Many people claim the title “Christian.” Yet many of the same people ignore what Jesus tells us in the Bible. The Bible teaches about true Christianity; about becoming a disciple of Jesus.
First, we must believe. Read these verses. The Bible plainly sets forth belief in Jesus as the requirement for eternal life.
Within the context of Scripture, we understand that belief requires action. We believe, we give up sin, and we seek to love God with our entire being.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'”
Matthew 7:21-22 (NKJ)
You see? Belief requires action. Jesus says those that will enter heaven are the ones who do the Father’s will. See what Scripture says about loving God.
“Teacher, what is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”
Matthew 22:36-38 (NKJ)
So we believe, we stop sin, and we love God with everything we are and with all that we have. That means talking to Him regularly and reading His Word, His letter to us. Read it, believe it, live it.
Being a follower of Jesus requires personal commitment and sacrifice. Jesus tells us in Luke 14 what it means to be a disciple of His.
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it…”
Now skip down to verse 33. It says:
“…whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
Luke 14:25-28, 33 (NKJ)
Count the cost. Do you love Jesus more than your possessions, career, or even your family? A disciple of His puts Him above all else. See what Paul tells us.
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish…
Philippians 3:7-8 (NKJ)
Jesus wants our all.
Plainly, following Jesus requires effort on our part. So, you ask, what’s the good part? Where’s my benefit? First, when we accept Jesus, we receive the gift of eternal life. When the religious leaders killed Him, His followers despaired. But on the third day, He rose from the grave, proving once and for all that He had power over death.
I will ransom them from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death.
O Death, I will be your plagues!
O Grave, I will be your destruction!
Hosea 13:14 (NKJ)
John 8:51 quotes Jesus as saying,
“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”
John 8:51 (NKJ)
We who trust in Jesus need have no fear of death. What an awesome benefit!
Second, we experience the inexpressible joy resulting from a personal relationship with the God of the universe. We discover true freedom. We discover success. We find happiness. We throw off the shackles of depression, addiction, sorrow, fear, loneliness – in short, we discover that we’re no longer in bondage.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:32 (NKJ)
But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:22-23 (NKJ)
If you’d like a personal example of the grace and mercy of Jesus working in my life, and how I’ve been set free from bondage, click here.
The decision is yours.
. . . that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days…
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NKJ)
It’s that simple. A choice. Life or death. Armed with this information, the stakes rise. The Bible tells us that it will be worse for those who know the truth yet still choose to reject it.
For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
II Peter 2:21 (NKJ)
Please, choose Jesus. Choose life.
You need to tell Him. Tell Him you believe. Tell Him you’re sorry for hurting Him. Talk to Him. Read His letter to you. Give him your life. It’s the most important decision you’ll ever make.