I had the great opportunity to share the Gospel on a number of occasions. My first opportunity was through my church, Cumberland Road Christian Church located in Fishers, Indiana. We had the opportunity to share the Gospel by going to the homes of people who desired to learn more about Christ, when they visited the church and filled out a guest card or contacted the church. We also went home to home in different areas of my community, meeting new people in different neighborhoods.

The second opportunity was through an international organization called Messiah Missions (www.messiahmissions.org) who often provides a meal and support for an intercity based group called "Meet Me Under the Bridge." This group provides a meal and fellowship every Sunday of the year, to the homeless who live under an actual bridge off of downtown Washington Street of Indianapolis. Since I am kind of by nature reserved when in group settings, coming up with something to talk about was a challenge, so I decided to go around and pray with others, and making a point to ask them about their beliefs.

One common theme emerged from both of my opportunities. This theme was that the majority of the people who I spoke to considered themselves to be of the Christian faith. Sadly, most did not have a firm understanding of what it means to be a Christian. When asked how a Christian can know they are going to go to Heaven, the vast majority spoke about striving to be a good person, or how they grew up going to church with family and had learned about Jesus.

There is nothing we can do on our own to unlock the gates of Heaven. In fact all men and women are sinners who cannot saves themselves. We are completely doomed because of the separation between God and man.

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;there is no one who seeks God,
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3: 10-18)

Most will say to themselves that I am not that bad of a person, and that God will have mercy on me since I am not as bad as most. The reality is that “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God“ (Romans 3: 23). Most will then counter with all of the good things that have been done in this life. What about all of the good that I have done!? Does this not balance out all of the the bad? I am afraid not.

“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6)”

Often people feel a ray of hope knowing that they have been to church and had learned about Jesus. Some had even grown up in the church, dressing up every Sunday, even going up for the communion cup. They remember learning that Jesus was all about love and how he has a purpose for your life. They really did not teach how to unlock that plan, but surely knowing about Jesus is enough right? And some had treated church like a ritual. Showing up to “worship “Jesus on Sunday, but turning their back on Him through the week.

21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Matthew 7: 21-23)

So what must we do to gain eternal life? We of course can do nothing on our own accord, but we can only put our hope and trust in Jesus Christ to do it for us. In a sense we must ride on the back of Jesus Christ into Heaven.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)”

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16)

“This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time” . (1 Timothy 2:3-6)

So what happens after we accept Christ as our personal Savior. Do we go back to living our old lives, caught in the bondage of sin? No!!! We are now born into a new life, set free from the power of sin and now living to serve God.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:1-8)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” (1 John 3:23-24)