Becoming a Christian is the most incredible event that
will ever take place in your life. Many New Christians don't know where to
start and hopefully this page will give you some direction. We are not
here to sell you something, or to try to get you to join a certain kind of
church. We just want enjoy your new relationship with Jesus Christ and are
here to give you some direction on what to do next. If you are still
unsure of your salvation follow this link...
GOSPEL MESSAGE EXPLAINED IN DETAIL!
do I do Next? What is the Next Step?...
You have found peace with your Creator. You have found
everlasting life! Be assured--God will never leave you nor forsake
you. He has brought you this far and He will complete the wonderful work
He has begun in you. God knows your every thought, your every care and
your deepest concerns.
Let's now look at some of those possible concerns. First,
and of primary concern -- do you have "assurance" of your
salvation? The Bible says to "make your calling and election sure"
(2 Peter 1:10, italics added), so, let's go through a short
"checklist" to make sure that you are truly saved:
Are you aware that God
became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14, KJV),
and that he died for the sins of the world?
Did you come to the
Savior because you had sinned?
"repent" and put your faith in Jesus?
Are you convinced that He
suffered and died on the Cross and that He rose again on the
God acquits us from the Courtroom of Eternal Justice on
the grounds that Jesus Christ paid our fine. We are
"justified" (made right with God) by His suffering death. The
resurrection of Jesus Christ was God's seal of approval of the fact that
His precious blood was sufficient to pay the fine.
Think of it this way... You have violated
the law and face a $50,000 fine. You tell the judge that you are truly
sorry for your crime, but he answers, "So you should be -- you have
broken the law! Now, can you pay this fine?" He can only
acquit you if the fine is paid. If someone else pays your fine, then he
can let you go, but he must have "grounds" on which to release
The reason we need a substitute (a savior)
to pay our moral "fine," is because we have broken God's Law. To
see how much we have transgressed this Law (the Ten
Commandments), we will go through some of them -- Have you ever told a
lie? Have you ever stolen something? Have you ever lusted after another
person? If you answered "Yes" to these questions, you admit that
you are a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart, and you have to face
God on Judgment Day! If you have used His name in vain, then you are
guilty of "blasphemy" -- you've substituted God's holy Name for
a curse word. Perhaps you've hated someone, then the Bible says that you
are a murderer. You have violated God's holy Law, and you're in BIG
trouble. On Judgment Day, you will be found guilty and end up in Hell.
That's why you need the Savior. Merely being sorry for your sins,
or confessing them to God won't help you. You must turn from sin (repent),
and your faith must be in Jesus Christ alone. He is the only
"grounds" for God to grant mercy towards you. If you're not sure
of your salvation, make Psalm 51 your own prayer. You may also want to
read this important article "Are
You Ready for the Lions?"
Let's now look at some more important
principles that can save you a great deal of pain...
A healthy baby has a healthy appetite. If you have truly
been "born" of the Spirit of God, you will have a healthy
appetite. The Bible says, "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of
the word, that you may grow thereby," (1 Peter 2:2). Feed yourself
every day without fail. Job said, "I have treasured the words of His
mouth More than my necessary food," (Job 23:12). The more you eat,
the quicker you will grow, and the less bruising you will have. Speed up
the process and save yourself some pain -- vow to read God's Word every
day, without fail. Say to yourself, "No Bible, no breakfast. No read,
no feed." Be like Job, and put your Bible before your belly. If you
do that, God promises that you will be like a fruitful, strong and healthy
tree (see Psalm 1). Each day, find somewhere quiet, and thoroughly soak
your soul in the Word of God.
There may be times when you read through
its pages with great enthusiasm, and there may be other times when it
seems dry and even boring. But food profits your body whether you enjoy it
or not. As a child, you no doubt ate desserts with great enthusiasm.
