T&R Independent Books


Are you a Christian? and Next Steps


Have you ever been asked if you are a Christian?


I once was approached by a very well meaning man, but the question offended me. Why? I had grown up in a religious home. I thought I was a Christian. After all, I was born in America, had gone to church as a child and even got baptized.

But I was wrong!

A better question is, Do You Know Jesus Christ as Your Savior?


Another excellent question is, Where will you go when you die?

The Bible tells us in Romans 3:10 that As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.
A few verses down (3:23) it says, “
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
Then in Romans 6:23a it says, “
For the wages of sin is death ..
.
God is holy and He is not going to allow sin into His heaven. But the Bible says we have all sinned!


So what is sin?


Sin is basically anything that is contrary to God's will. The Bible details many examples of sin. But this may help you: How many times must you rob someone to be called a robber? Or how many times must you kill someone to be a killer? Or how many times must you commit adultery to be an adulterer?

The answer is ONCE!

In Revelation 21:8 it reads, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

Did you notice "all liars?" Back to our earlier question, How many lies must you tell to be a liar? Only One!

So even a small lie is sin. And sin will not be allowed into heaven.


Does that mean you can’t get to heaven?

If you are trying to get there based on your good works, then the answer is Yes. Our works cannot save us, cannot get us into heaven. Because we are sinners our works are polluted, unacceptable to God and we are spiritually dead.
But we also read in Romans 5:8, “
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God loves you! And He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in your place. He didn’t sin and He certainly didn’t deserve to die on a cross. But He loved you so much that He voluntarily went to that cross and suffered all the pain, all the death, and all of Hell for you!

Why? Because He loves you!


Because of what He did we can receive His precious gift as noted in Romans 6:23b, “
... but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
No matter how wicked your sin is or how wretched you are, God is willing to save you from eternal hell and give you eternal life. And in Romans 10: 9-10, 13 we read:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him form the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


That is God’s simple plan of salvation. We tend to think we need to do something to earn our way into heaven. But it is impossible. We are born sinners and there is nothing that we can do because all that we do is polluted with sin.
Calling upon the name of the Lord is simply you praying (talking to God) and asking Jesus to save you. Acknowledge you were born a sinner and cannot save yourself. Jesus is listening to your heart. He knows your every thought and whether or not you are sincere.
 If you sincerely want to be saved and believe with thy heart that He can save you, He will know it and will save you!
What follows is a sample prayer. The words are not magic. But as you pray them God will examine your innermost thoughts and the intents of your heart. You cannot fool Him.

Sample prayer:

 
Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that according to the Bible I am a sinner and need a Savior. According to the Scriptures I am lost and on my way to Hell. Also, according to  Your Word Jesus died on the cross, shed His blood, and arose from the dead for me. I accept Your gift and ask Jesus Christ to save me. Amen

If you pray that prayer or something similar sincerely acknowledging you are a sinner and need a Savior, He will hear you and He will save you!


If you have prayed that prayer and been born again please share it with me. It thrills my heart every time someone trusts Christs. I'd like to rejoice with you. I can be reached at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Please indicate "I'm born again" in the subject line.


NEXT STEPS


What do you do after you are saved?


The very first thing you should do is get baptized (see Acts 8:36-38). In the Bible it is often mentioned together with salvation. That doesn't mean you need to get baptized to be saved but rather you need to get baptized as your first step, even as the eunuch did. 


It is important to remember that the only Biblical practice of baptism is by immersion. In fact that is what the word baptize means. Sprinkling or any other method other than immersion does not qualify.


What's next?

I would recommend the following:

  • If you don't already have a King James Version Bible, get one (the why is another topic but it is the only version faithful to the original (Textus Receptus), all other versions use corrupted text).

  • Find a good church (usually Baptist) that preaches the Word, is fundamental in doctrine and practice.

  • Faithfully attend both Sunday School and the worship services.

  • Make yourself available to serve.


The above are your basic first steps. Daily reading of the Bible should be your next step. You might want to check out the idea of reading your Bible in a year; your church may have such a schedule for you. However, that may not be what's best for you. What you need is a consistent plan.

That plan may be the reading of only a chapter a day or even less. The important thing is to read the Bible regularly. Another note is don't let difficult words or ideas stop you. Run into something you don't understand, read on through it. You don't have to understand everything from the beginning. God will help you understand at the right time


I would also recommend for new Christians that you start your Bible reading with the Book of Luke and then Acts. Afterword read Matthew, Mark, and John. (And remember these books are all accurate but told from the writer's perspective; that is why you have the Synoptic Gospel (synoptic is a merging or summary) which gives you a complete summary of all four Gospels.)