Jesus stated that He came into this world “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10). The apostle Paul reiterated that very truth: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Tim. 1:15). In regard to this purpose for His coming, our Lord extended the great invitation: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29). The natural question is, “How can I come to the Lord?”
First, I must come to Him in faith, recognizing Him as God’s Son and my Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. He said, “…if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (Jn. 8:24). As He was ready to ascend back to Heaven, following His death on the cross, His burial and resurrection, Jesus told the apostles to preach His gospel to everyone throughout the world. He then stated, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk. 16:15-16).
Second, I must come to Him in humility, recognizing my need for forgiveness of my sins, and I must be ready to repent of those sins. Jesus made it clear that repentance is absolutely essential to coming to Him for forgiveness and salvation. He stated, “…unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3). The apostle Peter put it succinctly when addressing a crowd that had gathered following the healing of a lame man: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…” (Acts 3:19).
Third, I must be ready to openly acknowledge, confess, my faith in Jesus as God’s Son and my Lord and Savior. He stated, “…whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father Who is in Heaven” (Matt. 10:32). Paul stated, “…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9).
Fourth, I must submit to being baptized into Him for the remission of my sins. Jesus told the apostles, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” (Mk. 16:16). On Pentecost, some who had just heard the gospel message proclaimed asked the question, “…what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Peter responded, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (vs. 38). As I am baptized, I come into Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).
Then, I must have a mindset to faithfully live by the teachings of my Lord for the rest of my days on this earth, looking forward to eternal life with Him in Heaven. Jesus instructed, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).
God’s plan for my redemption is literally so simple that a child can easily understand it. I can come to the Lord by accepting and obeying that simple, easily understood plan set in place for my benefit by my loving Heavenly Father. Why would I wait to obey?…
Gary L. Hutchens