If you have never met the Lord Jesus Christ, we would love the privilege of introducing you to Him! He is very much alive today and knowing Him is the most important thing you can do, in this life and in the next.1
Paul's letter to the Romans expresses very clearly the basic truths you need to meet Jesus for yourself. Collectively, these truths are known as the gospel, which simply means good news. Indeed, this is the best news you will ever hear!
Paul wrote, "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."2 Not exactly good news at first, but true nonetheless. As John wrote, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."3 All it takes is one sin, one minor transgression, to come short of the glory of God. Even the best of us have missed that mark, and there's nothing we can do about it. Finally, and again not so good news, "the wages of sin is death."4 The only price we can offer in exchange for our sins is our own death. Many will indeed pay this price, eternally for "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."5
So how can we be saved? Certainly not by our own righteousness, which the Bible compares to filthy rags.6 How then? Well, even though "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," Paul wrote that we can be "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."7
Why would such a holy God do this for sinful people like us? Because of his incredible love: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."8
But no matter how much He loves us, God can't simply excuse our sins. On the contrary, His holiness requires that our sins be paid for, because the wages of sin is still death.9 However, God's love for us is so great that "he gave his only begotten Son" to pay for our sins Himself!10 In fact, the ultimate demonstration of God's love for us was that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."11
Such amazing love leaves room for only one rational response, as illustrated by those who heard Peter's first sermon on the day of Pentecost:
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.12
And as Paul wrote, "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."13
The best way to put these truths into practice is through prayer, as Paul also wrote, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."14
Your prayer does not need to be elaborate or eloquent. You're not out to impress God. He already knows everything there is to know about each of us, and He's not impressed. What He is looking for is humility: "for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."15 Therefore, in genuine humility, present your heart to the Lord, for "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."16
If you're really serious about meeting Jesus, humbly pray this prayer:
God, I confess that I have lived mostly for myself. Even the best parts of my life fall short of Your glory. I have sinned more times and in more ways than I can count, and there's nothing I can do to save myself from the eternal death that I deserve.
Thank You so much for loving me enough to send Jesus, Your only Son, to die on the cross for my sins. It should have been me hanging there, but He took my place so I could be freely forgiven.
Please forgive all of my sins, Father. I don't want to live for myself anymore. For the rest of my days, I want to live for the Lord Jesus Christ. And I want the presence of Your Holy Spirit in my life. Amen.
If you prayed this prayer, here's a promise from the Bible you can hold on to: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."17
In John 17:3, Jesus Himself said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
1 John 1:5
1 Peter 5:5
1 John 1:9