Perhaps vegetables weren't so exciting. If you were a normal child, you
probably had to be encouraged to eat them at first. Then, as you matured
in life you were taught to discipline yourself to eat vegetables. This is
because they would physically benefit you, even though they may not have
at the time, brought pleasure to your taste buds.
|Here are a few books of the
Bible that may really speak to your situation. These Free
printouts come from The
Evidence Bible and contain helps.
a young man once looked at me and said, "I find it hard to believe
some of the things in the Bible," I smiled and asked, "What's
your name?" When he said, "Paul," I casually answered,
"I don't believe you." He looked at me questioningly. I
repeated, "What's your name?" Again he said, "Paul,"
and again I answered, "I don't believe you." Then I asked,
"Where do you live?" When he told me, I said, "I don't
believe that either." You should have seen his reaction. He was
angry. I said, "You look a little upset. Do you know why? You're
upset because I didn't believe what you told me. If you tell me that your
name is Paul, and I say, 'I don't believe you,' it means that I think you
are a liar. You are trying to deceive me by telling me your name is Paul,
when it's not." Then I told him that if he, a mere man, felt insulted
by my lack of faith in his word, how much more does he insult Almighty God
by refusing to believe His Word. In doing so, he was saying that God isn't
worth trusting -- that He is a liar and a deceiver. The Bible says,
"He who does not believe God has made Him a liar," (1 John
5:10). It also says, "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you
an evil heart of unbelief. . ." (Hebrews 3:12). Martin Luther said,
"What greater insult . . . can there be to God, than not to believe
I have heard people say, "But I just
find it hard to have faith in God," not realizing the implications of
their words. These are the same people who often believe the weather
forecast, believe the newspapers, and trust their lives to a pilot they
have never seen whenever they fly in a plane. We exercise faith every day.
We trust our car's brakes. We trust our history books, our medical books,
and we trust elevators. Yet elevators can let us down. History books can
be wrong. Planes can crash. How much more then should we trust the sure
and true promises of Almighty God. He will never let us down . . . if we
I have often heard cynics say, "The
Bible is full of mistakes." It is. The first mistake was when man
rejected God, and the Scriptures show men and women making the same tragic
mistake again and again. It's also full of what seem to be contradictions.
For example, the Scriptures tell us "with God, nothing shall be
impossible" (Luke 1:37). We are told that there is nothing Almighty
God can't do. Yet we are also told that it is "impossible for God to
lie" (Hebrews 6:18). So there is something God cannot do! There's an
obvious "mistake" in the Bible. The answer to this dilemma is to
be found in the lowly worm.
Do you know that it would be impossible for
me to eat worms, although I have seen it done. I once saw a man on TV
butter his toast, then pour on a can of live, fat, wriggling, blood-filled
worms. He carefully took a knife and fork, cut into his moving meal, and
ate it. It made me feel sick. It was disgusting. The thought of chewing
cold, live worms is so repulsive, so distasteful, I can candidly say it
would be impossible for me to eat them, even though I have seen it done.
It is so abhorrent, I draw on the strength of the word
"impossible" to substantiate my claim.
Lying, deception, bearing false witness,
etc., is so repulsive to God, so disgusting to Him, so against His holy
character, that the Scriptures draw on the strength of the word
"impossible" to substantiate the claim. He cannot, could not,
and would not lie.
That means that in a world where we are
continually let down, we can totally rely on, trust in, and count on His
promises. They are sure, certain, indisputable, true, trustworthy,
reliable, faithful, unfailing, dependable, steadfast, and an anchor for
the soul. In other words, you can truly believe them, and because of that,
you can throw yourself blindfolded and without reserve, into His mighty
hands. He will never, ever, let you down. Do you believe that?
It has been well said that God always answers prayer.
Sometimes He says, "Yes." sometimes He says, "NO."
Sometimes He says, "Wait for a minute," and a day to the Lord is
a thousand years to us (2 Peter 3:8). That means that a ten year wait for
us, is 14 minutes and 24 seconds to God, so ask in faith, but rest in
Surveys show that more than 90% of America
prays daily. No doubt they pray for health, wealth, happiness, etc. They
also pray when grandma gets sick, and when grandma doesn't get better (or
dies), many end up disillusioned, and some end up bitter. This is because
they don't understand what the Bible says about prayer. It teaches that
sin will stop God even hearing your prayer (Psalm 66:18). It teaches,
among other things, that if we pray with doubt, we will not get an answer
Here's how to be heard....
