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“What has God got to do with me?”

Plenty. If you have had questions on what is missing or have done wrong in your life, consider The Story of Hope presented in this slide show:

A Story of Hope
A Story of Hope

“I still have questions”

Got more questions about life? Take a look at these topics:

Why do Christians keep talking about the Bible?2021-07-22T17:30:49+08:00

Whether you’ve heard about Christianity from a family member or friend, or found out about God and Jesus on your own, you would have noticed that all the sources of information inevitably point back to the Bible. You might even have heard them say, again and again, “Because the Bible says so.” Why do Christians talk so much about the Bible? Why is it so important to them?

It is important because the Bible is central to the Christian faith. We call it the “Word of God” because it is God’s channel of communication with us. It is through the Bible that we know God created the universe, that he sent his son Jesus to die for us, and that we are saved when we believe in him.

It is also through the Bible that God teaches us how to live according to his standards, which is why Christians spend much time reading and studying it. Paul, a follower who personally met Jesus, noted that the Bible “is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Can I trust everything the Bible says? Is it reliable?2021-07-22T17:30:30+08:00

The short answer to these questions is Yes. And this is because the Bible ultimately comes from God. While the words in the Bible were written by people, all the content was inspired by God. It was God who taught and prompted the writers to pen down exactly what he wanted to tell us.

If the idea seems strange, perhaps you can consider this: the Bible is actually made up of 66 books, written by around 40 people from different cultures and nations over a span of about 1,500 years. They recorded the events of their day, their interactions with God, and what they saw of God and his works. Yet, despite the number of people and the great timespan involved, all the books are consistent in their portrayal of God, his love for man, and his plan for the universe. This would have been very difficult to achieve if the Bible’s contents were made up by people. And although the Bible is not a history textbook, many things mentioned in it have since been proven accurate by modern archaeology.

You may, of course, find some parts of the Bible challenging to understand. This is normal! There will be many new, unfamiliar ideas and words. Over time, however, as you read and study it, you will begin to understand it better. Some parts have also been interpreted differently by various Bible teachers and scholars, and continue to be debated today. These, however, are usually peripheral issues: there is no uncertainty when it comes to the fundamental truths about God and how we are saved by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Is Jesus the only way to be reconciled to God? Can’t I believe in other gods too?2021-07-23T09:44:41+08:00

Some people wonder why we must give up the worship of other gods when we choose to follow the Creator God. They may say things like, “All roads lead to heaven. It doesn’t matter which god you worship, as long as you follow your religion faithfully.”

The Bible stresses, however, that there is only one God—the Creator God—and we are to worship him alone: “The LORD is God and there is no other” (Deuteronomy 4:35).

The Bible also makes it clear that the only way to reconciliation with God is through his son Jesus. There is no other way; we cannot be saved by believing in anyone else, by doing good deeds, or by following any rule or practice. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to [God] the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

What’s so special about Christianity? Don’t all religions teach men to be good?2021-07-23T09:49:25+08:00

You might have heard people saying this: “Jesus is a wise man who taught his followers how to be good, moral men. So how is Christianity different?”

The truth is, Christianity is not just a religion that teaches people to be good. Indeed, following Jesus is not just about following a set of moral rules. Rather, it’s about being pardoned for our sin so that each of us can be reconciled to God and experience an everlasting personal relationship with him.

Try as we might, we cannot be good consistently and perfectly because all of us are born with sin, and our hearts are inherently imperfect. So we can never satisfy the perfect standards of the perfect God. We cannot return into his presence by our own efforts, and we will all have to face the consequences of our sin—death.

That’s why God had to send his son Jesus to earth. Jesus led a perfect life, completely free of sin, and then died on the cross, taking the punishment on our behalf. It is only through Jesus that we can receive forgiveness from God.

Why do you call me a sinner?2021-07-23T09:50:00+08:00

Understandably, it can be difficult to accept that we are sinful. “Why do you call me a sinner when I have not done anything wrong?” you may ask. “I haven’t killed anyone, I don’t lie, I don’t cheat, and I don’t break the law. How am I a sinner?”

The Bible, however, notes that sin is not merely committing a crime or doing something morally wrong; it is disobedience to God and rejection of his authority over our lives. All of us, without exception, are guilty of this. We do not obey God or live according to his perfect ways; instead, we live by our own rules. That’s why the Bible observes, “everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23).

However, if we confess to God that we are sinners and believe that his son Jesus can save us, God will pardon us. If we accept Jesus’ gift of his death and resurrection on our behalf, we will be forgiven and declared free from the consequences and power of sin. This means we will no longer be regarded as sinners, and will therefore be able to enter into God’s presence and enjoy a relationship with him forever.

Why do I need to be baptised?2021-07-23T09:50:50+08:00

This is something that Jesus himself underwent and told us to do. Some churches will physically immerse you in water, while others will sprinkle or pour water over you in front of the whole congregation.

