Has someone ever shared with you the Good News that Jesus died for your sins and asked you if you would like to turn and follow Him? Did you have some excuse for not repenting and following Jesus as your Savior? Is one or more of your reasons listed below?
1. I am a good person.
Compared to who? If you are comparing yourself to other people you will always find someone that has done worse things than you. But compared to God's standard we ALL fall short. God's standard is to be perfect. "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48. Even ONE sin will keep you from Heaven. But the Good News is Jesus paid the penalty for our sins for us on the cross. When we repent and trust in Him He gives us eternal life.
2. I am too bad a person to go to Heaven.
You are right. You are too bad and so is everyone else. The way to Heaven isn't based on how good or bad we are. The only way to Heaven is by repenting (turning from your sin) and trusting that Jesus paid for your sins on the cross. God loves us unconditionally. No matter what you have done He will forgive you if you come to Him.
3. There are too many hypocrites in the church.
So this is what you will tell God when you face Him on Judgement Day? God's question to you will be "What did you do with my Son, Jesus?". Whether or not you have an opinion about church goers will have nothing to do with your eternal destination. There are hypocrates in church. There are also hypocrites at work. There are even hypocrates in your own family. Does this mean your will disown your family and never go to work? This is a very weak excuse and won't hold water when you face the Lord.
4. Church is boring.
A Christian loves going to church because they love hearing about their Lord who saved them from their sins. They want to learn all about Him and are very thankful for what He did for them. They have the Holy Spirit in them who helps them understand the things of God. But sometimes, when those who aren't Christians go to church they don't always understand what is being taught because they don't have the heart of Christ. So a lot of times the reason you think church is boring is because of the condition of your heart. Other times your feeling of boredom could be because you aren't in a church that's the right fit for you. There are a lot of Bible believing churches out there. Find one where you fit in and are fed the Word. Some people say church is boring but in reality they have never even been to a church or maybe haven't been to one in years. You need to give church another chance. Don't make a decision about church unless you have experienced it recently first hand.
5. I already go to church and that makes me a Christian.
So in other words, when you go to MacDonalds that makes you a hamburger? The Bible says in Titus 3:5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost". In other words, no amount of good works, including going to church, will get us to Heaven. Only by the "washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" are we able to go to Heaven. That is being Born Again, John 3:3. Just as we have been born physically, we must be born spiritually. And that can only be done by repenting and trusting in Jesus. He makes us clean inside and ready for Heaven. We must trust in Jesus, not trust in our church membership.
6. I need to straighten my life out first.
Has there ever been a time when your life was totally straightened out? A time when you've been completely problem free? You've been a totally good person? There will never be a time when you feel you have "arrived" and are clean and ready to meet Jesus. That is because the Bible says "all have sinned" Romans 3:23. "There is none righteous" no, not one" Romans 3:10. Jesus loves us and wants us to come to Him just as we are. When we do, He is the one who cleans us from the inside out and makes us ready for Heaven. We can never do that on our own.
7. I'll wait until I get old.
We all want to live a long life. But are you sure you will live until you are old? And exactly how old is old? Each year as we grow older the concept of old age gets higher and higher. In other words, you will probably put off turning to Jesus until it's too late. The Bible says "now is the the day of salvation" 2 Corinthians 6:2. You don't know if you will even be alive tomorrow. Heart attacks, car accidents, murders, etc. abound. You could be the very next victim. Don't wait until it's too late. Repent and follow Jesus now.
8. I don't believe in God.
Just because you don't believe in Him doesn't mean God doesn't exist. Look around you. Where did the earth come from? It had to have had a beginning. If you are thinking, well there was this big bang. Okay, so if there was, then what banged together and where did THAT come from? God shows himself in his creation. He also shows Himself in the changed lives of his believers. That is like the law of cause and effect. We believe in the existence of the wind, air, love, etc. We can't see them but we know they exist because of the effect they have in our lives. Think about this - when you do something wrong you know it right? What tells you that? Your conscience. We all know we shouldn't steal, murder, lie, etc. Everyone on the whole earth has a conscience. Our conscience comes from God. It's universal. No matter where you live you know right from wrong whether you follow your conscience or not. God put it there. There is a God who created you and loves you.
