“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”
– C.S. Lewis
To put it briefly: Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Why is this important you may ask? It’s important because knowing who Jesus is, knowing what Jesus has done for us, and knowing what Jesus said is the way to Heaven is the line between Heaven and Hell for each and every one of us. As Jesus’ own words in John 14:6 tell us: “…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” By saying “I am the way,” Jesus is telling us that the way to heaven is Jesus.
Many have claimed to know the way to heaven, or to point people towards the way to heaven, but Jesus, said He is the way to heaven.
We all want to spend eternity in heaven, but we all have a problem that keeps us out of heaven. This problem is known as sin. Although there are many people who claim to be perfect and righteous, God makes it clear to us in His Word that “there is no one righteous, not even one…” (Romans 3:10) And “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)
We have all sinned, and what’s the penalty for committing sin? Romans 6:23 tells us the answer: “the wages of sin is death.” Even if we sin once in our entire life, the penalty of death must be paid.
But I’m a good person, God sees all the good things I’ve done in my life, so He has to let me into heaven right? Unfortunately, this way of thinking is not accurate. A quick look at Ephesians 2:9 shows us why this is incorrect : “Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
So if I commit one sin, the penalty is death? And I can’t work my way to heaven? That’s correct. BUT the rest of Romans 6:23 shows us that we can have hope…. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Ahh. so there is a way? Yes, and His name is Jesus. Going back to the book of Romans, in Romans 5:8 it says: “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus gave His life for you, and for all of us, so that we can go to heaven. But this is not automatically applied to everyone by default. The often quoted verse of John 3:16 tells us that “…God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..” now the rest of the verse is just as important: “… that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…” There it is, the way to heaven spelled out clear as can be: “Whoever believes in Jesus should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Question? What does it mean to believe in Jesus? Let’s look in Romans 10:9-10 for the answer: “If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” You see, Jesus not only died on the Cross as a sacrifice for our sins, but three days later God rose Him from the dead showing that He accepted Jesus as our sacrifice, as our Savior.
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Do you believe He lived a perfect sinless life on earth and died on the cross? Do you believe three days later God rose Him from the dead? And are you ready to confess with your mouth that Jesus Is Lord? That’s what it means to believe in Jesus.
Does that mean that all I have to do is say out loud “Jesus is Lord” and I’ll be saved? Take a closer look at Romans 10:10 “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Belief starts in the heart, which means that just physically speaking the words “Jesus is Lord” is not a true belief. To believe with your heart is to base your life on such a belief. To believe Jesus Is Lord, is to base the rest of your life on Jesus being the Lord of your life.
Salvation is God’s free gift for us. There’s nothing we could do to earn it, but it is our responsibility to accept God’s free gift of Salvation by making Jesus Christ the Lord & Savior of our lives.
Jesus is the Lord of your life by following Him, by obeying Him, by believing and accepting that Jesus is the owner of your life, and you are the manager. We do this by agreeing with God that our sins are wrong, and turning our life away from our sin, so that we can obey Christ. (This is that Christian term, known as Repentance)
Jesus is the Savior of your life by confessing that He is Lord, and by believing in your hear that God raised Him from the dead.
Do you realize that you are a sinner?
Do you recognize that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you?
Do you repent of your sin?
Do you receive Jesus Christ into your life?
If you can truly say yes to those four questions, and believe it to be true in your heart then you are ready to start your relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you believe in your heart this is true you can start your relationship with Jesus through this prayer. These words have no power to save you, but Salvation comes from believing in your heart, and confessing Jesus Is Lord. If you’re ready pray like this:
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you for saving me. Amen.”