Baptism is a public confession of our faith. It is an outward sign of the change that goes on inside—it declares our decision to follow Jesus, and symbolises our identification with him and with his death and resurrection. The Bible says: “When we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death… For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives” (Romans 6:3–4).

Must I be baptised to be saved?2021-07-23T09:51:53+08:00

As churches may encourage or even urge you to get baptised soon after you turn to God, you might be wondering if you must be baptised to be saved.

The short answer is: No. Baptism is a sign of salvation, not a requirement for it.

The Bible makes it clear that we are saved by Jesus through his death and resurrection, and nothing else: “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:8–9). Nothing we can do—no ritual, tradition, or action—can save us.

However, as we mentioned earlier, baptism is something that Jesus wants us to do, because it shows that we have decided to follow Jesus. It is a public declaration of our faith. Your family may object to you being baptised because they don’t want you to declare your new faith officially, or because they don’t understand why you need to be baptised. You may need to address their concerns and explain why you want to be baptised. Ask God for wisdom and strength to speak to them sensitively, and to determine the right time to be baptised.

Why do Christians talk so much about going to church? Must I attend church when I become a Christian?2021-07-23T09:53:10+08:00

To answer these questions, it would help to understand what church is all about.

When you commit your life to Jesus, you join a body of people who have made the same decision. Paul, an early follower of Christ, notes that we are “no longer strangers and foreigners. [We] are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. [We] are members of God’s family” (Ephesians 2:19). United in this faith, we are called to worship God together. The Bible urges believers to meet regularly so that we can praise God together, study the Bible together, encourage each other, and help each other out. As we seek to grow closer to God amid challenges in our personal lives, fellow believers can aid, advise, inspire, and pray for us.

When fellow Christians meet to worship God together regularly, it is called a church. This can be a structured or formal meeting held in a building designed for the purpose, or an informal gathering held in someone’s home. Jesus promised: “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20). We encourage you to join a church where you live, so that you can grow in your faith there.

If you face challenges in attending church—either from rules that prevent you from going to formal church meetings, or opposition from your family and community, we encourage you to ask God for wisdom and help in finding other ways to meet with fellow Christians for support.

If I become a Christian, what do I have to do? Does it mean I have to be “good”?2021-07-23T09:53:43+08:00

Many people feel that they are unworthy of being forgiven and accepted by God because of their sin, weaknesses, and character flaws. They may be struggling with guilt over things they have done in the past, or with feelings of failure because of current addictions and inadequacies. You too may say, “Well, I do believe Jesus died and rose for me, and I want to follow him. But I don’t think I can live up to his expectations. I’m not good enough.”

Let us quickly assure you of this comforting truth: you don’t have to be good to be saved. All of us are saved by God’s grace, not by our good behaviour. The Bible contains many accounts of Jesus personally reaching out to prostitutes, corrupt officials, adulterous people, and those who were most despised and hated. In fact, he gave the greatest attention to the ones who felt most unworthy and unwanted in society. “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do,” he explained. “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners” (Mark 2:17).

Isn’t it difficult to be a Christian?2021-07-23T09:54:22+08:00

When we become Christians, we are called to be like Jesus—to reflect the image of Jesus by becoming more like him in character. That can seem difficult or even impossible, given how flawed we are.

But God does not place a heavy burden on us. We don’t have to try to be “good” on our own. Rather, as we commit our lives to God and grow closer to him, he will work in our lives and, over time, change our hearts so that we will desire to live up to his standards. And he will give us the ability to do so.

Jesus himself reassures us that following him does not mean taking on a heavy burden. He said, “I won’t lay anything heavy… on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28–30 The Message).

At the same time, we must be willing and ready to seek God’s help to give up any habits, practices, and attitudes that do not honour or please Him, and to pursue things that do. The Bible lists some of the sinful actions and attitudes that we are to give up, and the godly characteristics that we will develop as we grow in our relationship with God. “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these… But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:19–23).

Ultimately, becoming a Christian is entering into a relationship with God. It is not about following a set of rules and regulations. Rather, as you come to know Jesus better and grow closer to him, you will naturally desire to live in a way that pleases him. At the same time, he will help you to do this, by giving you the strength, wisdom, and guidance to follow in his footsteps.

They Have Believed

“Yes, I believe!”

Are you ready to follow Jesus?

If you are, you can tell God personally that you accept his offer of forgiveness by believing in his son Jesus, that he died for you on the cross and rose to life, and that you are ready to accept him as your Lord and Saviour.

This prayer takes you through the main points. The words are only a guide; what is important is your heart – how sincere you are – for that is all that matters to God.

God, I know I have sinned against you. I believe that Jesus is your Son, that he died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins, and that he rose from the dead to prove it.

Now I accept your offer of full forgiveness and eternal life. I accept Jesus as your gift of salvation, and I want to follow him. —Amen

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