Steps to Christ
- Admit your spiritual need. We are all sinners...people don't always like that title. The one word that defines all sin is the Greek word harmatia, which means "to miss the mark." What is God's mark? Jesus said, "Be perfect as My Father in heaven is perfect." Unless a person is perfect, he has missed the mark; therefore, he is a sinner. Romans 3:23 states, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
- What is the result of sin? In Romans 6:23 we read, "The wages of sin is death..." Every one of us has missed God's mark. Every one of us falls short of being perfect. We are getting only what we deserve, and we are bringing judgment upon ourselves. One thing we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell. We send ourselves there by rejecting His truth.
- Since we can never measure up to God's standards on our own, God has reached out to humankind. We cannot solve the problem of sin, but God, who is perfect, can and has. He has become a bridge for us. John 3:16-17 states, "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. For God did not send His Son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." In Romans 5:8 we read, "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
- If a person acknowledges that he or she is a sinner, repents from his or her sins, and accepts the promise that Christ is the solution, that person is at a crossroads. Either the person must reject God's solution and accept the consequences, or that person must accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. What must a person do to accept this gift? Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28-30 states, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me...for My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
- His invitation is clear. We must come to Him. All that remains is a response. In Romans 6:23 we read, "...the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." What do we have to do to receive that gift? Take it! Revelation 3:20 states, "Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me." Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into our lives. John 1:12 states, "For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God." If you would like to receive Jesus Christ into your heart and life right now, pray a prayer something like this from the sincerity of your heart...
Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe you died for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life. I receive you as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you for saving me. Amen.
If you just prayed that prayer and really meant it, Jesus Christ has now taken residence in your heart! Not only that, but he has forgiven you of all your sin. The Bible tells us, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). God also promises, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us" (Psalms 103:12).
Your decision to receive Christ also means that you are now going to Heaven one day. That's a lot to be thankful for! You need to take some practical steps to grow strong spiritually: read the Bible, pray, and go to church.
"I did not grow up in church, nor did I think it had anything to offer me. I was what I would call a normal high school student, lived in a good home and got good grades. At the end of my senior year a girl invited me to a church service. Normally I would have thought that it was a dumb idea, but she asked, so I went and God began to reveal Himself to me through the pastors and families there. I began to see that although I thought my life was pretty good, I was missing the joy that these people had. It was through these pastors that God became genuine to me rather than the fairytale I had thought He was. Since that time Pastor Mark and others have come alongside of me and made the biggest differences in my life. I thank God for them."