1.) Pray with faith (Hebrews 11:6).
2.) Pray with clean hands and a pure heart (Psalm 24:3-4).
3.) Pray genuine heart-felt prayers, rather than vain repetitions (Matthew
4.) Make sure that you are praying to the God revealed in the Holy
Scriptures (Exodus 20:3-6).
How do you "pray with faith?" If
someone says to you, "You're a man of great faith in God," they
may think that they are paying you a compliment. But they aren't -- the
compliment is to God. For example if I said to you, "I'm a man of
great faith in my doctor," it's actually the doctor I'm
complimenting. If I have great faith in him, it means that I see him as
being a man of integrity, a man of great ability -- that he is
trustworthy. I give "glory" to the man through my faith in him.
The Bible says that Abraham "He did not waver at the promise of God
through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and
being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to
perform." (Romans 4:20-21). Abraham was a man of great faith in God.
Remember, that is not a compliment to Abraham. He merely caught a glimpse
of God's incredible ability, His impeccable integrity, and His wonderful
faithfulness to keep every promise He makes. His faith gave
"glory" to a faithful God.
As far as God is concerned, if you belong
to Jesus, you are a VIP. You can boldly come before the throne of Grace
(Hebrews 4:16). You have access to the king, because you are the son or
daughter of the king. When you were a child, did you have to grovel to get
your needs met by your mom or dad? I hope not.
So, when you pray, don't say, "Oh God,
I hope you will supply my needs." Instead say something like,
"Father, thank you that you keep every promise You make. Your Word
says that you will supply all my needs according to Your riches in glory,
by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Therefore, I thank you that you will
do this thing for my family. I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus.
It was the great missionary, Hudson Taylor,
who said, "The prayer power has never been tried to its full
capacity. If we want to see Divine power wrought in the place of weakness,
failure, and disappointment, let us answer God's standing challenge, 'Call
unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things of
which thou knowest not of.'"
How do you get "clean hands and a pure
heart?" Simply by confessing your sins to God, through Jesus Christ.
His blood cleanses from all sin (1 John 1:7-9). When you confess them to
God through Jesus, God will not only forgive your every sin, He promises
to forget that sin (Hebrew 8:12). He will even justify you, on the grounds
of the sacrifice of the Savior. That means He will count it as though you
have never sinned in the first place. He will make you pure in His sight
-- sinless. He will even "purge" your conscience, so that you
will no longer have that sense of guilt that you sinned in the first
place. That's what I mean "to be justified by faith." That's why
you need to soak yourself in Holy Scripture -- to read the letters to the
churches and see the wonderful things that God has done for us through the
Cross of Calvary. If you don't bother to read the will, you won't have any
idea of what has been left for you.
How do you pray "genuine heart-felt
prayers?" Simply by keeping yourself in the love of God. If the love
of God is in you, you will never pray hypocritical, or selfish prayers. In
fact, you won't have to pray selfish prayers, if you have a heart of love.
When your prayer-life is pleasing to God, the Bible says that He will
reward you openly (Matthew 6:6).
How do you know that you are praying to
"the God revealed in Holy Scripture?" Study the Word. Don't
accept the image of God portrayed by the world, even though it appeals to
the natural mind. A loving, kind fatherly-figure, with no sense of justice
or truth appeals to guilty sinners. Look to the thunderings and lightnings
of Mount Sinai. Gaze at Jesus on the cross of Calvary -- hanging in
unspeakable agony because of the Justice of a holy God. Such thoughts tend
to banish idolatry.
Pray about where you should fellowship. Make sure the
place you are going to call your church home calls sin what it is -- sin.
