How do you become a Christian?
You are not born a Christian, you have to become one first. But how? One does not become a Christian by having a Christian home, being baptized in a Christian way, successfully having a Christian confirmation / communion, having a Christian wedding and finally a Christian burial.
Nor does one become a Christian by trying to live according to Christian standards. Please, don't get me wrong: I do not want to make bad any of this. But that still doesn't make one a Christian. A Christian you are, when you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! And how can this be achieved? That, I would like to explain to you in the following.
First of all, however, you should know 4 biblical facts:
God loves the people and has created them in community with him in love, and love in return.
This, from God willed community, is destroyed by the people by their 'autonomy', in other words, they want to determine their own live, and do not want to be 'patronized' by God. So, the person shoots past the target: The eternal life from and with God (that's what the word "sin" means in the Bible).
Man has separated from God and thus from the source of life. This means that man is forever separated from a real and meaningful life. The Bible refers to this kind of state as 'lost'. No religiosity and no decency is able to 'bridge' the manmade gap between man and God.
The amazing thing: God still loves the people - be them the most whored or drunk or you and me. He sends his eternal Son Jesus into this world and time, who becomes the only way out of man's lostness. He dies on the cross, the only pure one, who should not have died - our death. With that, on one hand he pays the ransom to buy us out of Satan's captivity.
On the other hand, the 'No' of God hits Jesus on the cross, which stood above our rebellious life. So he took our place on the cross. He traded - with you and me! His death on the cross was not the failure of an idealist, but Jesus went to the judgment of the Holy God on our behalf. The 'lightning', meant for me, hit Him! With his resurrection on Easter morning, God set his seal under the vicarious atoning death of his Son. Through Jesus, the way back to God and an eternal life with him, became free. This is what the Bible calls 'Salvation'.
Jesus, who has gone back into the (for us still) invisible world, approaches our conscience at some moment in our life through his word, and awakens it. He calls us to himself and thus, places us into the most momentous decision of our life:
Either I open my life to him and let him in with his forgiveness and salvation, and am secure with him in time and eternity ...
... or I close myself off to him and remain - if I persist in this negative attitude towards him - in my lostness in time and eternity. Because he loves us, he takes our decision 100% seriously. If you want to invite him into your life, tell him in prayer. Praying means speaking honestly with Jesus. If you want, you can also use the printed prayer to talk to Him:
Lord Jesus Christ,
you died and resurrected for me as well.
Thank you for giving your life for me.
On the cross, you loaded my guilt upon you and carried it away.
You have set me free from Satan's claws.
With your resurrection you have conquered my death, and the way into God's glory ... made free!
For this I praise you and renounce all dark powers.
I come to you now, with all of my failures and guilt.
I accept you as my personal Lord.
Thank you for being yours forever!
Thank you that nothing and nobody can tear me out of your hand.
When you have seriously entrusted your life to Jesus, you have become a Christian. Do not rely on your feelings! The decisive factor is the firm commitment of Jesus': "I will not reject anyone who comes to me" (John 6, 37).
You can be delighted and thank him every day for the fact that you belong to him forever, and he to you. Hold that very tight! Even on cloudy days. There are Christians who think they have to feel Jesus. There's nothing about that written in my Bible; don't let mislead you here by others!
You do not need to feel it, but may KNOW, that Jesus is with you, because he has promised his people: "I am with you every day, until the end of the world!" (Matthew 28, 20) . He does never break his promise. You will make this experience. I would not write it to you, if I had not found this out for myself.
Autor: Thomas Cornel (www.thomas-cornel.de)