People are not born Christians; maybe in some religions people are born into the religion so when babies are born their parents say that their baby belongs to a certain religion. This does not happen in Christianity. In Christianity someone becomes a Christian when they are old enough to decide for themselves if they want to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour; and if they want to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings.

Everyone who becomes a Christian must decide for themselves if they want to follow the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour – it is a personal decision.

Born again as a Christian

Every person who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, every person who puts their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, will be born again. To be born again means that God gives you new life through His Holy Spirit. A person who believes in God as their Saviour, a person who believes that Jesus Christ died for their sins, will be born again.

This is what the Bible says about being born again:

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John chapter 3).

Becoming a Christian is your choice

The Bible says that God does not have any favourites among human beings; God does not choose one person over another because of their birth, or name, colour of their skin, or any other was that we human beings judge people. God looks at our hearts. He sees our hearts and judges us according to what we believe and think in our hearts.

Jesus and God look beneath the surface of our skin and look inside at our hearts to know what we are truly like. God doesn’t judge by outward appearances; God looks at our hearts.

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Becoming a Christian is something that happens in your heart; it happens in the place where you make all your decisions. Becoming a Christian happens in your heart where people decide what they love and what they don’t love. Some people give their hearts to evil deeds, they live to do violent things and hurt others so they can get money or power.

Other people want to be nice and help other people; they want to please God and do what is right. And God sees these things. God knows our hearts and doesn’t look at whether we are young or old, a man or a woman, rich or poor, educated or not educated, God looks at our hearts.

That is why the Bible says: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9).

Believing in God and following God

There are 2 things you need to decide if you want to become a Christian. The first is: do you want to put your faith in Jesus Christ to save your from your sins?

Do you feel like you are not saved? Do you feel like you are not going to heaven? If you feel like you are not going to heaven, and you want to go to heaven, then you need to put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

If you know in your heart that you have sinned against God and that God’s judgment is on you because you have sinned against Him, then you can tell God that you are sorry for your sins and God will forgive you.

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

That is the first step. We need to choose to put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. No one can do it for us. Our parents cannot believe for us; our church cannot believe for us; we have to choose to put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to forgive us our sins and take us to heaven. And God will touch us and save us and give us His Spirit so that we will know that we are saved.

The Bible says: “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.”

The second thing we have to do is to decide if we are ready to live the way Jesus Christ tells us He wants us to live; to do the things that God wants us to do; and to live the way God wants us to live.

That means we need to give up our sinful ways and follow God. We have to live a godly life for God. We will know that we are born again because we will see that we are not living a life for God. We are no longer following the sinful and selfish way of our past but we will be living new lives for Christ and God.

But that might mean that other will persecute us for our faith in Him and we will have trouble in our families because we are following Jesus.

Jesus said: “A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

“Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

“Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!”

So there is cost to pay to follow Jesus and that is the second choice you have to make: are you ready to suffer for Jesus in exchange for eternal life.

God bless you as you choose to follow Him

It is worth following Jesus Christ because He provides us with peace, and joy and the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus gives us eternal life; Jesus’ death on the cross made a way for us to have a personal relationship and friendship with God our Father in heaven; God gives us peace and hears us when we pray – we are not alone in this world of the next.

But for this Christ died on the cross for our sins and we must be ready to suffer for Jesus at the hands of people who do not understand who Jesus is or what He died for us. This is the cross that we must carry to follow Jesus; we must be ready to be persecuted and made fun of, insulted and hurt because we are His followers. I hope you are ready to choose to believe in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and I hope you are also ready to suffer for Him.

© Somali Christian Ministries, 2014
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