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We believe that there is life after death. Some go to heaven and eternal bliss while others go to hell and find eternal torment. What makes the difference?

Many people think that by leading God moral lives or because they live in a "Christian" country or had "Christian" family members or attend a church they must be Christians. That isn't the way it works. You can't inherit your Christianity. It is a choice that each one of us makes.

Perhaps you're thinking you've already made that choice because you regularly attend church, tithe or serve on a church board or in some ministry capacity. The truth is that you can do all those things without being a Christian.

How to become a Christian

In the New Testament a very religious man named Nicodemus confronts Jesus because He wants to know how to get eternal life. This fellow was learned in religion, served as a teacher and apparently of good moral character. That wasn't enough.

In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

John 3:3

Now I know there is plenty of baggage out there with the words "born again" but God's Word tells us there is no other way.

God's Word also talks about our state as humans, our need and the remedy. Every one of us has rebelled against God is some way. Some more than others but the Bible is clear that all of us are sinners.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Romans 3:23

The Bible is also clear that that rebellion, sin, wrong thinking or poor choices, call them what you will, has terrible eternal consequences.

For the wages of sin is death,

Romans 6:23

That same Bible verse goes on to let us know we're not without hope ...

but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

Our hope is in Jesus and only in Jesus.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

How do we gain access to this hope?

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

Romans 10:9-11

Is this hope for all people? Yes! If they choose to accept it.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:20

God desires that all people should be set free of their sins, forgiven and restored to having a personal relationship with Him. It is not something we can earn, it is a free gift offered to those who will accept it.

To accept it, recognize that you have made mistakes in your life (that you have sinned) and desire His forgiveness.  You must recognize that you are a sinner who has rebelled against a holy God and want to be made right with Him. You must want to turn from your mistakes and have a fresh start. Open your heart to Him, believe He will do what He promises and pray a simple prayer along these lines:

Dear Jesus:

I have made many mistakes in my life and done things I am not proud of. I need your love and forgiveness. I believe that you came into this world and gave your life on a cross to pay for my sins and that you defeated death and rose again. Please forgive me, and be the Lord of my life.

Amen

If you pray that prayer, or something similar (with an open and honest heart, not just an intellectual assent or emotional outburst), you are forgiven and are now restored to Him.  It's not so much the words that are important as a heartfelt desire to turn to God and to believe on Jesus. If you pray this prayer, please let us know so we can share in your joy.

To deepen that relationship, we suggest time in prayer, reading your Bible and finding a good church to attend.

For an excellent source of free non-denominational Christian resources that include titles such as "How To Recognize a Good Church" and "How To Read Your Bible," check out www.RBC.org. We're not affiliated with them in any way, we have just found their resources to be great.

If we can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask.

May God richly bless you.