|Volume 17 Number 7 July 2015||
Mark T. Tonkery
Are you thinking about becoming a Christian, but you don’t know if you’re ready? You are not alone in asking this question. Many people come to worship every week and contemplate this question, yet they do not know how to answer it. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to help you to decide if you are ready to become a Christian.
Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died and was raised from the grave on the third day? Do you believe that He is Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10)? Yes or No
Do you believe and know that there is sin in your life from which you need to turn away (by repenting) and quit doing it (Luke 13:3; 2 Corinthians 7:10)? Yes or No
Are you willing to confess your belief in Christ before other people (Matthew 10:32)? Yes or No
Are you willing to be immersed in water (baptized) for the remission of your sins and to be buried with Christ (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-4)? Yes or No
After you are baptized, are you willing to live faithfully to God by obeying Christ’s commands (Matthew 28:20)? Are you willing to live the lifestyle that Christ wants you to live, doing good deeds (Ephesians 2:10), worshiping regularly with the church (Hebrews 10:25) and remaining faithful to God till death (Revelation 2:10)? Yes or No
If you have answered “yes” to all these questions, then you are ready to become a Christian. We at the church of Christ want to assist you as soon as possible in confessing your faith, repenting of your sins and helping you to put Christ on in baptism. This is all one needs to do to become a Christian. We don’t have to have the Bible memorized or to have great knowledge about religious matters. Just simply confess your faith, repent of your sins and be baptized.
If your answer is “no” to any of these questions, then we want to encourage you to continue to study the Bible and keep asking questions so you will soon be ready to become a Christian. Becoming a Christian is an important decision that may take some people more time to decide than others.
Jesus loves you and wants you to happily walk with Him. One of our goals at the church of Christ is to help you to obey the Gospel of Jesus and help you to become an active part of His kingdom – the church. If you are ready to become a Christian, respond to Christ’s invitation today. Don’t let another moment go by without preparing yourself for eternity!
Falling Down, But Safe
Have you ever had a dream where you were falling down from a great height? It is said that those who are afraid of high places (which I am) have had some kind of dream like that somewhere along the line of life. Many times when we have a dream such as that, we awake very suddenly, and then have a feeling of dread or terror. Usually this only happens with children, but it can happen with adults, too.
I read once about a man who had this sensation as soon as he went to sleep. His sleep was so rudely interrupted that he was afraid to go back to sleep. He feared he would die, and he imagined himself falling into a bottomless pit.
Then one evening as he was strolling through a cemetery, he saw this phrase engraved on a tombstone: “I have no fear or dread, Underneath are the Everlasting Arms of God.” These words reminded him that when Christians die, they are safely in the arms of the Living God (just like when we are alive). He recalled the assurance of the psalmist, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4).
Deuteronomy 33:27 says, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” We are assured that when we are falling, or we when feel like we are falling, the Lord catches us and shelters us with His everlasting arms.
So what happened to the once fearful man? He realized that in life and in death – and even in sleep – the “everlasting arms” of our loving Lord are there to catch us and hold us. He was reminded of a childhood song with the line, “Help me to live that I may fear the grave as much as I do my own bed!” At last, the man could fall asleep without any fear or trepidation. We trust God in the light; let’s trust Him in the darkness as well.