Crossing over

After becoming a Christian your whole life changes. What once was very important now takes second place.

I remember well the bad old days, driving to Melbourne down that goat track called the Hume Highway. It used to be regarded as one of the great motoring adventures of our time. Even if, as a passenger, you had managed to fall asleep through Albury-Wodonga you would have no doubt that you had crossed the border once you woke up.

In place of the horror strech was a dual-carriage motorway capable of carrying any number of vehicles at high speed without the slightest danger of breaking an axle or your back.

In many ways the Christian life is like that – not everyone has an obvious religious experience as they cross the border from death to life, but one thong is certain, once you are in the kingdom of God everything looks different.

Unmistakable

You will notice differences in yourself as well. In place of selfishness you will discover a growing desire to love and serve others. Instead of indifference or proud arrogance towards God, you will experience a desire to please him, even at great cost to yourself. Andrew and Peter would not be the last people to walk away from a lucrative business to follow Jesus.

You’ll also experience a growing desire to know more about the things of God and as your relationship with him grows you will develop a dislike for some of the things you used to love on the other side.

You will also find yourself growing closer to Christians – the very people you once tried to avoid.

Where once you came to church out of a sense of duty, if you came at all, you now find real joy in being with your Christian brothers and sisters and can’t wait to share your life with them. You may well have felt everyone at church was judging you but now you feel comfort in the presence of forgiven sinners.

You will find that God’s Word will make sense to you and even when it is difficult you will experience the joy of hearing your master speak through the Bible – what was once a mere book will become the living word. You will also get a great joy out of hearing the Word preached.

You will discover a changed attitude towards prayer and find yourself spontaneously thanking God, confessing your sins and praying for others. You will discover that the real joy of prayer is not simply asking for things but simply knowing that he hears you.

Finally, the eternal destiny of family and friends will become a real concern for you because, having crossed from death to life, you will see so much more clearly just how dead death is.

The basis for certainty

The certainty of your salvation is not based on emotions, evidence or experience but on a deep knowing that transcends these things. This deep knowing is called faith and it is strengthened and made reasonable through emotions, experiences and evidence but only because faith, being a gift from God, enables the Christian to correctly interpret the multimedia messages he gets from God and the world he lives in. It’s all about an eternal transformation.