How do I know when I am ready to become a Christian?
I have just begun to blindly feel my way into Christianity, primarily by reading books and reading the Bible. I do intend to go to church but still feel uncomfortable, or not ready, in regard to my understanding of Christianity. How do you know when you’re ready to take the plunge? Is it better to go alone, with friends, or with a loved one?
I’m so glad that I received your question, because about 16 years ago, I was in your same situation. I read the Bible on my own and gradually felt my way into knowing Jesus, too. At that time I found it hard to talk to others about the beginnings of my belief in Jesus, and felt that my faith is a private thing that was between me and God. But then I read by chance:
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”
Then I understood that the Christian belief is not about hiding, but showing people around me what I believe in. That was what prompted me to move out of my comfort zone and go to church for the first time and tell people about my belief in Jesus. But enough about my past experience.
I’m so excited for you in your situation, because Jesus said:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
So the first thing to say is, congratulations! If you seek Jesus Christ, He will definitely answer your knock on his door!
And you are definitely going about learning about Christianity in the right way, because everything that God has to say to us is in the Bible, so reading the Bible is the first and most important way to know about Jesus.
Good Christian books written especially for those who are seeking Jesus are also a great way to learn about him. Some good books that are very clear about the message of Christianity and how to become a Christian include:
“A Fresh Start” by John Chapman, or
“A Sneaking Suspicion” by John Dickson
You can find both books in their publishers’ website, http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/mmstore/index.html
It is important to understand the message of Christianity before you decide to become a Christian, but it is essentially a simple message: if you believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross, then rose again from the dead, so that your sins can be forgiven and now you want to live for God—you are a Christian.
It’s not necessary to understand everything in the Bible to become a Christian—we will always have questions about things we may not understand, until the day we go to heaven and can ask God ourselves! Christianity is primarily about a relationship—getting to know God, which is a life long process.
May I suggest one way to find out if you are ready to become a Christian? Scroll through the “God makes sense” part of this website—at the end of it you will find the words of a prayer. If you agree with every word of this prayer wholeheartedly and feel ready to say it to God, then—do just that! If you feel that you don’t understand some of it, and cannot agree with the words of the prayer wholeheartedly, it would be good to find out more. Reading the books I suggested would help, and talking to Christians is also a great way to understand more.
Whether you decide that you are ready right now or want to find out more, I highly encourage you to consider going to a church soon! You can try to find a church that is committed to teaching the Bible, so that you can get to know God through clear explanations of God’s words. Also find something that you’re comfortable with—maybe one that has people your age or a format that you like, that you would feel welcomed into the community.
It is okay to go on your own, but you will need to take the initiative to let people know that you are there for the first time and would like to know more about Christianity. Maybe introduce yourself to the person at the door so that they can show you where to sit and let you know what activities they have throughout the week!
If you choose to bring someone with you, it would be good if they are also interested in coming along, or else it may make it hard for you to find out more if your friend keeps wanting to go home because they feel uncomfortable! If your loved ones are not ready to find out about Christianity yet, it may be easier to go on your own first and then invite them along once you find out more about how things are at church and can help them feel more comfortable.
All the best in your seeking journey and I know that Jesus will be opening the door for you in wonderful ways!
Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au