God's Word says there is one God: a perfect being who made and sustains everything. He made us in His image to reflect His holiness and love. We were to love and obey Him first, and love each other like ourselves. Our world was a paradise. We'd have enjoyed it with Him forever.
Humanity chose to sin: betray and be enemies of God. Examples:
We turn from the real God to play God, worship fake ones, or things of this world. We won't give Him a single day. We use His holy name as a curse word but praise other people. We lie, covet what others' have, steal from them, lust after them, use them, abuse them, and kill them. Instead of stable marriage, we go for easy sex and money that do damage. We disrespect our parents and families. We abuse our authority in businesses and government. Many have no love for those in need, coast with apathy, or just waste our lives.
God says the wages of sin is death. God's first punishment of the world's sin was sweat, toil, pain, disease, and death. We didn't change. Our nature is so corrupt that we keep making bad choices until we die. Any good deeds we do are like filthy rags stained by our sin.
Our actions here determine our eternity. A perfect judge can't let sin go unpunished. Upon death, He'll judge each of us for how we lived down to every thought. The everlasting God will punish His enemies in a lake of fire (Hell). If you've been burned, you know the only thing you can think of is making the pain stop. Seconds to minutes, minutes to days, days to years, His anger is a consuming fire you'll feel forever without a single, good thing you enjoyed on earth.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 6:23)
Now some Good News. God is love. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He'd rather save us. The only way to execute justice and mercy is that an innocent person takes our place. But all have sinned. Who could it be?
God's plan was to do it Himself. He'd live the life we didn't, take our punishment, and save us by His own blood. He'd redeem us with the ultimate act of love. His Word gave many prophecies, or predictions, about the person He'd send to do it. Our Savior.At the right time, God took flesh as Jesus Christ: fully human, fully God. He fulfilled every prophecy and worked miracles to prove He's God. As a man, he was born, tempted like us, lived a sinless life, helped multitudes of people, and commanded people to turn back to God (repent). Instead, they tortured him to death on a cross. They killed the only perfect man, our God, Jesus Christ.
"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me." (John 14:16)
"Therefore repent and turn back to God so that your sins may be wiped out." (Acts 3:19)
"...that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
Heaven's a place too perfect for anyone to work their way into. If you believe in Jesus, He wipes your record clean, puts His name and status on it, and gets you in based on who He is and what He did. He gives you eternal life in heaven with Him. To "believe" in Jesus means to put all your trust into Jesus. Give Him your life.
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, He saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewal of the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:5)
After forgiving our sins, God's own Spirit dwells in believers to transform, equip, and preserve them. We become instruments of His will.
"If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." (John 15:19)
The world has evil people, groups, and invisible forces (demons) that
oppose Jesus. They'll hate, attack, and sometimes even kill those who
follow Jesus. His Spirit helps us face all that, too. He promised He'll
bless every good thing we do for Him and others. Every little bit here
pays off there forever. He's worth it no matter the cost.
If we're open and ask Him, God says He convicts us so that we know His
Word is true when we hear it. You know this is true. Do you want your sins
forgiven, to receive eternal life, and live out your real purpose in this
Hearing His call, you have to step out on faith to surrender your life to Him. To do that, say to Him (pray) this:
"Dear God, I know that I am an unworthy sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn your salvation. I believe Jesus is man and God. I believe you sent Him to live the life I didn't, that He died on the cross for my sins, and was raised from the dead three days later. I repent (or turn away from sin) and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. God I ask in Jesus' name that you please save me and give me eternal life with you. Thank you for your forgiveness. Amen (the end)."
You pray that, start living as a believer, and be baptized to publicly demonstrate your faith. The evidence you did this is that the Holy Spirit will change your heart, or begin "sanctifying" you, to make you want to be more like Jesus. A need to love God and others more will begin to overflow out of your heart. You will need to spend time with God daily, studying His Word and praying, to grow as a believer. Join a local church that focuses on these things to help you do that. You will probably also face suffering in a world that hates God and righteousness. Endure it to the end since He is worth it.
Get you a study Bible to understand it better. I recommend English Standard Version (ESV). Read the New Testament first, starting in John. On the go, you can use a pocket Bible, online Bible, or Bible app. The other site has tips on fundamentals, esp sharing who Jesus is.
Can We Lose Salvation? What About ex-Christians?
Here's some extra
verses for your comfort. Our own works earned
us nothing. Our salvation a gift
from God. Our sins were put
on Jesus on the Cross. His death paid
our debt to God. At the moment we believe, God justifies
us (saves us), makes us part of his holy
people, gives us a new
heart, and changes
us from inside out. We're born again. Even better, God seals
us with a guarantee
that we'll make
can separate us from God's love. If your faith is real, Paul says
seated in the heavenly places with Christ. :)
After God saves and seals us, we live in obedience to Him. Jesus gave us the same two commandments. His Spirit causes believers to bear the fruit of the Spirit. He rewards good works. Jesus teaches that fake Christians will bear no or bad fruit. James says "faith without works is dead" faith. God will destroy false believers and teachers in the end.
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