The Vital Difference…
My name is Stephan Brandt. Born in Germany, I emigrated to Ireland at the age of 17. Then, in the search for a satisfying religion, I tried the occult and New Age ideas, which left me full of fears, depression and suicidal thoughts. I left Ireland in the Summer of 1996 and travelled to South-west Scotland, for I intended to become a Buddhist and there was a temple there. However, the local monks had other ideas, and they would not let me stay there long, because I did not have enough money! As I returned from that community, utterly cast down, I met a local man who gave me a night’s stay and introduced me to a company of Christians who made a strong impression on me. The love and peace that they exhibited was something that I had never before experienced.
I learned that ‘religion’ – trying to save myself by keeping laws – was no good. I was religious but lost! I needed a living Saviour, the Son of God Himself. Buddha is dead! Some of his bones are said to lie in a gold box, embedded in the solid masonry at the base of the famous temple of the Shwe Dagon. Mohammed is dead! His body lies in Arabia, buried under the green mosque of Medina. Confucius is dead! He was a great man and teacher who has influenced the lives of millions, but his body lies buried under a grass covered mound in the province of Shantung, China. Nobody can find the body of the Lord Jesus Christ! How his enemies would have loved to find that body! But He was risen from the dead. The guard of soldiers, the great stone sealed with all the authority of the Roman Emperor, could not hold Him in that grave. The tomb was empty, and the great stone rolled away to show that He had risen from the dead. For forty days He appeared ALIVE to His disciples – at one time to 500 people at once. Then He ascended into Heaven where He lives to help all those who call upon Him.
I learned that I did not need money to come to Him. His death on the Cross was of infinite value to atone for my sins. He had paid the cost. All I had to leave behind was my self-righteousness and pride, acknowledge my need and come. Before that, I had such a stubborn will that I would not come to God. I needed to be born again. When I trusted the Saviour I knew that I was born again and He gave me His Holy Spirit.
Do you know the peace and joy that I have got? Religion will not save you. Read the Bible, the Word of God. It is all about God’s Son and in it are the words of Eternal Life. If you are sincere, pray that God will open your eyes as you read it. Give up any idea that you can save yourself. Only the Lord Jesus can save you.
He said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me”. John 14:6. When He rose from the dead, He proved that all He had said about Himself was TRUE.
Do you know where you are going? All who want to go to Heaven “Must be Born Again.” Jesus talked about Heaven, and He said, “In my Father’s House are many mansions.” Also He said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” John 14:6. This is the Gospel.
If Jesus is right (and He most certainly is), then all other ways are wrong! Religion cannot save you, only Jesus can. God did not create the religions of the world; Man did, to satisfy his conscience! Man is “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth.” II Timothy 3:7. This is not Religion, it is Life!
Do you know the one who died on the cross for you? Jesus said “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3. Jesus said that He is the only way to God the Father, and the new birth is the only way to Heaven. What did He mean? He meant a spiritual birth whereby a person is able to confess his sins to Jesus Christ and accepts Him as Saviour.
May we offer this prayer as your first step to become a born-again Christian. “Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that You died for me. I acknowledge that I am a sinner. Please come into my life, and forgive my sins, and save me. Amen.”