What must I do to be Saved?
How do I know if I am a Christian?
You know a lot of people call themselves Christians. The difference between how you perceive Christianity and the real Christianity of the Bible may shock and startle you.
Maybe you see Christianity as just one of many religions
The Bible tells us this in Romans 10:3; For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Matthew 15:9 But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men
Religion is system of things to say or do. Ceremonies created by men for men to feel righteous or right with God. It is however not Christianity.
Jesus said He was the only way to God! What religion says that? He said in John 14:6
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
Maybe you see Christianity as a system used by some to make money.
In the bible
Jesus said that pursuit of money and God should not be and cannot be intertwined.
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.
"Mammon" as it is called is the monetary system of the world. You can't live your life chasing after money, it will become your master and not God.
Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
As a matter of fact Jesus was so disgusted with intertwining of money and the religious system of His day He did something totally radical. Yes, the same loving kind Jesus you might of heard of was a radical. The bible says in
John 2:14-16 And (He) found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting; And when He had made a whip of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the money changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things out; make not my Fathers house a house of merchandise
Some have even gone so far today as to make Christianity out to be a vehicle for its members to become wealthy. This totally goes against what Jesus did and how He lived.
Did you know that He was homeless? He said in
Matthew 8: 20 …The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has no where to lay His head
His homelessness was a example to the world of His humility, of His closeness to societies "have nots". He also showed that if you serve God you have no need of anything because
He will supply your needs.
Maybe you think you're a nice person who is nice to people and that is good Christianity?
This is a common belief that goes something like this. If God knows everything and is so fair and just, like He says He is, then He will see I'm doing the best I can. I mean, I'm no saint but I ain't
no evil person or anything. Besides I even pray and read my Bible and stuff.
The Bible says in Romans 3:10 …there is none righteous, no not one
Well…. Having worked out the streets we have a saying "thems that got the real thing got it, and thems that don't cant fake it"
You might be able to fool people about how you are, but you will never fool a real follower of Jesus.
I mean, it's like having a mask on, you know? Its like, you go through life with this good person mask, or church mask or whatever. And, no one, nobody can see what's underneath. God wants you to pull it off and take a good look. He sees hoe we really are. Look in the mirror; hear that
little voice in your head? That's you! That's right, and you know the real truth about you and who you really are. And the reason that you are that way is this. You see the Bible says that we all have a common problem. We all have heart trouble. No not that kind! Spiritual heart trouble.
Jesus said in Matthew 15: 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Yes, even though you think you're doing ok. With that Nasty old heart you won't get one step closer to God. What did Jeremiah say? It is desperately wicked. Do you know what it means to be desperate? It means you'd do anything, whatever it takes, to get what you want. He also said who could know it? You can't even fathom, understand the depths of evil that heart of yours is capable of dreaming up or doing. When you look at yourself can't you see that tendency to do wrong, that struggle you're having?
Maybe You Think Christianity is doing good deeds?
You say look I've examined myself and I don't see what you said I should see. I'm cool, I know I am! Besides, I do all sorts of good deeds that shows I'm a Christian right? Wrong! The Bible says when we do things, even good things out of that old nature, that old stone heart… it means nothing.
Isaiah 64:6 …All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.
"Righteousnesses" means good deeds or good works.
You see all the good works that come from that old desperately wicked heart are contaminated. They are not fit for God. Many people truly believe they need to do good deeds to get into heaven. But God doesn't operate that way. He is no respecter of persons. If you are white, black, Jewish, Mexican it doesn't matter to God. You can't expect to buy your way to God by doing good works. II Timothy puts it this way in 1:9
…not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Jesus Christ….
No matter how noble the deed it will not just magically strike up a relationship with the Creator for us.
Maybe you believe if you keep the Ten Commandments then surely God will accept me
No one can keep them! No one is perfect! Come on now really did you think differently? You might say well then why did God bother with them?
If you think about it God has many laws, Gravity is one. You can't make it go away its always there. So is evaporation or corrosion they are laws of nature put in place by the Creator God. Read the book of Leviticus, God had made many, many laws to deal with the sin (disobedience against God) of the people. Each required a sacrifice to be made to make things right with God again. In all there were some 613 different laws that God gave His people. The laws helped to teach people to recognize what was sin
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ
When God put in place His laws on sin He made everyone accountable. You can't break a law that doesn't exist. Once they were in place no one could skate around them.
The Bible says that sin (a product of our corrupt nature, our old heart) leads to death.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death…
It all sounds ominous, sin death a sacrifice.
If the penalty for sin were death then someone would have to die. The Bible predicted who this would be and what would happen to him.
Maybe this person who the Bible predicts will come, who you say is Jesus, is really someone else
The Bible isn't a collection of mans wisdom or some fairy tale but it is the Word of God. Challenged repeatedly by skeptics over the millennia it has withstood all scrutiny. Many learned men were converted trying to disprove these sacred texts. It contains the largest collection of historically accurate prophecies ever assembled. These prophecies are accurate down to the most tiny detail. The Bible speaks of a man God would send. He would be the one to pay the penalty for sin. He would be the one to satisfy those laws of God.
Not just an ordinary man, but a man who would speak the very words of God
Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise up a Prophet from among their brethren, …and I will put my words in His mouth…
The Bible tells us what tribe, what family He will come from
Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
His name would be Shiloh meaning "peace"
Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots
It speaks of His character
Isaiah 11:2-4 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth…
The Bible tells us His Birthplace
Micah 5:2 But you Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting
It also speaks of his suffering
Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…
Psalm 22:16,18 …they pierced my hands and my feet…They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my clothes
Psalm 69:21 They gave me also gall for my food; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink
Zechariah 13:6 And one shall say unto him What are these wounds in your hands? Then he shall answer, those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends
It also tells of His Sacrificial Death Satisfying the Law
John 19: 16,17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place which is called the place of the skull, which is in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the middle.
And His resurrection bringing life
John 20:19 … Then the same day at evening…when the doors were shut…came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said peace be unto you.
His promise of forgiveness of sin
John 5:24…He that hears my word, and believes on him who sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not see condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
His promise of a new nature
Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart…and I will give you a heart of flesh.
John 3:4 …Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.