For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God, and are justified (made in right standing) freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3: 16
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me"
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Eph: 2: 8-9
"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Therefore I (Jesus) said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
The Bible says that Jesus came to this earth to pardon mankind of sin. In fact, we find in the Gospel of John that, "The next day John (the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward Him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29).
Not only that, but John the Apostle continues with the following statement, "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3: 35-36). Finally, Paul the Apostle says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 6:23). Why is this?
Back in Old Testament times, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob instituted a system that required a blood sacrifice to be made for the atonement (payment) of sin. Proof of this is noted in the Bible when the priests would sacrifice different animals to atone for the sins of individuals and the nation of Israel. Then, a special holy day was set aside once a year, known as Passover (celebrated as our Easter) which involved the sacrifice of a spotless, unblemished lamb. This lamb was brought to the priests who would sacrifice it as payment for the sins of each family member. It was this very same day, the Passover, when Jesus was crucified on the cross and became the Passover lamb of God who would take away all the sins of man as prophesied by John the Baptist (John 1:29). This is why Jesus is known as the Lamb of God, the Son of God in man who willfully, without sin or blemish, shed His blood as atonement for our inability to live up to God's standards (i.e. sin)....however small or large.
Most people cannot understand the need or reason to be forgiven of sin if they don't believe they're a sinner. Shouldn't it be true that as long as you haven't done really bad things, you should be able to go to heaven? And shouldn't whatever good you have done account for something? By our own standards we may believe so. But what about all those times we missed doing the right thing? For example, those instances when we may have told a little lie or a big one, stole a piece of candy or thousands of dollars, broke a promise, hurt someone, etc. Moreover, as we compare ourselves to a more reprobate society, many people believe they aren't so bad after all, especially if they haven't done something truly heinous like commiting murder, grand larceny, etc. But who ultimately determines what is sin anyway? One persons belief in a wrong may not be classified as such by another person. However, the key to this whole matter lies in God's identification of sin as identified in Romans 3:23. What this scripture basically says is that Jesus came to redeem mankind of sin which a holy God cannot accept. He came because the Father, who so loved the world, gave His only son (John 3:16) as a gift to be freely received by all. And he who accepts this gift and receives Him into his/her heart will never perish, but have eternal life. This is great news!!!
But again, why is atonement for sin necessary? To best illustrate this, let's use an example. Let's say you were driving a car during the winter months when all of a sudden you inadvertantly slid on some ice and caused a serious accident. What if you not only damaged your car, but worse, totaled the other persons car and sent the driver to the hospital with serious injuries. In justifiable defense, you claim it was an unavoidable accident because you never saw the ice patch. This is understandable and most people would sympathize with your situation, including myself. It simply was a tragic accident. Yet, unfortuate as this whole matter is, this will not excuse you from having to pay for the costs/damages incurred by the accident. Even if you won the outstanding citizen of the century award, the fact remains that you are still responsible for the damages caused by the accident. Someone has to pay, whether it's you, an insurance company or a rich relative. Now, if a rich relative was willing to take care of this situation, would it not be utterly fantastic? To be off the hook for all costs and damages incurred? In this example, Jesus is like the rich relative who pays for all the wrong, damages and suffering this unfortunate accident caused, leaving you completely free of any responsibility. In other words, your fully redeemed from the responsibility of this "accident". All you have to do is accept this free gift that's offered by your rich relative. Whew! Almost sounds to good to be true. That's why it's called "Amazing Grace". The kind of Grace that Billy Graham experienced in his early evangelistic career and spoken about to millions of people in His life. The only thing you must do to have your sin paid for is believe and receive the pardon that Jesus so dearly paid for at the Cross. And it really is that simple. It's a free gift, one that is not earned or deserved as given in Ephesians 2:8-9 (see above).
Therefore all our great works and vain attempts at trying to be "good" or to earn our way into heaven will never work. This does not mean being a "good" person is not a positive thing. Of course it is, but you must understand it's not the "ticket" that will get you into heaven. Jesus is "The Ticket" who worked in our behalf to secure that place in the kingdom of His God, so we could become heirs with the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. For this reason, believing in and receiving Jesus Christ TRULY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION YOU WILL EVER MAKE in this life while on earth. Won't you ask Him into your heart today?
Just a true heartfelt prayer is all it takes. And praying to God and His Son Jesus is not as difficult as it may seem, since praying really means talking to Him as you would to your earthly father, brother, sister or good friend in a sincere manner. Just ask in an earnest and heartfelt way. To the right is a prayer guide offered for you to use. Feel free to modify it in any way you wish,or use it as is. Remember, God (our heavenly Father), His Son and the Holy Spirit do not consider how religious sounding we can be, but honors the simple heartfelt words that you voice towards Him.