Zahid from Pakistan was running the streets and attacking Christians until one fateful day he found a Bible that was dropped on the ground. Instead of burning it, he read it and from that moment on it changed his life forever.
Yun was 16 years old from China who walked 35 miles just to get to see and read the Bible. After reading the Bible, he prayed for salvation and he shared with others about Jesus. Soon he was tortured and beaten without mercy. But every day he would be filled with joy as he drank from his cup that had a drawing of a cross on it. His faith in God did not fail. He felt God’s presence even in his trial.
These stories are very true. They show you the deep love and faithfulness they had for Jesus because of His love for them. They understood that Jesus was the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) One young man said, “Man chooses religion, but Jesus chooses you.”
If you are reading this, it is because Jesus chose you today to hear about His love for you. The stories of those young people from around the world committed their lives to Jesus Christ. For many teens, it is dangerous and could cost them their life.
But they all had something in common. They were seeking something to take away the hurt, fears, and emptiness in their life. You see, they found that Jesus could heal them and fill that empty void they had been carrying. He chose to die for them on the cross for all the wrongs they had done in their life and for that void to be filled with His everlasting love. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
They didn’t need to be perfect for Him. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 They could come just as they were, full of imperfection and wrong doing. All they had to do first was to believe in Him. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
They didn’t need to fear Him either. His love for them was unconditional. He offered the free gift of salvation to them so that they could be set free from their pain, their hurt, and their sin. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 Furthermore, He also gives that same free gift of salvation to you today.
But some of you may ask, “How do I get this free gift?”
Just as I am talking to you, all you need to do is talk to Jesus. “If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
After you have confessed your sin, ask Jesus to forgive you. As soon as you ask, your sin is gone. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12
Once we have believed and confessed, He calls us to repent. We must be sorry and turn away from our old worldly ways and focus our hearts anew towards Jesus. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Corinthians 7:10
That means we may have to change our habits or turn away from the things of the world that we like in order for us to grow in God and our hearts to be made clean before Him. By doing so, we will feel new and free from the chains that bind us from receiving freedom.
Remember, it is by grace you have been saved. Not by works. Not by doing many good things or deeds. Not for saying the right things. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
Altogether, by doing these things, you have been saved. You will still go through troubled times. However, you will find that you have a strength that you never realized you had before. God’s power will be given to you to stand strong, and to keep the faith in times of discouragement. His peace and joy will be your companion. God will guide you and lead you to others who share in the faith.
The young people in the beginning of this story knew this. They kept the faith knowing that their eternal reward would be to live with Jesus in heaven forever. Nevermore in pain, struggle, or tears.