How and Why to Become a Christian* - Download PDF Article
You are not an accident of nature neither are you an advanced primate as is taught in schools. Your ancestors were not monkeys who evolved over time from nothingness! Benjamin Franklin stated “It would be judged an affront to your understanding that he would have to go about proving the first principal, the existence of a Deity, and that He is the Creator of the Universe, for that would suppose you to be ignorant of what all mankind is all ages have agreed to.”FN1 John Locke said, the necessity of a belief in God is “the foundation of all morality, and that which influences the whole life and actions of men, without which (atheism) a man is to be considered no other than one of the most dangerous sorts of beasts.”FN2 (Atheists have no fear of the Creator.) The Bible states, “Inasmuch as, what may be known of Yahweh, is manifest among them, for, Yahweh, unto them, hath made it manifest,–– For, the unseen things of him, from a world’s creation, by the things made, being perceived, are clearly seen, even his eternal power and divinity,––to the end they should be without excuse” (Rm. 1:19-20). Those who reject the Creator choose rather to worship the creation, as did Darwin, by, “Saying, to a tree, My father, art, thou! And to a stone, Thou, didst give us birth…;” “And, exchanged the glory of the incorruptible Yahweh, for the likeness of an image of a corruptible man, and of birds and fourfooted beasts and reptiles” (Jer. 1:27, Rm. 1:23).The so-called science of today has two stupendous assumptions, which must state that visible matter is eternal and that matter can produce life. We state that the visible universe is not eternal, and that it has not the power of originating life!FN3 We live in a physicalFN4 world that was created by an unseen force. If we trace the beginnings of our physical world (the universe) we must all arrive at the same conclusion being that at some point in time there was a period when it did not exist, rather there was an emptiness, a vacuity,FN5 a vacuum,FN6 a void; neither matter nor physical life existed in any form. In the book of the physical world, vacuity, emptiness or void are always the first words on the first page. Physical matter and life cannot come into existence without a Creator. Isaac Newton said, “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God [Yahweh] governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.”FN7Matter and life springing into existence from emptiness by a Creator is a supernatural event. You are a creation. You have creators! In the physical world, you, as an individual did not exist before the egg of your mother and the sperm of your father united. If their egg and sperm did not unite, you, as an individual would not exist even though the matter that you are composed of does exist. A vacuum would still exist in relationship to your existence as an individual. Your parents and their parents and their parents and on and on and on we go, were all creations; all had creators. We would call you insane or deranged if you denied the existence of your creators but this is exactly what many in our society proclaim.
What the Creator wants from Us!
Who is the Creator?
How does Yahweh Communicate to Us?
Who is Yahshua?
What is a Christian?
What is Salvation?
How much will salvation cost me?
How do I receive the free gift of Yahweh's salvation?
Once you make Yahshua your Master, Romans 10:9 goes on to say that you are to believe in your heart that Yahweh raised Yahshua from among the dead. Once you have confessed with your mouth that Yahshua is your Lord and Master and believed in your heart that Yahweh raised him from among the dead, you are saved. Salvation, although a free-gift, is conditional upon one believing and acting upon Romans 10:9. Yahweh wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), and He is offering salvation and spirit as a free gift.
Many verses in the New Testament show that salvation is easy to get and that you get it by believing, or trusting, in Yahshua. The Word of Yahweh often uses the phrase "having faith in Yahshua." "Faith" is a biblical word that means "trust." Thus, having faith in Yahshua simply means trusting in him, and thus trusting that his work is adequate for you to be saved. The following are just a few of the scriptures that clearly teach that salvation is by faith.
Yahweh makes it easy to be saved, to become a member of the Body of the Christ. Once, in his travels, the Apostle Paul was thrown in prison. A jailer asked Paul the most important question any human could ask: "What must I do to be saved" (Acts 16:30)? Paul's answer was short and to the point: "Believe in the Lord Yahshua and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). The same is as true for you and me as it was for that jailer nearly 2000 years ago. If you make Yahshua your Master, you will be saved.
The Additional Benefits of becoming a Christian?
