Are you part of God's Family? Being a part of a family is a blessing from God that is Irreplaceable. The closeness of family relationships exceeds all others. When a family is motivated by love for each other, it is amazing what acts of kindness and sacrifice they can perform. God the father showed us His tremendous love when He sent His only Son into the world to suffer and die on the cross that we might by faith become members of His eternal family.
The words of John 3:16 give us a revealing look at the heart of God where it says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God "so loved" you and me that He allowed His Son to pay man's sin debt. If Jesus Christ had not willingly come into our world as an offering for our sin, we would be eternally lost. In Luke 19:10 the Bible says, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." The truth that the Bible makes abundantly clear is that Jesus Christ is the only way to become a part of the family of God. In the Gospel of John Jesus said of Himself, "...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father, but by me.“ (John 14:6).
There is life beyond this earthly existence in which all those who have trusted Christ will live as members of God's family. In Ephesians 3:14-15 the Bible says, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named." You can become a part of the family of God by humbling yourself before God and following a few simple but necessary steps:
1. Acknowledge (Understand that you are a sinner) What exactly is a sinner? What is sin? Sin is "breaking the law", transgressing the will of God, and disobeying the rules, so to speak. Have you ever told a lie? Stolen anything? Broken a rule (such as driving above the speed limit)? You have, because the Bible says…
Psalms 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; EVERYBODY is a sinner. "But wait! I have NEVER done ANYTHING wrong!", you protest. Well, the Bible covers that, too. 1 John 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Let's allow you to argue that you have NEVER done ANYTHING "wrong". If you have done something that is not righteous (it may not be something that is "bad" in and of itself), or if you have failed to do something good when you had a chance to, you have sinned. ALL HAVE SINNED. "But I do many, many good things!" you say. The Bible says that it doesn't matter.
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
2. Realize(There is a penalty for sin) God is a holy God. He is a God of love, yes. He is also full of compassion and mercy. But He is holy, and He is just. God's justice demands that sin be punished. You might say "What kind of loving God would send a person to Hell?” Well, you must understand that Hell was NOT created for people, it was created for Satan. Matthew 25:41 says "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
It was never God's plan for men to go to Hell. It wasn't even God's plan that men should die! The Bible says in James 1:15 "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." We have brought death upon ourselves by sinning!
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We go to work, and when we do, we earn a wage. At the end of the pay period, we expect to get a paycheck, the reward we have earned by working hard all week. Death…not just physical death, but spiritual death as well, is what we have "earned" for our sins. You're probably thinking that the Bible is just a book of doom, gloom, and bad news at this point. It gets better, just keep reading.
3. Trust Him(Jesus paid the price for your sin) We FINALLY get some good news. That's what "gospel" literally means, "good news". You may have noticed it in the last verse listed for you above, Romans 6:23: "… but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." We EARNED death by our sins, but LIFE is a FREE GIFT! We don't have to go to church, we don't have to do good deeds, we don't have to get baptized, we don't have to recite a rosary, we don't have to give all of our money to the poor…a GIFT cannot be earned! You just ACCEPT it. The Bible is very clear that salvation is a gift, freely offered by God to ALL men, women, and children!
Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift. 1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is the Answer to our sin problem. Jesus is God. God became a man, was born of a virgin, and lived a perfect, sinless life. Because He never sinned, He did not earn death, as all other men have. However, He willingly allowed Himself to be killed, so that by His blood, we could be reconciled to the God who is holy, so that His justice could be satisfied. The Bible again makes this very clear.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Romans 5:8-10 But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Ephesians 1:7 In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Romans 3:24-26 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Jesus Christ died for us, but more than that, He rose from the dead for us! He ascended bodily back to Heaven, and will come back to Earth again for us in the future. His perfect life, death, and resurrection make it possible for us, as sinners, to be made acceptable to a holy and just God, if we believe on Him and accept the free gift that He offers us.
4. Accept(The free gift of eternal life that Jesus longs to give you) We have covered the things you need to understand: You're a sinner, there's a penalty on sin, and Jesus paid the penalty. Now we get to the one thing you need to do. You need to TAKE the free gift! That's all you have to do! "That's too easy", you say? Is it really? If it is, then why don't you do it? If the Bible said that one had to spend 10 years serving the poor in a foreign land to obtain eternal life, MANY people would do it, "just in case" the Bible was true. If the Bible said that one had to give a million dollars to some church in order to earn Heaven, MANY people would work multiple jobs and keep an exacting record of how much they had given until they reached the mark. Yet few people believe the Bible enough to simply take the free gift.
Think of it this way. Jesus Christ has unlimited credit at the supermarket. He has offered to pay for everyone's groceries; they only have to ask for it. You go through the checkout line; the cashier rings up all your items, and tells you the total cost. Upon hearing the price, you realize that you don't have your wallet with you. You have no money, no credit card, no checkbook, no debit card, NOTHING. The cashier tells you that it's ok, Jesus has paid the cost; all you have to do is ask for the "Jesus discount", and you can take your groceries home without having to pay. Yet you stand and argue, "I don't need charity, I'll pay my own way, thank you very much! I'll just have to put everything back and come back later when I have my wallet". How silly! There will be no "later" when you die. Or perhaps you argue, "I don't even know who Jesus is, and He can't possibly know me. I don't believe that He paid for my goods. I'll find a way to pay, just give me some time". There will be no more time for you when payment for your sins is demanded. And even if you don't know Jesus yet, He DOES know you, and He loves you, and wants so very badly to give you His free gift of life. If someone were to write you a check for a million dollars, it would do you no good at all until you cashed it. Jesus has written the check, signed it with His own precious blood, and He is ready to cash it for you, if you will only ask Him to. The Bible says:
Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 8:36-37 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
All you have to do is believe. To show yourself, the Lord, and others that you believe, the Bible teaches here that one should make an oral, audible statement that they believe. There is no special incantation, there are no "magic words"…you just tell God that you believe. Do you believe? If so, you can pray something like this:
Dear God, I understand that I have sinned (done things wrong). I understand that because I have sinned, I deserve to go to Hell. But I don't want to go to Hell; I want to go to Heaven. I believe that your Son Jesus lived and died for me, and that He paid for my sins. I believe He rose from the dead so that I might be saved. Please save me, Lord Jesus. I want to take your free gift. Thank you for what you have done for me. I love you. Amen.
Something like that will work just fine. Again, it's not the words you say that are important, it's what you believe. If you believe in Jesus, in Him alone, and in His death, burial and resurrection, then you are saved. Look at 1 John 5:13 one more time - "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." Did you accept Jesus as your Savior? If you have accepted Jesus and asked him to be your Savior, we would like to know about it. Please contact us at the church at (708) 672-5944 or by email at email@example.com. Let us know of the wonderful decision you have just made! We would love to help you grow spiritually.
First Baptist Church 1156 W. Crete-Monee Road * Crete, Illinois * (708) 672-5944 * firstname.lastname@example.org