NT4 – Does it really matter if a person is not a “Christian”?

What are the ultimate meanings and outcomes of life?

There are so many outstanding people who are not Christians.  They are rightly held in honour for all they have achieved and the ways they have benefited others.  Yet what will be the ultimate outcomes of their lives from God’s point of view?  

The Bible explains that the earthly lives of all people are only a short “proving ground”.  The “main event” is their ongoing existence forever! That will begin either after their death, or if Jesus Christ returns to Earth before they die.  Whenever he does return, God’s final judgment of all people will occur.  

God’s assessment of each Christian’s life

In God’s final judgment, all Christians will “pass as perfect”, because they had chosen to accept his free gift.  As their substitute, Jesus Christ’s death will totally cover all their fatal guilt for having ever ignored God or failed to live fully for him:

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him . . . because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.[Hebrews 9:27-28, 10:14]

God’s assessment of each non-Christian person’s life

God will also be passing his final judgment on all people who have notchosen to accept his free gift.  They will stillNOTbe OK with him.  According to the Bible, this is terrifying bad news and has to be faced.  It’s not pretty.  

[Personal note: I am most uncomfortable about even writing this. But it’s not about me.  I’m “just the messenger”.  My job in all of this is to know and make as clear as I can what the Bible says.  And this part mustbe made clear for all people.]

Despite living even outstanding lives, each person’s basic imperfectionhas to be dealt with in God’sonlyway.  If not, their fatalcondemnation continues and eternal separationfrom God awaits – and that’s no picnic.  The Bible mentions this often, such as in a stark story told by Jesus Christ:

There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.   At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table.  Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.  In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.  So he called to him, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.”

 But Abraham replied, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things,but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.   And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.”

 He answered, “Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family,for I have five brothers.  Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.”

Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.”

 “No, father Abraham,” he said, “but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.”

 He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”   [Luke 16:19-31] 

Note: “Moses and the Prophets” is just another description of the Bible, although at the time it only meant the Old Testament.

Some serious objections to this awful prospect

But, doesn’t the Bible say that God lovesus?  Yes, he does. All our life he has loved us and sought our love for him.  Yet if a person didn’t want himand his love-gift through his Son, that’s theirchoice.  God will never force it onto anyone.  His love always includes respecting all people and their own choices.  So each must take full responsibility for the consequences.  Although that can have very grim outcomes, yet it does make sense.  What more could God have done?

But, what about people who have never heard any of this?  Well, all Christians have been commandedby Jesus Christ to tell it to others and help them to become his followers too:

 Jesus came and told his disciples . . . “go and make disciples of all the nations,[ baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.   Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you . . .”  [Matthew 28:18-20] 

Christians are doing this by many means, now even by worldwide multi-lingual literature, mass media, satellite TV and the internet.  It’s also why we gave these notes to you (see “my own story”, page 1).  Now it’s over to you – and we want to help you. 

Another problem is that there are many otherdefinitions of a “Christian”.  Some of these do not closely line up with the Bible’s teachings. They distort, add to or leave out what the Bible says.  Other versions of “Christian” mainly rely on observing various long-standing traditions, rules and rituals, some being non-biblical.  Still others emphasise less vital biblical items, rather than God’s great gift as outlined above.  There are even some that don’t refer to the Bible at all.  

Get serious – respond now

It’s vitally important to do your own research – “due diligence” – by closely reading and studying the Bible (the Christian’s “Scriptures”):

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.  [Acts 17:11]

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NT3 – What does it mean to live as a “Christian”?

What comes next?  

This “new birth” is the beginning of a whole new life journey.  God’s intention for all Christians is for them to share with him in expressing his own glorious nature.  They are to show what he is really like by what they are and the way they live.  So a Christian is to be a wholehearted follower of Jesus Christ always, as he said:

“The most important commandment is this . . .  ‘The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.  And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’    The second is equally important:  ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’  No other commandment is greater than these.”  [Mark 12:29-31]

How do we go on living as Christians?  

