Who is Jesus Christ?
Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20
Jesus came to Earth to show us how God works, and how by believing in him and following him, we can be saved. And to show us how to live in a way that's actually good for us — how God made us to live, rather than what we think is the best way to live.
Around the year 30 to 33 AD, Jesus was crucified by the Roman Empire. That is, he was executed (put to death) by being nailed to a large wooden cross. Three days later, he rose from the dead. Jesus was resurrected! He was then seen by many witnesses — many of whom later willingly gave up their own lives to execution, rather than deny what they saw and believed about the resurrected Jesus Christ.
Jesus Isn't Dead, But is Risen!
Many non-Believers in the modern world assume that "Science says this is impossible". Yet science does not say that at all. Science doesn't have any explanation for how someone can rise from the dead. Some people believe that if humans can't currently explain something, then it must not even exist. As if modern human thinking must somehow be capable of explaining everything that can be (or could ever have been) possible. Yet research is the main activity of science, and new scientific discoveries are being made all the time. Obviously, modern science does not already know and understand absolutely everything.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they and some others came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They entered in, and didn't find the Lord Jesus' body.
It happened, while they were greatly perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling clothing. Becoming terrified, they bowed their faces down to the earth. They said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He isn't here, but is risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again?"
They remembered his words, returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest.
Christians worship and follow a living Christ! Christians also believe that we have a new life in heaven to look forward to after our mortal, earthly life:
We also believe, and therefore also we speak; knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
"Most assuredly, I tell you, he who believes in me has eternal life."
You Don't Need to Have 100% Complete and Total Belief
Before I was a Christian, and for a while when I was becoming a Christian, I used to get really stressed about this. Since I was under the impression that the key point which determined whether or not you were a Christian or not was that "you believed" — in the sense of believing certain things in the Bible to be true.
Clearly there are some things you have to believe. You have to believe that it's a good idea to become a Christian. But don't stress about whether or not you believe "enough". I think that if you truly do want to be a Christian, and to continue on with the rest of your life following Jesus as a Christian, learning about him and living by his teachings as best as you can; that's enough.
If your current ideas and beliefs have been heavily influenced by modern non-spiritual society, at first it will be hard to believe many things about Christianity. That's okay, because if you stick with following Jesus, your mind will open up a lot about what's really possible.
There are good examples from the Bible that you don't need complete and total faith — even to be one of Jesus' apostles (his closest disciples):
The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."
In the above quote from Luke, Jesus' own apostles thought their faith was less than 100%. The person in the quote below from Mark does also. This means it's okay for you to have faith that's less than 100%.
Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, "I believe. Help my unbelief!"
Jesus said that if you have faith as big as a mustard seed, which is a tiny seed about 1-2 millimetres across, it will grow as big as a tree. (A mustard tree can grow to nearly 10 metres high.)
He set another parable before them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches."
"For most assuredly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."
He said, "The Kingdom of God is as if a man should cast seed on the earth, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he doesn't know how. For the earth bears fruit: first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts forth the sickle, because the harvest has come."
He said, "How will we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what parable will we illustrate it? It's like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth, yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow."
The Cost of Being a Christian
Sometimes people say that the uncountably many benefits that come from following Jesus are a "free" gift from God. But we all know nothing is really free. There are always some costs. In this case, sometimes the costs can seem high.
Other people say it's really important to remind potential new Christians that you'll pay a high price to become a Christian. That it's really difficult, and there are many high costs. They say this is important to know beforehand, in order to avoid "false conversions" of people who turn away from Christ once they find some difficulties. But you don't really pay a high price at all. Compared to what you get in return. It's true that at times it may seem like a high price: But it can only seem high if you're not aware enough of the benefits — of just how good it really is to be loved by Jesus.
Jesus himself said that following him is easy:
"Come to me, all you who labour and are heavily burdened, 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."
He doesn't mean that there are no costs, he well knows the price many of his followers will have to pay. What he means is that even after those costs, when you look at the overall gain, the costs are comparatively "easy and light". I think sometimes people make too much of a big deal of the costs of following Jesus — and talk about them in the wrong way: In a way that emphasises the costs as if they were a big loss, when in the big picture they're actually a gain. The solution is to realise, and then to focus on the incredible benefits of just following Jesus.
For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we don't look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
So if you're wondering whether or not you do really want to become a Christian, don't worry too much about the costs. Faith in Christ, if strong enough, always wins in the end. And having faith in that victory itself is all you really need at the beginning.
Next page: You Can Become a Christian Right Now
See also: Why Become a Christian?