GOOD NEWS: YOU HAVE A PURPOSE
God created you for relationship with Him, and He loved you before the world began (Ephesians 1:3-5). The sole reason you were created was to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Your life has meaning and can have ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Your life matters to God, and your deep desire for meaning can ultimately only be fulfilled in Him.
BAD NEWS: WE SCREWED IT UP
God is perfect. He cannot be in relationship with sin (1 John 1:5). When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the relationship we were all created for was broken. All of us have disobeyed God in some way, making us each individually responsible for our brokenness (Romans 3:23). Even worse is the fact that separation from God caused a ripple effect that brought every kind of death and suffering in the world (Romans 5:12-21). Ultimately, every disease, divorce, and hurt comes as a result of humanity's fall.
It gets worse. There is nothing any of us can do to earn back a relationship with God (Romans 3:10). The result of our sin is death in all it's forms: separation from God, separation from each other, physical death, and eventually an eternal punishment (Romans 6:23).
GOOD NEWS: RESTORATION IS POSSIBLE
God came to earth (as Jesus) to reveal Himself and pay our sin debt (John 1:14, 1 John 2:2, 1 Peter 3:18). Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Put simply, we earn death by sinning, but God gives us the free gift of eternal life, because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. There is nothing you can do to earn a gift. All you have to do is accept it. Romans 10:9 gives us a simple way to accept it: "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."
- Declare "Jesus is Lord. " This is no small thing. It means acknowledging that He is God and choosing to follow Him. Implicit in this declaration is an acknowledgement that you have sinned and need His forgiveness.
- Believe God raised Jesus from the dead. Implicit in this belief is that Jesus died to pay your sin debt and rose from the dead to give you new life.
There is no formulaic prayer to pray. You can say it however you want to. What is important is that you believe in Jesus' saving work and make Him the Lord of your life. If you need help knowing what to pray, here is a suggested prayer:
God, I have sinned. I am so sorry for all the things I have done wrong (feel free to mention whatever comes to mind—it could help to mention specific sins to God just to remind yourself that he is forgiving you for all of it). I cannot be good enough to earn your forgiveness, but I believe Jesus died to pay the debt for my sins and that he rose from the dead to make my life new and eternal. Jesus, be the Lord of my life. Be my God and King. I love you and trust You. Help me as I follow You by loving God and loving people as You do. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus' name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, please let us know. We would like to get you connected with some people who will help you as you start your journey of following Jesus.
BAPTISM: AN OUTWARD PROCLAMATION OF AN INWARD DECISION TO FOLLOW JESUS
If you have trusted Jesus, you are in God's family. Baptism is simply an outward proclamation of an inward decision to follow Jesus. It does not save you; faith in Jesus does. However, it is really important. Do not wait around to get baptized. Have the person who led you to Christ dunk you in some water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20) or contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up a time to get baptized. You do not have to have everything together to get baptized. In fact, you should not wait until your life is together. The only requirement is that you trust Jesus. Are you in?