There is more to life than money, beer and sex.
Deep down we know there is an unseen spiritual reality. Something beyond us that we hope will one day satisfy our deepest longings, and liberate us from our strongest fears.
We search for this elusive dream in a 1001 places but often the last place we look is in the Church. For most people Church is boring and irrelevant, ironically all the things its founder, Jesus Christ, never was.
The Bible teaches that God in Christ offers us real life, life as it was meant to be, life full of joy, meaning, peace and freedom. This life is available to all as free gift. The gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ. This is not so much about a quantity of life but a quality of life. It is life with a three dimensional quality.
Forgiveness for the past
Jesus came to deal with the guilt, regret and pain we all have in our lives. We have all messed things up in different ways. The Bible is honest when it says; “All have sinned, and fall short of God’s glory” (Romans 3:23). Sin is any way we have failed to love God and other people. It has consequences. It cuts us off from God and it damages our relationships with others. Jesus took this sin and made it his own problem even though it was really our problem. He took the consequences of sin, our sin, including God’s anger. The cross on which Jesus died (circa 33 AD) is God’s way of offering the free gift of forgiveness. If you accept Jesus’ death on the cross for you and ask God to forgive you, your conscience is cleansed, guilt is taken away and hurts from the past are healed.
Freedom in the present
The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. When Jesus died, he paid our wages and then declared; “It is finished!” He paid our wages so completely that death no longer had any rights to him. On the third day he rose again to new life, eternal life! Jesus’ historical resurrection is proof that he is the Son of God and the Saviour of the world. If we believe in Him, Jesus comes into our lives and gives us His eternal life. We can know the power of Jesus raising us out of failure, addictions and fears.
Hope for the future
Jesus is the first man to die and then physically come back to life. In doing so, he proves that there is life after death and that he can give it to us. When we die, we do not reach the end of our existence but a cross roads. Either we will be raised to judgement for our sins and condemned to hell OR we will be raised to heaven where we shall be made perfect. The difference is whether we have believed in Jesus Christ. Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live even though he dies.” He then asks a straight question which all of us must answer; “Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
We have to do something to accept God’s gift of eternal life. Just as you might put out two empty hands to receive a gift, so we must reach out to God through repentance and faith.
This means to change direction in life. It involves saying sorry for the wrong things we have thought, said and done. We need to ask God to forgive us for the past and then turn from anything we know is wrong in the future. This will mean living a new life where Jesus is Lord and the one we live to please.
This involves active trust in Jesus Christ. It is more than believing that certain facts are true. It is about entrusting our very lives to this Truth. Real faith is exclusive – it puts all our eggs in one basket. Faith in Jesus Christ means trusting Him with our life, death and life after death – everything we are. God responds to this kind of faith and comes to make himself real in our lives by His Holy Spirit.
The following prayer is one you can pray to repent and put your faith in God through Jesus Christ.
I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life (take a moment to ask forgiveness for anything particular on your conscience). Please forgive me. I now turn from everything which I know to be wrong. I declare you to be the Lord of my life and give you the first place. I will live for your pleasure from now on. Thank you that you died on the cross for me so that I can be forgiven and set free. Thank you that you now offer me new life through the gift of your Holy Spirit. I now receive that gift by faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. Please come into my life by your Holy Spirit to be with me forever. Thank you that you are now my heavenly Father and I am now your child. Amen.
What should I do now?
- Tell someone
- Find someone you trust and let them know the decision you have made. This will make it a reality for you.
- Read the Bible and pray regularly – You have begun an exciting new relationship with God. The Bible is the main way God will speak to you and prayer is the main way you can speak to Him.
- Come to church – We all need help to grow in our relationship with God. Church is a community of God’s people who love God and help each other. Every Christian needs this support and love from a local church…