At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (Matthew 4:17), Jesus began preaching “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Right NOW the kingdom of heaven is at hand for you too. Jesus is calling to you "REPENT!"
What does it mean to repent? It means to turn from yourself (your way of doing things) and follow God’s ways of doing thing.
What are God’s ways of doing things? Jesus said that the greatest commandment was “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind and the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27-28).
If you have kept these commandments of God, then you’re not far from heaven. However, you are probably in the same boat I used to be in (the sinking boat). The Bible says, “that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
What is sin? Sin is what separates us from God. Something bad or wrong. In the beginning the infinite God who created the heavens and the earth created you! (Genesis 1:1) “In the beginning . . . God created man and then woman. They were placed in a perfect environment, with all their needs taken care of. They were given only one rule (law); they were not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, lest they die (Genesis 2:17). Unfortunately, they did eat from the tree (Genesis 3), and the relationship between God and mankind was broken.
So, what is the remedy, and how can my relationship with God be restored?
God's Purpose: Peace and Eternal Life
God loves you, and He wants you to live in peace with Him and to receive eternal life. The Bible says, "We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1)
(John 3:16) "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
(Romans 6:23b) "The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Since God planned for us to be at peace with Him and to have eternal life, why are many people not enjoying this experience?
The Second Step
Admit You Are A Sinner (Repent)
Everyone has sinned! No one is excluded. Jesus said, “There is none good except God alone” (Mark 10:18). The Bible also says that, for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Death means eternal separation from God.
The Third Step
God's Remedy: Jesus
Jesus Christ is the only answer to this problem of separation from God. He died on the cross and rose from the grave to pay the penalty for our sin - completely bridging the gap between us and God. The Bible says, "God demonstrates His own love for us in that: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
(Acts 4:12 ) "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
(John 5:24) "I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
God has provided the only way and we must make the choice.
The Fourth Step
Jesus Christ died and rose again so that your sins could be forgiven. He died once for the sins of all of us guilty sinners, although He Himself was innocent of any sin at any time, that He might bring us safely home to God. (1 Peter 3:18) Jesus Christ . . . died to pay the penalty of sin. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). . . .He rose again, which proves He can forgive you. Christ died for all our sins just as the Scriptures said He would . . . He was buried . . . three days afterwards He arose from the grave just as He said He would . . . He was seen by more than five hundred Christian brothers at one time (1 Corinthians 15:3-6), of which all died of tragic deaths (Persecution), because of their faith in Jesus.
The Fifth Step
We can receive Jesus Christ when we believe in His message and trust in Him alone to save us. The Bible says, "[Jesus said] Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (John 14:1)
(Acts 10:43) "All the prophets testify about Him [Jesus] that every one who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name."
(John 1:12) "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."
Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come into your life as your Savior and Lord giving Him complete control of every area of your life. If you need help praying, try using the following prayer:
Dear God, I know that You love me, and I know that You want to save me. Jesus, You died to save me. You promised to save me if I would trust You. I do trust You. By faith, I receive You as my Savior and Lord. Forgive me of my sins. Wash me clean and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Save me, Lord Jesus. Thank you for doing it. I receive it by faith like a child. Now, begin to make me the person you want me to be. Help me, Lord, to never be ashamed of You. In Jesus' name I pray...Amen.
What Do I Do Next?
1. Begin a daily prayer life (talk to God). 2. Begin reading your Bible daily (try to find a study Bible or daily Bible reading program). 3. Find other people who can pray for you. 4. Find a local church for your spiritual growth.