Maybe you wonder if there will ever be a light at the end of your tunnel? Will something change so that I have reason to hope again? Is there someone somewhere who could be a real friend to me, and always be there for me?
If any of these questions ring a bell with you, then the Good News of Jesus is relevant to you and your situation. Sometimes called “The Gospel”, the story of Jesus not only contains good news, but is good news. God is completely aware of how hard, demanding and sometimes traumatic life on earth can be. Through Jesus he offers to stand with us and help us with the pressure and issues of life, as well as starting to change us from the inside-out, and promising us the gift of eternal life, and a home with him for eternity.
So how do we access this? How can we discover the good things that God wants to share with us? How can the message of Jesus change our outlook, provide us with support in the here-and-now, and give us hope for the future?
Christianity is not primarily a set of doctrines to be believed. You don’t become a Christian simply by accepting as true a list of doctrinal statements about God. Becoming a Christian is first and foremost about beginning a relationship with God. Living as a Christian is then about developing that relationship, allowing God access into our lives, and dedicating ourselves to serve him as part of his family on earth.
So how do you get started?
- By acknowledging the existence of the loving, caring and holy Father God, who is revealed in the pages of the Bible. You need to recognise at this point that you won’t, and can’t understand God fully, so don’t let your limited understanding hold you back.
- By recognising that you, and every human being alive on earth, has offended God and, in so doing, by living an ungodly life, has contributed to the erection of a barrier that hinders meaningful relationship between God and the human race.
- By accepting that Jesus of Nazareth is both wholly God and wholly man. This means that when he died on the cross, as the only sinless human being, he was able to stand in the place of those who have sinned and offended God. Because of his suffering, those who deserved punishment from God for their sin can be forgiven and set free to know God in a personal relationship.
- By finding a quiet place to approach God humbly in prayer. Tell him that you’re sorry for the behaviour and attitudes in your life that he finds offensive. Then ask him to forgive you, not because you deserve it, but because you recognise that Jesus paid the price for your ungodliness. Then ask him to give you the gift of eternal life that he promised to all who trust in Jesus, and invite Jesus to take centre-stage in your life, and for the Holy Spirit to fill you with God’s love and resources.
- By finding a group of Christians whom you can join in order to become a meaningful part of God’s family. If you live in or near Gravesend we encourage you to make contact with us, by phone, e-mail or by joining us for worship one Sunday. If you live elsewhere, ask God to help you to find a local church, where you can be helped and encouraged to grow in your new-found faith. It’s within a church that you’ll find friends who will be able to help you with the seemingly endless list of questions that you’ll have about the Bible, God, prayer, suffering and a lot of other issues.
- By starting to carve out a little amount of time each day to read the Bible and talk with God in prayer. Share your life with him, talk openly and honestly with him and, from the outset, don’t be afraid to be as transparent as you can about your new-found faith, even if not everyone you tell shares your joy and enthusiasm.