty. In exchange we received His righteousness.
"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The Bible refers to this process of exchange as justification. Justification is more than pardon. It is a legal term. If a person stands before a judge convicted of a crime the judge might, on compassionate grounds, choose to pardon that person. Pardon acknowledges guilt, but extends mercy.
Justification, however, is different to this. When a person has been accused and the judge justifies him he is declaring that no grounds exist for a guilty verdict to be given. Justification declares that the accused has a righteousness that meets all the demands of the law. In fact, it would be unrighteous to punish one who has been justified.
We have noted in a previous chapter that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God's righteousness. How, then, can God justify us? How can He declare us to be righteous when He knows we have sinned against Him? The answer is because of the great exchange. Jesus not only took our sin, but also gave us His righteousness. When God looks upon those who have received the salvation which is in His Son He doesn't see their sin any more, but the righteousness of Christ Himself. On that basis we are justified.
"Justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24)
There is no part of the law of God that is unfulfilled in the lives of all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He has fulfilled all righteousness through His spotless life, atoning death and triumphant resurrection. God is perfectly satisfied with Christ. It is this perfect righteousness which is placed into the account of every one who has received Jesus Christ as Substitute and Saviour. God justifies them, and is just in doing so.
"...that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26)
When a person seeks to justify himself on the basis of his works, his motives or his character he stands condemned. When God justifies a person on the basis of the redemption of Christ that person is forever restored to full and everlasting favour with God.
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1)
Can there be anything more incredible than the great exchange? That God should put my sin onto His own Son to bear its full penalty and then take His own righteousness and cover me in it is a wonder beyond all wonders. Yet, a wonder that is just as extraordinary is this - that the great exchange should be rejected! What a remarkable thing that after God has offered to exchange our sin for His righteousness we should refuse the offer.
In 1829 a man by the name of George Wilson held up the United States Mail service, killing a man in the process. Wilson was caught and brought to trial. There was enough evidence to convict him of the crime and he was sentenced to death by hanging. Some of his friends, however, intervened before the President, Andrew Jackson, and Wilson was pardoned. To the absolute amazement of all George Wilson refused to accept the pardon!
The sheriff was in a dilemma. What should he do? Could he execute a pardoned man? Yet, the pardon the was not received by the convicted criminal. The sheriff appealed to President Jackson but even he did not know what to do. The case was handed over to the United States Supreme Court to decide. The Chief Justice ruled that a pardon is a legal piece of paper that was only validated by its acceptance. If it was not accepted then it was no longer a pardon. By its very nature a pardon comes into force the moment it is received. George Wilson was executed by hanging while his pardon lay on the desk of the sheriff.
I'm not sure why George Wilson made a decision to reject his pardon. Maybe it was his pride. Whatever the reason, many would call him a fool. He could have walked away a free man, but his stubbornness caused him to forfeit his life.
What is more amazing is that many, having heard the wonderful account of God's way of salvation, refuse God's offer of forgiveness and justification. They choose an eternity separated from God and His love while all the time their pardon is just a prayer away. I hope you will not be one of those people. Receive God's free pardon today!
By Grace, Through Faith
We come now to a most important aspect of finding peace with God. We have seen that salvation is the work of God Himself. We cannot save ourselves by our deeds, our creeds or our breed. God's love has found a way for us to be reconciled with Himself through the sacrificial death of His Son. By means of the great exchange our sin is laid upon Christ and His righteousness imputed to us. Now we must ask, "How can we receive God's salvation? What must we do to experience His forgiveness and justification?"
In order to help us be clear about how we receive God's forgiveness we need to look at two words - "grace" and "faith". Grace describes how God acts in salvation and faith describes our response.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8&9)
As we have already seen the word grace means unmerited favour. God's love for us, which He demonstrated so clearly in sending His Son to the cross to die in our place, was a free gift which was totally undeserved by us. God did not set His love upon us because we were lovely or lovable. Far from it, it was while we were His enemies, living in rebellion against Him and defying His laws that He poured out His loving-kindness towards us. That's grace!
Grace is the antithesis of works. This is what makes Christianity stand apart from every other religion. Religion is man trying to do something for God, trying to earn favour with Him. Grace never boasts of what we have done for God, but what He has done for us. Our salvation is His work, the work of His grace. In fact, once we try to offer God anything other than the merits of Jesus Christ, in order to be accepted by Him, we are no longer in grace. If grace is mixed with our works it is no longer grace.
"If by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace, otherwise work is no longer work” (Romans 11:6)
We need to be very clear in our understanding about this - are we trying to save ourselves (works) or do we believe that God saves us through His Son (grace)? The salvation God has provided for us is neither by our works, nor even by a mixture of our works and His grace. It is by His grace alone. Once we attempt to mix some of our own deeds in together with the work of Christ then grace ceases to be grace. God's salvation is a gift. If we try to earn God's forgiveness by our works we insult the blood of Jesus, the price God paid for our salvation.
How, then, do we receive God's gift of salvation? It is clear that we cannot work for it or earn it, but how does God want us to respond to His amazing grace? How do we lay hold of His peace in our lives?
Faith opens the door to Christ and to all He has done for us. No one has ever been saved without believing the gospel. Reading or hearing the good message of salvation alone will not save you. Knowing it and understanding it will not save you. You must believe before you can be saved.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved”(Acts 16:31)
God has saved people from every kind of sinful background. No one is beyond God's power and redeeming love. But God has never saved any one who has not believed on His Son. We are justified by faith in Christ.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)
To have faith is to believe, and to believe is to have faith. But what do these words mean?
