“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
Can you answer these questions?
- Are you sure that your sins are forgiven?
- Do you know God in a personal rather than religious way?
- Have you peace within your heart?
- Have you a life that is truly satisfying?
- Are you sure if you died today that you would go to Heaven?
- Are you sure that you are not going to Hell?
Is your answer ‘No’? Then read on…
If you are not able to positively answer these questions with sincerity and conviction then we urge you to study further God’s Word, the Bible, and to come to realize the following:
- You are a sinner. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. This means that because no one can reach the perfect standard of God’s goodness, no one can come to God on their own. Romans 5:12 says, “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned”. Death is the greatest evidence of sin in the world and in our own lives. By our wrong actions, words and thoughts it is clear that we are sinners by nature and by habitual practice.
- As a sinner you will be punished for your sin. We are debtors to God because of our sin, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The punishment for our sin is eternal damnation in a place the Bible calls Hell. Hell is a real and terrible place. It is a place where there is constant torment and “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth”. It is eternal. It will never end. The only qualification a person needs to get there is to be a sinner, and since we know that “all have sinned”, therefore all are heading to that final destination. We cannot change these circumstances by trying to live a better life, or be more religious. The only way that this penalty for sin can be avoided is if God intervenes.
- The Lord Jesus Christ has paid your penalty. At Calvary God did intervene on behalf of sinners. Jesus, God’s Son, died for our sin. As Romans 5:8 reminds us, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Christ was not a sinner and could not sin, for He is God manifest in flesh. Being perfect, He is the only one who could reach God’s standard. He was also fully man, therefore He could pay the debt we owed to God on behalf of humanity. Jesus Christ, the God-Man, took our punishment upon Himself on the cross so that we could be set free from the penalty of sin and be sure of a place in heaven. Amazingly, God the Father laid all our sins on Jesus at the cross (Isaiah 53:6). The key to understanding the cross is the realisation that the crucifixion was not a simple execution or miscarriage of justice, but God’s plan to bring humanity back into a right relationship with Himself. God, whom we had offended, was the only one who could help and save us – and He did. We cannot work for salvation, nor can we earn it or learn it. The work for our salvation was accomplished on the cross. Our proof is Jesus’ cry: “It is finished”, and His resurrection by God three days later!
- You must repent of sin and by faith accept what Jesus Christ did for you. Acts 3:19 commands “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”. To repent from your sin means simply to change your mind about sin and Jesus Christ. God gives the power to leave sin to those who are willing to turn to God, by faith, for salvation. It takes God Himself to do a work of salvation in your life. This means having faith in Jesus Christ. It is not sufficient to have a head knowledge, you must believe that Jesus died for you to save you from your sins – you must claim Jesus as your personal Saviour. This means taking Jesus at His word, understanding that because of His great work of salvation on the cross, you can accept His gift of salvation and be saved.
- Standing before God there are only two types of people in the world: those saved through the blood of the cross and those lost because they have rejected God’s way of the cross. John 3:36: “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”. Jesus Himself said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).
If you have been brought by God to realise these truths above and you want to put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation, why not use this prayer below as a starting point to pray to God? Ask Him to save you. There are no magic words. Reciting the words of this prayer will do not do anything for you. You must believe in your heart the sentiments expressed and mean them personally as you pray them to God. This prayer cannot save you, but faith in Christ will.
Lord Jesus Christ, I know I am a sinner, and I deserve to pay the penalty of my sin on my own. However, I do believe that You died for me to pay the debt of my sin. I now repent of my sin and trust You now as my Saviour from sin. Amen.
If you have prayed the above prayer, meant it personally and believed it in your heart, please take a moment to contact us. We’d love to give you some pointers on how to grow in your Christian life as you seek to follow your Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, and hopefully welcome you to Portadown Baptist Church soon for Sunday worship! We also want to pray for you and rejoice with you in your new-found life in Christ. May you experience God’s blessing and know His presence in the days that lie ahead.
From an article originally written by David Legge, used with permission of Preach The Word.