The Bible is full of stories about interesting people and the amazing things they've gone through. There's Jonah and the whale, Daniel and the Lion's Den, and Noah's Ark just to name a few. All these stories are very interesting, but there is one common thing about them all, God listened and helped all these people.
Even though these stories happened many, many, many years ago, God was always there for them and he can do the same for you. Even though these men couldn't see God, they seemed to know that He was always with them and trusted Him.
If we believe in God and obey what he said we ask a special part of Jesus to live inside us, that's what it means to become a Christian, Christ-in you.
When you ask to Jesus into your heart it's just like accepting a gift from God. When someone gives you a gift do you take it and open it up or do you give it back because you don't want it?
When we accept the gift of Jesus amazing things automatically happen. We become a part of God's family and His family is full of people who believe in God and have asked Jesus to live in them too.
Another great thing that happens is that Jesus' Spirit comes to live in us. That means a part of Jesus will always be with us, so if we're ever in trouble, scared, or need someone to talk to He will always be there.
The last exciting thing about becoming a Christian is that we will someday get to live in heaven with God and all of His family. Heaven is a wonderful place God has made for us to live with Him. There is no hurt or sickness there, just happiness all the time (we might even be able to fly)!
We'll also be able to see God everyday and live with Him. Heaven is a place God has saved for all those who believe in Him, who have asked Him into their hearts, and who try to live the way he wants us to. God made earth for everyone, so imagine how great God's home will be for just the people that love Him. It's a place where we will live forever!
If you want to become a Christian and have 'Christ-in' you there are a few important things you need to know and believe:
- God loves you and made you for a reason.
That means God loves you know matter what you've done. He made us
even though He knew we wouldn't be perfect, but He wants us to do our best to
live the way He asks us to in the Bible.
We're alive because God made us for a reason. By using the talents he gave you and sharing his love, you will be doing the special thing God made you for.
- We sin which makes us separate from God.
Sin is doing something we shouldn't do. That includes bad thoughts or being jealous of others, how we talk, and the bad things we do (and we all have sinned over and over again)! The trouble is that God can't stand sin because He's perfect. Ever since Adam and Eve ate from the tree in the garden God couldn't have the same relationship with us. So...
- Jesus came to earth to die on the cross so that our sin (the things we do wrong) could be forgiven and then He rose from the dead.
Now we can have a better relationship with God because when Jesus died he took the punishment we deserve for all our mistakes. Our sin is like dirt. If we get dirty, we have to do something to wash it off. So when we ask for forgiveness (or say we're sorry to God) God washes the sin away and he sees us as clean or perfect, and we can have a relationship with Him again.
- Now I want to obey God and do what He wants. I want to please God and do things his way instead of doing things my own way.
That's the free gift! By asking Jesus into your life and trying to live your life to please Him, God forgives you and you will be able to live with God forever in Heaven! Being a Christian is great, but that doesn't mean it will always be easy. There is still 'bad' in the world but as Christians we always have God and other Christians to turn to. You will never be alone again!
Some people (even adults) think that as long as they're nice to others and do the right thing or if their parents are Christians that will get them into heaven someday, but that's not true. You have to decide that you accept God's gift and tell God you want it. Once you do that Jesus automatically lives in you.
If you've decided that you want to accept the free gift you need to talk to God and tell him that. Here is a prayer that you can say:
Jesus I'm sorry for all the things I've done wrong and I want to say I'm sorry and ask for forgiveness. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me to pay for my mistakes. I invite you to come into my life so you can wash all the sin away. From now on I'm going to try to please you. Thank-you for loving me Jesus! Amen.
If you've prayed that prayer you're a Christian! Jesus lives inside of you right now and he's washed all the sin away!
Please let someone know (your Sunday School teacher, parent, pastor) if you prayed the prayer. An adult can help you or answer any questions you might have (after all they are your second family now). And try to stay clean. God washed your sin away but you will still make mistakes. You need to continually ask God to forgive you and while you're at it, talk to Him about anything else, He loves you and wants to hear from you.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." John 1:12