Do they believe the promises of God? Are they loving? Does the pastor
treat his wife with respect? Is he a man of the Word? Does he have a
humble heart, and a gentle spirit? Listen closely to his teaching. It
should glorify God, magnify Jesus, and edify the believer. One evidence
that you have been truly saved is that you will have a love for other
Christians (1 John 3:14). You will want to fellowship with them. The old
saying that "birds of a feather flock together" is true of
Christians. You gather together for the breaking of bread (communion), for
teaching from the Word, and for fellowship. You share the same
inspirations, illuminations, inclinations, temptations, aspirations,
motivations, and perspirations -- you are working together for the same
thing, for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God on earth. This is why you
attend church -- not because you have to, but because you want to.
Don't become a "spiritual
butterfly." Send your roots down. If you are moving from church to
church, how will your pastor know what type of food you are digesting? The
Bible says that your shepherd will have to give an account to Him that has
entrusted you to him (Hebrews 13:17), so make yourself known to your
pastor. Pray for him regularly. Pray also for his wife, his family, and
the elders. Being a pastor is no easy task. Most people don't realize how
many hours it takes to gather a fresh sermon each week. They don't
appreciate the time spent in prayer and in the study of the Word. If the
pastor makes the same joke twice, or shares something he has shared
before, remember, he's human. So give him a great deal of grace, and
double honor. Never murmur about him. If you don't like something he has
said, pray about it, then leave the issue with God. If that doesn't
satisfy you, leave the church, rather than divide it through murmuring and
A woman once spread some hot gossip about a
local pastor. What he had supposedly done became common knowledge around
town. Then she found that what she had heard wasn't true. She gallantly
went to the pastor, and asked for his forgiveness. The pastor forgave her,
but then told her to take a pillow full of tiny feathers to a corner of
the town, and in high winds, shake the feather out. Then he told her to
try and pick up every feather. He explained that the damage had already
been done. She had destroyed his good reputation, and trying to repair the
damage was like trying to pick up feathers in high winds.
The Bible says that there is life and death
in the power of the tongue. We can kill or make something alive with our
words. The Scriptures also reveal that God hates those who cause division
among the brethren (Proverbs 6:16). Pray with the psalmist, "Set a
guard O Lord, over my mouth; keep the door of my lips."
Remember the old saying, "He that
gossips to you, will gossip about you."
When you became a Christian, you stepped right into the
heat of an age-old battle. You have a three-fold enemy--the world, the
flesh, and the devil. Before you became a Christian, you floated down
stream with the other dead fish. But now, God has put His life within you,
and you will find yourself swimming against a three-fold current. Let's
look at these three resistant enemies.
First, the world. When the Bible speaks of
the "world" in this context, it is referring to the sinful,
rebellious, world system. This is the world that loves the darkness and
hates the light (John 3:20), governed by the "god of this world"
(2 Corinthians 4:4)( -- the "prince power of the air" (Ephesians
2:2). The Bible says the Christian has escaped the corruption that is in
the world through lust. "Lust" is unlawful desire, and is the
life's blood of the world --whether it be the lust for sexual sin, foor
power, for money, for material things. Lust is a monster that will never
be gratified, so don't feed it. It will grow bigger and bigger, until it
weighs heavy upon your back, and will be the death of you -- see James
There is nothing wrong with sex, power,
money, or material things, but when these become predominant in God's
sight, the Bible calls this "inordinate affection" (Colossians
3:5). We are told, "Do not love the world or the things in the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
"Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an
enemy of God." (1 John 2:15, James 4:4).
The second enemy is the devil. As we have
seen, he is known as the "god of this world." He was your
spiritual father before you joined the family of God (John 8:44, Ephesians
2:2. Jesus called the devil a thief, who came to kill, steal and destroy
The way to overcome him and his demons is
to make sure you are outfitted with the spiritual armor of God listed in
Ephesians 6:10-20. Become intimately familiar with it. Sleep in it. Never
take it off. Bind the two-edged sword to your hand so that you never lose
its grip. The reason for this brings us to the third enemy.
