10. Thinking About Becoming a Christian?
by Bryan Gibson
We sure hope you are, because quite frankly, there is nothing better than being a Christian. To help you decide if you’re prepared to take this important step, here are a few questions to consider.
Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God? When the jailer in Acts 16 asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” he was told, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:30-31). To be saved from your sins, you must first have complete faith in your Savior. If you really believe in Him, you’ll want to do whatever He asks of you.
Do you understand the seriousness of your sin, AND the seriousness of remaining in your sin? If you have sinned, and we are sure that you have (Romans 3:23), then you have been separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2) and there is no worse state than that. When you’re cut off from God, you’re cut off from everything that is truly good. If you remain in your sins, you will be lost forever—this separation from God will become eternal (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). The more you appreciate the seriousness of your condition, the more you’ll appreciate what Jesus did for you—how He took the punishment you should have received.
Are you willing to turn away from all your sins? That’s what the New Testament means when it uses the word repent, and that’s exactly what Peter told people to do in Acts 2:38 and 3:19. You should not have a problem with that—if you understand the seriousness of your sin. If there is some sin that you want to keep doing, then you’re not ready.
Are you willing to deny yourself, take up YOUR cross, and follow Jesus? Read Luke 9:23 and you’ll see that this is exactly what Jesus expects from you. It’s no longer about what you want to do; it’s about following your Savior and His will for your life. The rich young ruler wasn’t ready to become a follower of Christ, because there was something he was not willing to do (Mark 10:17-22). You may not understand everything expected of you right now, and we all know you won’t be perfect, but you do need to be willing to do whatever Jesus asks you to do, no matter how difficult it may seem. Just to make sure you understand the commitment you need to make to Him, please read Luke 14:25-33.
Does Jesus mean more to you than anyone else? Yes, that includes all your friends; it even includes your family. “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37). This is important, because somewhere down the road, someone may try to pull you in a different direction than the one Jesus is taking you. The New Testament tells of some who would not follow Jesus, simply because their friends meant more to them than Jesus did (John 12:42). Don’t let that be you. Put Him first today and then keep Him there.
If all this sounds challenging, it is, because Jesus is serious about the commitment He wants from you. Remember, when you come to Christ, you are coming to Him for the cleansing of your sins, but you are also coming to Him with the determination to serve Him with all your heart.
If you’re ready to do that, then don’t wait any longer. There is a Christian somewhere who will be glad to assist you. Confess your faith in Jesus Christ, and then have that person baptize you into Christ for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38; Acts 8:35-39; Acts 22:16). You will go on your way (the Way of Christ) rejoicing.
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What are the conditions of salvation given by Jesus?