and YOU Are Invited!
Are you ready for the Family Reunion to end all family reunions? I'm talking about being part of the eternal family of God. In one sense, because God created us, we are all "children of God," but Jesus clearly taught that unless we are "born again" or "born of the Spirit," we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God (that is, be with Him eternally in heaven) (John 3).
Whether or not you realize it, He loves you - far more than you can imagine, and He longs for an intimate relationship with you. However, that's only possible if you'll turn from the darkness of this world and walk in His light. God reached out to mankind nearly two thousand years ago by coming to earth to dwell in the form of the man Jesus in order to bridge that gap between Himself and us. He paved the way (by offering Himself as a sacrifice) for us humans to have a real and intimate relationship with the one true living God, and an eternal home in heaven is one of the many benefits! Being "good" isn't the prerequisite nor is going to church. It's surrendering, and allowing His Spirit to take over.If you've never made such a commitment to God, "now is the acceptable time, behold, NOW is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2).
What is salvation, anyway? Salvation amounts to entering into an on-going, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ...NOT "walking the aisle," saying a half-hearted, soon forgotten prayer, getting baptized, and then going on with life as usual. If you've been living a life of selfishness, or if you've been living your life without the intimacy with God that He desires, it's time to change. You can't change yourself, but God can bring about that change in you. Take a child-like step of faith and just ask, believe, commit, and receive. It's that simple - it's not complicated - although humbling yourself and acknowledging who's really in control (that is, who's Lord) may not be easy, but it's necessary. Your time is running out, so please don't put it off. Jesus is extending His hand out to all who will reach out and accept His gracious gift of salvation. This is not mere "religious rhetoric;" this is reality. Allow the Holy Spirit of God to touch you, and heal those deep wounds that may be keeping you bound and miserable. If you've grown up in a healthy home and church and yet still don't really know and love Him, if you've suffered great hurt and rejection in life, and/or you've sunk to the deepest depths of sin and depravity, there is hope, healing, and restoration for you in Jesus today!
The following are some basic steps for receiving God's gift of salvation:
Please make it a priority to call out to God for salvation. Here is a sample prayer that you may want to pray out to God:
I acknowledge my great depravity and need for You. I confess my selfishness and sin which I know is my death sentence unless You forgive me and save me. I whole-heartedly humble myself before You and ask for mercy. I take this step of faith in receiving the redemption that Jesus provided for me through His sacrifice on the cross so many years ago. I ask You to come and live in me, and cause me to be born again in spirit. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and teach me to love and live in a way that is pleasing in Your sight. I willingly turn from my selfish ways, and I commit to follow You, and seek You from now on. Help me to fully forgive those who have wronged me that I may receive Your forgiveness. Thank You for loving me and forgiving me. Thank you for rescuing me from my road to hell. I pray this in the name of Jesus the Messiah, Your Son. Amen.
Welcome to the Family!
If you prayed the above prayer and meant it... REJOICE! The Bible says this about you:
"Therefore if any man [or woman] is in Christ, he is a new creature [or a new creation]; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
Now, dig in to the Scriptures, for they will be nourishment for your new faith. For starters I recommend that you begin reading the book of John in the New Testament. Find a loving, Bible-believing church to plug into; a place where you can be nurtured and can grow in the Lord. Find someone locally who you can go to or call when you need prayer; someone who can disciple you and help you grow. Also as an act of obedience to the Lord, you should make arrangements to be water baptized at the first opportunity you get.
If you've truly been "born again" you'll discover that the things in your life that are displeasing to God (the "things of this world") will become less an less attractive to you. The fact is, it shouldn't even be necessary for it to be said to a new convert, "You need to give up partying, drugs, smoking, sleeping around, stealing, lying, selfishness, etc." because the Holy Spirit will begin doing that work from the inside-out so you'll want to part from those things instinctively, because after all, you are a new creation. Unfortunately many well-meaning "church people" may immediately try the "outside-in" approach on you, demanding that all those things be stopped immediately. Just keep this in mind: "Why would someone who loves Jesus want to grieve Him by continuing to indulge in practices that offend Him, in the same way that a newly married person, deeply in love, wouldn't want to hurt his or her spouse by being unfaithful?" Christians are referred to in the Bible as "the bride of Christ," so we are to love, honor, and be faithful to Him in every way.
As a new believer you'll need to learn how to defend yourself against the attacks of the devil. Yes, attacks will come because you're now at war against the kingdom of darkness, but if you'll stay at God's side, He'll protect you. And He provides weapons for you to use against the forces of darkness (read about that in the book of Ephesians, chapter 6, beginning in verse 10). Don't be deceived, the Christian walk is not a bed of roses! In fact, it's often an uphill climb, but you have the Lord at your side to help you, to guide you, protect you, comfort you, and give you peace and joy as you walk this narrow path that leads to heaven! In addition to helping you flourish in your relationship with God, in order to have the power to fight against the forces of darkness, you'll need to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. The scriptures teach us about being "baptized in the Holy Spirit," and this is crucially important for being victorious in your walk with the Lord. Since we're called to love others and to give of ourselves (and because we're vessels that leak), we need to keep being filled up!
If you need someone to talk to or pray with about your decision to follow Christ, feel free to contact me at .
I'd love to know about your decision. God bless you!!
- Roland Heddins