The third enemy is what the Bible calls the
"flesh." This is your sinful nature. The domain for the battle,
is your mind.
If you have a mind to, you will be
attracted to the world and all its sin. The mind is the data-processing
control panel for the eyes and the ears. It is the center of your
appetites. All sin begins in the "heart" (Proverbs 4:23, Matthew
15:19). We think before we sin. This happens because we don't think before
we sin. The Bible warns that lust brings forth sin, and sin when it's
conceived brings forth death. Every day we have life, we have a choice. To
sin or not to sin -- that is the question. The answer to the question of
sin, is the fear of God. If you don't fear God, you will sin to your
sinful heart's delight.
Did you know that God kills people? He
killed a man because he didn't like what he did sexually (Genesis 38:10).
He killed a husband and wife because they told just one lie (Acts 5:1-11).
Knowledge of God's goodness -- His righteous judgments against evil,
should put the fear of God in us, and help us not to indulge in sin.
If we know that the eye of the Lord is in
every place beholding the evil and the good, and that He will bring every
work to judgment, we will live accordingly. Such weighty thoughts are
valuable, for "by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil"
(Proverbs 16:6). Jesus said,
"And I say to you, My friends, do not
be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that
they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after
He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear
Him!" (Luke 12:4-5)
The Bible Says , "Repent and be baptized,
every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins. . ." (Acts 2:38). There is therefore no question as to
whether or not you should be baptized. The questions are how,
when, and by whom?
It would also seem clear from
scripture that those who were baptized, were fully immersed in
water. Here's one reason why:
"And John was also baptizing
in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water
there..." (John 3:23).
If John was merely sprinkling
believers, he would have only needed a cup full of water.
The Philippian jailer and his
family were baptized at midnight, as soon as they believed. So
what are you waiting for?
Who should baptize you? It is clear
from Scripture that other believers had the privilege, but check
with your pastor, he may want the honor himself.
It was once said that the wallet is the "last
frontier." It is the final area to be conquered -- the last
thing that comes to God in surrender. Jesus spoke much about
money. He said that we cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).
The word "mammon" was the common Aramaic word for
riches, which is akin to a Hebrew word signifying "that which
is to be trusted." In other words, we cannot trust God and
money. Either money is our source of life, our great love, our
joy, our sense of security, the supplier of our needs -- or God
When you open your purse or wallet,
give generously and regularly to your local church. A guide as to
how much you should give can be found in the "tithe" of
the Old Testament -- 10% of your income. Whether you give this
amount or not, make sure you do give something to the work of God
(see Malachi 3:8-10). Give because you want to, not because you
have to. God loves a cheerful giver (2Corinthians 9:7), so learn
to hold your money with a loose hand.
It was late in December, 1996. A large family
gathered in Los Angeles for the joyous occasion of wrapping
Christmas presents. It was a big family because it was the product
of two marriages. There were so many gathered that night, five of
the children slept in the garage. It was a converted structure,
kept warm during the cold night by an electric heater which sat by
During the early hours of the
morning, the heater suddenly burst into flames, blocking the
doorway. In seconds the room became a blazing inferno. The frantic
911 call revealed the unspeakable terror of the moment. One of the
children could be heard screaming, "I'm on fire!" The
distraught father vainly rushed into the flames to try and save
his beloved children. He received burns to 50% of his body.
