"To all who received him [Christ], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."1
Could you imagine seeing a used car salesman give a compelling presentation regarding a particular car you were interested in, had you convinced that this was the perfect car for you and had you ready to sign the purchasing contract when he turned and walked away—and left you standing there aghast without ever closing the sale! That kind of salesman would be fired on the spot if his manager saw what he did.
Sad to say, I believe some preachers are like this. They give a good presentation of God's message but never give listeners the opportunity to make a commitment to accept Jesus as their Savior. I believe there are many church members who understand the gospel and are ready to accept Jesus but have never been invited to do so. I say this because it is my understanding that so many of the people who have made this commitment to Jesus at a Billy Graham crusade are church members.
It isn't enough just to believe in our head that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died on the cross for our sins. The devil knows and believes that. True, we need to believe this but we also need to accept God's offer of forgiveness and gift of salvation (eternal life) by confessing our sins to him, asking for his forgiveness, and inviting Jesus Christ into our heart and life as Savior and Lord. It also involves making a commitment of our will to follow Jesus. In "salesman terminology" this is closing the sale.
Jesus said, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door [of his/her heart and life], I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."2
If you have never invited Jesus into your heart and life, asked for God's forgiveness, and made a commitment of your life to him, I would like to give you that opportunity today. The following prayer will help you to do this:
"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry for all the wrongs that I have done. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. Please forgive me for all my sins. I invite you, Jesus, to come into my heart and life as Lord and Savior. I commit and trust my life and will to you. Please give me the desire to be what you want me to be and to do what you want me to do. Thank you for dying for my sins, for your free pardon, for your gift of eternal life, and for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus name, Amen."
For further help read "God's Invitation" at: http://tinyurl.com/6k49w and/or "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9
1. John 1:12 (NIV). 2 Revelation 3:20 (NIV).
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