Everyone who has missed the unique feature of Christianity feels this way. Non-Christian religions require their followers to reach a certain standard, but to become a Christian is to admit that none of us can meet God’s standards. 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? It is 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 who say they are not good enough to become a Christian usually think they are insulting only themselves. What they are really saying, however, is that Jesus is too weak to save them. Upon realizing how silly that is, they yield to Jesus and let him make them different people.
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Offer me an ice cream for $500 and I would refuse. It costs too much. Offer me a brand new car for $500 and I would think it so cheap that there must be a catch. It is not the cost that is the real issue, it is what is on offer. The cost of becoming a Christian is so great that it is exceeded only by the benefits. Nevertheless, the rewards are so great that the cost shrinks to nothing.
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, rescue, protect and to shower you with things to make up for what you have left behind. Try as you may, you can sacrifice nothing for God. The most you can do is trade short-lived pleasure for eternal joy. That is not a sacrifice. It is an investment.
God is a giver, not a taker. What he desires is like a perfect marriage. In every way we benefit from his offer and God gets the raw end. But God is love. He wants this holy union more than we can imagine. Do not 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 whole life to that person. The Lord is eager to be that devoted to you, but for marriage to work, both people must be committed.
If a street kid married a millionaire, she would get his riches and he would get her debts. He would gain her shame and she would gain his honor. For this to happen, she must leave other relationships and commit herself and her few 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 – our time, abilities, relationships and possessions – he will be equally generous with everything that is us, pouring treasures upon us like only God can. We hand our wickedness to Jesus, giving up even our most treasured bad habit. It becomes his. That is what killed him. In return, Jesus’ sinless perfection fills us, enabling us to be on the closest terms with the Holy God. (2 Corinthians 5:21) The final result of this exchange of holiness for wickedness will be seen when all evil is finally wiped off this planet we will be spared and no one can accuse God of unfairness. He has paid the penalty himself.
In entering this love promise, we give God the right to do whatever he likes with our possessions, but the Owner of the universe makes his riches available to us. (Philippians 4:19) We trade our skills, for his unlimited power; our attempts to run our lives, for his unequaled wisdom. We give him our time on earth and he gives us eternity.
The following prayer is like 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 union with him and promises to devote himself unreservedly to you. If the following describes your feelings, you can make it your prayer by reading it to God.
It is hard to admit how bad I have been. I have caused you sorrow, yet you sent your Son who gave his life and defeated death so that I could be forgiven. (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 do the same for you. In response to your overwhelming love, I dedicate all I have to loving you. I surrender to your loving protection and guidance. I give my past wrongs to you, letting go even those wrong things I like. And in return I receive your forgiveness and purity and your enabling to live a life worthy of you.
Thank you that we have now begun 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 whole prayer honestly, you have entered a new spiritual realm. That is hard to believe. Everything seems the same. But not from heaven’s viewpoint. The spiritual agreement is complete.
The proof rests not in your feelings (such as whether you feel guilty or happy), but in the dependability of the Holy One. God has given his word (in the Bible) that whoever turns from doing wrong and looks to Jesus to be made pure, has a totally new future. (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!
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)
Move toward God and he will move toward you, promises the Bible. (James 4:8) Until we respond to the light we already have, God is unlikely to waste further spiritual knowledge upon us.
With insincere excuses we might even fool ourselves, but not the One who knows everything. We do not 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 experience imaginable with endless benefits. It is 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 – this is all so new to you – but every moment you let a little doubt stop you, is an enormous risk. The stakes are so huge that Christians are often reluctant to tell the full truth for fear of being accused of trying to scare people. I, too, am tempted to say little, 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 as serious as holding 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 weaker than you realize. Years ago, scientists carefully explained to a group of smokers the danger of smoking. They discovered that those who continued to smoke reported enjoying smoking more than before. It seems that the difference between their actions and what they knew they should do, caused their minds to exaggerate the pleasures of smoking. This is similar to people who do not want to become Christians but inwardly know they should. Such a situation could force their minds to distort their view of the benefits or logic of remaining spiritually divorced from Jesus.
Good. If you are caught in a burning building, however, simply 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 your next heartbeat. Do what you can now.
It is no use thinking, ‘I will enjoy my bad habit for as long as I can and when I am old I will say I am sorry.’ Do you really think you could fool God? Such a plan proves you want your own selfish way, not heaven.
A different view: The Bible states that our thinking on spiritual matters will remain foggy until we experience the spiritual re-birth that only Jesus offers. Agree to have your wrongdoing taken from you, just as Jesus agreed to be covered with your guilt. Trust God to treat you as being as pure as Jesus, just as God treated the crucified Christ as being as impure as you. Spiritually – you will not necessarily feel it – you will be instantly changed. You then have the rest of eternity to think about, and enjoy, all the wonderful results of what has happened to you.
If you have made this, the most important decision of your life as a result of reading the above, I would like to pray for you and do whatever I can to help you in your new life. Please write to me straight away.
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