If you have found Me, you have found the secret to experiencing life to the full. I am far more than a historical character who lived and died 2,000 years ago. Because I rose from the dead, I am even more alive and active today than I was when I walked the earth. And because I live, you too can experience life and love as they were meant to be experienced, both here and now, and forever—boundless and eternal. There is no hurt that I can’t heal, no sadness that I can’t turn to joy, no need that I can’t provide, no void that I can’t fill.
Something that I find particularly wonderful about Jesus is that His life-transforming gift of salvation is freely given to anyone who simply asks for it with a sincere and believing heart. One’s level of understanding of Christian doctrine may be minimal, but if the heart is hungry, if it is seeking a relationship with God, then the heart will find God—clearly, definitely, and freely—through receiving Jesus as Savior. Salvation is simple; it’s a gift. You reach out, receive it, and it’s yours.
When you first accept Me into your life and come to know Me, I fill you with a profound and intense happiness. The apostle Peter described this as “joy unspeakable and full of glory.”1
When I died on the cross, I paid the price for the sins of the world—including every wrongful deed you have ever committed. And because I did that, whoever believes in and receives Me will live forever—and that includes you too. When you understand what that means, when you realize that all is forgiven, that I love you unconditionally, that I will be there for you through thick and thin, that I will never give up on you, and that no matter what turns this life may take, you can look forward to eternal happiness in a truly perfect world—now that is something to get happy and excited about!
Who needs it?
Most people seem to think God grades on a curve. If you try to be a good person and don’t make too many serious mistakes, you’ll probably be given an average or above average grade when you die, pass the course of life, and go to Heaven; if you’re below average, you fail, and, well …
That might sound like a fair enough arrangement, especially if you consider yourself a better-than-average person, but according to the Bible, it doesn’t work that way.
Salvation is by faith—pure and simple! Salvation is the result of believing: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31 NIV). If you get an emotional high or some other physical manifestation—a “feeling” of any kind—that is a bonus and beside the point. You are saved by faith in God’s Word, because He promised you salvation if you would meet His simple, single condition: believe. You’re not saved by your feelings.
God created us with the need to love and be loved, and He alone can satisfy the deepest yearning of every human soul for total love and complete understanding. The things of this earth can satisfy the body, but only God and His eternal love can ever fill that aching spiritual void in our hearts that He created for Himself alone. The human spirit can never be completely satisfied with anything less than utter union with the great and loving Spirit that created it.
Some people live in eternal insecurity. They can never be sure, no matter what they do or don’t do, that they will go to Heaven when they die. It’s enough to make a nervous wreck out of anybody—and I once read about a man that it did just that to.
He had received Jesus as his Savior and tried his best to live according to Jesus’ teachings, but found he couldn’t live up to other people’s standards, what they said was necessary to merit salvation. According to them, every time he made a mistake or had an unholy thought, he lost his salvation and was right back where he had started, a lost sinner.
Jesus came to make salvation as easy as He could. That’s one reason why the religious leaders of His day wanted to see Him crucified, because their religious system as good as said that nobody could be saved without following their complicated laws, traditions, and religious rigmarole.1 Jesus taught that all we need to do to be saved is believe that He is the Christ, the Savior, and that we are sinners in need of salvation, and then ask Him for salvation.2