What We Believe
Are you wondering what the Christian faith is all about?
Want to get 'in the know' about what we believe, and the peace it can bring?
Here's a quick rundown of what serving Christ means... and what it doesn't mean.
Being a Christian doesn't mean you have to be perfect. You don't have to completely 'get your life in order' before you make a commitment to Christ. Like the old song “Just As I Am” says, He accepts us regardless of how we're currently living, or what we've done in the past. There's an old saying that goes something like, 'where you are is not as important as where you are going,' and that means you can make a change in direction right where you are, right now.
Making a commitment to follow Christ means coming to him with whatever problems you're carrying, promising to work toward changing, and laying those problems at His feet. As you grow as a Christian and learn to follow Christ's teachings, you'll begin to see the way you live change for the better, from the inside out. Jesus Christ is truly the best friend you'll ever have, and as you walk closer to Him, you'll see his blessings change your life, and you'll find a peace that's impossible without Him.
Of course, you're going to fall back sometimes and do things you know are considered a sin... but remember, being a Christian doesn't mean you're perfect – just forgiven. When we fall and sin, we can come to Christ in prayer for forgiveness, and we're made new. As you grow as a Christian and begin to truly live more in line with His teachings, you'll find that you fall into your old ways less and less. Does that mean that life for Christians is always super easy?
Being a Christian doesn't mean life will always be easy. Becoming a Christian doesn't mean you get a special 'pass' that gets you around all the problems of this world. We still suffer like everyone else from the problems of living in an imperfect world. We still face many of the same challenges that everyone else does, and being a Christian will also bring new challenges. Don't let anyone tell you that being a Christian means that all of life's problems will vanish... it just doesn't work that way.
But what you can be sure of is that Jesus Christ is a friend like no other, and if you take His hand and follow Him, you'll gain a peace and perspective on life that's impossible without a relationship with Him. You're still going to face storms in life, but with Jesus, you'll have shelter in the storm, and a direction to follow for getting out of that storm.
Coming to Christ is life-changing, but not complicated. There's no 'application process' for coming to know and follow Jesus Christ. We can't buy our way into a relationship with Him, and just being a 'good person' won't get us there, either. Thankfully, beginning a relationship with Jesus Christ is not difficult – in fact, it can be as easy as 'A B C', or Admit, Believe, and Confess, if your heart is in the right place.
Understand that this 'ABC' concept is not to 'water down' what it means to be saved. Coming to Christ is a life-changing event where you first should fully realize the sin in your life and the guilt before God it has brought you. But if you come to Him in prayer with the following things, and TRULY mean them in your heart, you can know salvation through Jesus Christ:
Admit that you have sinned.
And who hasn't? You've never met a person who's never sinned. And yes, that includes you, your parents, your teachers, your pastor, and every other human being. The only person who has walked this earth without sin is Jesus Christ.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23, NIV)
Believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins.
Jesus lived a perfect earthly life – yet He was called to take the ultimate punishment for the wrongdoings of everyone else. He died a painful death on a cross for every one of us, so that we could have the offering of everlasting life.
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. (John 3:16, NIV)
Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord in your life.
Confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10, NIV)
And that's the deal. You can pray about this right now, right where you are, and if you truly mean it in your heart, you will be saved. It doesn't have to be done inside a church, or anywhere else in particular. You can start the best chapter of your life... today. You can come to Him just as you are, right here, and right now.
Of course, if you do make this commitment to Jesus Christ right here and now, your pastor would love to hear about it soon... and if you're not plugged into a church right now, we at Longview Baptist would love to have you here! You can always talk to either of our pastors when you're ready, either in person, by phone, or by e-mail. Even if it's just a request for a special prayer toward a need in your life, we'd like for you to consider us your church family, and we're here to help. Here's how to get in touch:
Youth Pastor Josh Sikes:
Phone: (318) 466-5313
Pastor Robby Poole:
Phone: (318) 466-5313