Tragically, all five of the children burned to death. They died
because steel bars on the windows of the garage thwarted their
escape. There was only one door, and that was stopped by the
You are back in time. It's minutes
before the heater burst into flames. You peer through the darkness
at the peaceful sight of five sleeping youngsters. You know that
at any moment the room is going to erupt into an inferno and burn
the flesh of horrified children. Can you in good conscience walk
away? No! You must awaken them, and warn them to run from that
The world sleeps peacefully in the
darkness of ignorance. There is only one Door by which they may
escape death. The steel bars of sin prevent their salvation, and
at the same time call for the flames of Eternal Justice. What a
fearful thing Judgment Day will be! The fires of the wrath of
Almighty God will burn for eternity. The Church has been entrusted
with the task of awakening them before it's too late. We cannot
turn our backs and walk away in complacency. Think of how the
father ran into the flames. His love knew no bounds, and our
devotion to the sober task that God has given us will be in direct
proportion to our love for the lost. There are only a few who run
headlong into the flames to warn them to flee (Luke 10:2). Please
be one of them. We really have no choice. The Apostle Paul said,
"Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1
It was the "Prince of
Preachers," Charles Spurgeon, who said the words, "Have
you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved
yourself. Be sure of that." A Christian cannot be apathetic
about the salvation of the world. The love of God in him will
motivate him to seek and save that which is lost.
You probably have a limited amount
of time after your conversion to impact your unsaved friends and
family with the Gospel. After the initial shock of your
conversion, they will put you in a neat little ribbon-tied box,
and keep you at arm's length. So it's important that you take
advantage of the short time you have while you still have their
Here's some advice that will save
you a great deal of grief. As a new Christian, a friend of mine
did almost irreparable damage by acting like a wild bull in a
crystal showroom. He bullied his mom, his dad, and many of his
friends into making a "decision for Christ". He was
sincere, zealous, loving, kind, and stupid. He didn't understand
that salvation doesn't come through making a "decision,"
but through repentance, and repentance is God-given (see 2 Timothy
2:25). The Bible teaches that no one can come to the Son unless
God "draws" him. If you are able to get a decision but
they have no conviction of sin, you will almost certainly end up
with a still-born on your hands.
In his "zeal without
knowledge" he actually inoculated the very ones he was so
desperately trying to reach. There is nothing more important to
you than the salvation of your loved ones, and you don't want to
blow it. If you do, you may find that you don't have a second
chance. Fervently pray for them, thanking God for their salvation.
Let them see your faith. Let them feel your kindness, your genuine
love, and your gentleness. Buy gifts for no reason. Do chores when
you are not asked to. Go the extra mile. Put yourself in their
position. You know that you have found everlasting life. Death has
lost its sting! Your joy is unspeakable -- but as far as they are
concerned, you have been brain-washed. You have become part of a
weird sect. So your loving actions will speak more loudly than ten
thousand eloquent sermons.
It is because of these thoughts
that you should hold back from verbal confrontation until you have
knowledge that will guide your zeal. Pray for wisdom and for a
sensitivity to God's timing. You may have only one shot, so make
it count. Keep your cool. If you don't, you may end up with a
lifetime of regret. Believe me. It is better to hear a loved one
or a close friend say, "Tell me about your faith in Jesus
Christ," rather than you saying, "Sit down. I want to
talk to you."
It is important to realize that we
should share our faith with others whenever we can. The Bible says
that there are only two times we should do this -- "in season
and out of season" (2 Timothy 4:2). The Apostle Paul pleaded
for prayer for his own personal witness. He said, ". . . that
utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to
make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador
in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to
speak," (Ephesians 6:19-20).
Remember that you have the sobering
responsibility of speaking to other peoples' loved ones. Many
times when you open your mouth for the Gospel, you may be the
answer to the earnest prayer of another Christian. Perhaps he has
cried out to God that He would use a faithful witness to speak to
his beloved mom or dad, and you are that answer to prayer. You are
that true and faithful witness that God wants to use.
Never lose sight of the world and
all its pains. Keep the fate of the ungodly before your eyes. Too
many of us settle down on a padded pew and become introverted. Our
world becomes a monastery without walls. Our friends are confined
solely to those within the Church, when Jesus was the "friend
of sinners." So take the time to deliberately befriend them
for the sake of their salvation. Remember that each and every
person who dies in their sins has an appointment with the Judge of
the Universe. Hell opens wide its terrible jaws. There is no more
sobering task than to be entrusted with the Gospel of Salvation --
working with God for the eternal well-being of dying humanity.
this information is available free from www.livingwaters.com....Save
Yourself Some Pain Booklet