Yes. God would never make it impossible to have a relationship with Him. The real question is how can I be good enough for God?
A relationship with God is based on who we are and not what we do. Just as we are born physically into a family, we must be born spiritually into God’s family. A person is born into God’s family by believing the truth.
The truth is that God sent Jesus to die for us so that we could have eternal life with Him. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price in full for all sins of all the world—including ours. When we believe in Christ, we become a new creation, and we are born into God’s family as His children. We receive the perfect nature of God into our very being, yet not because of anything that we did to deserve life. Just like our physical life, our spiritual life is a gift. Our very nature or identity is changed within so that we become a new person in God’s sight. Based on that new life, we become “good enough” for God on the basis of faith in Christ. Just as a child is loved for who he or she is, God loves and accepts us apart from our performance. It is by faith, not works, that we are “good enough” for God.
What Does Salvation or Getting Saved Mean?
Getting saved means that we are exempt from eternal punishment in hell and that we will be with God for all of eternity. Even though we may not like to think about it, death is a fact of life. Beyond our own death, there is the loss of loved ones, little ones, and brave ones whose memories touch our hearts deeply. God promises to save us from eternal death by placing our faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. In God’s sight, when we trust in Christ to save us from our sins, we become part of Christ so that we are in the Body of Christ. Just as a man and a woman are no longer two but one when they exchange vows, we are no longer alone but one with Christ by faith in Christ.
Salvation from death comes through receiving eternal life from God. Eternal means forever. We will live forever since God lives in us through faith in Christ. The same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead will raise us as well. That is the promise for us to receive.
What Does Conversion Mean?
To convert is to change from an old way to a new way. Every human being was born into a nature that was inherited from their parents, who inherited it from their parents. Our “natural” way is at odds with God’s way. All of us have the natural tendency to run our own life—that happens as soon as we arrive as babies. This desire for independence conflicts with God because He wants to direct our lives. Typically a “tug of war” takes place within our hearts and sets up an internal struggle.
Many people keep control and never surrender to God. But others eventually realize that God is far more able to direct our lives so they give God control. When this happens, a convert goes from the old, natural way to a new, supernatural way. Specifically, we can make Jesus the Lord of our life. At the moment of conversion, we are “born again” from our old human nature into God’s family with a new nature.
Is There Only One Way to Heaven?
According to Jesus, the answer is “yes.” Many people have difficulty with His answer because they see so many other religions besides Christianity producing good works. However, heaven is not the result of our good works.
Heaven cannot be earned by anyone, which is the conflict with religions based on human effort. Heaven is a gift; therefore works cannot be counted. This clearly taught truth in God’s Word is offensive to many because mankind wants to see heaven as a reward for effort, but nothing could be more untrue. Heaven is a gift that we will never deserve, no matter how “good” we think we may be. The truth is that any imperfection will disqualify a person from heaven. That fact leaves us utterly dependent on the mercy of God. Fortunately for us, God wants to grant mercy to anyone who asks for it. God does not discriminate. He loves every single person the same—perfectly. But His love is a gift that can only be received by trusting in Christ.
Is Jesus God?
Jesus said that He was God many times in the Scriptures. In one incident, He said He had lived even before Abraham was born. This statement infuriated His religious opponents because they knew that He was setting himself above time, therefore, claiming to be God. Jesus said that He was the Messiah, the fulfillment of all the promises of the Old Testament. In the end, Christ was crucified because He said He was equal to God. Many times, as He was teaching His followers, He directed them to worship Him above all others, including their mother, father, spouse, and children.Some additional signs besides His verbal claims to divinity were His miracles. Through eyewitness accounts written for our behalf in four gospels, Jesus asserts power over nature, sickness of all kinds, demonic spirits, and, ultimately, death itself. He multiplied the loaves and fishes, changed water to wine, and walked on water. All of these dramatic events were given to us to answer this very question.Finally, there is the sinless life of Jesus. There is no person in human history who was perfect, without any sin whatsoever. Jesus could never be the perfect sacrifice for our sins if He was just like any other man. He was fully human, but He was fully divine at the same time, born of a human mother impregnated by the Spirit of God.If he was not God, He would need a savior too. But, on the basis of His spotless, innocent life, He offered himself as the “lamb without defect” for the sake of the entire world. Because He was God, death could not hold Him captive; He rose victoriously three days after His death to prove His sovereignty over life and death.
Is Infant Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
No. Infant baptism is not only not necessary for salvation, it cannot provide salvation.Infant baptism is based on an assumption by human religious leaders. The assumption is that since we are born in original sin, a child will receive negative consequences for not having received cleansing of sin through baptism. Those consequences may include loss of salvation (inability to enter heaven) or limbo (residence in another destination other than heaven).God is very clear about the destination of all human souls. All of us regardless of age are going into one of only two places: heaven or hell. There is no biblical basis whatsoever for limbo. Therefore, the question is how does God see an infant with respect to consequences?The Bible indicates the answer clearly. God sees children as innocent. They will not be judged for sin since sin requires choice. An infant is not able to make a choice for good or evil therefore an infant is not guilty in God’s eyes of any sin. Furthermore, since hell is the consequence for sin which is a conscious rejection of God’s will (rebellion), the only place that is appropriate for an infant is heaven.
