A Christian is not just a religious person or merely a member of a church; a Christian is one who has been forgiven of his or her sin and has an ongoing personal relationship with God. Not only this, but a Christian is someone in whom Jesus Christ lives, one who has been born again (John 3:3) and who lives in the assurance that Jesus paid the price for him or her to be right with God and go to heaven.
The Good News of Jesus Christ is . . .
- God loves everyone and wants all people to live forever in His presence. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (NIV).
- We are separated from God by sin. The Bible defines sin as things we do that are displeasing to God. As humans, not only have we done things that displease God, but we cannot stop doing those things on our own. This is why the Bible calls us "sinners"--because we live in a constant state of sinning. Spiritual and physical death came into our world because of sin. Physical death is separation from loved ones on earth; spiritual death is separation from God. Romans 3:23 says, " All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
- Sin brings death. Romans 6.23 tells us that " . . . the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Physical death is separation from loved ones on earth; spiritual death is separation from God.
- Through Jesus, God has provided the way for us to come to Him and be forgiven of our sins. Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (NIV). Many sincerely believe that performing good works or religious acts will cause God to cancel out the wrong things that they have done. However, this simply is not adequate; the only way to be redeemed from our sins is to accept the gift of God's forgiveness provided through Christ's death (Acts 4:12). God sent His Son, Jesus, to die and pay the price in full for all the wrong things we have done. We no longer have to be separated from God!
- We must individually admit to God that we are sinners and, in an attitude of repentance, personally ask Him for forgiveness, the free gift of eternal life, and for Him to come and take leadership of our lives. Simply talk to God and say something like this: "God, I know that I have sinned and have done things that have hurt You, others and myself. I am a sinner; please forgive my sins. I choose to turn away from my old life and ask You to give me the gift of eternal life. Please come into my life and save me from the punishment I deserve. I put my full trust in what You did for me on the cross, Jesus, and I take You as my Savior. Amen."
If you have prayed this prayer, then we rejoice with you and welcome you to the family of God! As a new Christian, we encourage you to obtain a Bible and begin talking to God (in prayer) and reading the Bible at a regular time every day (morning works best for many people). We would also strongly recommend that you find a church in your community that shares the Good News of Jesus and is making disciples. Please look at the list of churches on the Churches link; if there is not a Pentecostal Church of God near you, we encourage you to begin attending a growing church that is making an impact in your community.