If you are contemplating about becoming a Christian and wondering what is involved in becoming a Christian the first thing you need to realize is we are all sinners and all of us need forgiveness. Everybody! I know you are probably thinking, "It's too late for me." It's only too late once you are dead. Or you might be saying to yourself "You don't know what I have done." True, most of us feel that way about our pasts but it really doesn't matter even if you have killed people.
God says all our righteousness is as filthy rags. Everybody's, I don't care who you are. It's never too late to come to God while you are alive. God says that there is only one sin that is not forgivable and that sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which is simply not coming to God when you had the chance. We can see this in the book of Luke 12:10, "And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven."
If you are saying to yourself "I'm not a sinner" I would like to point out that every human being that has been born into this world is a sinner. I am a father of four boys and I never had to teach any of my children how to tell a lie. Telling lies came naturally to them. My wife and I spent most of our time trying to teach our children that "honesty is the best policy". I believe that if parents never teach their children right from wrong the children for the most part would stay bad. That's why most of the time bad children come from bad parents. If you want to make an honest assessment of yourself try comparing yourself to Jesus' perfect life instead of your neighbors and see how well you do. It's easy to look good when you compare yourself to the drug addicts who live down the street.
I remember how I felt before I accepted Jesus as my savior. When salvation was first offered to me I was about seventeen years old. The first thoughts that went through my head were I could never give up all the bad habits I had already acquired in seventeen years that I lived. I struggled with trying to break my bad habits using my own will power only to find that time and time again I was destined to fail. It's only when I gave up trying to quit my bad habits using my own will power that I had any success. I finally prayed to God that if He didn't want me to drink or smoke He would have to take the urges away from me because I just couldn't do it on my own will power.
In time when God knew I was serious in my requests to quit my bad habits it was at that time that He removed the urges. It was like I was twelve years old again and never knew what it was to smoke or drink. To this day I have never been tempted to go back to the old life. I was so glad to be finally free of those habits. When you get yourself tangled up in substances that will get you addicted like alcohol and drugs it's the same principle as being thrown into jail. You cannot get yourself free no matter how hard you try. Someone has to open the jail door for you. Jesus was willing to let me out as long as I was serious about never getting myself tangled up in drugs or alcohol again. This reminds me of the Bible verse found in John 8:36, "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
The best advice I can give to a nonbeliever is please do not listen to any preconceived ideas either from yourself or from anybody else concerning your salvation. Your salvation is too precious to take any chances with. If you draw close to God, He will draw close to you. The best way to get close to God is for you to get a good Bible and start with the New Testament at the book of Matthew and get in the habit of reading a few pages every day. I read before I go to bed every night and I find it helps to remove the filth from the day and also helps prepare me for the next day.
If you have some bad habits like I did don't worry about it. Don't make the same mistake that I did by trying to get rid of my bad habits before I came to God. It doesn't work that way. You will need Gods help to rid yourself of any bad habits. Only God can open that jail door for you. Just focus on learning as much about God as you can and if God wants you to quit any bad habits at the appropriate time He will give you the will and the power to do so.
Some of God's power comes through His word. Here are two scriptures that tell us of some of the functions of God's word. The first verse is found in John 15:3, "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you." And also in John 6:63 we read, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life."
After I finish the New Testament I would then go back and read it again and again and again. Every time I read the New Testament I learn new truths. Another habit you will want to develop to get close to God is to get in the habit of praying at least twice a day. I pray every morning when I take a shower and I pray every night before I get into bed. These habits are very easy to do and don't take a lot of time and the rewards are great. Once you start reading and praying everyday check your progress every three months or so and you will be amazed at what God has begun to do in your life and how far you have come.
When you listen to churches and different people it will seem that salvation is so hard to accomplish on your own. That's simply not true! God makes it easy. The hardest step is desiring to come to God. Once that is accomplished God makes the rest easy. You will find that God is merciful, forgiving and takes delight in every sinner who turns to God for salvation and never turns anyone away. We can see this in Joel 2:13, "So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm." And also in Luke 15:10, "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
I want to let you know that there is a God and that God is the Jesus of the New Testament Bible. When I tell you this I tell you this from my own experience. I have had at least five miracles in my life that proved to me that Jesus is indeed God. My Mom and Dad never took us to church so when I was on my own at seventeen years old I had questions that I needed answered. I wanted to know why everything in this world was always going wrong. Why are there always wars, why are people in the streets killing other people? Why was there never any peace in the world, not even for a day?
I had questions I needed answers to and the only religion that had the answers for me was the Christian faith. One of the first miracles in my life was when I prayed and asked Jesus to prove to me, beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is God. If you haven't asked that question yet, I strongly urge you to do so now. Don't delay. If He is God you need to know. Nothing can be more important than getting that question answered. Ask that question be patient and wait for the answer. The answer will come.
I have talked to several people who claim that God does not exist. However I found out with a few more questions on the subject that they actually do believe in God in one form or another. The questions I had to ask people who don't believe in God are, do you believe in accountability? Will people like Adolf Hitler, Stalin or serial killers like Ted Bundy have to pay for their sins in the afterlife? I have found that just about everybody who doesn't believe in God believes that in the afterlife people who have done hideous acts of violence will all have to give an account for what they have done. I then would have to ask them if there isn't any God, who then is going to administer the punishment to these deserving people?
When I was young I came to the realization that if there is a God then as God He would have to have the truth available to the people of this planet. If the truth wasn't available to us then I reasoned that there couldn't be any punishment for doing evil. None of us could be held accountable for our bad behavior if the truth wasn't available to all people. After years of investigating different beliefs I discovered that only the Bible has the truth that has never been disproven.
Fortunately for us there is a God and He has left us the truth which is found in the Holy Bible. God has also made salvation very easy for us to achieve. In the book of Ephesians the apostle Paul tells us that once we hear (or read) the gospel (the gospel books of the Bible are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and we believe that which we have read, once we believe God will then seal you with His Holy Spirit. Once God seals you with His Holy Spirit you now will belong to God and become a child of God. We read this in Ephesians 1:13 of the New King James Version, "In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise