Now that you have invited Jesus into your heart to be your Savior and Lord, there may be questions that you have concerning your new found faith. This brochure is designed to try and answer some of the most common questions that trouble new believers. This may not cover all of your questions and you may need more thorough answers to the questions that are found here. If so, please do not hesitate to contact one of our ministry leaders at The Well. You are our top priority and no question or concern is too small or insignificant. May God bless you as you begin your journey to purposefulness, significance and eternal life in Jesus!
How can I be sure I’m saved if I don’t feel anything?
Salvation is not dependent on you necessarily feeling different. Some people feel drastically different, others do not. However, your salvation is not dependent on your feelings, but on the promise of God. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I WILL come in and dine with them and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20) The Bible also says, “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) So if you don’t feel any differently, don’t be worried. If you asked Jesus to come into your heart and meant it, He did and you are now saved so that you can spend eternity with Jesus and fellow Christians after this life.
What if I sin again?
Be assured, you WILL sin again. All of us do. As long as we are in this world we are in a fallen state and from time to time our natural inclinations will take over and we will sin. Jesus knew this. Romans 3:23 tells us that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” When His disciples asked him, “How many times can my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times in a day?” And Jesus said, “I tell you, up to seven times seventy (meaning, on and on).” God will certainly forgive no less than He instructs His disciples to. John tells us that “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) But then he also says, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) This is not an excuse to sin, but an acknowledgement of the fact that we all fail. So, each day we should confess to God in prayer that we know we have sinned, even if we can’t remember all of them. He has promised to forgive us always, over and over. However, it is important that we grow in our Christian faith through Bible study, prayer and fellowship so that God can begin to change us for the better. In doing this, we begin to find our purpose in life and find the joy and happiness that can only come from knowing what God has created you for and following Him.
Will God speak to me?
Yes He will, but you will have to get accustomed to hearing Him. Often that little feeling that you have deep down inside or the thought that runs through your mind leading you to do something good or cautioning you to be careful could be God speaking. He will definitely speak to you through your reading of the Bible and in prayer. Learn to listen for Him. He will never tell you to do something wrong or against His own Word. The more you learn the Bible, pray and fellowship with other Christians, the more you will begin to hear God speak to you and lead you on to the next step in your life.
Do I need to join a church?
Yes. Here is the reason. Christianity is designed to be a faith in which Christians get to know and love each other, hold each other up in time of difficulty and help each other grow. One analogy that is often used is that of a burning coal. As long as the coals are together in a pile, they will burn brightly for a long time. Take one out by itself and it will die out. The Christian life is the same way. If you separate yourself from other Christians you will eventually have problems that you do not need. Besides, there can be great joy being with one another in the family of God.
Which Church is the right one for me?
The one where the Bible is taught faithfully and you sense God speaking to you the strongest. There are many different Christian churches and there is one for you. Go where you sense God leading you and commit yourself to become involved and grow there.
Why should I join a church when they have problems of their own?
There is no perfect church here on earth. Churches are made up of human beings that sin (see # 2). However, we live with imperfections in every aspect of our lives. Our clothes wear out, our cars break down, our family members disappoint us, our bodies get sick. This does not stop us from wearing clothes, buying cars, loving our family or taking care of our physical needs. Why should imperfections in the church keep us from being there, especially when the spiritual benefits and joy of being with like-minded friends can greatly outweigh the negative?
What about reading the Bible? I don’t always understand it.
For new Christians it can be helpful to get a translation of the Bible that is simple to read. The Living Bible or the New Living Bible are good choices for beginners. The New International Version Study Bible is also very good for new Christians. In the church you decide to attend, join a Bible study group so that you can learn together. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, so read it regularly. Concentrate on the New Testament. It might be good to begin with one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John). They all tell the story of Jesus from different perspectives. Then move on to Acts (the story of the beginning of the Christian Church) and then Romans (Paul’s letter outlining the Christian faith). From there you can discover the treasure of all of the books of the New Testament and how they relate to you and your journey. After forty years of faithfully reading the Bible, I am always amazed that God speaks to me afresh with new insights as I read passages I have read many times before. The Word of God never gets old!
What exactly is this thing called “faith?”
The Bible tells us that “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is as much a verb as it is a noun. Faith produces action. When you asked Jesus to come into your heart, you were acting in faith, whether you knew it or not. In faith you will pray, read the Bible and enter into fellowship. You do this because God has said that we need to. This is acting in faith. Faith is deciding that you will trust God to take care of things, even when they don’t look good or you don’t understand. Faith is trusting that God has a plan for your life. Faith sometimes makes us look foolish in the eyes of those who do not believe, but it is precious in God’s sight.
What if I can’t be good enough to be a Christian? (see #2)
Remember, Christians aren’t perfect….they are just forgiven. Being a Christian is not about being “good enough”. It is about gradually moving in the right direction, allowing God to change your heart and mind. Remember, babies lift their head before they crawl, crawl before they walk, etc. The Christian life is no different. Remember that you have just begun the journey, not finished it. You will have an abundance of God’s grace to support you as you grow. Be gentle with yourself and those who are new to the faith. God knows and understands your weaknesses and misunderstandings.
What is “Grace”?
Grace is “undeserved approval”. Now that you have asked Jesus into your heart, you have received God’s grace, or, His undeserved approval. This means that when He looks at you, he no longer sees your sinfulness. Instead, He sees Jesus living in you and clothing you with the perfection that He has given you. You are now God’s child and nothing can separate you from His love (See Romans 8:38). So learn to enjoy the benefits of being a child of the King of the Universe. Forgive yourself of your failures, (if God has forgiven you, and He has, who are you to hold a grudge against yourself?) accept God’s grace and love for you and begin to let that grace, forgiveness and love flow out to those around you. This indeed is the Good News of the Gospel. You have been set free!
I am afraid to tell others about my faith. Is this wrong?
Not necessarily. Be patient with yourself and let God lead you in learning to speak of your faith. In time you will become more comfortable in speaking to others. For now, as you begin to grow, it might be good to follow the words of St. Frances of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel always…when necessary, use words!” Show your new faith in your actions. If given the opportunity you might simply state to someone if the opportunity arises, “I’ve become a Christian” and invite them to church. As you grow and learn more, you will have more you want to share and God will give you the confidence you need to speak when He leads you to.