If you’ve read our church’s mission statement, you may have noticed that our church desires to help those who are curious about God to explore and experience a relationship with God. If you are one of these curious people, please let us know how we might best help you. Your pursuit of God is a worthy journey. I believe it’s the journey for which you were made. St. Augustine once said that our hearts will never be at rest until they find God. We were made for God.
In the opening pages of the Bible (Genesis 1-3) it indicates how our relationship with God was intended to be. We were created to be in a close relationship with God. To know God and be known by God. But, Genesis chapter three describes the tragic downturn in our relationship with God. Due to the entrance of sin into the world and into our lives, our relationship with God was marred. The damage was serious. And the Bible indicates that this is one of those relationships that needs to be reconciled. This isn’t like one of those fights you had with a classmate in grade school that you can move on from, this relationship is far more serious. It’s serious because you were made for God.
The Bible describes sin as a violation against God. Sin is more than just making a mistake, it’s like violating a relationship. It’s like committing a crime against someone. And like crimes committed against the law, there are consequences. Sin also has its consequence, which is death. Not just a physical death, but more significantly a spiritual death. Spiritual death is described in the Bible as eternal separation from God. The Bible often uses the word “hell” to describe this kind of death. Life without God is hell.
Now, God desires that no one live a part from Him. He wants no one to experience hell. However, God will not force anyone to reconcile with Him if they don’t want to. God has given human beings the freedom of choice. You have the freedom to choose God. People who choose God often refer to their choice as “salvation.” Sometimes you’ll hear churched people say that they were “saved” or they became a “Christian.” This kind of language denotes their change of heart, or conversion toward God.
Now, there are some very important things that God had to do in order to bring about a conversion experience, or salvation. God had to deal with human sin. God could not simply excuse sin, but rather justice had to be done in regards to sin. The Bible says that sin must be punished. A penalty must be exacted for sin. The penalty is death, physical and spiritual. This obviously indicates that sin is a very serious matter to God. However, there is great news, God not only exacted the punishment for sin, but God also accepted the punishment for sin upon himself. This is why Jesus Christ came into the world. The Bible says that it was “God in Jesus Christ” who paid the price for sin. You are probably aware that Jesus died on a cross. His death on the cross was God’s way of dealing with sin. God took the sins of the world and placed them on Jesus, and he paid the price for them. Jesus was what Christians refer to as the “atoning sacrifice for sin.” In other words, Jesus did for you what you could not do for yourself. God did all this for you because he loves you deeply.
Now, all God requests of you is for you to believe in Jesus’ sacrifice for your sin. God wants you to place your trust in Jesus Christ for the salvation of your soul. God wants you to trust that what Jesus did for you will make you right with him. The Bible tells us that it is through our faith in Jesus, not our good works, that we are saved from death — that is, being separated from God forever. We cannot save ourselves from the penalty of sin, we have to trust Another to do this.
What I’ve explained to you here is summed up in one of the most famous verses in the Bible, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son and whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Now, for centuries, people have often demonstrated their belief in what Jesus did for them by telling God about their decision. This is typically done through prayer. People who have made a decision to trust in Jesus have often prayed something like what I’ve written below. If you would like to reconcile your relationship with God, feel free to use the following prayer.
“Dear God, something is going on in my life that has caused me to seek after you. I have realized my need for you. I also realize that my sin has damaged my relationship with you. I recognize that my sins are a violation against your will. But I believe what Jesus has done for me. I believe he died on the cross for my sin. I believe he came into the world to save me, and I trust in him to do so. I pray that you’ll forgive me of my sin and bring me back into a relationship with you. I accept, by faith, who Jesus was and what he did for the world and for me. Amen.”
If you would like more information about what it means to become a Christian, or what it means to grow in your faith as a Christian, we would be happy to assist you.