Has The Holy Spirit been speaking to you? Have you felt inside - deep in your heart - that you need to get right with God? Has a sense of guilt, shame, remorse, regret- maybe even fear- been tormenting you? Do you ever wish that burden could just be lifted from you? Do you wish you could be totally forgiven and cleansed from the sins of past, present and future? Do you wish you could live a life of peace, joy, and purity: today and in the future? If so, you are under conviction, and today is the day of salvation. It is crucial you do not ignore the knock at the door of your heart. That is Jesus, and you need to let Him in.
But first, let's make sure you don't think you're already a "good" person. "Ah, but I am a good person", you say? Wrong answer. Rule number one - there is none righteous or good but Jesus (Rom 3:10, Mark 10:18). But, in case you're not convinced, let's use the Law of God (Ex 20:1-17) lawfully (1Tim 1:8-10), and see if you pass the "goodness" test. First, have you ever lied - even just once? Then you are a liar. Have you ever stolen, even one little thing? Then you are a thief. Have you ever looked at someone in lust? Then you are an adulterer (Mt 5:28). Have you ever hated someone in your heart? Then you're a murderer. How are you doing so far? Like most of us, you've probably broken all of these. However, even if you only broke one, you're still guilty (Jam 2:10). You see, you might be good compared to me; but on judgment day, you won't be compared to me. You will be compared to Jesus. If your goodness; your holiness; your righteousness doesn't compare to His, then you will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity. Do you still want to approach God with the good person defense?
The Bible says, "Repent, and be converted"; "Repent, and be baptized"; "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand". Before we can be born again, we must repent. It is a foundational doctrine (Heb 6:1). Repentance is not merely remorse for sin or it's consequences. You can be sorry, and not repent (2Cor 7:8-11). Repentance is a change of heart, a change of mind, resulting in going a different direction. It is doing a "180", if you will. Jesus, Peter, & Paul all called for repentance. Repentance is not perfection, but rather, a change of direction. Turn from darkness to light; from Satan to God; from your ways to God's ways.
The invitation to eternal life is an invitation to come and die. Die to yourself; die to your will; die to the world (Gal 2:20, 6:14). The Christian's life is no longer their own - they are bought with a price (1Cor 6:20). Jesus is both Lord and Savior. Lord means ruler, king, boss - the One in charge!
Jesus said, that before we can become His disciple; we must count the cost (Luke 14:25-33). Don't make this decision or say this prayer rashly or with flippancy. It isn't a "Get out of Hell free card". It is a lifetime dedication to transformation. It must be from the heart. It must be true. Your not saved by any works of your own; but your faith must be real (Ephesians 2:8-9, James 2:26). Look up the Scriptures; count the cost; consider eternity. Only then pray the following prayer:
"Father in Heaven, have mercy on me: a sinner. I turn from darkness to light. I turn from Satan, and turn to You. I call upon the name of Jesus for salvation, forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Jesus, be my Lord and Savior. Cleanse me from all sin with Your blood. Forgive me. Heal me and set me free. I believe You suffered and died on the cross for my sins. I confess with my mouth that You are Lord. I believe in my heart that The Father raised you from the dead on the third day. I believe and confess I'm saved right now by God's grace, through my faith in Jesus. I believe I am a new creation in Christ. I believe I have eternal life according to Your promise. I believe my name is written in The Lamb's Book of Life. I ask and receive by faith alone in the Name of Jesus, Amen!"
If you prayed that prayer in sincerity and truth, from the depths of a humble and believing heart, then the Bible says you are saved, for "Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom 10:13).
Here are a few important steps to take on your road to Christian maturity: 1. You should be water baptized ASAP. 2. You should ask God to fill you with The Holy Spirit and power. 3. You should read The Bible everyday (Josh 1:8, Dt 11:18-21, Job 23:12, Jer 15:16). 4. You should pray everyday (Rom 12:12, Eph 6:18, 1Thess 5:17, 2Tim 1:3) 5. You should find a Bible believing church to attend regularly (Acts 2:42, 20:7, Heb 10:25, Jude 19).
These are just some of the important steps to take after salvation. Remember, these are not things you must do to be saved, but things you do because you are saved. These are steps on the road to Christian maturity and being a disciple of Jesus Christ. As you continue, abide, and dwell steadfastly in these things; The Lord will reveal to you more and more. Do not get overwhelmed or discouraged; just rest in God's love for you, and be at peace. He has begun the good work in you, and He will finish it (Phip 1:6). Just stay faithful to Jesus, and yielded to His Holy Spirit, no matter what (Heb 10:23).