A missionary was once working in a remote African village with a certain tribe of people. He was translating the gospel according to John into the native tongue of that tribe. He had difficulty, however, in finding a word that conveyed the meaning of the word "believe". As this word is used many times in John's gospel, and is crucial to the work of evangelism, this perplexed him.
One day a messenger arrived at the hut where the missionary was studying. He had come from a tribe many miles away to bring a message to the missionary, and had been running for the whole journey. After giving the note to the missionary he noticed a hammock strung between two trees. He went across and, being weary and hot, slumped into the hammock. As he did so he breathed a word the missionary had never heard before.
"What did you say?", he asked. The runner repeated the word. "What does that word mean?", questioned the missionary. "It means", he said, "I am resting all my weight here".
That was the word the missionary needed to translate the word 'believe'. To have faith in a chair is to rest all your weight on it, confident that it will support you. The messenger trusted himself completely to that hammock. He placed his total confidence in it, committing his entire weight there. To believe in the Lord Jesus Christ means to rest your eternal future upon Him, trusting Him completely to save you.
"He who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6)
There is coming a day when every person who has ever lived must stand before the living God. What are you trusting in to save you on that Day of Judgment? What are you leaning your whole weight upon? God has provided for you a sure salvation. To receive this you must entrust yourself completely to Him. You have read the account of how to find peace with God, now you must decide to place your trust in Him.
Saving faith is a total abandoning of any reliance upon self or others for the work of salvation. It is a complete trust in Christ. I urge you to rest all your weight upon Him, and be saved.
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36)
Today, right now, you can settle the matter of your standing with God. You can know peace with God. Rest all the weight of your sin upon His Son. Take Jesus to be your personal Saviour today. Don't trust in your own good deeds - they will fail you. Don't trust in any other - there is no other who can save you. Put your whole trust in Jesus Christ today. Call upon Him and ask Him to save you. He will!
"Whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Romans 10:13)
Do It Now!
Prayer may be a whole new experience for you. In order to help you receive the free gift of God's forgiveness and salvation I have included a simple prayer for you to pray, inviting Jesus to come into your heart and be your Saviour. Say this prayer now:
"Dear Jesus, I know that I have sinned. I confess my sin. I believe that you died on the cross in my place. I call upon you now and ask you to save me. Come into my heart and be my Saviour.
From this moment on I will not trust in myself for my salvation, or in any one else. I place all my trust in you. I believe with all my heart that you have saved me this day and that you will keep me forever. Teach me to live the Christian life in your strength each day. Thank you, Lord, for loving me and saving me. Amen."
A New Life
If you prayed this prayer you have just made the greatest and most exciting decision in your whole life. In fact you have just received a new life. All your past, present and future sin has been erased from God's sight. You have just received God's total, unconditional forgiveness. He has placed His own righteousness into your account. God Himself forever justifies you.
You are now at peace with God. Peace is more than the absence of war, the ending of all hostilities between you and God. It is the presence of wholeness. When we receive peace from God we are restored, healed and made whole in every area of our lives.
As a child of God you can now enjoy a living relationship with your heavenly Father. How does this happen? Well, relationships are based upon communication. God wants to speak to you every day, and He wants you to communicate with Him. The Bible is God's Word. It is a living Word. When you read it God will speak to you. He will instruct you, guide you, correct you, comfort you, encourage you, etc., all out of His Word.
But God wants you to speak to Him. This is what we call prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God. When you pray you can thank God for His great love and goodness to you. You can share your problems and needs with Him and ask for His help. You can confess your times of failure to Him and know His forgiveness. You can also pray for those who are near and dear to you, that they too will experience His love and salvation.
Welcome To The Family!
Remember, now that you are a Christian you belong to a family of many other Christians who can help, encourage and support you in your Christian life. Now, there are churches and there are churches. Many are doing a great job in helping Christians in their spiritual growth. Sadly, some churches seem to have lost the plot altogether. However, if you will pray about which church to attend God will guide you to the right one. Ask God to help you find a church that is alive in Him, one that manifests His love and faithfully teaches His Word.
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25)
Share The Good News
Tell someone you know that you are now a Christian. You don't need to preach to them, but sharing your new faith with them will help you to grow and may be the means of your friends or relatives coming to know God's salvation too. Don't leave it too long before you tell others that you have become a Christian. Try to tell someone within the next twenty-four hours, if possible. A word of warning. Don't expect all your friends to share the same excitement and enthusiasm as yourself! In fact you may even experience some opposition. Being a Christian sometimes involves hostility from others. God will help you to stand in those times.
You Are Not Alone
The most important thing to remember in the Christian life is that you are not alone. It is not a matter of you trying to live for God, but of Him living through you. There is a major difference. When we try to live for God the emphasis is always on doing. When we attempt to keep self-imposed standards, in our own strength, it always ends in failure.
In contrast to this the true Christian life is allowing the new life of Christ to flow out of our lives. The emphasis here is on trusting. We are not living in our strength, but His.
"It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20)
One of the great facts of the Christian life is that you are no longer alone. Whereas in the past you may have been unable to do certain things and face difficult situations, now that has all changed. Every thing that you encounter in the course of your daily living you are now equal to. The Christian's whole vocabulary has changed from "I can't" to "I can - through Christ". The Christian life is a life of faith, that is, trusting in his ability in you at all times.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)
May God richly bless you and fill you with the wonderful sense of His peace.
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1)
(Copyright Ken Legg 1999. ISBN: 0 9577514 0 0. Please note:
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