WELCOME TO THE FAMILY
By Keith Reedy
This book has been prepared for the new Christian. All of us who are Christians
have been new Christians at one time or another. Probably, if you are like
most new Christians, it seems that many questions have come to mind for which
you have no answers. In the following pages we will use the Bible, God's Word
as our guide to answer many of your questions and help you to learn and hopefully
understand more about the direction that God wants your life to take from
First of all, let's talk about how you came to know Christ or, in terms that
you may better understand, how you became converted or when you accepted Christ,
or when you got saved, or when you were born again, or when you received salvation.
These are all different terms meaning the same thing. Sometimes Christians
coming from different denominational backgrounds or different parts of the
country will use different terms that mean the same thing.
Maybe you accepted Christ as a result of reading
a gospel tract (a small booklet that tells you about Jesus hrist),
or maybe you were introduced to Christ through a friend, someone who
has already accepted Christ. Maybe you were invited to attend church,
or maybe someone visited you at your home. You may have learned about
Jesus Christ through any one of several ways but the important thing
is that you accepted the fact that Jesus Christ is God's only son and
that He died on the cross and rose again three days later so that you
and I and countless others could share Heaven for eternity.
It doesn't make any difference how good you are, your goodness will never
get you into Heaven. In the book of John chapter 3 verse 7, Jesus
Christ said to Nicodemus, a good man and a ruler over the Jews
in Israel from a group known as the Pharisees, "Ye must be
born again." When Jesus told Nicodemus that "Ye must be born again",
his reaction was probably very much like your own. Nicodemus said in John
3:9 "How can these things be?" Being born again or converted or
saved or whatever term you choose to use must take place before we can:
A. go to Heaven
B. begin on the road to a changed
It works like this: We are not good enough to get to Heaven on our
own, but Jesus Christ is; and if we will have faith that Jesus Christ is who
He says He is then Jesus Christ's good name will get us into Heaven.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man
cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6.
No, we are not all serial killers or rapists or sinful to that measure but,
nevertheless, we have many sinful ways in us. The Bible says:
"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;" Romans
3:23. "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:"
Romans 3:10. Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead three days
later, because He cared so much for us, even though we in this generation
were yet unborn. "But, God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8. Jesus
Christ has the right to forgive our sin and to promise us that we will go
to Heaven when we die if we simply will believe that He is who He says He
is. If we will just simply ask Him in prayer to forgive our sin and
take us to Heaven when we die, 1 Corinthians 1:9 says "God is faithful,
by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God
is eternal life throughJesus Christ our Lord."
Now if you have accepted Jesus Christ as who He says He is, if you have asked
Jesus Christ in prayer to forgive your sins and take you to Heaven when you
die and help you to live a better life while you are here on earth, then
you are indeed now a part of the family and, on behalf of Christians everywhere,
let me say:
"Welcome to the family."
The first thing that you need to understand about Christian people is that
they are still people. They are people who have accepted Christ and who are
going to Heaven some day, but they are still just people. You're going
to find happy Christians.
You're going to find grumpy Christians. You're going to find some Christians
who smile more than others. You see, when we come to know Christ, we begin
to grow or learn, and each one of us grows or learns at a different rate just
like we do physically. One eight year old child may be nearly five feet tall
and weigh almost one hundred pounds while another eight year old child may
be four feet six inches tall and weigh only sixty pounds. We each have a different
growth rate or learning rate. That doesn't mean one of us is smarter than
the other; it simply means that we are different.
Talking to God and receiving answers from God is something that I'd
like to talk with you about for the next few minutes. Now that you have
become a child of God, you might be thinking: "How am I ever going to
talk with God? How am I ever going to understand what He wants me to do?"
You communicate or talk with God through prayer and Bible reading. Prayer
is you talking to God. Bible reading is God talking to you. You may also be
saying: I don't know how to pray. I've never prayed before in my life. It
is so difficult. I don't know what all the thees and thous and thys mean.
You pray to God or talk to God just like you were sitting across the table
from a close friend. Although you may use the thees and thous and thys if
you wish, it is not necessary in order to talk to God. God understands you
All you need to do is tell God what's on your mind. Of course God reads your
thoughts. He knows what's on your mind even before you speak the prayer. "...your
Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him."
Matthew 6:8 But it is important to God that you talk to Him. He really
wants you to pay attention to Him and talk with Him about the things that
are on your mind. Although you may if you wish, you don't have to say "Thou
art," or "Thy presence" or use terms like that. You can just
tell God that you love Him and you are glad to be His child, or ask Him to
lead you through a decision just like you would talk to a friend because,
after all, God is the best friend you've ever had or ever will have.
"...and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
Proverbs 18:24. Talk to God often. You can, you know; He is with
you all the time. "...and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end
of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:20.
Now you may be thinking: "Ok, I can talk to God through prayer
but how in the world is God going to talk to me?" How is God going to
show me those things that I need to know so badly?" God has chosen His
Word, the Bible to teach us, lead us and guide us in every way to help us
to understand what He wants for our lives and what He wants us to do today,
tomorrow and throughout our lives. So, in other words, to understand God's
answers for our problems we must read the Bible, God's Word. "Thy
word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105.
