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.
What's the deal with sin?
Sin, put simply, 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.
No matter how good we try to be, none of us do the 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 (KJV)
How can God love ME, a sinner?
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. God loves you more than you can ever imagine and there's nothing you can do to make Him change His mind! 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.
"...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 (ESV)
How can I get rid of this sin?
For you to come to God you have to get rid of your sin problem, but not one of us can do this on our own! 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 3:5a (NIV)
Can I save myself?
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 by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. " Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
How much will this cost?
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 (KJV)
So what do I do now?
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.
"...because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved." Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)
How long will this last?
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 only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (ESV)
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.
If it is your sincere desire to receive Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior, then talk to God from your heart.
Here's a Suggested Prayer:
"Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins and save me. I am now placing my trust in You alone for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life."