One of the hardest things a lot of people face is one of the easiest. Every so often someone will ask me about my faith and, while I mention it occasionally in a story, I never want to force my spirituality on anyone. But for some people, just the thought of asking God for forgiveness and His gift of eternal life is scary and it shouldn’t be. It costs nothing yet is priceless. And, since it is a very personal decision between you and Jesus Christ, no one will ever know unless you want to share it.
Today is Easter Sunday. There is no greater event celebrated by mankind – it is cherished in literally every country on earth – and because believers all over the world are united in faith, Easter has been a day of hope for centuries. I believe it will continue to be until the Lord comes again but let’s hold that; instead let me guide you to the Billy Graham Evangelical Association and share its four simple steps and a prayer that can change your life forever.
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God loves you and has a plan for you!
The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” — a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10).
Here's the problem: man is sinful and separated from God.
We have all done, thought or said bad things, which the Bible calls “sin.” The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23).
The good news?
God sent His Son to die for your sins!
Jesus died in our place so we could have a relationship with God and be with Him forever.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives!
“Christ died for our sins. … He was buried. … He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?
We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty. We suggest praying the prayer below to accept Christ as your Savior.
"Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen."
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In the Chattanooga area there are an abundance of wonderful churches. When my mother was alive, every summer we would pick four churches of different denominations and worship with them on a given Sunday. Without exception we were greeted warmly and felt completely welcome – the same will happen to anyone who visits churches of their choice before settling into one and becoming part of its family.
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With my fellow Christians I rejoice in the belief, “He is Risen!” and to those who are tempted to recite the prayer asking God to come into your life, I can promise today may be the best Easter you have ever spent. And to those not quite ready, let me assure you our God is loving, is patient, and is kind. He will come whenever you ask.
NOTE: The Four Steps and the Prayer are from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201.