"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
- Jesus Christ in John 10:10
Are you searching for meaning in your life? This is an age-old question that is commonly recognized by the world as one that has no simple answer. Many philosophies and religions offer answers which only serve to confuse the issue. This confusion is the work of the enemies of God who would have us either make the wrong choice or put off even considering spiritual matters.
The first issue people need to get clear on is the existence of God. This is the easy part, most people admit to believing there must be some sort of "supreme being". The Bible explains why this is in Romans 1:20, For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Unfortunately, most people do not believe it is possible to have a personal relationship with God and that He has a plan for each one of us.
In the quest for truth about life after death, what authorities should you consult? There are "new age" philosophies that say you should look within yourself. But be honest, are you right enough of the time to trust yourself in such an important issue that has eternal ramifications? Looking for God within us is trusting in ourselves and not Him. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.
How about religious leaders? The problem with this is the contradictions among those who say God has spoken to them. How can we discern the truth? The Bible has the answer in 1 John 4:1, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. If someone tells you something that is not consistent with the Bible, don't believe it. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8) You may also want to read about how the early Church verified the truth in Acts 17:10-12.
God has given us the Bible so that we may have easy access to the truth. There are those who say the Bible should not be taken as the literal Word of God because it was written by people with human failings like us. We should not see the Bible this way, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)
God is the all-powerful creator of the universe and can do anything, even use flawed vessels like us to accurately record and preserve His Word. To see the Bible as anything less than the inspired Word of God is to deny God's power and put limitations on Him. The consistency of the message throughout the Bible across thousands of years and scores of authors is a testimony to the authenticity of God's Word.
God wants us to have a relationship with Him. God created us to be able to freely chose fellowship with Him or not. The second and third chapters of Genesis tells how our ancestors, Adam and Eve, broke mankind's fellowship with God through their self-will. Such attitudes of rebellion and indifference toward God are called sin in the Bible. Our sin nature has been passed down through the generations to all of us, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
God is Holy and defines righteousness. There is no way we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven in our sinful condition, for the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23. Those who reject the Lord will themselves be rejected. This is the most important thing we can learn in this life. There is a death worse than the physical pain of leaving this world. That is the second death of being separated from God in Hell for eternity. The cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
The only way you can know God and experience His love is to truly accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ who was God incarnate and without sin shed His blood in our place. God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ demonstrated God's plan for us through His resurrection. Christ died for our sins... He was buried... He rose again the third day... He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).
Jesus Christ is God's only provision for mankind's sin. Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
Christ also said there would be comparatively few who will be saved, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)
We must individually receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name (John 1:12). Our salvation is a gift from God, it is not something we accomplish through our own efforts. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). When we receive Christ, we experience a new birth, read John 3:1-8.
When we receive Christ, we turn from self-reliance to trusting God for our salvation. We have a genuine desire to please Him and we turn from our sinful ways. Our self-centered view of life becomes a Christ-centered view (repentance). Just intellectually acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience, feelings should be the result of faith based on Biblical truth. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.
You can receive Christ right now through prayer. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is the attitude of your heart. Just talk to Him. A suggested prayer is as follows. If this expresses the desire of your heart, you can say the prayer right now.
Heavenly Father, I confess that I am a sinner. I believe that your Son, Jesus, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins. I now receive Him as my Savior and Lord. Please forgive me of my sins and give me the indwelling of Your Holy Spirit. I truly look forward to life everlasting with you. Thank You Father. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
God gives us many opportunities to receive Jesus Christ. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). But this also means that there will come a time when you have been given all the opportunities you are going to get before you die. Then it will be too late.
There will also come a time when time runs out for everyone. Jesus Christ is coming to the earth again (Zechariah 8:3, Zechariah 14:1-9, Revelation 5:9-10). This time it will be in power and glory to set up His Kingdom on earth. Before Jesus returns, He will be taking His Church out of this world (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 & 1Thessalonians 4:16-18 ). We don't know when this day is but the events of the world indicate it could happen at any time. The re-establishment of the nation of Israel, advanced technology, the move toward a global government, the degradation of society, wars, acts of God, and many other current events are clearly foretold in the Bible.
For those of us whose trust is in Jesus Christ, we are living in exciting times. If your trust is in something or someone else, open your heart to Jesus, it's not too late yet.
After receiving Christ, it is important for you to make a public profession of your faith (Matthew 10:32 and Romans 10:9) and by being buried with Him in believer's baptism (Romans 6:3-5). We hope that you will chose Brazos Bend Baptist Church for this profession of faith.
If you've already committed yourself to the Lord, Brazos Bend Baptist Church welcomes you as well. Church fellowship is a necessary element in spiritual growth. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another... (Hebrews 10:23-25).