Did you know that God hates religion?
That's right - when you have a
girlfriend or boyfriend (or you get married), do you want a "religious
experience" with that person, or do you want a relationship with
them? You want a relationship, of course! The same holds true with
God - He just wants a one-on-one relationship with you, like you
would have with a friend. The difference is, there's no way to "earn" this
gift of a relationship with God, because it's free. In fact, the
Bible says that it is "by grace you have been saved through faith... it is
the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast," (Ephesians 2:8,
9). Do you remember when you were younger? At Christmas when your mom or
dad gave you Christmas gifts, did you have to pay for them? Of course not.
The same holds true with God.
Right now you might be saying, "What
about that free gift??"
It's the gift of "salvation" - but what
is salvation? First, let's see what salvation is not. Salvation is not the
same thing as "religion."
But what if you're already a "good
Maybe you already believe in God,
haven't killed anyone, and all that? Why should you care about salvation?
First of all, there's no such thing as a "good person." God says in Romans
3:23 that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." We are all
separated from God by sin - until we ask Jesus into our hearts. Secondly,
it isn't enough to just believe there is a God. Jesus said that unless you
are "born again," you cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Being
"born again" means more than just believing that Jesus Christ/God exists -
it means asking Jesus into your heart by faith, totally relying on what He
did on the cross for you. He has forgiven all of your sins.
So you think that you've done some
You're a "bad person"? You might be
thinking that there's no way God could forgive you. The truth is, God says
in John 6:37 that anyone who comes to Him will not be cast out!
Remember that if you could save yourself (by being "good," or becoming a
church member, or even by being water-baptized), there would have been no
point in Jesus dying on the cross. He died because there is no way you can
"So what now?"
To receive God's free gift of
salvation, you just need to ask Him for it. Pray this prayer - based on
Romans 10:9, 10 in the Bible:
"Jesus, I confess that I need
You. My own works are not good enough. I have sinned, and I need to
receive this free gift. I confess you as Lord, and believe in my heart
that God raised you from the dead. Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy
Spirit; guide me to a Bible-believing church; and help me to read your
Word. Thank you for dying for me."
You are now a born again Christian.
Remember, you're not "religious."
Instead, you have a personal, one-on-one relationship with God. You can
think of God the Father as your "spiritual dad" (remember He is a good
Father). Think of God the Son (Jesus) as your Lord and Savior - as your
"best friend." Think of God the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) as the Spirit of
God that lives in you. Think about it - God actually wants to live "in
If anyone ever comes to you and asks if
you're sure that you're going to Heaven, you can say "yes," because of
what Jesus did on the cross! Think about this verse from the Bible, found
in 2 Corinthians 5:17. "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new
creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become
new." Now you can live not by how you "feel," but by who God says you
are. God says you are now His son or daughter (Galatians 3:26,
God is waiting, and He loves YOU!