9. I was born a Christian.
The United States is considered a Christian nation. Therefore, there are some who erroniously think because they were born in the U.S.A. they are automatically Christians. There are also those that consider themselves Christians from birth because they were born into a family of a certain denomination or religion. But the Bible says we must make a consciencious decision to turn and follow Jesus. We need to be old enough to see our sin for what it is and realize we need a saviour. We are born physically the first time but to get to Heaven we must be born again spiritually. Jesus gives us the right to choose. He wants us to choose to follow Him out of love. Each of us has to repent and follow Jesus. It has nothing to do with being born physically into this world.
10. If I follow Jesus He will make me go to some poor foreign country to serve Him.
Jesus doesn't make any of us serve Him. We serve Him out of love and gratitude for what He did for us on the cross. He gives each of His followers a gift to use in the church to help build and edify. If He gives you a gift that you would use in missions and He calls you to be a missionary it is still up to you to answer yes or no. God won't force anyone to serve Him. But there are all kinds of gifts of the Spirit and missions might not even be what you would be gifted to do. It could be giving, or teaching, or helping those in need, or even singing or administration. Worrying about being sent to a foreign mission field is a poor excuse for not trusting Jesus as your saviour. Take a good look at your heart.
11. All religions lead to Heaven anyway, I'll get there my own way.
If all religions get you to Heaven and they are all worshiping the same God then why do some religions teach just the opposite of others? For example, there are some that promote hate and murder and force you to follow them or loose your life. The Bible teaches God is love and you should not murder but instead love your neighbor. The God of the Bible gives you a choice to follow Him. How can both these religions lead to the same God? Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no man comes to the Father but by me.' John 14:6. If all roads lead to Heaven then Jesus wouldn't have had to die on the cross for our sins. The Bible says Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
12. I could never change.
When we repent and turn to follow Jesus HE does the changing in us. He will renew our spirits and then we find we want to do things we didn't before such as go to church or pray, etc. Or we will not want to do things we used to do. It's a change for the good and it's not something we could ever accomplish on our own. He loves you even in your sin and wants to be your saviour. When you repent and turn to Him he will do the rest.
13. The Bible is boring.
First of all, have you ever read it? There are a lot of people who say they don't believe the Bible but in reality they have never even read it. The Bible is full of stories about love, murder, wars, celebrations, etc. It's also full of wisdom and advice that is practicle for everyday living. If you are having a hard time understanding some of what you read then find a version that you can understand. The Living Bible or the Contemporary English versions are written in easy to understand language, the same as we speak today. Get a readable version and give the Bible another try. You may find you will be surprised at what's inside.
14. There are too many contradictions in the Bible.
There are? Where? Usually when someone uses this excuse they can't even show you one contradiction. They've heard other people say this and use it as an excuse for themselves. There are those who want so much to refute the Bible so they have an excuse to not follow God that they will find anything that even remotely looks like a contradiction and run with it. In reality, there are no Bible contradictions. Some verses might seem to contradict others if taken out of context or the language may be difficult to understand. But consideration must be taken as to where and when and to whom something was said and why it was said. The Bible must always be taken as a whole and verses must be compared to the main message of the Bible. If the Bible was written by mere men and there are real contradictions in it don't you think that sometime in the last several thousand years someone would have corrected those supposed contradictions? The Bible was inspired by God Himself and nothing has been changed because there isn't any contradictions to change. Read the Bible yourself, not with the heart of refuting God but with a heart searching for God, and see for yourself what the real message of the Bible is.