Jesus Christ explained that his followers will continueto be taught and guided by the Holy Spirit: 

“When he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth . . .  the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”   [John 16:13,15]

The main way the Holy Spirit guides us is through reading the Bible and “hearing” what it says.  This reading is preferably daily. Other Bible-based Christian media can help too.  All Christians need to be increasing their understanding of Jesus Christ – all that he was and is, said and did – and how this applies to them now. 

But the key thing is to DO what the Bible says, not merely know aboutit.  This meanskeeping on“feeding” and stirring up God’s new ways of thinking – and doingthem (as well as “starving” and killing off any old bad ways and influences). So the Holy Spirit within will empower us to change– if we obey him.

This also leads into prayingoften to God, honouring him and asking for his help to live in his ways. As we respond to God wholeheartedly like this, he will be changing us.  He will even begin to make himself known throughus to others.  We will be sharing with God in fulfillinghis primary purpose!  

We can’t do this all on our own

Even God is 3-in-1 . . .  So likewise we are meant to join in with other Christians and live this new life together.  It’s basic to join a church that is aiming to be Bible-based. Early on, we should be baptised in water as the biblical way to declare to everyone that we have become committed Christians.  

Then keep on learning from the Bible and the church’s teachers, and encouraged by our fellow Christians.  This will help us understand how to live as a Christian and to treat all people with respect and compassion.  We will also learn how to tell other people about God’s great gift, our experiences of receiving it and living for him.  

These are basics for continuing and growing in our new life “in Christ”.  We will actually be getting to knowGod – developing a relationship with him!  This can be the ultimate joy and reality for any person to experience!  Christians typically start speaking about God more personally as “my Lord”, “dear Jesus” and so on.  Hesaid:

“You are my friends if you do what I command . . .  I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”   “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”.  [John 15:14-15,  John 10:10]

What about if we have failures in trying to live as a Christian?  

Obviously this Christian life is not easy and can result in many conflicts, including struggles to maintain a full commitment.  Why?

The Bible reveals that God is surrounded in Heaven by angels – other powerful spiritual beings.  Yet even theyalso love him only on a voluntary basis.  And many of them chose notto love and submit to him! Therefore: 

. . . they lost their place in heaven. . . that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.  He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him . . .  But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you!  [Revelation 12:8,9,12]

This has much to do with why we live in a troubled,un-lovingworld.  Life is often difficult to understand and can be personally devastating.  

How are we supposed to cope? 

It’s not easy to keep on living for God.  Even basic things can challenge this priority, such as concerns for personal security, comfort, people’s friendship and approval, or just being busy with other things.  To be a follower or ‘disciple’of Jesus Christ involves self-disciplines,experiencing and learning to apply what the Bible says, for example:

You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted.  But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptations.[1Corinthians 10:13]

There will still be difficulties, discouragements, fears, mistakes and sins.  God’s enemy Satan will keep trying to draw us away from God.  He targets our motives, thoughts and emotions, through our circumstances, what we see and hear, and the influences of other people.  We just need to admitany failures to God and ask him to forgive us and help us not to sin again. We can trust him that he always will. The Bible states:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  [1 John 1:9]

Then re-commit ourselves to fully following, obeying and serving him. This is for our whole life.  That will probably be a long time and the Bible is a big book!  So we must stick at it, persevere, one day at a time.  As we do, we grow stronger:  

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.  If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.[James 1:2-5]

God has always been “on your case”

There is another inspiring fact in this struggle.  The Bible says about you and God:

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion . . .[Philippians 1:6]

So he clearly intends you to “make it”.  In fact, he also often says that he chose all those who become Christians, even beforethey believed:  

God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy.  As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.[1Peter 1:2.  See also Romans 8:28-30,  Ephesians 12:4-5,  2Thessalonians 2:13-14]

Looking back now, you may be able to see that your becoming a Christian was actually not only up to you – to make a totally freewill choice.  God was drawing you to himself [John 6:44]. After all, he loved you already and was working on winning your love!  So, were there many significant people and incidents along the way that influenced your decision?  Do you think that God could actually have been behind these too? 

What specific activities may God intend a Christian to be involved in?

