Why do you exist? What gives life meaning? These questions puzzled me for years. From science, to evolution, and then into post-modernism and relativism, I found few answers. I believed in nothing for a time (secular humanism), then I believed in everything for a time (New Age mysticism). Nothing seemed particularly true, one seemed empty and meaningless, the other seemed all inclusive and intriguing, yet entirely devoid of the actual factual truth. Where did the search for truth inevitably lead me? Full circle. It began when I turned from a cross I didn't understand, and ended at a cross I still didn't understand. I suppose the difference was that I was dying at the end, and my ego had been sufficiently shattered, to the point where calling on Jesus Christ was my last choice. Did I know if it would save me? No I didn't. But it has saved me. I invite you to join me on the journey. I invite you to discover the cross of Jesus Christ. And the peace there in.
How do I become a Christian?
So you've looked at the arguments for God, the Bible, and Jesus. You've decided there is enough evidence to take a leap of faith. Or you just know in your heart there is a God, something bigger than you. What's next?
Christianity is about a personal relationship with God. It's like a romance, or a close friendship, or a father-son/father-daughter relationship. It's not about ritual or superstition. The two most important parts of that relationship are prayer and Bible reading. As a Christian I try to pray twice a day. Sometimes I'll say the "Our Father" but most often I'll just get on my knees and talk to God. It's about communication and love. Prayer is how I talk to God, but how does God talk back? That's where Bible reading comes in. As I read the various books of the Bible, God will communicate through them to me. Isn't that cool?
So I would encourage you to find a Bible, a good understandable translation like the New International Version, the English Standard Version, New Living Translation, or even something very contemporary like The Message Translation. Read through the Gospel of John. That is my favorite Gospel. Luke, Mark, and Matthew are great too though! The Psalms are great to read through, they are poetry are out wonderful God. If you have trouble understanding exactly what's being talked about, consider purchasing a quality Study Bible. A Study Bible will include commentary and notes on the scriptures in front of you, to provide for better understanding of the Bible.
If you prefer to read on the computer, check out Bible Gateway. You can go through the Bible in any translation you like. There are even Bible commentaries, studies, and Audio Bibles. There are Bible apps as well, like YouVersion for all phones.
Once you've read through the Bible, ask yourself, do I understand that I need a Savior to remove my sins? Do I realize I've fallen short of the perfect requirement of God, just like the rest of humanity? Do I understand that God is sovereign over my life, and I want him to be my personal God?
If so, go on your knees before God, and say a prayer similar to this: Father God of the Bible, I realize now that you're real, your Bible is real, and your son Jesus Christ is real. I admit to you Father that I've sinned against you, I confess my sins to you now, and I admit that I need a Savior. You have provided that Savior. I accept Father, today I accept your son Jesus Christ, and his work on the cross as the necessary payment for all my sins, past, present, and future. Please Father, cloth me in his righteousness. Father God I make you the Lord of my life, please grant me your Holy Spirit to guide me in my new life as a Christian. Thank you so much Father, it's in Jesus Christ name I pray this prayer, Amen.
Then pursue that new life. Find a good Bible believing church in your area. Join a Bible study. Read books on the Christian life. Pray and pray a lot. Get involved in discipleship and evangelism as well. Learn and grow as a Christian. Establish a network of relationships with Christians in your area. And live it my friend, live it. Finish the journey strong, and live forever with your family of believers in the next phase of existence, after this life comes to an end. May God bless you and keep you until then!
I found these very helpful in my struggle to intellectually understand Christianity. These are some of the leading figures in Christianity today.
Rick Warren addresses the topic of living a Life of Significance
Ravi Zacharias at Oxford University "What does it mean to be Human?"
Presentation by Ravi Zacharias at UCLA on the cultural climate of Western Culture and the relevance of Christianity. Ravi is a wonderfully engaging and entertaining speaker, enjoy! :)
Mark Driscoll on establishing the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ. Mark is crass and straight forward, somewhat lude, but hey, that's the culture he's engaging. Just a forewarning :)
Are there other Gods or is Jesus the only God? Another presentation by Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill church in Seattle.
Apologist Frank Turek debates atheist Christopher Hitchens
Ken Ham debates Bill Nye, this debates is in regards to young earth creationism, so not necessarily specifically on the existence of God or Christianity, but informative none-the-less
Ravi Zacharias Q&A at Princeton University