One of the last words Jesus gave to His disciples, which means believers of all ages, before He left this world to go back to heaven to be with His Father, was to go unto the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). This was not a suggestion, but a command from our Lord.
It has been taught by many that man should clean up his life before coming into the church or becoming a Christian. That is not only wrong, it is backward thinking. A person has no capacity to clean up his life BEFORE he becomes a Christian. It takes the move of the Holy Spirit to come inside of that person to do that work of regeneration. When you say "yes" to Jesus, you are saying "yes" to God in that you are admitting that you have sinned and have a need for a Savior. You are inviting the Holy Spirit to come into your life and take up residency within your spirit. When that happens, your way of thinking, the way you look at life and your priorities begin to change - they become new. The things that earlier characterized your life - that controlled and dictated your lifestyle, your priorities, the things that were not part of God’s plan for you have become part of your past. You have become a brand new creation in God (2 Cor 5:17).
Salvation not based on works
Becoming a Christian is not based on works – what YOU can do to please God. When you say "yes" to Jesus, a miracle of regeneration takes place within you, and at that moment you will be saved from hell and converted into Christianity. Heaven is now your eternal home. Jesus Christ, through the power of His Holy Spirit, enters into your human spirit to change you to be the person God desires for you to be. His plans and purposes can now take place in your life. You have become a brand new creation in God because of your new faith and trust in Jesus and what He has done for you.
Belief in the truth
God wants you to have belief in the truth - the truths of His Word. The Holy Spirit, now living within you, will be your guide in this life. He will help you see the Scriptures in a whole new way than you have ever seen before. As such, God begins to reveal His truth to you. Belief in His truth will cause you to recognize sin and realize that you need to change the direction of your life. That same truth will cause you to confess that sin to God, enabling cleansing and forgiveness of sin. You will see life in a whole new dimension because God is revealing His truth to you. Belief in God's truth will work within you to enable sanctification, which simply means God is doing a work of holiness within you. This will be a progressive process of God working in your life as you continue to allow the Holy Spirit to do the work within you. The things that characterized your old life - that controlled and dictated your lifestyle, your priorities, the things that are not part of God’s plan for you have now become part of your past. As you keep saying “yes,” to Jesus, the Holy Spirit can deal with those old things that are unpleasing to Him – whereas without Him you are incapable of making any lasting changes within you. As such, you enter in on a new adventure in God.
What does scripture say?
Just a little walk through Scripture points out that there are many different words for the same process of coming to belief in Jesus. By searching out multiple scripture verses on the subject, it can be seen that God uses several different words for the same process. Pay particular attention to the scriptures verses below and notice the underlined words in each verse. When you are finished, you will recognize that they all mean the same thing.
Click on each verse and it will pop up for you!
John 3:16 John 3:3 I John 5:13 Matt 18:3
John 5:24 John 6:40 Acts 2:21 Rom 10:9-10
Rom 10:13 Matt 10:32
The Greek meaning of the word “believe”
People often confuse the correct meaning of the word “believe.” It does not mean a mental assent – it goes much deeper than that. According to two English dictionaries (Dictionary.com and American Heritage), the word "believe" means to "have confidence in," "trust in the existence or the reliability of something - to be persuaded." To "accept and expect as truth or real." To have "firm faith," "confidence," or "trust." We must, however, for complete accuracy on the word “believe” go into the Greek biblical meaning because the New Testament was written in Greek and later translated into English. As such, the meaning of words can change when being translated from one language to another. The Greek meaning of the word "believe" goes even deeper than what our English dictionary protray. The word "believe" means to have “faith” or “trust” in – entrust oneself to the care of.
Strong's Concordance: Believe - NT 4100 pisteuo (pist-yoo'-o); from NT:4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ):
Christianity is not earned by works
You will notice that in all of the above scripture verses, there is nothing said about being good enough to earn your way to heaven. In fact, these Scriptures totally deny any works to becoming a Christian and going to heaven. There also is nothing said about any religious traditions, sacraments (such as baptism or confirmation) or church rites listed in the Word of God as a pre-requisite to becoming a Christian or going to heaven.
Eph 2:8-9 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.
How to come to Christ
We are saved (from hell, and the sin-filled life) by our faith - our belief in Jesus - Who He is, and all that He did for us. The Bible says that we must call upon the name of the Lord, (that's what prayer is) and confess with our mouths before Him and others what we believe in our hearts.
The five points of the real meaning of Christianity:
- Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, yet He is God.
- Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross, shedding His blood for you?
- Do you believe that God raised Jesus from the dead?
- Do you believe that Jesus is now up in heaven, sitting at the right hand of God, interceding for you?
- Do you believe that Jesus is coming back to get His body to bring them all unto Himself to spend eternity with Him?
In the 2nd chapter of Acts, the Apostle Peter (after receiving the Holy Spirit) stood up with the other eleven disciples to a large crowd of Jews and stated that Jesus of Nazareth, Whom they crucified, actually was God in the flesh, come down to earth to save them. Peter recited several Old Testament Scriptures prophesying Jesus’ forthcoming. According to Acts 2:37, when the people heard, they were "pierced,” or “cut” to their hearts. In other words, they were extremely sorrowful. They were repentant - and then they believed. Crying out to Peter they said, "What shall we do now? Jesus is already crucified!" Peter told them to “repent of their sins and their unbelief,” and what they did in crucifying the Lord - “believe and commit their lives to Christ.” Three thousand people were added to the Church that day, having heaven as their eternal home. The disciples then went around all Judea proclaiming Jesus as not only the Son of God, but God incarnate (come to earth as flesh). They told the people that Jesus came bringing the "law of love" to mankind.
Luke 10:27 So he answered and said, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.'"
The disciples went around pleading with the people to repent, acknowledging their need for a Savior, and turn to God through believing in Jesus Christ. Year after year the disciples went around doing miracles, preaching and teaching Jesus crucified, died, buried and resurrected, telling others of God's new law of love. Multitudes continued to come to Christ, believing in the only begotten Son of God. Still the message was the same. It never changed. Traveling on land, across the sea, the message is: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." 1Tim 2:3-4
If you are not sure that heaven is your eternal home, and you believe the five points about Jesus Christ listed above, acknowledging your need for a Savior, pray this prayer.
Dear God in heaven,
I believe that Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died, shedding His blood, and paying the penalty for my sins on the cross of Calvary. I believe that You raised Him from the dead, where He now sits with You on Your throne in heaven and will one day come back to gather His believers to Himself.
I repent of my sins and acknowledge that I have need of a Savior. I thank you God that I don't have to live in my sins, but I can overcome them because of Jesus.
I now open myself up for Your Holy Spirit to enter into my life to make those changes within me. I choose to live the good life, right here and now and throughout eternity with You. I choose to live out my beliefs in Your Son Jesus according to Your Word--the Bible. I thank you God that I am going to heaven after I die to live with you forever. Forever, I am grateful for what You have done for me.
In Jesus' name.......Amen
If you said the above prayer, a miracle has taken place in your life. God has now come to reside inside you. He breathed life into you by planting His seed - the Holy Spirit to help you live His wonderful abundant life now and be your guarantee to one day going to heaven.
This by far was the most important decision you have ever made in your life. You have chosen to love God through His Son, purposing to serve Him while on earth, and you made the choice to spend eternity in heaven with God. Congratulations!
To learn how to grow in your faith, faithfully read your Bible and pray everyday. Develop that intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. You are now a “follower of Christ” - you are now a Christian. As an aid to your Christian growth, there are many articles in Believer's Bible School to help you grow. Use them as support as you read and study the Word of God and spend time in prayer. Get to know your God!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. And whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.