Everyone who has missed the distinctive feature of Christianity feels this way. Non-Christian religions require their followers to reach a certain standard, but to become a Christian is to acknowledge that none of us can meet Godís requirements. Jesus has done it for us.
If you were drowning, would you refuse the help of lifeguards because you are not good enough at swimming? Itís precisely because you are not good enough that you need to be saved. And everyone who lets Jesus save them is a Christian.
A different view: People claiming inability to become a Christian usually think they are demeaning only themselves. What they are really asserting, however, is that Jesus is an inadequate Savior. Upon realizing how ridiculous that is, they yield to Jesus and let him transform their lives.
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Offer me an ice cream for $500 and Iíd refuse. It costs too much. Offer me a brand new car for $500 and Iíd think it so cheap that there must be a catch. Itís not the cost thatís the real issue, itís whatís on offer. The cost of becoming a Christian is so enormous that it is exceeded only by the benefits. Nevertheless, the rewards are so immense that the cost shrivels to insignificance. Whatís in it for me?
The wonderful thing about becoming a Christian is that you never do it alone. You are entering into partnership with the One for whom nothing is impossible. He is always with you to comfort, encourage, strengthen, liberate, protect and to shower you with compensations for what you have left behind. Try as you may, you can sacrifice nothing for God. The most you can do is exchange fleeting pleasure for eternal joy. Thatís not a sacrifice. Itís an investment.
God is a giver, not a taker. What he desires is like a perfect marriage. In every way we benefit from his proposal and God gets the raw end. But God is love. He wants this holy union more than we can imagine. Donít break his heart by holding back.
True marriage costs. It involves total commitment of all that you have and all that you are. It is believing in someone so completely that you entrust your entire being to that person for life. The Lord is eager to be that devoted to you, but for marriage to work, the commitment must be mutual.
If a street kid married a millionaire, she would get his riches and he would get her debts. He would be tarred with her shame and she would gain his honor. For this to happen, she must turn from rival relationships and bind herself and her meager possessions to this man in marriage. Everything he has would become hers, provided she lets everything she has become his.
Similarly, if we entrust to God everything we have Ė our time, abilities, relationships and possessions Ė he will reciprocate, embracing us with divine extravagance. We hand our depravity to Jesus, relinquishing even our fondest sin. It becomes his. Thatís what killed him. In return, Jesusí sinless perfection envelops us, enabling us to be on intimate terms with the Holy God. (2 Corinthians 5:21) The culmination of this divine exchange of holiness for depravity will be seen when all evil is finally wiped off this planet Ė we will be spared and no one can accuse God of injustice or favoritism. He has borne the penalty himself.
In entering this love pact, we give God the right to do whatever he likes with our assets, but the Owner of the universe makes his riches available to us. (Philippians 4:19) We trade our talents, for his unlimited power; our attempts to run our lives, for his unrivaled wisdom. We give him our time on earth and he gives us eternity.
The following prayer corresponds to wedding vows in which you promise to love, honor and obey the Lord, thus making him your God. In turn, the King of kings makes you worthy of spiritual fusion with him and pledges to devote himself unreservedly to you. If the following accurately describes your feelings, you can make it your prayer by reading it to God.
Itís hard to admit how sinful Iíve been. I have caused you grief, yet you sent your Son who gave his life and defeated death to secure my pardon. (Romans 4:24-25; 6:4-5; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8,14,17; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 1:3)
You have given yourself totally for me and I long to reciprocate. In response to your overwhelming love, I dedicate all I have to loving you. I yield to your loving protection and guidance. I surrender my sins to you, renouncing even those things that entice me. And in exchange I receive your pardon and purity and your empowerment to live a life worthy of you.
Thank you that we have now commenced a union that not even death can break.
The Lord of heaven and earth knows your secret thoughts. (Hebrews 4:13) If you prayed the entire prayer honestly, you have entered a new spiritual realm. Thatís hard to believe. Everything seems the same. But not from heavenís perspective. The spiritual contract is sealed.
The proof rests not in your feelings (such as whether you feel guilty or happy), but in the integrity of the Holy One. He has given his word (in the Bible) that whoever turns from sin and looks to Jesus for cleansing, has a radically new destiny. (John 3:36; 6:37; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 6:11-18; Philippians 3:8,9; Colossians 1:20-22) God is no liar!
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Our desperate need is not for clever arguments but for a powerful encounter with the living God. (1 Corinthians 4:20) And we need not more dramatic signs from heaven, but to act on what we already know.
The door to spiritual understanding is not human explanation, but supernatural revelation. It swings not on mind games but on a willingness to surrender our stubborn will to One who knows better than us. (John 7:17; 2 Corinthians 3:14-16; 4:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:4-16; Luke 10:21)
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you, promises the Bible. (James 4:8) Until we respond to the light we already have, God is unlikely to squander further enlightenment upon us.
With insincere excuses we might even fool ourselves, but not the One who knows everything. We donít decide how much evidence we need: God does. Neither do we have the final say as to when God will lose patience with us.
Right now God is offering the greatest conceivable experience with endless benefits. Itís our one hope and Scripture says he could withdraw it at any moment. (Romans 2:3-6; 2 Peter 3:9-11; Jeremiah 11:10-11)
It is understandable that you have a few doubts Ė this is all so new to you Ė but every moment you let a little doubt immobilize you, is an enormous risk. The stakes are so mind boggling that Christians are often reluctant to tell it as it is for fear of being labeled scaremongers. I, too, balk at it, but it is the plain teaching of Jesus that your need is desperate. The uncertainty of life and the reality of hell makes the time you remain undecided the equivalent of hugging a bomb that could explode at any moment. If you only knew, all that Jesus offers you would unashamedly beg for it.
A different view: Your reasons for not becoming a Christian may be more flimsy that you realize. Years ago, psychologists carefully explained to smokers the danger of smoking. They discovered that those who continued to smoke reported enjoying smoking more than before. Apparently, the discrepancy between their behavior and what they knew they should do, forced their minds to exaggerate the pleasures of smoking. Likewise, a reluctance to become a Christian could subject people to psychological pressures that distort their perception of the benefits or logic of remaining spiritually divorced from Jesus.
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Good. If you are caught in a burning building, however, merely thinking about escaping will not bring you to safety. What is needed is not just thought, but action. The cold reality is that you are not guaranteed the next heartbeat. Do what you can now.
It is no use thinking, ĎIíll enjoy my sin for as long as I can and when Iím old I will say Iím sorry.í Do you really think you could fool God? Such a ploy proves you want your own selfish way, not heaven.
A different view: Scripture declares that our thinking on otherworldly matters will remain foggy until undergoing the spiritual transformation that only Jesus offers. Agree to be rid of your sin, just as Jesus agreed to be smeared with your sin. Trust God to treat you as being as sinless as Jesus, just as God treated the crucified Christ as being as sinful as you. Spiritually - not necessarily consciously Ė you will be instantly transformed. You then have the rest of eternity to think about it, pondering the marvelous implications of what has happened to you and rejoicing in its endless benefits.
If you have entrusted your life to Jesus as a result of reading this page, please contact me now so that I may pray for you and do whatever I can to assist you further.
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You Can Find Love What your fantasies reveal