Q&A: Why should I become a Christian?

Why should I become a Christian?

Question

Why should I become a Christian? I'm young so please make it simple.

Answer

This is an excellent question and a very important question. And as we shall see below, it is one that reveals much about the person who would ask it.

The question, however, is also sort of misleading, so let’s first get that cleared up. Christianity is different from all other religions. In Christianity, God first chooses us. This is called the doctrine of election. This isn't simple to explain, but it means that before he laid the foundations of the world God "predestined" all who will choose him. That is, before creation, he chose all who will become Christians (cf. Eph. 1:3-4, 11; Rom. 9:11, etc.). Think of it this way. In any "religion" man initiates a relationship with a god, however, within Christianity God initiates a relationship with man. In "religion" man reaches upward to a god by doing particular works to earn favor. In Christianity God reaches down to his people with the free gift of salvation by way of the perfect and finished work of Jesus Christ. So, religion and Christianity are polar opposites.

That perfect finished work of Christ is God’s saving grace, and it is irresistible. A person who has experienced God’s grace weeps for joy that the God of everything reached down to establish an eternal relationship with them. They don’t ask, “Why should I become a Christian?” They are instead so overwhelmed by love, mercy and grace that they say, “What else should or could I be?” No religion can give this! There is no more blessed relationship! There is no greater discovery!

A more important question then would be, why are you asking about why you should become a Christian? Is it because you sense a need?. Do you recognize that there must be something more to life than the mere status quo? Is there Someone or Something out there that is bigger than you are? Let’s explore this briefly.

A Need

Individuals who are satisfied with the way they are don’t ask, “Why should I become a Christian?” They think they already have all the answers and are content as they are. Paul tells us in Romans 8:7-8, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” In other words, the so-called "satisfied" don’t sense a need for God and instead are hostile towards him. They don’t submit to God’s ways. They can’t submit and they can’t please God.

But some people do come to a point in life where they aren’t satisfied. They sense a need. They feel that something is missing in their lives as though there’s a hole that needs filling. They need something more. They are restless. They may not be able to explain it, but they know there must be something more.

Something More

Common sense informs us that there must be something more to this life than just riding the merry-go-round of the same old stuff day after day — sleep, rise, eat, school or work, eat, then sleep again. If all we do is live and then die, then what is it all about?

The writer of Ecclesiastes does a great job in speaking about the merry-go-round of life. He writes in Ecclesiastes 1:2-9:

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.

Most would agree that there must be more to it than just an aimless merry-go-round. There must be some substantial reason for this life. Surely we are made for something more! Could it just possibly be for God’s own glory? (See “Why the possibility of evil in creation?” below.)

Someone More

Now I will ask you, why do you have this stirring in your heart? Who initiated it? Why did you ask this question? Why now? Could it be because God is seeking you? (Luke 19:10; John 6:44). I recommend you take some time and genuinely ponder this. There’s a purpose to everything under the sun (cf. Eccl. 3:17), so could what's behind your question be what is missing in your life?

Not only is it important to ask why are you asking the question, but it's important to ask why this question is so important. While I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know you personally, I do know that we both have some things in common. Whether young or old, somewhere along the roads of our lives we have both messed up and not done what is right. I’d venture to say that our futures will have something similar in them as well. And if we’re honest, we have to admit that we mess up all the time. Right? Well, that’s at least two things we have in common.

The biblical term for "messing up" is sin (Rom. 3:23). It’s not a popular word. Regardless, all sin — no matter how small — offends God. That's because God is holy and just and so must judge sin. Trust me, he doesn’t miss a single one. He knows them all.

Sin makes us unholy. In other words, it makes us nasty or unclean. And a holy God cannot "dwell" with that which is unholy. And the really big problem for both of us is that the wages of sin, or the payment for sinning, is death (Rom. 6:23). Eternal death that is forever miserable and apart from God. Neither of us has yet experienced death, but we will. It’s a process that began when we were born and is ongoing. But our physical death is not the end. And that's the point! There is no end. Once created, life is eternal. But where will this be spent? Will it be among the living in heaven or among the living dead in hell?

Okay, so the last two paragraphs contained some really bad news. Well, here is the "Good News". What is that? It's known as the Gospel which basically says Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he is both God and man, he came to earth and lived a perfect and innocent life, he was put on a cross and died and rose from the grave. Why is this good news? Because if you believe this, you will be saved (Rom. 10:9-10, 13; cf. Acts 2:31). All those sins — past, present and future — are forgiven in Christ because God accepts his perfect life as sufficient payment for the penalty of your sin. And you believing and owning this means you shall live with God forever!

So, why should you become a Christian? Because of the Good News! How do you become a Christian? By believing the Good News! How do you live as a Christian? By obeying the Good News!

Related Topics

Why Choose Me?
Calvinism and Matthew 13?
Can your briefly explain election in Romans 8:29-30?
Will all mankind eventually be saved? (Isn't election unjust?)
Why the possibility of evil in creation?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).