Today: 30 September 2014
 
 

  

Becoming a Christian  


God longs for you to get close to him

The thrilling thing about becoming a Christian is that everyone’s experience is immensely personal and, therefore, unique.

For some, there’s a particular moment in time; a revelation, an experience—as clear a change as switching on a light.

For others, it’s a process that can take years, more like a flickering fluorescent tube: sometimes on, sometimes off.

So what is a Christian? A good person? Someone who goes to church? Well, a Christian may or may not be those things, but the truth is this: a Christian is someone who understands and accepts what Jesus did for them on the cross. And whatever you may have done in your life, nothing can make you unacceptable to God. Nothing you ever do could make him love you any more, or any less.

God’s already calling you, even if you don’t realise it. He chose you long ago, before you were born, but won’t force anything upon you now: the choice of whether to accept or reject him is yours.

How does he call you? Perhaps by putting Christians around you. Maybe by calling you into prayer at a difficult time. Or by making you wonder if there’s more to life. Perhaps more supernaturally: in a dream, or through a spiritual experience.

Sometimes people think they’ll have to completely change who they are. That’s not true: God made you utterly unique—why would he suddenly want to turn you into a clone? He loves your personality, your sense of humour, all the little quirks that make you you. Together, you and he may want to start addressing some aspects of your behaviour, however!

Some people are afraid of what others may say, and of being thought foolish. Well, Paul said in 1 Corinthians (NT), “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

So how do you take that step, and become a Christian? There’s no magic formula. It’s between you and God: simply tell him in your own words that you believe what it says in the book of John (NT): “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” You should also say sorry for the things you have done wrong, and ask God into your life.

That’s it—but it’s also just the beginning of a lifelong journey. You’ll need to be baptised, to work on your prayer life, your Bible-reading and worship, and to discover the fellowship of other Christians (at a church). God will start to deal with the things in your life that aren’t pleasing to him, and you’ll begin to learn obedience to him. It’s a journey that will last all of this life—and take you into the next one.

Life won’t suddenly become perfect, because we’re not in heaven yet! But you will always have joy. You’ll never be alone, and you’ll always have hope for the future. Most of all, you’ll never cease discovering how incredibly special and loved you are.


Explore this subject in more depth

Pray: Lord, I want what Christians have. Taking the first step is never easy, but please know that that’s where my heart is, even though the rest of me may sometimes find it difficult to follow. Please draw me close to you, and give me new birth in Jesus. Amen.

Look up what happens in heaven every time someone becomes a Christian

Discover from the parable of the prodigal son how God feels whenever someone becomes a Christian

Find out what Billy Graham has to say about how to become a Christian

Read the article Discover How to Become a Christian

Download the Proclaimers song I Want to be a Christian (iTunes)

Listen to the 23rd Psalm from the TV show Lost

Listen to the song Change My Heart, O God

Download Elton John’s song Dear God (iTunes) and see the lyric

Listen to the song My Heart Belongs to You

Listen to song In Christ Alone by the Newsboys

Smile: watch the ‘50s video spoof How to be a Christian

Read the book Uncovered: True Stories of Changed Lives by Jonathan Carswell

Read the book Beginning the Christian Life by Richard Bewes

Read the book What Is the Point of Being a Christian? By Timothy Radcliffe

Read the book God's Power to Change Your Life by Rick Warren

Read the book Who Made God? And Answers to Over 100 Other Tough Questions of Faith by Ravi Zacharias & Norman L. Geisler

Read the book Five Things I Wish They'd Told Me When I Became a Christian by Rob Frost

Read the book Good News for Bad People by Roy Hession



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