I was a senior in college and books about Bible prophecy were all the rage. I was confused about the church I attended. I didn’t believe that what they were teaching was the truth. So, I started looking for it. I tried a different church and that was a disaster. I started reading, but rather than go to the Bible, I read about prophecy and Russia and the Middle East and the Book of Revelation.
At the end of one of the books I read, “After considering the incredible things in this book, what should our attitude and purpose be? First, if you are not sure that you have personally accepted the gift of God’s forgiveness which Jesus Christ purchased by bearing the judgment of a holy God that was due your sins, then you should do so right now wherever you are.” I kept reading to the end of the section.
That word “personally” jumped out at me. I thought I was a Christian, but that word “personally” made the difference. Sitting at the dining room table in my small apartment, I bowed by head, and believed in Jesus Christ for my eternal life. On an “impulse”, the next day I attended the worship service at a church a friend attended. I later learned that she and her friends had been praying for me that weekend.
My life had truly begun.
What is the gospel? It can be summarized in one word, believe. The word believe occurs 99 times in the Gospel of John. What does the Bible say the gospel is?
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved… (Acts 16:31).
He who believes in Me has everlasting life (John 6:47).
Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die (John 11:26).
Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Gen 15:6; Rom 4:3; Gal 3:6).
A man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law (Rom 3:28).
By grace you have been saved through faith (Eph 2:8).
Whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins (Acts 10:43).
All of these verses contain the word believe, or, in two of them, its noun form, faith. But what must one believe to be saved? Drawing from the above verses,
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.
and He who believes in Me has everlasting life. (John 6:47).
Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, died on the cross, taking upon himself the penalty for the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future, so that those who believe might stand before a Holy God without fear. God gave us his Son, so that we, when we believe in Him, can have eternal life.
Do you believe this? If you can say yes, your life has really started! Amen!