A. You are going to think this is way too simple for something that big…but God is kind and merciful and speaks to us very simply. His instructions are simple enough for a child to understand and incredibly beyond us in understanding.
Salvation is simply a matter of running to Jesus…period. Jesus will never send away anybody who comes to him.
Let me give you some simple truths:
First, nobody is qualified. The Scripture says that “the heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt” and that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” The apostle John wrote, “If any man says that he doesn’t sin, he is a liar and the truth isn’t in him.” In fact, the only requirement is that we not be qualified. In other words, we are all desperately needy, horribly sinful and in serious trouble before a holy God.
That’s the bad news. And here’s the good news, the second truth. The Scripture says, “At the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” The wonderful message of the Gospel is that God is simply waiting for us to come. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, what you’ve done, how long it’s taken…just run to him. And on the matter of being “late,” you will remember that the thief who was dying on the cross with Jesus was accepted without any hesitation and Jesus told him that he would be in paradise that day.
In other words, Jesus has made up for our lack. We could talk for hours about the philosophy of the crucifixion but none of that is necessary. Here’s the bottom line: The sacrifice of Christ is totally sufficient for all our sins. God placed on him all our sin (past, present and future) and when he died, Christ paid the penalty for all our sin. And not only that, when we come to him, he not only covers our sin, God gives us what is called “imputation” which means that he imputed (gave to our account) the righteousness, goodness and obedience of Christ. So not only are we forgiven, we are also totally clean when we go to God because we are clothed in the “righteousness of Christ” (that’s because we don’t have any of our own).
How can we possibly be worthy of salvation? Here’s the bottom line: The sacrifice of Christ is totally sufficient for all our sins.
And then one other truth. One makes a definite act of “running to Jesus.” You can do that with a simple prayer and it can be your own. That prayer is mostly “Help me, God. I want to be forgiven and live forever.”
Let me give you a simple prayer you might want to pray:
Lord, I come to you with all kinds of baggage. I’m not good and I can’t demand anything from you. But Steve said that all I had to do was come and I’m here. I confess my sins and want to be forgiven and accepted by you because of what Jesus did on the cross. I say “yes” to you. Take my life and do as you please. I now belong to you and, because you have always given us the truth, thank you that I’m forgiven, I’m yours and I’m going to live forever.
It really is that simple. And if you pray that prayer or your own prayer like it, let me be the first to wish you a Happy Birthday. The moment you prayed, you became his and he became your Lord and Savior…and that is a forever kind of thing. I promise.