How To Find God — Searching For God
God has promised that if you are seriously searching for Him with all your heart, He will let you find Him. That is, you can find God if you are searching for God.
You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you. . . Jeremiah 29:12-14 (NASB)
A wonderful illustration of searching for God is recorded in the book of Acts (Acts 8:25-40). We are told an Ethiopian eunuch was traveling in a chariot. He was reading a prophecy in the Bible about Jesus Christ in Isaiah 53:7-8, but he did not understand what he was reading. The man was looking for God. God responded by sending a man named Philip to meet the eunuch and explain that the passage was about Jesus Christ. As a result, the eunuch found God. He believed Jesus Christ died for his sins. Jesus did everything necessary for him to have his sins forgiven, escape hell and go to heaven (Acts 8:35-39).
This true life event reveals that God knows if you are searching for Him, He will reveal Himself to you. God knows if you want to find Him. Are you looking for God? If so, God will help you find Him. If you are in search of God, you should know that God the Holy Spirit is drawing you to Himself. He wants a relationship with you. God loves you and has made it possible for you to have your sins forgiven so that you can escape hell and go to heaven. The question is: do you want a relationship with God? Do you want your sins to be forgiven?
Practical Steps – Searching For God
Now you might ask what are the practical steps to searching for God? Here are four important steps that others have followed and as a result they found God. The following is what those who are in search of God must believe.
The first step is to talk to God. Share your heart with Him. Tell Him that you want a relationship with God. Ask Him to help you find Him. If you are serious about looking for God, He will help you.
Read the Bible –
The second step is start reading the Bible. You could start in the gospel of John in the Bible. Start at the beginning and read as much as you can at one time. Then continue reading each day. While you are reading ask God to help you understand what you are reading. If you are serious, the Holy Spirit will help you. If you have a question, please submit a question and we will help you.
Focus Your Search On Jesus –
The third step is to focus on Jesus as you read the gospel of John in the Bible. Notice what is said about Him, what He taught and what miracles He performed. You will discover He is God. If you also read Luke 1:26-38 and Luke 2:1-20, you will discover that He became a man. Notice that Luke 2:1-7 tells us that Jesus was born in a city called Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 (700 B.C.) prophesied that a baby would be born in a city called Bethlehem Ephrathah. He would be from “antiquity” and “eternity.” He would be an eternal being. Only God is eternal. That is, the baby would be both God and man. Then about 2 B.C. the prophecy was fulfilled when a baby named Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem Ephrathah. That is, Jesus was and is God. This is the first important discovery in your search for God.
Finding Your Relationship With God –
The fourth step in your search for a relationship with God is to understand what you must believe about Jesus Christ. You cannot have a relationship with God by doing good works. You cannot go to heaven by being a good person. If you try to earn your way into heaven, you will go to hell. God tells us in Isaiah 64:6 that even our best deeds are nothing more than filthy rags to Him. Therefore, the next section explains what you must believe about Jesus Christ in order to go to heaven. What you believe and how you respond to what you believe indicates if you have a relationship with God and will go to heaven.
What You Must Believe – To Go To Heaven
There are six essential truths that you must believe about yourself and Jesus Christ in order to have a relationship with God and go to heaven. The first one is that Jesus is God.
Jesus Is God
While Jesus was on the earth, He repeatedly taught that He is God (John 5:18; 8:58; 10:30, 33, 36). John 10:33 tells us the Jewish leaders understood that Jesus said He was God. Consequently, they wanted to murder Him.
While Jesus lived among us, He proved that He was God (John 20:30-31) by healing, casting out demons, raising the dead (Matthew 4:24-25), walking on water (John 6:16-25), controlling a storm, and feeding five thousand people from only five loaves of bread and two fish (John 6:1-14). Matthew 4:24-25 gives this report.
The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan. Matthew 4:24-25 (NASB)
The historical records of two non-Christian writers, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, record that Jesus did miracles. Only God could perform these miracles.
