You may have never prayed to ask Jesus Christ into your life. Please realize that it is never too late to begin this relationship with God. We would treasure the opportunity to guide you through this most crucial decision.
Beginning A Relationship With God
God, the maker of all things, loves you and has a unique and wonderful plan for your life. He even gives you this promise in the Bible: "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11) God never orders harm to be done to anyone. Yet He sometimes will allow it.
It may be difficult for you to understand how a loving God could allow you or anyone else to suffer. Sometimes it takes suffering for us to recognize our need for God. God loves you so much and desires to have a relationship with you to the extent that He even allows you to experience pain, so you will cry out to Him.
When things on earth are confusing and unpredictable, God wants you to know He is the only absolute truth and security. He created you and desperately wants to establish a relationship with you. He wants to be your loving Father. And He wants this relationship to be an eternal one that lasts throughout your life and extends after death when you meet Him face to face in heaven. But to establish this intimate relationship with God, you must first ask Him for it.
Why Must We Ask For A Relationship With Our Own Creator?
One thing stands in the way of us having a relationship with God–sin. It is something we all have in common because we were all born with it. Because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, we are all born separated from God. In the Bible, Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Those who have not asked Jesus to save them from sin cannot have a relationship with God.
The only way to change this condition is for you to receive a new life by establishing this relationship with Him. This is the only acceptable way in the eyes of a holy God because all other attempts to please Him are merely human.
Perhaps you are thinking, "That is very narrow-minded." And you are right–God is single-minded about the way to heaven. That's because there is only one way. He is all-knowing, and He has provided this one way to heaven because He loves us and has a very specific plan for our lives.
The Bible states in John 3 that to have a relationship with God you must be "born again." This process of being born again occurs when God forgives men and women of their sins and allows them to establish a new life with Him.
Good Deeds Are Not Enough
There is no one who is good enough or kind enough to know God. Many people try to earn a place in heaven by performing "good" deeds such as attending church, giving money to the poor, or by getting baptized.
The truth is that even the most heroic and generous men and women will die and be separated from God forever—unless they call on the name of Jesus and surrender their lives to Him. It is impossible to earn entrance into heaven or into a personal relationship with God. As the Bible states in John 3:7: "You must be born again!"
The Bible further warns: "The wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) The punishment for our sin is not just a bad day or a slap on the wrist, it's an eternity of separation from God in hell. You may be thinking, "I thought God was a loving God. Why is the punishment for sin so harsh?" It's true that God is a loving God, but He is also a God of justice. It would not be right for a judge to allow a criminal to go unpunished for his crimes, nor is it right for God to allow a sinner to go unpunished. The evidence of God’s loving nature is in the second chance He gives to every man and woman on earth to be forgiven.
One Door To Heaven
The truly good news is that this same loving and just God gives everyone on earth a second chance to escape punishment. God sent His only Son, Jesus, to earth more than 2,000 years ago. That life Jesus lived on earth—33 years—allowed Him to experience the same pain and loneliness you have felt. The ultimate purpose for Jesus’ life on earth, however, was so that He could give it up.
By dying on the cross, Jesus took upon Himself the punishment necessary to pardon your sins. Even though Jesus was without sin and perfect like His Father, He became a man by living on earth.
Jesus—both God and man—lived a perfect life, dying willingly on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, was raised from the dead, and now lives in heaven. An innocent man took the blame for our sinfulness. This act of God is described in John 3:16-17 like this: "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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him."
Jesus’ death on the cross erased our sins and removed the one barrier separating us from a relationship with Him. His sacrifice of life makes it possible for us to be saved from the punishment of our own sinfulness. Romans 5:8 states: "God demonstrates His own love toward us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
This is how a loving and just God dealt with the problem of our sin. He provided the one and only way to heaven, through belief and trust in God's Son, Jesus, as our Lord and Savior. In John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." You must receive Him in order to live in heaven after you die. There is no exception.
What Does It Mean To Believe?
The basis of your salvation must be more than just knowledge of Jesus’ existence. True belief is about accepting Jesus as God’s Son, admitting our sins to Him, and choosing to follow Him as Lord of our lives. It is, in essence, giving Him control of our life, our plans, our will and our desires.
Romans 10:9-10 states, "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." Once you take these steps, the Spirit of God lives inside you, guiding you and leading you each day in your decisions and actions. Faith in Jesus Christ is a commitment to the One whose life becomes our life and transforms us. That is the great gift of God's grace–the Spirit of God living in us, guiding us, and making us more like Him.
How You May Receive Christ As Savior
To begin your relationship with God and to establish your place in heaven, you must begin by praying (talking to God). Below is an example of a simple prayer that will help you know what to say when you talk to God.
"God, I realize I need a Savior. I confess that I have sinned and I know that my sin will keep me out of heaven. I realize there is not one single thing I can do to earn my way into Your heaven. Right now I am placing all, 100 percent of my trust, in Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the dead as payment for my sin. I now accept you as my Lord and Savior, and I commit my life to you. Thank you for forgiving me and filling me with your Holy Spirit."