The Scriptures contain some good news and some bad news about becoming a follower of Jesus Christ.
The bad news is that we have all sinned and as a result, we are separated from God. Most of us notice this and recognize that something is missing in our lives. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10).
We cannot work our way into heaven through good deeds. No matter how many good deeds we do they are still not enough to earn everlasting life in heaven. All of the following simply will not earn everlasting life:
Going to church
Giving to charity
Helping the poor
Being a generally good person
NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS!
Since there is no way we can work our way to God, He came to us. Jesus died in our place. Romans 5:8 tells us, “God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Suppose you were in a hospital and dying of an incurable disease and someone came and offered to take the diseased cells from your body and into theirs. If that were possible what would happen to you? To that person? You would live and that person would die in your place. Similarly, Jesus has offered to take the sin cells that will result in a physical and spiritual death from your body into His. He took upon Himself the sin penalty that we deserved and placed it upon Himself. He died in our place.
There’s more good news! Three days later Jesus rose again victoriously over sin and death. Sin and death were conquered!
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOU?
It means that you can be saved (rescued) through faith in Christ! You need to trust exclusively in Jesus for forgiveness and everlasting life. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one should boast.”
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Ask Jesus to forgive you of all your sins and place your trust in Him for your forgiveness. Below is a sample prayer that you can pray. Keep in mind that it’s not the prayer itself that saves you. This prayer is simply an example of telling God what you are doing. “Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and that my wrongs deserve to be punished. I believe that Jesus Christ died for me and rose from the grave. I trust in Jesus alone to be my Savior. Please forgive me for my sins and take me to Heaven when I die. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Grow to be like Him. As a brand new follower of Jesus, begin studying His teachings in the New Testament. We recommend that you start with the Gospel of John (the fourth book in the New Testament). Pray. Begin spending time each day in communication with God. Worship with other believers at a local fellowship like Berachah Church. Tell others! Let people know what Jesus has done for you.
WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE IN THE AUTHENTICITY OF JESUS AND HIS CLAIMS?
Prophecy—Jesus fulfilled documented prophecies that were recorded centuries before His earthly ministry, including His place of birth and type of death.
The Empty Tomb—Had someone been able to produce a dead body of Jesus, it would have been exhibit A that He had not risen. However, the fact that His grave was empty after being guarded by Roman soldiers and sealed with a huge boulder demonstrated His deity. He rose on the third day, just like He said He would.
Eyewitness Accounts—After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to at least 500 people. He not only appeared to them, but also ate and conversed with them.
Miracles—The documentation of His miracles confirms that He was God. What kind of a person has complete power and authority over sickness, death, nature, and spiritual forces? Only God.
Transformed Lives—The disciples who had witnessed the execution of their leader went into hiding, fearing for their lives, but something happened that so transformed them that they were willing to risk everything to spread the news that He was risen. What would cause such a paradigm shift? Seeing the resurrected Jesus! Think about it—the disciples believed that the Message was worth dying for and now, 2000 years later, people’s lives are still being transformed by the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
He Claimed to Be God—Unlike other religious and spiritual leaders, Jesus claimed to be God, the Messiah. Furthermore, He also had supernatural miracles and powers to back up the claim. See Matthew 26:63-64 and John 14:6.
A Living Lord—Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. We can have a personal relationship with Him today by seeking His forgiveness of our sins and by placing our trust in Him to rescue us from the wrongs that separate us from God.
If you have any questions, you can contact the church at 513.422.1672 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.