Invitation from Jesus

By Ron Jones, D.D. ©Titus Institute

Scripture quotations are from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version), © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


An Invitation from Jesus

Jesus came to give people the opportunity to enter into a personal relationship with him. Maybe you are reading this and know that you are not a Christian and have thought about Jesus, but have never really done anything about it. You have never made a personal commitment to him. I would like to share with you what the Gospels say about how you can come to know the Good Shepherd, Jesus, and become a child of God.

Maybe you are reading this because there is doubt in your mind whether you truly are a Christian, a child of God. Maybe you have even gone to church your whole life, but have never made a personal commitment to Jesus or you are not sure you have. I invite you to read this and make sure of your salvation by turning to Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

Jesus said that he was the good shepherd who cared deeply about his sheep, so much so that he was willing to lay down his life for them. When Jesus laid down his life at the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of people, he gave them the opportunity to come to him and receive forgiveness and become a part of his spiritual flock. Jesus said,

"I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep...For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. (John 10:14-15, 17)

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." (John 10:27-28)

Jesus invited people to come to him for salvation

Jesus knew that the trials and tribulations of life bring spiritual weariness and burden to the hearts of people. He invited people to come to him for spiritual rest and peace. Jesus said,

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

To come to Jesus involves trusting in Jesus

Jesus said that people "come" to him by believing in him, that is, by trusting that he is the Son of God who died on the cross for the sins of people, and that he will forgive their sins and give them eternal life if they trust in him. Jesus said,

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18)

Jesus death on the cross provided the payment for sin and forgiveness to those who trust Jesus. Jesus spoke of the significance of the shedding of his blood on the cross when he said,

"For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:28)

Trusting Jesus involves repentance and submission

Jesus was very specific about the issue of sin in people's lives. Sin is violating God's moral standards which he has revealed in the Scriptures. Jesus called people to repentance, that is, to turn away from sin and turn toward following Christ.

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17)

Trusting Jesus involves submission, that is, committing yourself to following him and his moral standards. Jesus said,

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)

Jesus said that if people did not turn to him and believe in him, they would die in their sins. Dying in their sins meant divine judgment. Divine judgment meant punishment forever away from the presence of God. Jesus said,

"For unless you believe that I am he [the Son of God], you will die in your sins." (John 8:24)

Trusting in God is not enough, you must trust in Jesus

Many people assume that it doesn't matter what they believe about Jesus. As long as they "believe in God and love him" they will go to heaven. But Jesus did not teach that belief. Jesus taught that God the Father desired that he, God the Son, also be honored and glorified. Anyone that does not honor the Son cannot honor the Father who sent him. Jesus said,

"For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." (John 5:22-24)

Jesus clearly said that he was the only way to salvation and receiving eternal life. There are no other ways to heaven or living with God forever.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

To come to Jesus involves asking him to save you

The Gospels record that the people that came to Jesus all did the same thing. They believed that he was who he claimed to be; they turned from their sins; they trusted him to save them; and they asked him to save them. An example of this is the last person Jesus saved before he died. He was a criminal on a cross hanging next to Jesus. He had sinned against God and man and had received the just penalty of his crimes. Yet God in his mercy gave him the opportunity while facing death to hang on a cross next to God's own Son. This man realized who Jesus was and humbled himself before the Son of God. He turned from his sin, trusted Jesus, and asked Jesus to save him. Jesus responded to the man's faith as he always did, promising him that he would receive eternal life with the Son of God forever. This is what Luke records,

Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. (Luke 23:32-33)

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:39-43)

Will you come to Jesus and receive eternal life?

The words of Jesus that you have just read are not only for those who lived at the time of Jesus, but also for you. Jesus is speaking these words to you and inviting you to come to him for salvation and to receive from him eternal life. He desires that you come into his kingdom.

How do you do it? By coming to him in prayer and asking him to save you. You must turn from your sin and acknowledge to God that you are a sinner and no longer want to live according to your own will but you want to follow Jesus' will. You must believe that Jesus is exactly who he claimed to be, the Son of God, God become a man, and that he died on the cross for your sins.

Ask the Lord Jesus to save you from the penalty of your sin and accept his payment for your sins on the cross. Ask him to be your Savior. Trust him to save you; trust that he will save you if you turn from your sin and ask him. If you are not sure what words to use to speak to Jesus, below is a prayer that you could use. It is not the words; it is the desire of your heart.

"Lord Jesus, I admit to you that I am a sinner and have sinned against you. I turn from my sinful way of life. Please be my Savior. I accept your payment on the cross for my sins. I trust that you are the Son of God and will save me now that I am asking you. I commit yself to follow you. Thank you, Lord. Amen."

If you are not sure that in the past you have asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can ask him today. In fact, you may have gone to church most of your life, and yet have never turned to Jesus and asked him to save you, you can make that commitment right now. Turn from your sin and ask him. Once you have asked him, trust that Jesus has fulfilled his word and is now your Savior.

You may not "feel" like a change has taken place in your life, but it has. You must believe by faith that Jesus is now your shepherd and you have eternal life in him. Begin your new life by committing yourself to reading the Bible and praying. Find a local Bible teaching church where you can fellowship with other believers and grow together in Christ. For more details on what to do next:

  • For New Christians
  • May the Lord bless you as you enjoy a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!