Have you given any consideration to becoming a Christian? You may have given this important matter some thought but shied away when confronted with the confusion and controversy that swirls around this subject. You tell yourself that in the future you will give serious consideration to becoming a Christian. But with all the stress in your life, you don’t have the time or energy to research the truth on this important matter.
You wonder why this is not easier to understand, and why it has to be so complicated. Frankly, God's plan is a relatively simple to understand and grasp. Confusion and complexity come only when people ignore scripture and inject their own opinions and feelings. God never intended His plan of salvation to be vague and confusing. In fact, inspired Scripture clearly and simply explains how a person can become a Christian. In 1 Corinthians 14:33 we read, “…God is not a God of confusion…” This tells us that the confusion and controversy surrounding God's plan for salvation is our fault - not His!
Let's briefly give some consideration to this important topic:
Hearing the Word: This is so obvious we probably don’t need to include it. Before you can believe and embrace something, you must first understand what you believe. We gain understanding from private Bible study, or by listening to others. Romans 10:17, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
Faith: Mark 16:16; Hebrews 11:6 - These verses point to the importance of belief. Before a person can be a Christian, they must believe with all their heart that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God. That He shed His blood on the cross for our sins, and He arose victorious from the grave.
Repentance: Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30; Acts 26:20 - Before becoming a Christian a person must be willing to acknowledge his sinful condition and turn away from it. This means a change in life and outlook. A person who wishes to be a Christian will make God the master of his life and turn his back on the world. This does not mean a person will immediately be perfect. It simply means he will try his best to be what God wants him to be.
Confession: Romans 10:9-10; Acts 8:37; Matthew 10:32 - Willingness to confess publicly one’s belief in Christ. But confession is more than a simple verbal statement of faith. Confession, much like faith and repentance, becomes a way of life for the Christian. It includes a confession to the world of reconciliation and pursuit of a relationship with Jesus.
Baptism: Mark 16:16; Acts 2:39; 1 Peter 3:21 – Many people today believe baptism is optional – it’s a good thing to do if chose to do so. But New Testament scripture is very clear in stipulating that baptism is crucial and essential for salvation. Without it, a person will fall short of their desire to be a Christian and save their soul. Scripture also point outs that the method is important – baptism must be immersion for it to be genuine New Testament baptism.
Faithfulness: Revelation 2:10 - A person’s work and responsibility to God does not end with their embrace of God's plan of salvation - this is just the first step! To go to heaven, one must persevere in diligent faithfulness. A genuine Christian must be willing to be faithful to God and His word for the rest of their life.