God has gifted every Christian in some way to be able to really benefit others:

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.  So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.  If your gift is serving others, serve them well.  If you are a teacher, teach well.  If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.  If it is giving, give generously.  If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.  And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

[Romans 12:6-8.  See also 1 Corinthians 12:4-31]

As we grow in Christian maturity, our concern for others and influence for good shall increase.  God even wants to change whole communities through Christians.  He intends them to be good examples personally, to care for the needy and also address wider social issues such as exploitation, oppression, injustice and other evils:

Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.  [Isaiah 1:17]

Again, remember the overwhelmingly good news  

Christians are alreadyOK with God!  He has accepted usbecause we have accepted the gift he offered us.  This gift is forever!  There is nothingfurther to be “earned”.  Amazingly, despite ongoing imperfections, God now regards us as perfect!  From his point of view, he only sees our substitute – Jesus Christ!  

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NT4 – Does it really matter if a person is not a “Christian?”

© Jeff Stacey  13 May 2020

What are the ultimate meanings and outcomes of life?

There are so many outstanding people who are not Christians.  They are rightly held in honour for all they have achieved and the ways they have benefited others.  Yet what will be the ultimate outcomes of their lives from God’s point of view?  

The Bible explains that the earthly lives of all people are only a short “proving ground”.  The “main event” is their ongoing existence forever! That will begin either after their death, or if Jesus Christ returns to Earth before they die.  Whenever he does return, God’s final judgment of all people will occur.  

God’s assessment of each Christian’s life

In God’s final judgment, all Christians will “pass as perfect”, because they had chosen to accept his free gift.  As their substitute, Jesus Christ’s death will totally cover all their fatal guilt for having ever ignored God or failed to live fully for him:

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him . . . because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.[Hebrews 9:27-28, 10:14]

God’s assessment of each non-Christian person’s life

God will also be passing his final judgment on all people who have notchosen to accept his free gift.  They will stillNOTbe OK with him.  According to the Bible, this is terrifying bad news and has to be faced.  It’s not pretty.  

[Personal note: I am most uncomfortable about even writing this. But it’s not about me.  I’m “just the messenger”.  My job in all of this is to know and make as clear as I can what the Bible says.  And this part mustbe made clear for all people.]

Despite living even outstanding lives, each person’s basic imperfectionhas to be dealt with in God’sonlyway.  If not, their fatalcondemnation continues and eternal separationfrom God awaits – and that’s no picnic.  The Bible mentions this often, such as in a stark story told by Jesus Christ:

There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.   At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table.  Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.  In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.  So he called to him, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.”

 But Abraham replied, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things,but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.   And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.”

 He answered, “Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family,for I have five brothers.  Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.”

Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.”

 “No, father Abraham,” he said, “but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.”

 He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”   [Luke 16:19-31] 

Note: “Moses and the Prophets” is just another description of the Bible, although at the time it only meant the Old Testament.

Some serious objections to this awful prospect

But, doesn’t the Bible say that God lovesus?  Yes, he does. All our life he has loved us and sought our love for him.  Yet if a person didn’t want himand his love-gift through his Son, that’s theirchoice.  God will never force it onto anyone.  His love always includes respecting all people and their own choices.  So each must take full responsibility for the consequences.  Although that can have very grim outcomes, yet it does make sense.  What more could God have done?

But, what about people who have never heard any of this?  Well, all Christians have been commandedby Jesus Christ to tell it to others and help them to become his followers too:

 Jesus came and told his disciples . . . “go and make disciples of all the nations,[ baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.   Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you . . .”  [Matthew 28:18-20] 

Christians are doing this by many means, now even by worldwide multi-lingual literature, mass media, satellite TV and the internet.  It’s also why we gave these notes to you (see “my own story”, page 1).  Now it’s over to you – and we want to help you. 

Another problem is that there are many otherdefinitions of a “Christian”.  Some of these do not closely line up with the Bible’s teachings. They distort, add to or leave out what the Bible says.  Other versions of “Christian” mainly rely on observing various long-standing traditions, rules and rituals, some being non-biblical.  Still others emphasise less vital biblical items, rather than God’s great gift as outlined above.  There are even some that don’t refer to the Bible at all.  

