As we rush through life, it seems like a question that can be put off; we all expect to live to live a good long life. When we're young we want to have fun, and even as we approach or hit middle age we feel that there's always plenty of time. One of the lessons I learned as an ER nurse, though, is that we never know how many days we have left in front of us. Knowing where we are headed when this life ends is crucial, because this day may be your last. I don't say this to scare you, it's the truth. I've seen teenagers die in car accidents, overdoses, even murdered. I saw a 27 year old mother of three die of a sudden asthma attack that we couldn't reverse. I'm sure you get the point.
I believe the Bible to be the word of God and in it we find that God's plan for our salvation is simple.
First, we can't earn our salvation by being "good." God is perfect and holy, and through our lives we all do things that are wrong. -for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God- Romans 3:23*
Because of this we are separated from Him, both in this world and the next one. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.- Romans 6:23 We have to turn away from our sin. We must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus-Acts 20:21 Repentance is not just asking forgiveness, it's deciding that we're going to live in a way that pleases God.
God loves us, wants to have a relationship with us now, and to be with Him eternally. He sent his only begotten son to bear the consequence of our sins and die in our place. God demonstrates his love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.- Romans 5:8
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.- John 3:16-17
We also must come spiritually alive. Most people refer to this as being born again and these are the words Jesus himself used for it, though much of the world mocks this term. Jesus explains it to Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous sign you are doing if God were not with him." In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."- John 3:2-6
If you believe in God and that his son Jesus stood in proxy for us and took the punishment for our sins, all that remains is to call on him and receive him. This is how we become born for the second time; born of the Spirit. We believe and we ask. Our prayers don't need to be eloquent, only sincere. If we turn to him and pray for salvation we are assured that he will answer. An example of how to take this step is to pray something like this:
Father, I know that I've sinned in my life and please forgive me for what I've done. I believe that Jesus Christ is your son, and I thank you for sending him to pay the penalty for my sins by dying on the cross for me. Please send your Holy Spirit into my heart to reign and to guide me to follow your will from this day forward. Thank you for your forgiveness. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!-2 Corinthians 5:17
If you've chosen to begin a life with God, I truly rejoice for you. It's a remarkable adventure you are embarking on!
*Text taken directly from the Bible, NIV version are in red.