Jesus said in Matthew 18:3 we must be converted to gain entrance into heaven. There are three elements to the conversion process.
First, we attain eternal life through Jesus. We must believe in the deity of Jesus and His finished work on the cross. The identity of Jesus is the most important element of the Gospel. In John 14:6 Jesus stated that no one comes to the Father except thru Him. Jesus is not a way, HE IS THE WAY!
Jesus claimed to be deity on many occasions. In Revelation 1:8 He referred to Himself as the “Almighty.” He called Himself “Lord” in Matthew 21:3. In the original language, Lord means supreme in authority. Only God fits that statement. In John 8:58 He referred to Himself as “I AM” – the same name God used for Himself when He talked to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). Jesus claims to be the Son of God (God the Son), the second person in the Trinity. When someone makes a claim of that magnitude, he is a liar or he is who he says he is. There is no middle ground. It is essential we confess the deity of Jesus in order to be saved (Romans 10:9).
Jesus’ finished work on the cross completed the plan of salvation (I Corinthians 15:3-4). His atoning work on the cross was the payment for our sins. Only the death of Jesus satisfied the wrath of God and reinstated our relationship with Him (John 3:36). His shed blood was the payment of our sins (I Peter 1:18-19). Jesus’ resurrection was the crown jewel of His work on earth. Had He not risen from the grave, He would have been just a good man dying for a good cause.
Second, we must repent. Jesus told us in Luke 13:3 that unless we repent, we will all likewise perish! Earning God’s favor through our good behavior is impossible. Repentance means to change your mind. We must grasp that we are separated from a righteous, holy God because of our sin – and doing things our way can’t fix it.
The Bible refers to two types of sorrow: Godly and worldly (II Corinthians 7:9-10). Worldly sorrow is sorry I got caught. Godly sorrow is being broken. Brokenness is realizing sin has breached our relationship with God and only He can restore it. However, God won’t change our lives unless we grant Him permission. Repentance admits we are unable to change on our own, and we are asking God to Intervene on our behalf.
Last, we must receive Christ as our Savior and invite Him to transform our thoughts and action (Revelation 3:20). By faith we receive Jesus, for He is a spirit and we cannot actually see Him. For clarity, let’s liken faith to the wind. No person has actually seen wind. Yet, we believe wind exists for we have seen branches’ swaying back and forth as it blows against them. The same is be of God; He is seen in creation and in others who believe in Him.
Salvation is a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) – but until we receive this amazing gift, we don’t possess it. To be saved, we must receive God’s plan of grace and mercy, and give Jesus permission to reside in us and change our lives.
Salvation means yielding our will to Jesus Christ’s authority.
The conversion process is simple yet profound. Ultimately, it depends on the sincerity of one’s heart and mind. If we truly mean business with God, He will change our lives. If you believe the Gospel and would like to be saved, you may do so right now. By faith, humbly pray the following to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior: Jesus, I believe you are God in the flesh and that you died on the cross for my sins and rose again the third day. I confess that I am a sinner and repent of all my sins. Please forgive me and come into my life and be my Savior. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed this prayer with all sincerity, you now know God has forgiven all your sins (Ephesians 1:7). You have assurance of eternal life (John 3:36, 5:24 and 6:47). You also know that Jesus will help you to change whatever needs to be changed in your life (Philippians 4:13). God bless you.
Chaplain Don Anderson