Get serious – respond now

It’s vitally important to do your own research – “due diligence” – by closely reading and studying the Bible (the Christian’s “Scriptures”):

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.  [Acts 17:11]

End of NTS Articles

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NT3 – What does it mean to live as a “Christian”?

© Jeff Stacey   13 May 2020

What comes next?  

This “new birth” is the beginning of a whole new life journey.  God’s intention for all Christians is for them to share with him in expressing his own glorious nature.  They are to show what he is really like by what they are and the way they live.  So a Christian is to be a wholehearted follower of Jesus Christ always, as he said:

“The most important commandment is this . . .  ‘The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.  And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’    The second is equally important:  ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’  No other commandment is greater than these.”  [Mark 12:29-31]

How do we go on living as Christians?  

Jesus Christ explained that his followers will continueto be taught and guided by the Holy Spirit: 

“When he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth . . .  the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”   [John 16:13,15]

The main way the Holy Spirit guides us is through reading the Bible and “hearing” what it says.  This reading is preferably daily. Other Bible-based Christian media can help too.  All Christians need to be increasing their understanding of Jesus Christ – all that he was and is, said and did – and how this applies to them now. 

But the key thing is to DO what the Bible says, not merely know aboutit.  This meanskeeping on“feeding” and stirring up God’s new ways of thinking – and doingthem (as well as “starving” and killing off any old bad ways and influences). So the Holy Spirit within will empower us to change– if we obey him.

This also leads into prayingoften to God, honouring him and asking for his help to live in his ways. As we respond to God wholeheartedly like this, he will be changing us.  He will even begin to make himself known throughus to others.  We will be sharing with God in fulfillinghis primary purpose!  

We can’t do this all on our own

Even God is 3-in-1 . . .  So likewise we are meant to join in with other Christians and live this new life together.  It’s basic to join a church that is aiming to be Bible-based. Early on, we should be baptised in water as the biblical way to declare to everyone that we have become committed Christians.  

Then keep on learning from the Bible and the church’s teachers, and encouraged by our fellow Christians.  This will help us understand how to live as a Christian and to treat all people with respect and compassion.  We will also learn how to tell other people about God’s great gift, our experiences of receiving it and living for him.  

These are basics for continuing and growing in our new life “in Christ”.  We will actually be getting to knowGod – developing a relationship with him!  This can be the ultimate joy and reality for any person to experience!  Christians typically start speaking about God more personally as “my Lord”, “dear Jesus” and so on.  Hesaid:

“You are my friends if you do what I command . . .  I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”   “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”.  [John 15:14-15,  John 10:10]

What about if we have failures in trying to live as a Christian?  

Obviously this Christian life is not easy and can result in many conflicts, including struggles to maintain a full commitment.  Why?

The Bible reveals that God is surrounded in Heaven by angels – other powerful spiritual beings.  Yet even theyalso love him only on a voluntary basis.  And many of them chose notto love and submit to him! Therefore: 

. . . they lost their place in heaven. . . that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.  He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him . . .  But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you!  [Revelation 12:8,9,12]

This has much to do with why we live in a troubled,un-lovingworld.  Life is often difficult to understand and can be personally devastating.  

How are we supposed to cope? 

It’s not easy to keep on living for God.  Even basic things can challenge this priority, such as concerns for personal security, comfort, people’s friendship and approval, or just being busy with other things.  To be a follower or ‘disciple’of Jesus Christ involves self-disciplines,experiencing and learning to apply what the Bible says, for example:

You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted.  But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptations.[1Corinthians 10:13]

There will still be difficulties, discouragements, fears, mistakes and sins.  God’s enemy Satan will keep trying to draw us away from God.  He targets our motives, thoughts and emotions, through our circumstances, what we see and hear, and the influences of other people.  We just need to admitany failures to God and ask him to forgive us and help us not to sin again. We can trust him that he always will. The Bible states:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  [1 John 1:9]