Jesus Is Holy and You Are Not
The Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ is holy because Acts 3:14 calls Him the “Holy and Righteous One.” In Luke 4:34 some demons called Him the “Holy One.” In Isaiah 6:3 the angels praised Him with “Holy, Holy, Holy.” These passages tell us that Jesus Christ is holy. This is wonderful good news. We have just discovered the good news that Jesus is our holy God. But the bad news is that we are not holy. Every person has sinned just as Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” What is sin? Sin is disobeying God (1 John 3:4, 8). If you have committed any sin, the Bible says you deserve to go to hell. Since even anger, greed and lying are sins, this means everyone has sinned.
There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God . . . Romans 3:10 (NASB)
As a result, the Bible teaches we deserve to die a spiritual death, to be eternally separated from God and go to hell when we physically die. Ezekiel 18:4, 20 says, “The soul who sins will die. . . the person who sins will die.” Romans 6:23 says,
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NASB)
That means you are going to hell unless you accept God’s free gift of eternal salvation.
Jesus Died To Forgive Your Sins
John 1:29 says that Jesus Christ came to take away our sins.
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 (ESV)
You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 1 John 3:5 (NASB)
He did this by dying a horrible death on a wooden cross. When He died on the cross, the Bible says He died in your place and paid for your sins (1 Peter 3:18). He died for you. Why did God do this? John 3:16 says that our holy God did this for us—for you!
For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life . . . whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed . . . John 3:16, 18 (NIV)
Jesus Was Resurrected
Three days after Jesus was buried, He was resurrected as the prophecies had foretold (Psalm 16:8-11; Acts 2:25-36).
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 (NASB)
When Jesus returned to life, it proved He was God and His death on the cross made it possible for a person to be saved from hell if the individual believes He did everything necessary for him or her to be forgiven (Romans 1:4; 4:25). He did all of this so that your sins can be forgiven and you can live with Him forever in heaven.
Only Jesus Can Forgive Your Sins
The Bible tells us that Jesus is the only One who can forgive your sins and give you eternal life in heaven. Acts 4:12 says, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
How To Go To Heaven . . .
Here is the final step for those in search of God. There are four things that will be true about you if you are going to heaven. The four things are:
1. You Will Believe In Christ
The Bible teaches that a true Christian will believe that only Jesus can and will forgive your sins because He paid the price for our sins when He died on the cross and returned to life. He did everything necessary for your sins to be completely forgiven (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). There is nothing you can do to earn forgiveness for your sins and be able to go to heaven.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures . . . 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NASB)
Do you believe Jesus is God and died for your sins and then was resurrected three days later?
2. You Must Repent of Your Sins
Jesus did not come to forgive the sins of those who believe they are good people. Only those who believe they need to have their sins forgiven will seek God’s forgiveness. Jesus said,
I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).
That is, naturally “good” people do not go to heaven. Only those who understand they are sinners and need to be forgiven will go to heaven. Then later Jesus said,
” I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:5).
Only those who are repentant of their sins and desire God’s forgiveness will go to heaven. Is that true of you?
3. You Know You Cannot Earn Your Salvation
Jesus said in Matthew 19:17 that only One is good, and that person is God. That means none of us are good. Therefore, Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that we cannot earn our salvation by doing good works.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
That is, a person cannot earn salvation or the right to go to heaven by doing good works because they cannot do anything that earns them salvation. Do you understand that you cannot do anything to earn your salvation?
4. Yield Yourself To God
Finally, those who truly believe in Christ will submit to God. That is the message of Romans 10:9.
. . . if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9 (NASB)
You must understand that salvation is a free gift and you cannot earn forgiveness (Ephesians 2:8-9). True faith responds in repentance of one’s sins, believing that only Christ can forgive your sins because He did everything that is necessary for your sins to be forgiven, and then submits in obedience to God. Do you want God to change your life and help you stop sinning?
What To Say to God
If the four statements above are true of you, then you are already a Christian. You may want to tell God how you feel about your sins and that you want His forgiveness. You should thank Him for forgiving your sins, if indeed the four statements above are true of you. Please know that the prayer does not save you, but a prayer will express to God what you believe and will express your thanks to Him.
Dear God, I am sorry that I have disobeyed you by sinning. I believe that Jesus died and rose again so that my sins can be forgiven. Thank you for your forgiveness. Help me to live as You would want me to live. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Please know that the prayer did not save you. It is only an expression of what is true in your heart. You are a Christian if the four earlier statement points above are true of you. The proof that you are a real Christian will become evident in your behavior.
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