Don't I have to do some kind of work to be saved—get baptized, confess my sin, etc?
Ephesians 2:8 and 9
This verse is very clear. It says that you have been saved by Yahweh's grace through your faith. That means that when you have faith in Christ, Yahweh saves you by His grace ("grace" is undeserved favor from Yahweh). The verse goes on to say that salvation is a gift and that it is not by works. Titus 3:3-7 is also very instructive concerning our former nature and our present gifts and deliverance; "For, even we, used, at one time, to be––thoughtless, unyielding, deceived, in servitude unto manifold covetings and pleasures, in malice and envy, leading on, detestable, hating one another. But, when, the graciousness and affection for man of our Savior Yahweh, shone forth, Not by works which we had done in righteousness, but, according to His mercy, He saved us––through means of the bathing of a new birth, and the molding anew of holy spirit.–– Which he poured on us richly, through Yahshua Christ our Savior, In order that, having been declared righteous by his favor, we should be made inheritors, according to hope, of life age–abiding."
Many Christians do not realize that salvation is a gift of Yahweh's grace and that it is "not by works." They are taught that to be saved they must go to church or lead an almost perfect life with no drinking, dancing, etc. That is simply not what the Word of Yahweh says about salvation! No one can find a verse that says, "You must go to church to be saved," because there is no such verse. Nor are there any verses that say that you must lead an almost perfect life to be saved. Salvation is a gift—you do not earn it by your works, you receive it by faith in Christ's work.
There are many people doing good works who have never confessed that Yahshua is their Lord and who do not believe in his resurrection. Often they are taught that if you are a good person, Yahweh will give you life age-abiding. The Word of Yahweh is very clear that good works do not save you, as we have just read in Ephesians 2:8 and 9. It is wonderful to do good works or be a "good person," but that does not get you saved. The Word of Yahweh says that the unsaved person is "dead in sin" (Eph. 2:1), and no one who is "dead" can do any good works. He must first receive life via the new birth, and then he can work for Yahweh. Don't guess about how to get life age-abiding. Yahweh gave you His Word to openly show you the way of salvation, and Yahshua said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." You come to the Father only through Yahshua.
Do I lose my everlasting life if I sin after I have been saved?
Many people teach that if you sin, you lose your salvation and then you have to get saved all over again, but that is not true. Yahweh wants you to be absolutely sure that you cannot lose your salvation, so the Word of Yahweh emphasizes its permanence in many ways.As you have seen, salvation is called a "gift" over and over. A term for salvation is "born again" or "new birth" (1 Pet. 1:3 and 23). We all know that birth is permanent. Once I am born, I am a child of my mother and father forever. Even if I am a horrible kid and my parents really don't like me, the birth is permanent. Yahweh wants Christians to know that He loves us and that we are His children no matter how we behave, so He uses the term "birth" to describe what happens to us when we are saved. Birth is a one-time occurrence that cannot be undone.
When you are saved, Yahweh gives you spirit. Because it is spirit, you can't feel that it is within you, but it is Yahweh's permanent seal in you claiming you as His child. Ephesians is very clear about getting saved by believing and then being sealed with spirit:
Ephesians 1:13 and 14
Read those verses again. They are so rich. The Word of Yahweh says you are sealed with spirit, Yahweh's gift. Therefore, you are sealed! Yahweh's salvation does not "leak out" if you sin. You were sealed when you believed, and that seal is a "guarantee" of life age-abiding, your "inheritance."
Because your salvation is permanent and you cannot lose it, Yahweh says you are His child! "Behold, what manner of love, the Father hath bestowed upon us––that, children of Yahweh, we should be called,––and such we are!" (1 John 3:1). Surely it cannot be that one day you are a child of Yahweh and the next day you aren't. Yahweh chose to communicate to us in the words we use in our everyday speech, and we all know that children are a permanent addition to a family. No one has children in his family one day and then does not have them in the family the next day. The same is true for Yahweh's family as for our human families. Yahweh calls you His child to make the point that you are permanently in His family. That is also why unbelievers are never called "children" of Yahweh—they are not part of the family.