Then re-commit ourselves to fully following, obeying and serving him. This is for our whole life.  That will probably be a long time and the Bible is a big book!  So we must stick at it, persevere, one day at a time.  As we do, we grow stronger:  

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.  If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.[James 1:2-5]

God has always been “on your case”

There is another inspiring fact in this struggle.  The Bible says about you and God:

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion . . .[Philippians 1:6]

So he clearly intends you to “make it”.  In fact, he also often says that he chose all those who become Christians, even beforethey believed:  

God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy.  As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.[1Peter 1:2.  See also Romans 8:28-30,  Ephesians 12:4-5,  2Thessalonians 2:13-14]

Looking back now, you may be able to see that your becoming a Christian was actually not only up to you – to make a totally freewill choice.  God was drawing you to himself [John 6:44]. After all, he loved you already and was working on winning your love!  So, were there many significant people and incidents along the way that influenced your decision?  Do you think that God could actually have been behind these too? 

What specific activities may God intend a Christian to be involved in?

God has gifted every Christian in some way to be able to really benefit others:

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.  So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.  If your gift is serving others, serve them well.  If you are a teacher, teach well.  If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.  If it is giving, give generously.  If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.  And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

[Romans 12:6-8.  See also 1 Corinthians 12:4-31]

As we grow in Christian maturity, our concern for others and influence for good shall increase.  God even wants to change whole communities through Christians.  He intends them to be good examples personally, to care for the needy and also address wider social issues such as exploitation, oppression, injustice and other evils:

Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.  [Isaiah 1:17]

Again, remember the overwhelmingly good news  

Christians are alreadyOK with God!  He has accepted usbecause we have accepted the gift he offered us.  This gift is forever!  There is nothingfurther to be “earned”.  Amazingly, despite ongoing imperfections, God now regards us as perfect!  From his point of view, he only sees our substitute – Jesus Christ!  

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NT2 – How does a person become a “Christian”?

© Jeff Stacey, 13 May 2020

How is God’s amazing free gift discovered?  

It usually begins by feeling a need for God – wantingto be OK with him.  This often comes for a person in some kind of life crisis.  Or by realising the seriousness of these issues in other ways, especially through reading or hearing what is in the Bible.  Jesus Christ gave his invitation and promise:

 “I stand at the door and knock.  If any person hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.”  [Revelation 3:20]

If this was you, how could you ‘open the door’ to Jesus Christ?  

The first thing would be to believethat he actually was and isGod’s Son and that all the Bible says about him is true.  Next, realise that you are imperfect (a “sinner”) having not fully believed in God or lived in his ways, and often ignored him.  Now admitthis to God by praying to him (it may be a struggle to get past your pride or shame or fears or objections or excuses).  Ask God to forgiveyou, on the basis that Jesus Christ’s death on that cross wasthe substitute foryour own fatal condemnation

How is God’s free gift received?  

Having admitted your sinfulness and asked God to forgive you, just ask him to come into your life and enable you to live in hisways.  You can trust him thathe will!  As Jesus Christ said:

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within them”.  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.[John 7:38-39]

God comes into your life as the Holy Spirit.  This might sound a bit spooky or scary, but there is nothing to fear. How it actually happens is different for each person.  Jesus Christ said it was even like being “born again”: 

“You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘you must be born again’.  The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”  [John 3:7-8]

Often it involves deep joy, peace and an awakening awareness of God. He changes you by giving you a new “heart” – new motivations – so that you want to please him:  

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. 

[2Corinthians 5:17]

It is a total “conversion”!  This is because the Holy Spirit has actually come to live within a Christian.  That changes everything.  

What does becoming a “Christian” really mean?

Here is the wonderful good news any Christian is forgiven and alreadyOK with God because they have acceptedhis free gift.  This gift is forever!  There is nothingfurther to be “earned”.  

Amazingly, despite ongoing imperfections, God regards any Christian as perfect because of theirsubstitute – Jesus Christ.

But , how do we go onliving as a Christian?

The love principle of free choice still applies.  So to liveconstantly under the guidance and enabling of the Holy Spirit involves willingly choosingto obey him.  How do we keep this up?  That’s the next vital question.

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