How Long Does It Take To Become A Christian?

Acts 11:26


I.    The first thing is to be saved.

A.  In this "modern" age in which we are living the word "Christian" has come to mean anybody that names the name of Christ.

1.   A Christian is a follower of Christ, not just someone who says they are following Christ.

2.      Many people say they are following Christ, when all they are doing is following their own lusts and desires.

3.      Many people desire to worship something, and they know they ought to worship Jesus, so they say they are worshipping.

B.   The way of salvation is very simple.

1.   A person must come to realize that they are an individual sinner, who is guilty of disobeying the commands of God.

2.      They must repent (have another mind toward) themselves.  They must come to the place of confessing to God that He is right - they are sinners, and they deserve to spend their eternity in hell - that God is just and right to send them there, and that they are ready to go to.

3.   The type of repenting I have described above is the same thing as believing in Christ.  The lost person is believing that Christ is right about themselves, not just right about all sinners in general.  This is very specific and very personal - just between God and the sinner.

4.      Christ gives the power to believe - John 1:12 - But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.


II.   The only thing remaining is to obey the commands of God.

A.  The body must be brought under subjection to the spirit of Christ.  This is done by the power of God, and not by the strength of the flesh.  It is not be determining that we will not commit such and such a sin.  It is done by determining to do what God says we ought to do, regardless of what our mind and body desire, or what we believe our rights in the matter is. 

1.   I John 5:1-3 - Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

2.   I  Cor. 9:27 - Bring my body into subjection.  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

3.      Rom. 12:1,2 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

B.   There must be an understanding about sin after a person is saved.

1.   I John 1:8-10 - If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

2.   Phil 3:12-16 - There is a realization that after a life of full time faithful service to God, we haven't attained that which we should.  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

3.      Heb. 12:1,2 - We will strive to serve God because of the vast numbers of witnesses.  Who are these witnesses?  Not those people that are looking at our lives, but according to chapter 11, the vast number of witnesses we have looked into the Bible and found that faithfully served God during their lifetimes.  These people are an encouragement to us.  Note:  If you don't read the Bible, especially Old Testament stories, you won't have this great cloud of witnesses to help you.  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

4.   II Tim. 4:7,8 - You will come to the end of your life, after having faithfully stood for God's laws and faithfully served him, knowing that you have done what Christ wanted you to do.  You are not basing your confidence upon what men say, but upon what God says.  You will be satisfied with your life.  7  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

5.         Psalms 17:15 - ...I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness