When I was younger I prayed to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I wasn’t much older than ten-years-old. I was at a sports camp a local church was putting on at one of the local schools and when they asked us to raise our hands if we wanted to accept Christ my hand went up. They took me to a room near the gymnasium and there an older man (who was probably in his mid to late sixties) told me to repeat a prayer after him. He prayed, I copied. And that was that. I was saved—or so I thought.
Not much changed in my life after that day I prayed to receive Christ and it wasn’t until I was twenty-years-old that I truly received Christ and my life changed forever. Was it because I didn’t really understand why I was raising my hand that day in the gym? Was it because someone didn’t really walk me through what it meant to receive Christ? Honestly, I believe it was. I want to make sure you understand what it means to receive Christ, because if you are like me and simply repeated someone’s prayer but there was no change in your life then I would beg to question if you have genuine saving faith. I didn’t for years but thought I did. There was no evidence or fruit in my life to show that Christ had redeemed me from my sin. You should know that saying a prayer doesn’t save you. The bible is clear that you are “saved by grace through faith” (see Ephesians 2:8) only because Jesus made it possible. You may have repeated a prayer but only you can answer for yourself whether or not you meant what you prayed.
You might be saying, “Aaron, I just gave my life to Christ. How do I know for sure I’m good with God?”
Side note: It’s okay to ask questions. Don’t ever stop asking questions. I’ve found it’s healthy for the soul to ask questions. And you should know your questions don’t scare God nor do they change anything about who He is.
This series of posts will help you examine your heart to see whether or not you truly meant what you prayed. Notice I didn’t say it will for sure but rather it will help you. Only you can answer for yourself if you were genuine or not when you prayed to receive Christ. Because if you truly meant what you prayed the bible says anyone who truly receives Christ “is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 CSB). You might not feel like a new creation. You might not look like one right now. And that’s okay! If you were serious about receiving Christ then you can rest assured that Christ was serious about saving you.
Like I already said, this series of posts is to help you make sure you understand what it means to receive Christ. You can’t begin a journey you’ve never started. And if you are like I was as a kid at that sports camp you’ll find no change in your life. The gospel is simple. Salvation isn’t meant to be overcomplicated. That’s why I want you to know how simple it is to understand what receiving Christ means.
It’s my prayer this series of posts helps you unearth your motive for praying to receive Christ, that you learn what God’s Word says about receiving Christ (or being born again) and then I want to challenge you to examine your life—did you mean with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength what you prayed? And when you can answer that question with a definite yes your life will never be the same.
Note: This series of posts might not be posted consecutively.
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.