What does bringing chicken soup to your sick neighbor and wearing your best clothes to church have in common?
They're both ways people try to get to heaven.
See, sometimes people think you get to heaven by doing nice things for others. (Doing nice things for others is good, but it's not what gets you to heaven.) Sometimes people think you get to heaven by "looking good," attending church and giving money to poor people. No, that doesn't do it either.
Here is the truth.
God is perfect, holy, righteous - anyway you say it, it means the same. He is totally good. Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true (Psalm 119:142).
People are imperfect, unholy and unrighteous - anyway you say it, it means the same. We are totally bad. Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God's glory (Romans 3:23). That means that we (imperfect people) are separated (apart) from a perfect God. No good thing that we do can help us get across that separation. The Bible tells us that, "When you sin, the pay you get is death. But God gives you the gift of eternal life because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done (Romans 6:23)."
Sometimes we think sins are BIG things like murder or bank robbery. We don't understand that lying, or cheating or being mean to your brother or sister are also sins. We don't understand that disobeying your parents or whining and complaining are sins. That is why God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to earth. That is why Christ died on the cross - so He could pay the price for our sin and we no longer have to be separated from God. Christ has paid the price for you (1 Corinthians 6:20). But the Lord Jesus Christ did not stay dead. Three days later He came alive. … Here is what it is. Christ died for our sins, just as the Bible said He would. He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Bible said He would be (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
He is now in heaven preparing a place for those who know Him as Savior. "There are many rooms in my Father's house. If this were not true, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you (John 14:2).
Do you understand that you are a sinner and separated from God? Do you understand that you need someone to take care of your sin problem? If you understand that you are a sinner and that you need a Savior, then you need to tell God that you are ready to receive His wonderful gift and to become a follower of Jesus.
Salvation from sin and eternal life are God's gifts to you. God's grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn't come from anything you do. It is God's gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it (Ephesians 2:8-9).
What is that gift?
- Forgiveness of your sins.
- Becoming God's child.
- A home in heaven that will last forever and ever.
Would you like to receive God's free gift and become a follower of Jesus? You can do it right now. Just pray this prayer and thank Jesus for dying on the cross and forgiving your sins. You can put this into your own words, or you can pray the words of the prayer below.
Thank you for loving me and for dying on the cross so that I can become a child of God. I want to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Thank you for your gift of forgiveness and eternal life. Amen.
If you have prayed this prayer, please contact us and let us know. And be sure to tell your mom and dad, your pastor and your friends about what you have done. I'm sure they will be happy to know you are a forgiven follower of Jesus.
If you have not, and you need to talk with someone who can answer your questions, you can contact us. We would be excited to hear from you, to explain what you don't understand.