Eternal life is a free gift offered by God to anyone who chooses to accept it. All it takes is a sincere sorrow for your sins (contrition) and a quality decision to turn away from your sins (repentance) and begin living for God.
In John 3:3, Jesus said, “Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” What does it mean to be “born again?” Simply put, it means to be restored to fellowship with God.
Man is made up of three parts: spirit, soul, and body (I Thessalonians 5:23). Your spirit is who you really are; your soul is comprised of your mind, your will, and your emotions; and your body is the housing for your spirit and your soul. You could call your body your “earth suit.”
When we are born into this world, we are born with a spirit that is separated from God. As a result, it is a spirit without life because God alone is the Source of life. You may have heard this condition referred to as “original sin.” Why is every human being born with a spirit separated from God? Because of the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve.
I used to wonder why I had to suffer because of the sin of Adam and Eve. After all, I complained, I wasn’t even there when they ate the apple! Yet, as I began to understand spiritual matters, I began to see that I was there just as a man and woman’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on, are in the body of the man and woman in seed form before those descendants are actually born. In other words, in my children there is already the seed for their future children. In their future children will be the seed of their future children, and so on.
Now, as a parent, I can pass on to my children only what I am and what I possess. For example, if I speak only Chinese, I can pass on to my children only the Chinese language. I possess no other language to give them out of my own self. The same was true with Adam and Eve. Because they disobeyed God, their fellowship with God was broken. Therefore, their spirits died because they were severed from God. As a result, they could pass on to their children only a dead spirit—a sinful spirit separated from God. And Adam and Eve’s children could pass on to their children only a dead, sinful spirit. And so on, all the way down to you and me.
We said earlier that your spirit is the real you—who you really are. So what does it mean when your spirit—the real you—is separated from God? It means that unless you are somehow reconciled to God, you will go to hell after you die. Hell is a real place of real torment resulting from separation from God.
Now God is a holy God and He will not tolerate sin in His Presence. At the same time, He is a loving God. Indeed, He IS Love! And because He loves you so much, He wanted to restore the broken relationship between you and Himself. He wanted to restore you to that glorious position of walking and talking with Him and enjoying the fullness of His blessings.
But there was a problem. Because God is infinite, only an infinite Being could satisfy the price of man’s offense against God. At the same time, because man committed the offense, there had to be Someone Who would also be able to represent man in paying this price. In other words, there had to be a Being Who was both God and man in order that the price for sin could be paid.
Since God knew that there was nothing man could do on his own to pay the price for his sin, God took the initiative. In the writings of John the Apostle, we learn that “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
What glorious GOOD NEWS! God loved you so much that He sent His own and only Son, Jesus Christ, to take the rap for your sins. Imagine that! Would you give your son to go to the electric chair for someone else? Well, that’s exactly what God did! The Cross was the electric chair of Christ’s day, and God gave His own Son, Jesus Christ, to go to the Cross for you!
In dying on the Cross for you, and in rising from the dead three days later, Jesus paid the price for your sins and repaired the breach between you and God the Father. Jesus restored the broken relationship between man and God. He provided mankind with the gift of eternal life.
So what does all of this mean for you? It means that if you accept Christ’s gift of eternal life, you will be “born again.” In other words, God will replace your dead spirit with a spirit filled with His life. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
If I offer you a gift, it is not yours until you choose to take it. The same is true with the gift of eternal life. Until you choose to take it, it is not yours. In order for you to be born again, you must reach out and take the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering you now. Here is how to receive it:
“Lord Jesus, I come to You now just as I am—broken, bruised, and empty inside. I’ve made a mess of my life, and I need You to fix it. Please forgive me of all of my sins. I accept You now as my personal Savior and as the Lord of my life. Thank You for dying for me so that I might live. As I give you my life, I trust that You will make of me all that You’ve created me to be. Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer, please write to me to let me know. I will send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk. Also, I encourage you to do three important things:
1) Get yourself a Bible and begin reading in the Gospel of John.
2) Find yourself a good church that preaches the full Gospel. Ask God to lead you to a church where you will be fed.
3) Set aside a time every day for prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God as you would to your best friend.
I congratulate you on making the life-changing decision to accept Jesus Christ! It is the most important decision of your life. Mark down this date because it is the date of your spiritual birthday. Be assured of my prayers for you as you grow in your Christian walk. God bless you!
Copyright 2000-2016 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.