I was just telling my mom how sad it is that I went to church all my life and believed in God but really did not KNOW that Jesus was the way to Heaven. I went to Sunday school. I was confirmed. I went to youth group. I am sure it was told to me and I was not taking it in. I was 32 years old when I really knew that Jesus Christ died on the cross for me.
Mike grew up in a southern Baptist church and we was told to come forward every Sunday in case he got in a wreck on the way home. He said he always hoped his dad drove careful on the way home so he would not go to hell like they had told him. He heard it weekly but until he went on his Walk to Emmaus (a 72 hour spiritual retreat) he did not believe that he would go to heaven. I remember the relief he had!!
When my girls were two and four I always asked them if they knew how to get to heaven. They always said, "to believe that Jesus died on the cross for me." Every night we talked about that because I wanted them to remember it. The last thing they would say in their prayers was, "help me to teach others about Jesus."
One thing I love about my church is that no matter what Sunday someone visits they will hear about Salvation. And it will not be done by fear. You will hear how loved you are. How good God is and how He wants the best for us. Encouragement - pure and simple! Jeremiah 29: 11, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
God has nudged me to post this blog every so often. I am sure there are some people who read this for the "story." If God is nudging me to do this then I believe He will bring the right person(s) to this page. If this is you, know this:
Jesus Christ died on the cross for you! For your sins. If you repent (sorry and ready to turn away from your sin) then you will be forgiven and He will not remember your sins. They are gone. He loves you so much because you are a child of God. He loves you even more than either of your parents or grandparents love you. He loves you even more than you love your child(ren). There is a better way than trying to direct our own life. You have a free gift - no strings attached - just accept this gift from God.
How do you become a Christian? Romans 10: 9-10, "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.'"
Pray the Prayer of Salvation to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior which you can do it your own words:
Lord Jesus, I can't make it through life on my own. I sin. I have done bad stuff. I know there's nothing in the world I can do to make myself acceptable to You. But I know that You love me so much that You were willing to die on the cross for me. That's a grace so amazing I cannot understand it; I can only accept it. And I do accept this free gift. I know that from this moment on, I am saved. I am a child of God. And I give the rest of my life to serving You and experiencing the joy that only You can offer. Fill me now with your Spirit. I thank You and praise You! Amen.
We all need to be ready for the return of Jesus. We are told over and over in the Bible that he will come like a thief in the night. Matthew 24:42-44, "So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming." Mark 13:32-33, "However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself." 2 Peter 3:10, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare." 1 Thessalonians 5:2, "For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night."
Once you have Jesus in your heart you can live your life in joy. Joy does not go away like happiness. Joy means that no matter what happens you will always know God is in control of your life. You have a peace that surpasses all understanding. There is no better friend, Adviser, Counselor, etc. And you have the gift of eternity in Heaven where there will be no more tears! Reunited with loved ones who accepted the same gift for eternity!
John 14: 3, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." I pray we are neighbors!