Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I grew up in church. My family attended church three times a week. I believed in God, I believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, but that still didn’t make me a Christian. It didn’t ensure my salvation. I lived life as I saw fit. I did what made me happy. I prayed–sometimes every day–and I considered myself a Christian (Preacher’s kid, right here. Hi.). I was a good person. And then I went through a bad breakup that led to depression, and spent six months struggling to make it through the next five minutes of my life at a time. I saw a counselor who asked me if I went to church. I hadn’t, not in 15+ years, but I started watching a local service online…and everything changed.
It wasn’t until I fully committed myself to Jesus and surrendered to Him as Lord that a change occurred in my life—a visible change. I grew up thinking I was a Christian because I believed in God and Jesus. I spent most of my life thinking I was a Christian because I believed in God and Jesus—but I wasn’t. Being a good person has nothing to do with it. I don’t have anything to do with it at all. My works and my actions don’t matter in the slightest. What matters is Jesus’s work on the cross When you make Him Lord of your life, all your past mistakes, regrets, and sins are covered by His work—God sees what Jesus did, not what you have done (thank goodness). Pastor Robert Morris says it better than I ever can: Must Many Know.
But salvation is simple. If you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for your sins, and you confess with your mouth (if you speak it) that you love Him and He’s the Lord of your life—well, that’s pretty much it. Just talk to him. He’s listening. Ask Him to forgive your sins. If you don’t know what to say, there’s a simple prayer here. It really is that simple.
Gateway Church has a fantastic website, with thousands of sermons and teachings available. Maybe start here. Salvation isn’t hard. You don’t have to clean your life up first—grace cleans it all up (For which I am beyond grateful, because I was definitely a walking disaster before finding Jesus). I also found this message very moving.
If you’ve been in church for a while and are still wondering where you went wrong, try the sermon mentioned above, Must Many Know. I’ll never forget the impact that sermon had on me. I felt like the proverbial light bulb had gone off. Or watch this video from Pastor Jimmy Evans: Are You Ready for Jesus to Return?
Pastor Jimmy has some very good teachings on YouTube. I would really recommend his series Tipping Point, which will tell you quite a bit about what to expect in the future (or partially in the past, depending on when you’re reading this).