To the unbeliever:

Salvation is simple; a relationship with God is simple. Jesus Christ died for your sins, which means that He took upon Himself the penalty that you deserve. This has been the message of the Bible from the first few chapters down to the end. Before Jesus came, animals without spot or blemish were sacrificed, which were shadows of Christ to come. And so that we clearly understood what our Lord would do, Isaiah in 800 b.c. wrote: Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He [Jesus Christ] grew up before Him [God the Father] like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground [Judaism in the time of Christ was corrupt; it was dry ground]; He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him [Jesus did not come as the King of Glory], and no beauty that we should desire Him [no one simply looked at Jesus and naturally gravitated toward Him because He looked like a leader]. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces. He was despised, and we did not look up to Him [men, in general, did not recognize Jesus as God]. Surely He has carried our griefs and lifted up our sorrows; yet we saw Him as stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted [by man] [the perception of those at the cross was, evil had triumphed over good; despite Who Jesus was, He was still put to death]. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace [peace between man and God], and with His stripes [wounds from being whipped] we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one of us—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so He opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment [illegal trials and false testimony] He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of My people. And they made His grave with the wicked and with a rich man in His deaths [physical and spiritual death], although He had done no violence, and there was no deceit in His mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD [God the Father] to crush Him [God the Son]; He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt, He shall see his offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. (Isaiah 53:1–10; quoted in part later in John 12:38 1Peter 2:25, 22). Isaiah wrote this 800 years before our Lord walked this earth. Over and over again, our Lord’s suffering is offered as a substitute for our sins and transgressions, just as the sacrifice of live animals were offered up for the sins of the people.

Now, I am not asking you to act or feel guilty; I am not saying that you need to renounce your sins or your lifestyle; I am not recruiting you for this or that church. Salvation comes in one way and one way only: you believe in Jesus Christ and you are saved; you trust in His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross and you are saved. This is your part in salvation; there is no work you must do, there is no mindset that you must adhere to, there are no promises that you must make, there is no lifestyle change that you must herein commit to. All you need to do is believe in Jesus Christ. As the Bible says: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Eph. 2:8–9).

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.” And when He was approached by two men who asked Him what works they needed to do in order to be saved, He said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

This is the greatest of all decisions that you can make in your life; it is the difference between eternal life and eternal condemnation. It is the choice between eternity in the presence of God or eternity burning in hell. No one else can make this decision for you; you cannot be born a Christian and you cannot become a Christian by trying to act like one. You can only begin a relationship with God in one way: believing in Jesus Christ.

If you would like to read more Scriptures on this topic, see Salvation.