15. I like to sin and don't want to give up the fun.
This excuse is two fold. First, knowing that what you are doing is a sin shows that you don't understand who God is or His power. He created the universe and everything that is in it including you. We are all going to have to stand before God someday and you will have to face your mighty and powerful Creator. The Bible says "The wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23. This means eternal separation from God in hell. That is not something to play around with. The more you sin in the face of God the harder your heart gets. Second, thinking you will have to give up any fun shows you don't realize how awesome your life will be once you become a Christian. Christians don't check their brains, emotions or their ability to have fun at the door. Most Christians say they never really lived until they met Christ. Now their lives are much fuller and happier because they are filled with God's love.
16. I'm too educated or smart to believe the Bible.
An educated person gets all the facts before he makes a judgement or decision about something. Before you can reject the Bible you must first read it and understand it's main message. What does the Bible have to say about how a person gets to Heaven? How does a person know for sure he's going there? If you don't know the answer to these questions then you probably haven't really read the Bible. The Bible is the most published and read book in history. Don't let your intellectual pride keep you from searching all the facts and cause you to make the wrong decision about your eternal destiny.
17. I don't believe in hell.
When some people refuse to acknowledge the existence of hell it's because they are really afraid they might go there. If you've done something you know is wrong remember that Jesus came to take your punishment for you on the cross. Ask for His forgiveness and receive Him as your Saviour. There are those that say hell is right here on earth. In a small sense they are right. The Bible says for Christians we have an "earnest" of our inheritance right here which is a taste of Heaven. The good thing for those who follow the Lord is that this earth is the closest thing to hell Christians will ever know. The sad thing is for those who reject Christ this earth is the closest thing to Heaven they will know. There are about 162 places in the New Testament alone that speak of hell and it's torment. Before you reject hell as being real you owe it to yourself to read the Bible and see what it has to say about it.
18. I believe in science not science fiction.
Actually, the Bible lines up with modern science even though it was written several thousand years ago or more. The prophet Isaiah tells us the earth is round. Science didn't discover this until 2400 years later. Solomon described the cycle of air currents 2000 years before scientists discovered them. Science has found that the stars emit radio waves but Job mentioned this thousands of years ago. The Bible is full of not only science but prophetic information that man continually find to be true. Do a study on science and the Bible and you will be amazed at what you find.
19. I will not follow a God who sends people to hell.
First, hell was never meant for man but was "prepared for the devil and his angels" Matthew 25:41. But even though "God is love" 1 John 4:8, He must punish sin. That's because He's just and fair. Just as a judge in a court of law has standards he must uphold, even more so does God. If He went back on His Word that would make Him a liar and the Bible says God cannot lie. So He can't just wink at sin. But He loves us so much He came to earth himself to take the punishment that we deserve for our sins upon Himself. And when we choose to trust His payment on the cross for our sins and repent and turn and follow Him we are exercising our right of choice and our reward is Heaven. By the same token, when we choose to reject God's loving sacrifice for us we are also exercising our right of choice but our eternal destination will be hell. In other words, God doesn't send man to hell. Man sends himself to hell when he rejects or refuses to repent and follow Jesus.
20. I follow the Ten Commandments.
So in other words you consider yourself to be a pretty good person? Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen anything, even if it was just a paperclip? Have you ever said God's Name as a curse word? If you have then you are a liar, a thief and a blasphemer. And those are only three of the Ten Commandments. The Bible says in order to get to Heaven by the Law (Ten Commandments) you must be perfect. "Be perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect" Matthew 5:48. Even ONE sin ONE time in your whole life means you have broken God's Law. The Bible says if you offend in even one point you've offended in all. "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it" James 2:10. Trying to follow the Ten Commandments is commendable but it is impossible to keep them all all of the time. The Law was given to show us our sin, not as a way to get to Heaven. Jesus came to earth to fullfill the Law. He was perfect and kept the Law in our place because we couldn't do it. And even though He was perfect He chose to take the punishment we deserve for breaking the Law. It is only through repentance and trusting in what Jesus did for us on the cross that we are able to have our sins forgiven and enter into Heaven completely clean because of what Jesus did for us. Transfer your trust from trusting in your own good works and repent and trust Jesus instead. Your eternal destination depends on it.