We want to help you understand who Jesus Christ is and why He gave His life for us. Spiritual life is not just “religion.” It is a relationship with God.
WHO IS HE—THIS JESUS?
Two great moments in our lives are when we are born and when we discover why we were born. We were created for a reason—a divine purpose. Our lives are not accidents or fate. God has a personal plan for each of us. His purpose in our lives can only be accomplished because of Jesus Christ.
The life of Jesus Christ is the turning point of all history. Our calendar is hinged on His birth. Who was this man from the small town of Nazareth in the Middle East? Hundreds of years before He came, prophets announced His coming. Many great men have appeared in this world, yet none were divine and announced beforehand, except this one man—Jesus.
Were Jesus’ followers telling the truth about Him? The proofs that Christ came back to life from death were so convincing, the early Christians gave their lives rather than deny that Jesus was the Son of God.
WHAT DID JESUS DO?
The apostle Peter was a fisherman who traveled with Jesus for more than three years, listening to His teaching and observing His life. Peter was one of Jesus’ first followers and became one of His closest friends. In a letter Peter wrote to churches late in his life, he said, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”1
Peter said that God wants to forgive us and bring peace into our lives.2 Jesus Christ opens the way to peace—peace with God and peace with others. Other people have sinned against us, and we have sinned against other people. We can do something about both—by asking God to forgive our sins and forgiving others for their sins against us.
The life of Christ calls for a decision. Was He just a great teacher and spiritual leader? Or was He who He claimed to be—the Son of God who has the power to forgive sin and grant everlasting life to all who will believe on Him? Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”3
LIFE HAS TWO ROADS
Life has only two roads, and we are on one of them. One leads to death and eternal punishment—the other to everlasting life. The most important decision we make in this life is where we’ll spend our eternal life. When we have made that choice, we’re not only prepared to die . . . we’re finally ready to live!
Jesus Christ taught that every person will exist for eternity. The apostle Paul wrote to the Roman Christians: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”4 He also taught that being saved from sin’s penalty is simple: “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.”5
We all know in our hearts that we have sinned. Even if we have never read a Bible or do not understand what it means to sin against God we can know we are sinners, because God created each of us with a conscience. We know what we don’t want others to do to us. We don’t want them to steal our possessions, lie about us or be unkind to us. When we do to someone what we don’t want done to us, our conscience lets us know we have done wrong.
HE PAID THE PRICE
The penalty for sin is death. That is why all people die. But 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ, the holy Son of God, became a man. For 33 years He lived without sin. Then He was killed. He paid the penalty for sin without committing the crime. So death had no power over Him. After three days, He came back to life again.
He is alive! And now He offers forgiveness of sin and the gift of everlasting life to everyone who will ask Him.
You can receive Christ as your Savior right now, this moment! You don’t have to be in a church or special place, or have the help of a minister or priest. (If you need a better understanding before you make this decision, read more at “Following Christ.”)
HE CAN CHANGE YOUR HEART AND LIFE
You can pray now, wherever you are. God is listening. Tell Him in your own words that you are sorry for your sins and that you want to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Ask God to help you change your heart and life. It’s your prayer He wants to hear. You can pray the following prayer, but it is not enough just to say the words. You must mean it from your heart:
“God, I know I have sinned. I believe Your Son, Jesus Christ, died to take the punishment for my sin. I believe Jesus came back to life from death and has the power to forgive my sin and change my life. Forgive me. Come into my life and change me. I want to live for You and follow Your plan for my life. I believe You have forgiven me, and I thank You for hearing my prayer, in Jesus’ name.”
God has forgiven you if you prayed this prayer and meant it from your heart. God knew before you were born that you would receive His Son as your Savior. Now you can begin the life He has planned for you! Step by step God will lead you to what He has chosen for you. He will show you the way to live and will teach you each day as you grow spiritually and become the person He planned for you to be.
1 2 Peter 1:16 (NIV)
2 Acts 10:34-43 (NIV)
3 John 14:6 (NIV)
4 Romans 6:23 (NIV)
5 Romans 10:9,10 (NIV)