When I was 17, I felt like I was 70 because I had seen things no young man should ever see. I was being raised by my alcoholic mother, who was married and divorced seven times. As a result, I was cynical. I had a tough façade, and I remember hanging around down in Newport Beach, California, leaning against a wall and trying look cool.
I remember the Christians would come by and hand out their little booklets to people. I would look at them and think, “Come talk to me.”
They bought into my act for the most part. They would quickly hand me their booklets and walk on. I would act like I didn’t care, but I actually wanted to hear the truth.
At home I had a drawer full of all the religious booklets I had received from every religious group imaginable. Every now and then I’d pull out the drawer and empty it onto my bed. I would sit there looking through all of them, trying to figure out the meaning of life. I needed someone to show me the way.
Blaise Pascal wrote, “While the present never satisfies us, experience deceives us, and leads us on from one misfortune to another. … This infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words, by God himself. … God alone is man’s true good.”
In the 2017 documentary “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” Lady Gaga said through tears, “I’m alone … every night. All these people will leave, right? They will leave, and then I’ll be alone. And I go from everyone touching me all day and talking at me all day to total silence.”
You can be in a crowded room or at a big party and feel all alone. All humanity is crying for something, and more specifically, someone. God tells us how we can have a relationship with him.
The Bible tells the story of a very important man, a government official in Ethiopia, which was a powerful kingdom at that time. He was in charge of the treasury, working directly under the queen.
He hadn’t found what he was looking for in the religions of his culture, so he went to Jerusalem, searching for God. Sadly, the Judaism of that day had become a lot of rituals and regulations, so he didn’t find what he was looking for. But he did obtain a scroll of Isaiah, one of the books of the Bible.
As he rode through the desert in his chariot, he was reading out loud from this hand-lettered scroll. Meanwhile, God had directed a man named Philip to go out to the desert and wait for this Ethiopian official.
And when Philip heard him reading out loud from Isaiah, he asked the man whether he understood what he was reading.
He said, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” (Acts 8:31 NLT). Then he invited Philip to join him.
He had been reading this passage from Isaiah 53: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. He was humiliated and received no justice” (Acts 8:32 NLT).
The Bible says that beginning from this Scripture, Philip told him the good news about Jesus. This official from Ethiopia knew the Scriptures were important, but he needed someone to show him the way. That’s exactly what Philip did. He told him how to have a relationship with God.
The passage this official was reading was about Jesus Christ, who is called “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 NLT). He voluntarily came down from heaven on a rescue mission to save us here on Planet Earth.
Jesus, who was the very Son of God, fully God and fully man, was born in a stable in Bethlehem and then grew into a man. He walked this earth for 33 years. He breathed our air. He lived our life. Then he died our death, and he rose again.
Christ laid down his life for us. He died for us voluntarily because there was no other way to satisfy God’s righteous demands.
The official from Ethiopia believed in Jesus and was even baptized that day. Sometimes people say they’re in the process of converting to Christianity. However, becoming a Christian doesn’t take years. It doesn’t take months. It doesn’t even take hours.
You can put your faith in Christ and be forgiven of your sin in just moments, and it can happen for you today, just as it did for the Ethiopian official. The Bible tells us that he “went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39 NLT).
Maybe it looks as though you have it all together on the outside. Meanwhile, you’re empty inside. You’re hurting. You’re lonely. Jesus Christ has everything you’re looking for right now, if you will put your faith in him and believe in him.
Even the most beautiful, famous and wealthy people will have to face their own mortality. If you have Christ in your life, you don’t have to be afraid of the future. If you have Christ in your life, you don’t have to be afraid of death, because you know the moment that you die and leave this life, you will go into the presence of God.
This is a yes or no response. Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me” (Matthew 12:30 NKJV).
You either say, “Yes, I believe in Jesus and choose to follow him,” or “No, I reject Jesus and refuse to follow him.”
This is the day when you can find the answers to the deep questions of your life. This is the day when you can have the emptiness in your heart filled. This is the day when you can be forgiven of all your sins. This is the day when life can start all over for you as you are born again as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Make the right decision. Say yes to Jesus Christ. You will not regret making the decision to believe in him.