Suppose that I know all about an elevator, and I believe in it. I believe that it will get me from the first floor to the fifth floor. But I don’t experience the elevator until I get on the elevator, until I trust in the elevator by depending on it.
Jesus Christ is alive today. He paid a fantastic price so that you and I could have a relationship with God. He loves you, and He offers you forgiveness as a free gift. All you need to do is to thank Him for dying in your place, to trust Him, and to make the decision to receive Him. You must make the choice by opening the door of your heart and life to Him who knocks and wants to come in.
Would you like to come to know Jesus Christ today? The Christian faith is an intelligent faith, that it has a rational basis. It is not a leap into the dark; it is a step into the light. And I have told you that Jesus Christ is alive.
It takes a little faith to bring you and God’s love for you together. You don’t have to understand everything. But once you say, “Yes, Jesus, thank You for dying for me; I ask You to come into my life,” then Christ is free to come into your life. Then you will begin to experience what I have been talking about. I stayed many years just on the intellectual level before I ever understood how to receive Christ. But today I can testify to you of God’s love and forgiveness that can be found in Christ.
The Bible summarizes the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5:
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.”
If you believe this and you haven't made a decision to follow Jesus, you need to do so today. Why? Because only Jesus died for you.
“For the wages of sin is death ... .” -Romans 6:23a
“God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us ... .” -2 Corinthians 5:21a, clarification added
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” -1 Peter 3:18a
Christ alone died in your place and paid the penalty of your sins—not Buddha, Confucius, or any other religious leader. Only Jesus was resurrected.
“He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” -Romans 4:25
“God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.” -Acts 2:32
Christ alone conquered death and gives forgiveness and eternal life. Jesus is the only bridge to God.
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus ... .” -1 Timothy 2:5
“Jesus answered, ‘am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” -John 14:6
Believe Jesus Christ died in your place and rose again from the dead for you personally. Receive Christ as your Lord and Savior. Forgiveness and new life are free.
“... but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23b
A gift by definition is always free. If it's not free, then it’s not a gift. Why free? So that no one can claim that God owes him forgiveness.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9
Gifts must be received.
“Yet to all who did receive him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God ... .” -John 1:12, clarification added
Forgiveness and eternal life are God’s free gifts through Jesus Christ. When received, you become a child of God (a Christian). When you become a Christian, Jesus Christ gives you Himself.
I would like to close today by leading you in a prayer. You may want to pray this prayer if you are ready to trust Christ as your Savior. Some readers may still be on their journeys to learn more about Jesus Christ. But some of you know that God has done something in your heart, and though you may not understand completely, you know what I have shared is true.
This is a prayer that would allow you to become a member of God’s family and be given total forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. Read it slowly.
God, I admit that l am a sinner and understand that my sin separates me from You. I believe that Jesus, being God, paid the penalty for all my sins when He died on the cross and rose from the dead. Lord Jesus, thank You for dying for me. I ask You to forgive me of my sins. I repent of my ways and want to change the direction of my life. And now, Lord Jesus, I open the door of my life and ask You to come into my life as Savior and Lord. I trust You alone for the forgiveness of my sins and the free gift of eternal life. Amen.
The words of this prayer are not what saves you and makes you a child of God. It is your trust in Christ alone that saves. This prayer helps you to express that trust. Now go back and pray that prayer to God—just between you and Him.
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John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.