Can I be saved?

Can I be saved?

Asked by Mark

Hi I have a few questions I have only attended church a few times and don’t know much about the bible.I beleive in God and Jesus but am not sure how to begin the journey. I am in the military and have sinned all my life using fowel language,become hatefull of other ethnic people after deployments to Rwanda, Somalia and Afghanistan. And what if I had to take the life of another person while on duty. Can I be saved? How do I confess all my 38 years of sins.

Dear Mark,

I am glad that you are asking this question. It is no easy thing to look at your life and realise that you have offended God in so many ways. But it is the very first step towards forgiveness and I am so glad that you are making it!

Let me start by saying that Jesus came into the world to save people just like you. In Matthews gospel (Matthew 9:13) Jesus says:

” For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jesus also makes this invitation (Matt 11:28-30):

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

And of course there is the well known promise of John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him.

These are great statements and promises of God’s and Jesus’ love and intent. Jesus came to save people like you and me.

And Jesus has the power to do it. He shows this by his death and resurection.

In his death Jesus died for all humanity: he took upon himself all our sins and was punished for them. As a result we can be forgiven by God and made right with him (become “righteous”). Peter, who was one of Jesus’ disciples, writes this in his letter (1 Peter 2:24):

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Jesus died to pay for your sin and mine. And he rose again to show that he has done it! He is now able to fulfill his promise of forgiving and saving all who come to him.

This offer of forgiveness and salvation is yours when you put your trust in him, when you acknowledge your sin before him and ask him to forgive you. It is as simple as that!! In his letter to the church in Rome (Romans 10:9), Pauls talks about it like this:

If you confess with your mouth , “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

There is nothing more that you have to do: all you have to do is want to turn back to God and live for him instead of yourself.

You can make this change by simply praying to God in words like the following:

Dear God,
I know that I have not lived as you want me to. I have not loved you as I ought nor loved the people who live around me. I am sorry and want to change.
Thank you for Jesus. Thank you that he lived and died for me and rose again and is the Lord.
Please forgive me and help me to live as you want me to.

These are not magic words that make God forgive you, they should be an expression of what you believe and want to do.

Can you be saved? Absolutely. There is nothing that you could have done that Jesus is not able to forgive you for if you truely turn away from your sin and turn to Him.

Its not an easy thing to do. Like me you have a lifetime of sinful habits. But here God helps us as well. He promises to send his Spirit to live with us and teach us and help us to live for him. He has given us the bible to teach us about himself and how God wants us to live. And he has given us other Christians who are in the same boat as you so that together we can all help each other to live for God.

Mark if you want to turn back to God, pray that prayer and God will forgive you and pour out his Spirit on you. You may not feel any different, you may feel incredibly alive and relieved - I don’t know. But what I do know is that the God who raised Jesus back to life will forgive you and you will be one of his precious people.

I would then encourage you to read your bible and pray to God on a regular basis. You could start with one of the gospels like Mark. It would be good find other Christians and talk to them about what you have done. It would be good to find a good church to go to or a bible study group. All of these things will encourage you and help stengthen you in your decision to give your life to God.

I hope this helps you understand what an incredible thing God is offering you and helps you to take that step.

I will pray for you as well

Your Friend in Christ

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