Children have their father's "seed" in them, and Christians are born of "incorruptible seed" (1 Pet. 1:23). The Word of Yahweh is very clear: If you are saved, you are born into Yahweh's family, you are permanently a son or a daughter, you are sealed with holy spirit and Yahweh calls you a child of Yahweh.
Why should I stop sinning if I cannot lose my salvation?
Second, you are united to Christ, identified with him in the most intimate way possible. That is, you were crucified with him, you died with him, you were buried with him, raised with him from the dead, ascended with him and seated with him at the right hand of Yahweh (Rom. 6:1-10; Eph. 2:6). Being thus joined with Christ, why would you want to continue to be joined to sin in our day-to-day life; "for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Beliar? Or what part hath a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement hath a shrine of Yahweh with idols? For, we, are the shrine of a God, that liveth:––even as Yahweh hath said––will dwell in them, and walk, and will be their God, and, they, shall be my people. Wherefore come ye forth out of their midst, and be separated,––saith Yahweh,––and, one impure, do not touch; and, I, will give you welcome, And will become your Father, and, ye, shall become my sons and daughters, saith Yahweh of Host" (2 Cor. 6:14-18).
Third, it is right and proper to thank the one who has given you a gift. Yahweh and His Son have given you the greatest gift of all—life age-abiding. The greatest gift you can give back is your life in service to them.
Fourth, how you live and serve in this life will determine how Yahweh will reward you in this life and in your future life. Christ is going to come back to earth and set up a kingdom ("The meek will inherit the earth"), and not every person in that kingdom will have the same rewards. Many verses attest to this truth:
1 Corinthians 3:12-15
2 Corinthians 5:10
There are many other verses like these that plainly say that Christians will be rewarded now and in the future kingdom of Christ for what they do for him. The Word of Yahweh exhorts you to work hard so that you will be richly rewarded now and in the future kingdom.
I've done so many terrible things in my life. Can I still be saved?
Yahweh is realistic about people—we are all sinners. The Word of Yahweh never makes a statement like "Christ died for everyone except murderers" or "Christ died for everyone except adulterers." The Word of Yahweh states very clearly that Yahweh gave His Son so that "whoever believes in him will not perish, but have life age-abiding" (John 3:16).
The Apostle Paul described himself as "chief of sinners," because he tortured Christians before becoming one himself. To him, he was as low as a human being can go morally. Paul is a wonderful example of the mercy and longsuffering of the Lord, for if a man like him can be saved, anyone can be.
When we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness then Yahweh is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9). Communion is then restored with our Father and our Lord. King David committed adultery and murder but he repented of his deeds and was forgiven (2 Sam. 12). King Manasseh lived a wicked life for fifty years, which included acts such as, "innocent blood, did Manasseh shed in great abundance, till he had filled Jerusalem, from one end to the other" (2 Kgs. 21:16). At the end of his reign he repented and Yahweh forgave him (2 Chr. 33:12-13). If David and Manasseh can be forgiven, so can you. Forgiveness is available to those who desire it.
Become a child of Yahweh; Receive all of the Benefits:
These changes are very real and should powerfully influence how a Christian thinks and lives. But because these changes do not automatically affect a person's behavior, each Christian has a decision to make. Are you going to believe what you see and feel ("Gee, I don't feel righteous or holy, etc.") or are you going to believe what Yahweh says in His Word? As a Christian, you must learn to "live by faith and not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7). It is essential for good Christians to learn to trust what Yahweh says. For example, Yahweh says He loves you, and Yahweh's love is real even if you don't feel loved. The same goes for what Yahweh has made you to be in Christ and how He thinks about you. Yahweh made you righteous, holy, and justified even if you do not feel that way.
When you are saved, you are brought into Yahweh's family. You become a child of Yahweh, are born again and sealed with holy spirit. However, your behavior does not usually change right away. Occasionally you hear of someone who, at the time he was saved, had a wonderful change in his life that Yahweh accomplished. For example, an alcoholic may have immediately given up alcohol. That kind of thing sometimes happens, but it is the exception, not the rule.
