For those of you who wisely want to see the message I’m sharing actually in the Bible, I invite you to check out some of the verses below. It’s not a hidden message though — the entire Old Testament (from Adam to the last prophets) tells of how the people of God were waiting for the Messiah — the Deliverer. The gospels (that is, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) tell of His coming, and the last books tell of the spreading of the Christian faith, the early church, and our hope for Christ’s return. You don’t need special guidance to find it — it’s all in there. But, like the friend who pointed me to John 3:16, let me offer you some starting places… (This is not a comprehensive list.)
About all people being sinners (and thus in need of a Savior): Romans 3:9-20, Romans 3:23, James 2:10
The consequences of our sinfulness:Romans 6:23, Genesis 3
About Jesus being the perfect sacrifice: John 3:16, Hebrews 9-10
About salvation in Jesus and nothing else: 1 John 1:9, Ephesians 2:1-10, John 3
Old Testament predictions about Jesus: There’s a really great list here.
When I was a very new Christian, the women in my church did a Beth Moore Bible study that blew me away. It was on how Christ fulfilled the law, prophecy and promises of the Old Testament, and how that affects us now as Christians. I had not understood (or even thought much about) the connections before this, and it was a very powerful aid in increasing my confidence in my new beliefs. The Bible study was called: A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place, and it has audio/video with a workbook. I highly recommend it to a new Christian or seeker.
A few months ago I recommended some books that deal with investigating the authenticity of the Bible and its claims. I really appreciated this sort of thing when I was considering becoming a Christian, and as a skeptic at heart, I still do. You can find that post here.
…But I have to caution you in your pursuit of all the answers. At the end of the day, you’re still going to need faith. We, as Christians, are not merely trying to convince you to believe our story, like conspiracy theorists or someone with a wild tale from their vacation. We are asking you — honestly, God is asking you — to put your faith in this. Faith requires trusting and hoping in something you can’t see or prove. Even when these things were happening, way back in Moses’ time and more “recently” in Jesus’ days, people needed to have faith in some things. We didn’t just get the short end of the stick because we were born after these things happened. So if you’re looking to be able to prove every single tiny doubt and question before you commit to give your life to this, you will likely never get there. That’s why it’s called a “faith” and not just a story… it requires faith. I still encourage you to investigate and become convinced — only a gullible fool would just believe anything at first hearing; but I am telling you upfront, there will come a point when you will need to take the leap of faith or abandon it all together. I pray you choose faith!
For those of you who struggle with believing the Bible is true and truly the word of God, here are some resources (among many) that you may find helpful:
How do we know the Bible is True? (article)
How do we know the Bible is True? (different article, same name)
Why Believe the Bible? (article)
How do we know the Bible is True? (YouTube clip of a respected scholar’s response)
Is the Bible True… Really? by John McDowell (book)
Also, as a very new Christian I read dozens of booklets from RBC Ministries, which deal with topics ranging from Baptism and Communion, to prayer, to suffering, to the validity of scripture. I really appreciated the short, to-the-point and trustworthy information they offered. The booklets (and now the pdfs) are still offered free of charge. You can find them here: http://discoveryseries.org/
P.S. …What I’m not saying
I would guess a lot of people might read an invitation to repent and follow Jesus, and have a lot of “buts” come to mind…
But I can’t listen to that weird music.
But I don’t want to homeschool my kids.
But I could never dress like those Duggars.
But I can’t be a Republican.
But I’ll never watch Duck Dynasty.
…and a million things like that. And I’m guessing some even more serious concerns. To these concerns I just have to say… No one is asking you to do these things. In fact, no one is really asking you to do anything. You are asked to believe. Your salvation is based on nothing else. Now, when we speak of “repentance,” we speak of turning from sin completely. So, if you’re living with a sin issue, like a drug addiction or sleeping with your boyfriend, then your repentance will lead to a change in these things. But (though the internet and TV might make you think otherwise sometimes) there’s not a special list of things you must do and be to “join the club.” You must repent and follow Christ. You must be born again. History is filled with a lot of people, from the beginning of time, who tried to do a lot of things to earn God’s favor (and always failed). Christ already did something to earn God’s favor — that’s all you must accept.
Once again, I invite you to contact me with any further thoughts or questions. If you would like help in finding a biblical church near you, please also contact me.