What is a Christian?

If you were raised Christian and your parents were faithful churchgoers, that's a good thing. But that doesn't make you a Christian. After all, if you go to the zoo regularly, that doesn’t automatically make you an animal either!


Many people who do not believe in God are good neighbors, helping others in need. But even then, you are not a Christian.


If you ask people about it, most of them believe in (a) God. But they have no idea who He is. You can believe that an airplane can fly across the ocean, but not fly an inch yourself. You have to get in, only then do you get moving.


Believing in God is fine, but it doesn't make you a Christian. The name Christian is used as a description of the followers of Jesus. It means: those who belong to Christ. But the best description of a Christian was given by Jesus himself: He said that a Christian is one who is born again.


We all come into the world through a natural birth. That's how we become human. But we must also be born as a child of God if we are to be part of His family. The latter does not happen naturally. You don't become part of His family by doing good works or being religiously compassionate.  We must be born again, start a new life. We can't do that on our own. God has promised to do this for us.


In his love, God has done everything necessary for us. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins so that we can receive forgiveness and become children of God. The road is now open. Nothing can stop a person— whoever he is and whatever he has done —from knowing God. God has done his part. And now He is asking us to do our part.


Do you want to become a Christian and get to know Jesus Christ? Do you long for the assurance that He has forgiven all your sins and that you are a child of God? Do you want to live from the realization that you have eternal life, God's life in you? That when you die, you will go directly to heaven to be with Him?


How can I become a Christian?

Acknowledge that you have sinned before God. Confess to Him all those things you have said and done in your life that you know are wrong. Really regret all those times you ignored His love and went your own way. Be willing to repent of every thought, word, action, and habit that you know is wrong.


Believe in Jesus Christ as the one who died on the cross to bear all the guilt and the whole punishment for your sin. We all deserve to be punished for the evil we have done to God. Believe that Jesus has taken your punishment upon himself.


Remember that Jesus never promised that it would be easy to follow Him. Others will misunderstand you, laugh at you, turn against you, just as they did with Jesus. Becoming a Christian means accepting Jesus as Lord and Master. It means that every part of your life — your work, your friendships, your time, your money — has to come under His control.


Accept Jesus Christ into your life as the Savior who saves you, as the Lord who governs your life, as the Friend who is always with you. There are so many people who never get to this last step and therefore never get to know Jesus Christ himself.


Nowhere is that step put into words as aptly as in the last book of the Bible — the book of Revelation. In it Jesus says, "Behold I stand at the doors I knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and have a meal with him and he with me." Your life is like a house: Jesus Christ is waiting outside. He doesn't impose himself, because that's not how love works. He waits until he is invited. The button is on the inside of the door. You only truly become a Christian when you open the door of your life to Jesus Christ and invite Him to enter your heart and into your life.


Maybe you never realized before that you had to do this. You can be baptized, go to church, even pray and read the Bible, and still keep Jesus Christ out of the door of your life.


Take an honest look at how things are going for you. Is Jesus Christ outside of your life or is He inside? Are you going to invite Him to come in or are you going to let Him out? You can't let the opportunity pass you by permanently. Time is running out. After death, there is no longer any possibility of accepting Christ. Then it will be too late. And no one knows when it will be his time to die. So you can no longer run the risk of postponement.


If you are willing, consciously open your life to Him. Find a place where you can be alone for a while. Think of Jesus' love for you — the cross, the shame, the pain, his body nailed to the cross, his blood flowing — all for you. Think of Jesus standing at the door and knocking, waiting for Him to be let in. You have heard His voice and you now want so badly to get to know Him personally.


Perhaps the following prayer will help you open up your life to Jesus and let Him in. Pray it sentence by sentence, thinking quietly, realizing what you are saying and doing with it:


Lord Jesus ChristI know that I have sinned against You in thoughts, words and deeds. There are so many good things I haven't done. Please forgive me. I regret my sins, and repent of everything I know is wrong. You gave your life for me on the cross. Gratefully I give my life back to you.I ask you: do you want to come into my life. Come in as Savior to save me. Come in as Lord to guide me. Come in as a friend to be with me. Thank you for hearing and accepting me. Amen.


When you pray this prayer and mean what you say, you have asked Jesus Christ into your life. He has promised to come in and live in you through his Holy Spirit. Jesus is God: when He promises something, He always keeps his word.


Can I know that God has accepted me?

You have opened the door of your life and asked Jesus to come in. You have accepted Him as your God. But has He accepted you? How can you be sure of that?


Don't trust your gut. Trust His promise. By allowing Him into your life, you are a child of God, a true born-again Christian. Right now, you may barely feel any difference. You may not feel that you are a Christian at all. How, then, can you be sure that Jesus Christ has come into your life and that He is a living, personal Friend?


One of the special and most joying features of the Christian faith is that God wants to give us the assurance that we belong to Him and He to us. This assurance is based on: 

- the Bible;

- the cross,

- the Holy Spirit.


The Bible is full of clear promises from God to all who have placed their trust in Jesus. The Bible shows us how to become Christians, and it shows us the way to go. We cannot rely on our feelings. When you are tired or sick, when you have problems and worries at work or at home, you may not feel that you are a Christian at all. The feeling goes up and down, so don't rely on it. Instead, you must learn to trust in God's promises that never change.