Yahweh gives instructions to His children. The Word of Yahweh says not to fornicate, lie, cheat or steal. It commands you not to commit adultery. It says to put away bitterness and revenge and instead to be patient, kind and loving. It says to be giving and to pray. There are many things the Word of Yahweh tells you so that you can lead a pure life. It takes time, effort and discipline to learn to keep the commands of Yahweh and live like a Christian. Many verses attest to this, and we will quote two:
You have to make up your mind to obey Yahweh and do what He says. If you don't, you will listen to the "desires of your sinful nature" and miss out on His blessings. It is not always easy to keep the commands of Yahweh. Even the great Apostle Paul occasionally wrestled with his sinful nature and had a hard time (Rom. 7:14-20). You will not always succeed at keeping Yahweh's commands, but He wants you to do your best. You will be rewarded at the Judgment for the things you do for Christ now. Changing the flesh is your job. Yahweh will help, but He can't do it without you. The reason that so many Christians are "carnal Christians" is that they have never decided to go to war with their flesh and bring their body into obedient submission to the Word of Yahweh. These carnal Christians are still saved, but they are living like unbelievers.
Does the Word of Yahweh say what the next life will be like?
Yahweh made the earth for people to live on and enjoy as He did with the Garden of Eden. The Word of Yahweh says that in the future there will be a new earth that will replace this earth that has been corrupted. It would not make sense for Yahweh to create a "new earth" if all the saved people were going to live in heaven. Yahweh has to make a new earth in the future because the one we live on now will be destroyed. Some of the things that the Word of Yahweh says about life on the future earth are:
The Messiah will rule over an age-abiding kingdom (Dan. 2:44; 7:13 and 14; Rev. 11:17).
The future life Yahweh offers is one of food, fun and fellowship. It is hard to imagine a life with no sickness, no war or fighting, no injustice, more food than we can eat and all the time in the world to enjoy each other and purposeful activity. Christians will get to enjoy that life—forever.
Yahweh is offering you everything you have always wanted in this life but just can't seem to get, and all you have to do to get it is to accept His free gift of salvation through Yahshua Christ.
What happens to me if I do not make Yahshua my Lord and Master?
Conclusion written by Edward Irving in 1825FN19
Do ye love to meditate nobleness of nature? Here it is infinitely noble. Do ye love to contemplate stupendous power put forth in soft acts of goodness? Behold it here, pouring the full river of pleasure though the universe. Here is the Father of all families, from thehighest in the heaven above to the lowest tribe upon the earth beneath, serving out justice and liberality to them all. What more would you fill your mind with than the idea of Yahweh, which, while it fills, elevates, enlarges, and refines.
Nay, the closer to bring you into fellowship, He has dispatched from His highest sphere the image of Himself to act the divine part among earthly scenes. He clothes Himself in the raiment of His Son; His Son puts on like passions and affections. He opens up the heart of Yahweh, and shows it wondrous tender to His fallen creatures. He opens up his own heart, and shows it devoted to death for their restoration. He stretches out his hand, and disease and death flee away. He opens his lips, and loving-kindness drops upon the most sinful of men. Whosoever comes he cherishes with food, fetched from the storehouse of his creating word. He brings hope from beyond the dark grave, where she lay shrouded in mortality. Peace he conjures from the troubles of the most guilty breast. The mourner he anoints with the oil of joy. He comforts all that mourn. And what more can we say? But that, if the knowledge of death averted from your heads be joy, and the knowledge of offences forgiven be contentment, and the knowledge of Yahweh reconciled be peace, and of Paradise offered be glory, and the fountain of wisdom streaming forth be light, and strength ministered be life to the soul, then, verily, this peace, contentment, honor, and life is yours, Christian believers, through the revelation of Yahshua Christ, the Son of Yahweh.
