Eternal Life

How to Become a Christian

Did you know that the Bible tells how you can know for sure that you have eternal life and will go to be with God in Heaven? The Bible says in 1 John 5:13, “These things I have written to you… that you may know that you have eternal life.” Here’s how you can know for sure.

1. Heaven (Eternal Life) is a free gift. The Bible says, “… the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) And because Heaven is a gift, like any other genuine gift, it is not earned or deserved. Therefore, no amount of personal effort, good works, or religious deeds can earn a place in heaven for you.

The Bible also says, “By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Why is it that no one can earn his way to Heaven? Because…

2. Man is a sinner. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Sin is transgressing God’s law and includes such things as lying, lust, cheating, deceit, anger, evil thoughts, immoral behavior, and more.

And because of this, man cannot save himself. If you wanted to save yourself by good deeds, do you know how good you would have to be? The Bible says you would have to be perfect. “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) With such a high standard, no one can save himself for God also says, “Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10) In spite of our sin, however…

3. God is merciful and therefore doesn’t want to punish us. This is because… “God is love…” (1 John 4:8), and He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31 :3b).

But the same Bible that tells us that God loves us all also tells us that God is just, and therefore must punish sin. He says, “… I will by no means clear the guilty…” (Exodus 34:7) and “The soul who sins shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4)

We have a problem; we have all sinned. The penalty for sin is death. We need forgiveness so that we can have a right relationship with God.

4. God solved this problem for us in the person of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us clearly that Jesus is the infinite God-Man. “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus) … and the Word (Jesus) was God… and the Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1, 14).

Jesus Christ came to earth and lived a sinless life, but while on earth, he died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins and rose from the grave to purchase a place for us in Heaven. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)

God hates our sin, but because of His love for us, He has placed them all on His Son. Christ bore our sin in His body on the cross. Now Jesus Christ offers you eternal life (Heaven) as a free gift.

5. This free gift is received by faith. Faith is the key that opens the door to heaven. Many people mistake two things for saving faith!

Saving faith is trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. It means resting upon Christ alone and what He has done rather than what you have done to get in to Heaven. “Believe (trust) on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31).

You have just read the greatest story ever told about the greatest offer ever made by the greatest person who ever lived – Jesus Christ. The question God is asking you now is, “Would you like to receive a gift of eternal life?”

Because this is such an important matter, let’s clarify just what this involves. It means, first of all, that you transfer your trust from what you have been doing to what Christ has done for you on the cross.

It means, next, that you receive the resurrected, living Christ into your life as Savior. He says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock (at the door of your life). If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him.” (Revelation 3:20)

It means further that your receive Jesus Christ into your life as Lord. He comes as Master and King. There is a throne room in your heart, and that throne is rightly His. He made you. He bought you, and He wants to take His rightful place on the throne of your life.

It means, finally, that you repent of your sins. That means that you are willing to turn from anything you have been doing that is not pleasing Him and to follow Him as He reveals His will to you in His Word.

Now, if this is what you really want, you can go to God in prayer right were you are. You can receive His gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ right now. “… with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation … for whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:10,13) If you want to receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, then call on Him, asking Him for this gift right now. Here’s a suggested prayer:

“Lord Jesus Christ, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to purchase a place in Heaven for me. Lord Jesus, come into my life; take control of my life; forgive my sins and save me. I repent of my sins and now place my trust in You for my salvation. I accept the free gift of eternal life.”

If this prayer is the sincere desire of your heart, look at what Jesus promises to those who believe in Him. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” (John 6:47) Welcome to God’s family! If you have truly repented (forsaken, turned away) from your sins, placed your trust in Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death, and received the gift of eternal life, you are now a child of God! Forever!

Welcome to the Family of God! “But as many as received Him, to them He gives the right to become children of God to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)

If you have questions or would like additional information about the Christian life, just contact us by phone or email!
Contact Us at OBC@OaklandBaptist.org