How to Meet Jesus - The Gift
80% of British People said that if there was a way to know God personally, they would want someone to tell them. There is!
The wonderful news is, that there is a God who wants to know you personally. I'm not talking about a one-way relationship, where He knows you but you have to guess about him, I'm talking about a 2-way relationship, like you have with your best friend or spouse, where you know each other deeply or intimately.
Better still, He has provided a way for this to happen. You don't need to jump through a million hoops, prove yourself worthy, or somehow earn this. God has done that part for you through the person of Jesus, so now, knowing God personally is a pure gift!
To understand this, let's look at the background problem, and how Jesus solved this problem on the Cross.
The Barrier to Knowing God - Sin
Most adults who do not know about this (i.e. the Good News about Jesus), think of God as just a figure up beyond the clouds, if He even exists! This is because there is a huge barrier that separates them from God, so He is not known to them. The situation is like two people on separate mountains, with a great gulf in-between.
What is Sin?
Sin is doing something that God says is wrong. There are obvious examples like the tens commandments (do not murder, do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not lie, etc.). The reason sin is a problem is because God is a Holy God, and He doesn't do them. So if we practice those things, we become separated from God by our sins, because He cannot join Himself with those deeds. Actually, the bible teaches that we have all sinned. Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". Also, sin is such a serious issue that it can only be forgiven through the spilling of blood. Hebrews 9:22 says "... without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness."
The Solution - a Saviour
So what can we do to get rid of our sins, and be re-united with God? In the Old Testament (before Christ), the blood of animals was used to atone for (i.e. cover up) people's sin. But the short answer is that we need a Saviour. Someone who would save us from our sins. This is where Jesus comes in. (The name "Jesus"means "Saviour".) By shedding his blood on the cross, he literally paid the price for the sin of mankind, so that we could be re-united with God. He had no sins of his own to be cleansed, so the forgiveness that he purchased was for us. He paid the full price for all the sin of mankind, so that we could be forgiven, washed clean, and get off "scott-free". No need for penance or acts of contrition, the price has been PAID! Through the work of the cross, we can be re-united (or "reconciled") to God.
Matthew 1:21 says "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
No other religious leader has ever died on a cross to pay the price for your sin. Jesus is the only one! This is what makes Christianity unique.
How can I Meet God? The New Birth.
So the barrier of sin has been removed from the path to meeting God. But what happens now?
God won't suddenly come crashing into your life uninvited. He's like a "gentleman" - He won't push. Also, when you meet him, it won't be like meeting someone at the pub, where you can touch them physically, nor will it be like telephoning someone where you hear an audible voice! God is a spirit, and he has provided a way for you to come alive in your spirit, so that you can have a relationship with him in the spirit realm. This is the fulfillment of promise God made through the old testament prophet Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 "I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you, and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."
This process of being made alive to God in your spirit is a miraculous transformation. It takes place in the spirit realm, and is called being "born again". And don't worry - it's a free gift too! Let's look at how Jesus described it when he was approached by a Jewish leader called Nicodemus.
John 3:3-7 "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.'
'How can someone be born when they are old?' Nicodemus asked. 'Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!'
Jesus answered 'Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born or water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying 'You must be born again' "
So here's the deal. When a person puts their faith in what Jesus did at the cross, a major spiritual transformation takes place, called the New Birth. This is not a matter of joining a church or a denomination, but of receiving a re-created spirit in the core of the human being. You have the same physical body, the same soul (mind emotions, will), but a new spirit, making you a new creation (2 Corithians 5:17).
Human beings are made up of 3 parts.
Romans 10:9-10 says"If you declare with your mouth "Jesus is Lord", and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."
Say This Prayer (Salvation Prayer)
If you want to receive forgiveness of sins, and the gift of New Birth, so that you can start your living relationship with God, say this prayer.
Heavenly Father, I come to you in the Name of Jesus. Your Word says "Whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved" and "If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved". (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:9.) I take you at your Word, I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that you raised him from the dead. Thank you for coming into my heart, for forgiving me my sins, for giving me New Birth, and for being Lord over my life. Amen