But if you rather prefer the fortune of the brutes that perish, to look upon the light of the sun, and eat the provision of the day, to vegetate like a plant through the stages of life, and, like a plant, to drop where you grew, and perish from the memory of earth, having done nothing, desired nothing, and expected nothing beyond: If this you prefer to the other, then have you heard what you lose in the present; hear now what you lose in the future!
You lose Yahweh's presence, in which all creation rejoices. You lose Yahweh's capacity to bless you with His manifold blessings, which the cherubim and seraphim can speak of better than a fallen man. You lose the peace and perfect blessedness of the new earth, Paradise, which from this present earth we can hardly catch the vision of. Have you suffered spiritual oppression and drowning from fleshly appetites, freedom from this you lose. Have you groaned under the general bondage of the creation, and called for deliverance, this deliverance you lose. Have you conceived pictures of quiet and peaceful enjoyment amidst beautiful and refreshing scenes, the realities of these you lose. Have you felt the ravishment of divine communion, when the conscious soul breathes its raptures, but cannot utter them, the everlasting enjoyment of these you lose. What Adam and Eve enjoyed within the unblemished Garden of Eden, with the presence of Yahweh, you lose. What Peter, James and John felt upon the Mount of Transfiguration, where they would have built tabernacles and remained forever, you lose. Can you, brethren, think of this world's fare with contentment? If you are wicked, how do your sins find you out, or overhang you with detection. If you are holy, how your desires outrun your performance, and your knowledge your power; how you fall, are faint, are back-sliding, are in darkness, are in doubt, are in dismay. You are not content with this world's fare, you long after something higher and better; hence the perpetual cheering of hope, and instigation of ambition, and thirst after novelty, and restlessness to better your condition. When man comes to wish, to expect to labor or care for nothing higher or better than his present condition, he is supremely miserable. Yahweh has left these witnesses within our breasts out of whose mouth will say, "You strove after something happier." It was the labor of your life to reach it. I let down heaven's glory to your eager eyes. You put it away; therefore be it put away from your habitation for ever. Oh, ye who labor by toil and trouble to exalt your condition, will ye not exalt it far above the level of thrones or principalities, or any name that is named upon the earth."
Yet if emblems can assist you, then do you join in your imagination the emblems and pictures of Paradise. What are the conditions of its people? "Then shall they build houses, and dwell, in them,––And plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them."FN21 What is their enjoyment? "And it shall come to pass–That, before they call, I, will answer, And, while yet they, are speaking, I, will hear." What their haunts? "The wolf and the lamb, shall feed, in unity, And, the lion, as an ox, shall eat straw." What their employment? "And they shall dwell––every man––under his own vine and under his own fig–tree, with none to make them afraid,––for, the mouth of Yahweh of hosts, hath spoken;"FN22 living in the ecstasies of melody, making music to Yahweh of Hosts, and to the Lamb for ever and ever. For guidance, the Lamb that is in the midst of them, shall lead them by rivers of living waters, and wipe away all tears from their eyes. For knowledge, they shall be like unto Yahweh, for. they shall know even as they are known. For vision and understanding, they shall see face to face, needing no intervention of language or of sign. For ordinances through which the soul makes imperfect way to her Maker, there is no temple in the city of their habitation, for Yahweh Elohim of Host and the Lamb are the temple thereof. There shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun, for Yahweh of Host gives them light, and they shall reign for ever and ever, nay, the very sense has its gratifications in the City of Yahweh. The building of the wall is of jasper, the city of pure gold like unto clear glass; the foundation of the wall garnished with all manner of precious stones. Every one of the twelve gates are pearl.
Then, brethren, let me persuade you to make much of the volume which contains the password to the City of Yahweh, and without which it is hid both from your knowledge and your search. And if in this volume there be one truth more prize worthy than another, it is this, that Christ has set open to you the gates of the City, and that he alone is the way by which it is to be reached. He has gone before to prepare its mansions for your reception, and he will come again to those who look for his appearing. For his sake be ye reconciled to Yahweh, that ye may have a right to the tree of life, and enter by the gate into the City.
What you have written is hard for me to believe. What do I do now?
