Cut To The Chase
Jesus is in the business of finding and restoring what was once lost.
Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?
And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away."
Luke 15: 3-7
For Your Consideration:
1. There is a loving and intelligent Creator who is Holy and Righteous, and He wants relationship with you, personally - by name.
1st John 1:1-10, Luke 15
2. Every person on the planet has and will sin (that's right Margaret, even the good ones mess it up). According to the bible, we are born into a fallen world. No matter how much good we do, we can never be perfect enough, consistently enough to completely eradicate our guilt and save ourselves from righteous judgement. (Now this is where things have occasionally gotten messy. Unfortunately, many think the Christian message is "be good so you can go to heaven." When in reality the Bible teaches that is doesn't work that way. We humans seem to have a weakness for attempting to control one another, often "policing" other people - but this is NOT the message of Christ. Only payment-in-full for our sin allows us to be vindicated and to be in the presence of the perfect God - and only Christ can do that. No matter what religious folks may say, you can't "earn" your way to heaven - if you could, Christ's sacrifice on the cross would have been in vain. And on that note, let us just take this moment to apologize on behalf of every overzealous, mislead person claiming the name of Christ that has, perhaps, attempted to set you straight or demand you change your behavior to obtain salvation, or to be "acceptable."
But also let us take this moment to challenge you - If your excuse for rejecting the loving and life-giving message of Jesus Christ is going to be other flawed, controlling people, wow, you are missing out for a really lame reason. If you have to march through misguided, sometimes annoying, people to get to Jesus, we promise you, He and the peace that He provides is completely, 100% worth the effort. So don't let anything or anyone stand in your way. We respectfully suggest that this is, hands-down, the most important thing you will ever do in your life.)
Romans 3:10,23 & Romans 5:12
3. The bible states that the wages, or punishment, for sin is death. This can be a tough one to accept. We live in a hyper-tolerant society, where the mantra is "no-judging here" or "you be you and I'll be me", which is so trendy and cool, and between people, not a bad thing. But the bible indicates that one day we will all face a final, fair, and accurate judgement from God Himself. And the standard is going to be the law of God, not man. Have you ever read the 10 commandments? There is more to God's law, but the big ten alone are an impossible standard to uphold throughout a human life. You should not covet, do not lie..... whew, we'd be willing to wager 100% of us already failed on those two alone. The standard of God is nothing short of perfection - but He Himself covered us through Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:23, Galatians 3:24-26, Deuteronomy 5:6-21
4. Because God does love us individually and knows all our weakness, our inability to achieve perfection on our own, and because we each matter to Him - He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ who died in our place. Jesus, while still perfect, took upon Himself the sin of man and all the pain, and agony that goes with it. He put Himself in our place to pay the price for our sin. More than that, He rose again and conquered death on behalf of all those who believe upon His name.
Romans 5:8, 1st John 1:1-10
5. We cannot save ourselves alone and Jesus Himself taught that the only way to the Father is through Jesus Christ. Salvation is a gift that comes to us through the grace of God.
John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 6:29
6. If this all make sense to you, and you want to know Jesus Christ for yourself and gain eternal salvation through His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, it's really simple.
1. Repent, confess or acknowledge your sin. Basically step up to
the plate and admit you're a sinner in need of a savior.
2. Believe in your heart that Jesus is who He said He is and that
He died on the cross in your place, taking upon himself your
punishment and that He rose again.
If you've never prayed, and even the word prayer feels odd or foreign, it's ok. God knows you, he knows your heart. Just talk to him. God prefers heartfelt words that may not be eloquent to empty sentiment that is for mere show. If you are sincere, you can't do it wrong.
2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Peter 3:9, Romans 10:9-10, Hebrews 7:25, Revelation 22:17, 1 John 1:9, Psalm 51:16-17, Psalm 17:6, Proverbs 15:8, Matthew 6:7,9-13, Jeremiah 29:12, Isaiah 55:6-7
7. Accepting Jesus is your new beginning. You are washed clean, you stand guiltless because He removed your sin. You are no longer under any condemnation, however this world and Satan, the enemy of your soul, will try to steal your newfound peace and joy but you don't have to allow that. Your salvation is about more than just spending eternity in heaven, it is also about equipping you with peace and joy here on earth. You can walk out this new faith, this relationship with the God who created you. We have provided a list of scriptures for you to start meditating on to help you build your knowledge and your faith. If you do not have a Bible, please contact us and we will help you obtain one. And another thought: If reading the bible seems overwhelming or like the language is archaic, we suggest you try The Message bible and perhaps simply start with the book of Galatians. The Message is a modern language translation that adheres with integrity to the original text, but speaks plainly, without the 'thees' and 'thous.'
We encourage you to seek out a bible study or church group that you are comfortable with. Going it alone is not the way Christ taught us to walk out our faith. He wants us connected and growing together.
Now, we know, you might have an aversion to church or "church people" - we've been there ourselves. Or, you may just feel uncomfortable and that's perfectly normal. But don't let that initial discomfort prevent you from connecting with other people just like you, who love Jesus and want to live a life with Him. Start by searching online, look at the church, their people, what they believe and then pray, asking God to direct you toward a safe harbor, a place where you can plug in and walk out your new faith. There are lots of great options out there; you can find one that fits your style and personality. He is faithful to help us when we ask according to His will and the Bible teaches us it is His will that you interact with other Christians in your community.
We also strongly encourage you to subscribe to iDisciple.org, which is an online interface you can customize to your needs. It provides devotionals, sermons, music, and lessons from reputable pastors and teachers all over the world. You can customize the content by topic to meet your specific needs and curiosity. This is a good place to start as you seek a local church to get connected with. You may also want to visit the following website as a good source for getting started in your Christian faith: https://bible.org/seriespage/1-beginning-your-new-life-christ
Still need help or have questions? Contact us and we will do our best to assist you or to connect you with a local ministry in your area that is a good fit for you.
John 8:36, Romans 8:1-4, John 10:10, Ephesians 3:12