Both the Mormon Church and Evangelical Christianity accept the Bible as the Word of God. Therefore, the Bible serves as the authoritative source regarding how a person becomes a Christian. Yet as a Mormon, you may already believe you are a Christian. The first question to consider is how does the Bible define who is a Christian?
Why should a Mormon consider becoming a Christian?
The first appearance of the word "Christian" is found in Acts 11:26. It reads, "In Antioch the disciples were first called Christians." The Antioch group was started by people who fled Jerusalem after Stephen was martyred. They were called Christians, or followers of Christ, because they had believed in and preached Jesus as Lord (verse 20).
What did preaching Jesus as Lord consist of? The message that Stephen died for was the same message proclaimed by Jesus and His earliest followers. In Acts 2:32 Peter told the people of Jerusalem, "This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses." In verse 36 he added, "Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." These first Christians believed Jesus had been crucified and that God had literally raised Him from the dead to prove He was the predicted Messiah.
How do these words apply to us today? As a Mormon, you are taught the Book of Mormon's view of salvation that includes, "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23). In other words, salvation or eternity with God is based on believing and working hard to obey the teachings of the Mormon Church.
But how do you know if you've ever worked hard enough to receive eternal life? Is serving a two-year mission enough? Is tithing enough? Is volunteering to serve every week for a certain number of hours enough? There is no certainty whether you have done enough to obtain eternal life in the teachings of the Mormon Church.
Thankfully, the Bible offers hope. Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches, "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." Salvation is not faith plus works. It is faith plus nothing. It is a free gift! All we must do is believe.
Certainly, a sincere faith in Jesus Christ will result in a changed life (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 2:10). However, works will not make you a Christian and will not provide you eternal life. Only Jesus, our perfect substitute for sin, can perfectly forgive all sins and provide the free gift of eternal life. In fact, John 3:16 promises, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." Faith in Jesus is not a way or part of the way to eternal life—it is the only way (John 14:16; Acts 4:12).
Are you ready to accept the free gift of eternal life Jesus offers? Do you want to place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior? If so, accept Him right now. There is no special prayer you must pray to do so. Romans 10:9 says, "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Below is a sample prayer of how you might make such a confession:
"Dear God, I realize I am a sinner and could never reach heaven by my own good deeds. Right now I place my faith in Jesus Christ as God's Son who lived a perfect life, died in my place, and rose from the dead to give me eternal life. Please forgive me of my sins and help me to live for you. Thank you for accepting me and giving me eternal life."
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