Suggested first time readings in the Bible, which consist of only 70 pages. Read them in this order: Gospel of Luke, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and 1 Thessalonians.
FN2 The Biblical Politics of John Locke by Kim Ian Parker pg. 16; “the most dangerous sorts of beasts” Rm. 1:21-32
FN3 The Unseen Universe: or, Physical Speculations on a Future State by Balfour Stewart & Peter Guthrie Tait; written in 1875; article 235
FN4 Of or pertaining to material nature, or to the phenomenal universe perceived by the senses; pertaining to or connected with matter; material; OED
FN5 Absolute emptiness of space; complete absence of matter.
FN6 Emptiness of space; space unoccupied by matter.
FN7 Tiner, J.H. (1975). Isaac Newton: Inventor, Scientist and Teacher. Milford, Michigan, U.S.: Mott Media.
FN8 Manifest, however, are the works of the flesh, which, indeed, are––fornication, impurity, wantonness, idolatry, enchantment, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of wrath, factions, divisions, parties, envyings, drunkenness, revellings (Gal. 5:19-21).
FN9 Exalt Yahweh our God, And bow down towards his holy mountain, For, holy, is Yahweh our Elohim (Ps. 99:5).
FN10 But, in this, let the glorying one glory––In having intelligence, and in knowing, me, That, I, am Yahweh, Executing lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness in the earth,––That, in these things, I delight, Declareth Yahweh (Jer. 9:24).
FN11 Jer. 36
FN12 Tiner, J.H. (1975). Isaac Newton: Inventor, Scientist and Teacher. Milford, Michigan, U.S.: Mott Media.
FN13 John Adams, Works, Vol. X, p. 85, to Thomas Jefferson on December 25, 1813.
FN14 The phrase, 'Word of Yahweh,' was used 229 times in this book. Ge 15:1 After these things, came the word of Yahweh unto Abram, in a vision, saying,––Do not fear, Abram, I, am a shield to thee, thine exceeding great reward. Isa 1:10 Hear the word of Yahweh, ye rulers of Sodom,––Give ear to the instruction of our God, ye people of Gomorrah: Mal 1:1 The oracle of the word of Yahweh, unto Israel,––by the hand of Malachi.
FN15 1Jo 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, neither hath he, the Father: He that confesseth the Son, hath, the Father also.
FN16 So, then, my brethren, ye also, were made dead unto the law through the body of the Christ, to the end ye might become another's––his who from among the dead was raised, in order that we might bring forth fruit unto Yahweh. (Rm. 7:4) Or know ye not that, your body, is, a shrine of the holy spirit that is within you, which ye have from Yahweh? And ye are not your own; ––For ye have been bought with a price! Therefore glorify Yahweh in your body. (1 Cor. 6:19-20) …he that was called being, a freeman, is Christ's bond–servant:––With a price, have ye been bought,––do not become bond–servants of men. (1 Cor. 7:22-23) Who gave himself up in our behalf, that he might redeem us from all manner of lawlessness, and purify for himself a people as his own treasure––zealous of noble works. (Titus 2:14)
FN17 Rom. 6; Eph. 2:1-3, 1 Cor. 6:20, 2 Cor. 5:15
FN18 But, according as he that hath called you is holy, do, ye yourselves, also become, holy in all manner of behaviour,–– Inasmuch as it is written––Holy shall ye be, because, I, am holy (1 Pe. 1:15-16). Le 19:2 Speak unto all the assembly of the sons of Israel, and thou shalt say unto them––Holy, shall ye be,––For, holy, am, I––Yahweh––your God.
FN19 "The Oracles of God" by the Rev. Edward Irving written in 1825. The full article is in Vol. 3 and under the heading, Yahweh's Word.
FN20 Overtaken by the darkness of the night; affected by the night (obs.).
FN21 Is. 65:25
FN22 Micah 4:3
(*When quoting scriptures, from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible New Testament, I will substitute the Hebrew word Yahshua for Jesus, Yahweh and Elohim for God and the LORD and Anointed for Christ.)
© 2005-2013 Chuck Cunningham