If God is Good and All-Powerful, Why Does He Allow Suffering?
This question has been asked by all of us sooner or later, for when tragedy strikes, we can easily wonder about God’s character or capabilities. That God is less than good or He is insufficient in power are both potential conclusions that can lead a person to reject God. We might be tempted to think, “If you really loved me, you would not have let that happen.”God has placed the desire for perfection in our hearts, and He is the one who will someday make all things new and the pain will go away. Death will be swallowed up in victory and suffering will cease to exist. The paradise that Adam and Eve forfeited will be restored to last forever. However, until that time comes, we live in imperfection, which means that there will be suffering.One of the major reasons for the imperfections in this world is “free will.” God made us free to choose. This freedom is necessary because God wants people to choose to love Him. God loves us and has chosen to die for us that we might choose Him and have a personal relationship with Him. Love without choice ceases to be love.Unfortunately, free will opens the door for bad choices, too, and suffering is usually the result. This pain can be physical, emotional, relational, financial, or spiritual. God warned the first human beings He created not to use their free will to reject His authority. But they rebelled against God and the consequence was a fallen world. Everything in creation came under a curse. As a result, we see suffering in every part of life through foolish or evil choices. God is allowing all of this to continue on His time clock for reasons that we often cannot understand.
Why Are There So Many Churches and Denominations?
Within Christianity, there are many different kinds of churches and denominations. In John 17:20-21, Jesus prayed that all Christians would be unified in Him and that by their unity, others would come to know God. Unfortunately, over the years this message has been lost among Christians. We have focused too much on our differences of interpreting the Bible and not as much on our similarities—namely, the gospel, that Christ came to earth to die for our sins. These differences have caused churches to start to identify themselves by denominations so that newcomers may easily know what each specific church believes.
Wherever there is a group of people who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection and have committed to follow His direction as expressed in the Word of God, that group is a church. Every authentic church has Jesus Christ as the Head. The church is like the body, which follows the leading of the head. There are many diversified parts of the body, yet the parts work together in unity to serve the head. The wide variety of churches around the world are actually parts of only one church from God’s point of view. No one can become a Christian simply by attending a church or observing church laws or being a good person. Church membership requires a relationship with Christ. Once a person becomes a Christian, there is great freedom in choosing what particular church he or she would like to attend.
How Can I Become a Christian?
To know an infinite God is a challenge for finite beings. We know God through what God reveals to us. We can see His design through creation. We can see His participation in history. But His clearest revelation comes through His Word, which is perfect and never changes. Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh, according to John 1:14. God has intervened in human history in order that we might know Him. We are told that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish. Jesus was sent on a rescue mission by God the Father because the human race needed a Savior.
Understanding God and all that He has done and is doing today in the world is only possible through the help of the Holy Spirit. When we place our faith in Christ, it is the Holy Spirit who does the work in our hearts to convince us that we need forgiveness and that Christ is more than willing to grant the forgiveness. When we confess our sins to God, God cleanses us completely, sets us free from guilt, accepts us as though we had never sinned, and names us as His sons and daughters.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
What Are The First Steps a New Christian Should Take?
Christians have two very important guides to help us through life. First is a good Bible that is easy to understand. You can find many choices at an online retailer, or you may wish to visit a local Christian bookstore. Start in the Gospel of Mark and read a small portion every day. You can look at the table of contents to easily locate this book in the Bible. Mark is a short, fast-moving biography of Jesus Christ. The author was a man who witnessed most of Jesus’ three year ministry and knew Jesus’ disciples well. When you finish your reading, pray and ask God to help you to follow Him as He reveals the truth to you. The Bible says that the Word is like a lamp for our feet. Every day, God gives us light to guide us through life.
Second, try to find a church where all those who attend are committed to following the Bible as their authority for living. This may require some research and a few weeks of visiting different churches. There are many biblically sound churches for you to choose from. If possible, ask a good Christian friend or family member to help you. Click on this link to help you find a healthy church.
Why Am I Alive?
Would it surprise you to know that the correct answer to this question is the same for every person, in every culture, at every time past, present, and future? God’s purpose for His creation has never changed. Yet most people miss the answer entirely. We need to know the answer, not only for our own sake, but for our children’s sake and for all the people we know.
Why am I alive? In a word: Love. Jesus gave the answer when He told us that we are to love God and love our neighbor—if we do this we will fulfill all the other commandments. Christ came into the world to simplify our lives.
One of the curses of the 21st century is that there seems to be so much change and so much stress that life has become very complicated. But that is not what God desires for us. He wants us to have an abundant life, not based on things but based on relationship. God wants us to be close to Him and close to one another. When our life is over and we stand before God for the judgment of our life, what will God use as the criteria for a successful life?
