Is it really that simple?
People often struggle to understand what it means to be a Christian. Read through the steps below to find out how simple it really is.
Is there a God?
Just as design speaks of a Designer, so creation speaks of a Creator.
Evolutionists know that information cannot just appear. DNA is their Achilles Heel. Without a complex strand of RNA being produced at exactly the same moment capable of interpreting the DNA code it would be a meaningless jumble. DNA disproves evolution.
The Bible speaks truly when it says, “The invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. Romans chapter 1 verse 20
Is there a problem?
We all experience things going wrong. This pain leads us to question the existence of God.
We cannot say that all the problems are man made. Few diseases are caused directly by personal abuse.
Taking God out of the picture doesn’t help. It leaves us with chaos, and no answers.
The only book claiming to be a revelation of God by God that addresses the problem of suffering is the Bible. When Adam sinned God said, “Because you have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis chapter 3 verses 17-19
Does it matter?
Our reaction to life makes some people decide to ‘eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.’
They may laugh it off. Maurice Chevalier said, “I prefer old age to the alternative!” Woody Allen said, “I don’t mind dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
They may rationalise it. Bertrand Russell said, “When I die, I rot.” Another person spoke more honestly saying, “Conscience makes cowards of us all.”
We cannot avoid death. The Bible gives cause for concern when it realistically faces death as man’s enemy. It says frankly, “It is appointed unto men to die once, and after this the judgment.” Hebrews chapter 9 verse 27
Is there a solution?
Marghanita Laski, a humanist said, “We must face the fact that we are lonely, we are guilty and we are going to die.” She saw the problem, but her philosophy of life left her with no solution.
Some try to make amends for the past. They think that if they try to do good, God will forget the past.
Some think we cannot be sure. They choose to wait and see. Their attitude is to take their chance on it all working out OK. They are gambling with their fate.
The Bible provides the solution. It shows how God promised to send a Saviour, and then clearly revealed in the Old Testament how we could recognize that Saviour. Jesus made clear that people should search the Old Testament because it spoke of him. Those prophecies told where he would be born, how he would die, what price he would be betrayed for and much more, so that we would not be mistaken. John chapter 5 verse 39
Can Jesus help?
Although other religious leaders seem to have different messages their ideas are basically the same.
They say, “You are in a mess. I have the answer. This is the way to live to dig yourself out of that mess.”
Is that what Jesus came to do? Imagine a drowning man. One person says, “I told you not to swim here.” Another stands on the shore shouting, “Follow my instructions to get to shore safely.” What you need is someone who would come to do what you cannot do for yourself. You need a lifeguard.
The Bible states that Jesus came into the world to save by giving his life. We cannot save ourselves, but he died taking our punishment and guilt. He is like a lifeguard diving in to save us, even at the cost of his own life. The Bible puts it this way, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this way. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans chapter 5 verse 8
Would he help ME?
You may think, “I don’t need saving. I am not as bad as others. I give to charity. I am not like Hitler.”
Jesus spoke to those who thought they were righteous. He showed them what they were really like inside. In another place it draws this conclusion: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
You may think, “I cannot be saved. I am too bad. I have gone too far. There is no hope.”
Jesus said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” At another time he said, “Whoever comes to me, I will never turn away.” Can he sort out your past? Whether it is the sin of pride that you are not as bad as others, or a conscience full of things you cannot forget, the Bible is clear that “he is able to save to the uttermost those who come unto God by him.” Romans chapter 3 verse 23; Matthew chapter 9 verse 13; John chapter 6 verse 37; Hebrews chapter 7 verse 25
What must I do?
What must you do? The answer may be confusing. It seems to be a contradiction. You must do nothing! You must do something!
You cannot do anything to remove your own sin. To pay for that sin is impossible. It is too serious. The punishment is eternal and unending.
What can be done then? If I cannot do enough to remove even one sin, and if the punishment for any sin is eternal, how can I be forgiven?
The Bible speaks in this way, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” If we earned salvation God would owe us forgiveness as if it was a wage. But it is offered as a gift to be received. You must do something. You must take the gift. Romans chapter 6 verse 23; Romans chapter 4 verse 4
Is that all?
Taking the gift of eternal life has two parts to it. The first involves sadness. The second involves trust.
It is hard to say sorry, but harder to be sorry. The word ‘repent’ describes our response. True sorrow for sin doesn’t say, “I’m sorry I got into trouble.” It doesn’t primarily say, “I am sorry others got hurt.” It says, “I did wrong. I sinned against God.”
But, what is the point of turning from sin to God unless God is willing and able to pardon us? The story of the lost son should persuade us. God is like that father. He welcomed his sorrowing son back.
In the Old Testament God called people to turn. This is a promise he gave them. “Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” Luke chapter 15, Isaiah chapter 55 verse 7
What is ‘faith’?
We trust Christ when we believe two things.
He is willing to forgive our sin. Many times he said before he died on the cross, “Your sins are forgiven.” Once he even said, “her sins, which are many, are forgiven.” A woman Jesus met at a well had been divorced 5 times and was living with someone else’s husband. Jesus gave her the forgiveness she needed!
We also believe he is able to forgive. The New Testament is clear. It is through Jesus’ death, paying in full for sin, that we can know forgiveness.
When Jesus died, he said, “It is finished.” He had completed all that was necessary to save anyone who will trust him. Those who put their trust in him can therefore say, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Luke chapter 5 verses 20, Luke chapter 7 verse 47, John chapter 4, John chapter 19 verse 30, Ephesians chapter 1 verse 7
Those who trust in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will begin to follow him.
It is important, when you know you are a true believer, that you are baptised. One Ethiopian government official asked, “What prevents me being baptised?” He was told that if he did believe he could be. He then stated that he believed that Jesus was the Son of God. Then he was baptised as a believer.
Each day it is helpful to find time to read your Bible and pray. Each Sunday it is helpful to meet with other believers to remember that Jesus is a living Saviour. Believers learn as godly pastors teach them from the Bible, they pray and have fellowship, they remember Jesus through a simple ceremony called ‘communion’. Acts chapter 2 verses 41 and 42, Acts chapter 8 verses 27 to 39
May we help you?
We are willing to try to assist those who want further help.
Some want literature or a Bible. Wherever possible we are willing to try to get a copy to you in your own language.
Others may still have questions and wish to discuss them in writing, in person or through the internet.
Some may wish to be put in touch with a Christian or with a church. You may contact us for any or all of the above reasons using email, skype, phone or by mail.
David Harding, who produced this online booklet, is a pastor at Milnrow Evangelical Church, 22 New Street, Milnrow, Rochdale OL16 3LN. You may contact him by writing to him there or through any of the other ways indicated on this page.