How are we spending our lives? Wastefully following the idols of this world, deceived by religion, thinking we are okay in our own goodness, living without purpose in a survivor mode? Or, are we coming to Christ, trusting in Him to save us, and then following Him as the Lord of our lives with the help of the Holy Spirit? We need to get the answer to this question right!
Does God Wants All Men to be Saved?
Does God favor one group of people over another? Does God’s love end for some people? Has God predetermined who will be saved and who will not be saved? These are some of the questions that influence our relationship with God and with other people. Certainly, God is beyond our understanding and is not obligated to us in any way (Romans 11:33-36). But God has revealed himself to us so that we can know Him. God’s Word is light, and we live in understanding as we enter that light and obey that light.
God does want all men to be saved. Let there be no doubt about any race, religion, gender, or age. God loves the world, and that is inclusive of all men who have been created in His image and likeness. Christ died for all sins, so there is no sinner who has crossed the line and cannot be forgiven. God’s mercy is desperately needed by every person. We have no moral high ground over one another. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All will die in their sin unless they are saved.
Our responsibility is to follow Christ. “As the Father has sent me I am sending you” (John 17:18). We are called to obey and leave the results of our obedience with God. That makes us vulnerable. That’s risky. But we must do what we believe God has called us to do, and clearly He has called us to make Christ known wherever we go.
What Does Born Again Mean?
Just as we are born physically, we must be born spiritually. The process is the same—the seed unites with a receptive host to create new life. Spiritually, the seed is truth and the host is the human heart.
A person is born again by believing the truth—that’s the receptive part. That raises the all-important question…what is truth?
This famous question was once asked by Pontius Pilate. In hindsight, we know that Truth was standing right in front of him. Jesus said this about himself: “I am the way, the truth and the life” and “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life”.
We now understand that God the Father sent Jesus to die for us so that we could have eternal life.
Think of the human heart as “soil.” The failures in our life tend to beat down on that soil and make it hard. Weeds can grow and make it very difficult for any seed to penetrate. Jesus invites us to confess our failures (the weeds of sin) and forgive others who have hurt us (those who have stepped on our hearts to help harden them) by believing that His death on the cross paid the price in full for all sins of all the world—including ours. Believing in Christ makes the soil fertile; prepared to receive the Seed into our hearts. When that happens, new life is created!
New life is always the result of seed dying to itself to create another life. We are so loved by God that He offers eternal life to all who believe in Christ. Acceptance of the Seed changes every believer forever. We are born again into God’s family as His children. We receive the perfect nature of God into our very being, not because of anything that we did to deserve life, but because just like our physical life, our spiritual life is a gift.
Why is Hell a Reality?
The denial of hell is a major problem. First and foremost, it is a lie since the Bible and Jesus himself warns about hell literally many times. Without hell, there are no consequences for sin. Without consequences, there is no need to be saved from consequences. Without the need to be saved, there is no need for a Savior. Without the need for a Savior, there is no need to evangelize. This thinking is accepted by millions and the spiritual fallout is catastrophic. Most false religions have explained away hell.
What did God say to Adam and Eve? If you eat of the fruit, you will die. They did not believe God and they fell into sin. We are God’s ambassadors, charged with the same responsibility to warn others that they will die unless they repent and place their faith in Christ. How we go about doing this is between us and God. But we can be sure that the Holy Spirit who leads us all into truth wants us to lovingly and gently help others understand that if they do not forsake sin, they will perish.
What is Heaven Like and How Do We Get There?
Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, of the things that are prepared for those who will inherit eternal life. Just because we cannot see something does not mean that it does not exist. In fact, we place our trust in the unseen all the time. We may not have seen the plant that generates the electricity, but we believe that it exists; we see the results when we plug something into the socket. Likewise, we see the results of heaven all around us. Goodness, kindness, patience, love, and joy are all the products of heaven. Although we do not see the full revelation of heaven, these products are the firstfruits of what life will be like in eternity for those who are living in heaven. To the degree that we are obedient to the will of God here on earth, we are agents of heaven when we produce the blessings of heaven. Some day, there will be complete understanding of heaven. All barriers will be removed and we will see it clearly once and for all. Just as the windshield washer cleans away the debris so that we can drive without hindrance, our sins will be removed and we will see God and heaven up close and personal. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that faith, hope, and love are vital to life here on earth. But when we are ushered into heaven, we will see God face to face and there will be no more need for faith and hope. We will see Love—and that is the greatest of all the virtues.
We were created by God for Christ. By believing what the Holy Spirit says about Christ, we are led by the Holy Spirit through the desert of this world to meet Christ in heaven, which is the Promised Land. We are united with Christ in marriage to live with Him for the rest of our lives in heaven.
Why is our Relationship with God Like a Marriage?
The covenant of marriage is all about love without limits. Covenants are sealed with an oath before God, because we are so serious about our vows. God loves us and He wants us to love one another with all the sacredness that marriage demands. The world’s attitude toward marriage often degrades the sanctity of marriage. God does not want this covenant broken, because He loves both man and woman and the family they will produce. He wants security through our faithfulness to Him and one another. Faith keeps that covenant together. Faith in our promises to one another is the essence of our marriage covenant.