That doesn't mean that you need to spend hours and hours every day poring
over the pages of the Bible, but you do need to spend some time every day
reading God's words and let me say again, every day even if it is only a few
verses. The Apostle Paul points out this principle when talking about the
Bereans in Acts 17:11, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica,
in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the
scriptures daily, whether those things were so." You see, you need
to spend some time every day in God's Word, the Bible, in order to gradually,
day by day, learn or grow. "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk
of the word, that ye may grow thereby:" 1 Peter 2:2
You may wish to use what is called a daily devotional guide which is
a book with one section for every day of the year which guides you to a portion
of the Bible to read and helps you to understand that particular portion of
Scripture. If you do not have a daily devotional guide available to you, we
at BIBLES FOR THE BLIND ANDVISUALLY HANDICAPPED INTERNATIONAL
will be happy to help you to choose one. Whether you decide to ask God to
lead you to a portion of scripture to read each day or to use a daily devotional
guide, let me say again it is most important that you read something from
the Bible, God's Word, every day. You must eat food to keep your physical
body strong and growing. You must also read the Bible or take in some of God's
spiritual food every day to make your Christian self strong and to continue
Now we need to talk about another very important part of Christian growth
and that is church attendance. That question may be already answered for you.
If someone has cared enough for you to give you a gospel tract or to come
and talk to you about Jesus Christ, very probably they go to a church
that believes in the Bible and will be willing and able to aid you in your
Christian growth. Ask God to lead you to the right church and then follow
when He leads.
Following when God leads is a very important thing to learn. I would like
to share with you a Psalm from the Bible, Psalm 23. I hope that this Psalm
will come to be as important to you as it is to me.
A Psalm of David.
1 The LORD _is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth
me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of
righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
death, I will fear no evil: for thou _art with me; thy rod and
thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine
enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days
of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Remember those words. "The Lord is my shepherd" and as a shepherd
will lead his sheep, God will lead His people. God wants you to attend church.
It is important to attend church. "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves
together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much
the more, as ye see the day approaching." Hebrews 10:25.
Once you have found a church, it is then extremely important to be baptized.
To be baptized is to be fully immersed in water. It's like putting on a wedding
ring when you are married. It's like saying: "Yes, I belong to
God now and I want the whole world to know it." It's one of the most
important outward signs to those around you, and to God, that you now want
to do things His way. "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:..."
I'd like to share with you the meaning of yet another term. That term is
witnessing. To witness to someone is to tell them of something that you saw
or have experienced personally. One of the most important duties in your new
Christian life you will find is also one of your greatest pleasures, and that
is of telling other people about Jesus Christ. It is helping others to realize
that they also need Jesus Christ. I've found that in nearly every conversation
I have with someone who doesn't know Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will somehow
direct that conversation to the things of God. I believe that you will find
it easier at first to witness through your conversation with others. This
will also be a good time to pass out gospel tracts or begin to invite people
to church. As soon as possible it will be important for you to become
a part of your church's soul winning program. "And Jesus came and spoke
unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye
therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all
things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway,
even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:18-20.
I suppose one of the greatest disappointments for me when I began to go to
my church's soul winning program was when I discovered that not everyone
who attended church wanted to go out and share Jesus Christ with others. Some
people that I thought were tremendous Christians just did not feel that it
was important to help others to know Jesus Christ as their way to Heaven.
It takes so little time out of my day to tell someone how Jesus Christ
changed my life, and it only takes a couple of hours out of my week to help
someone to know how to accept Jesus Christ and give them the opportunity to
experience the change in life that I myself have experienced.
You have made the most important decision of your life, a decision that will
keep you from Hell, a decision that has already changed you and caused you
to become a new creature. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says "Therefore if any man
be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all
things are become new." It's so important that you now begin to
share Jesus Christ with others.
Once again my most sincere congratulations on your decision and a most hearty;
"Welcome to the family!"
Accept Christ--To become a Christian.
Bible--The book inspired by God, written through the hand of man to lead
man to Heaven through Jesus Christ and give him direction for a better life.
Born again--To become a Christian.
Christian--A person who believes in Jesus Christ as his or her only way to
converted--To become a Christian.
Denomination--Different types of churches for example Baptist,
Methodist or Presbyterian.
Devotional--A scripture reading guide.
Devotions--Time spent each day in prayer and Bible reading, a personal time
devoted to God.
eternal life--Life that does not end either in Heaven for the Christian or
in Hell for the non-believer in Jesus Christ.
faithful--Trustworthy, someone who can be counted on.
forsake--To give up or abandon.
God's Word--See Bible.
Heaven--The eternal home for Christians.
Hell--The eternal home for non-believers in Jesus Christ.
Holy Ghost--See Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit-- The spirit of God.
Lord--Ruler, master, someone who watches over and acts as a guide.
mercy--Forgiveness or kindness.
prayer--Talking to God.
righteous-- Upright, one who does not make a practice of sin.
Salvation--To become a Christian.
saved--To become a Christian.
soul winning--Helping others to know how to become a Christian.
spiritual--Things pertaining to God.
thee--(Old English). You.
thou--(Old English). Your.
thy--(Old English). Your.
Tract--A small booklet that tells about Jesus Christ.
witnessing--To tell about something you have seen or experienced personally.
ye--(Old English). You.
Bibles for the Blind and Visually Handicapped International
3228 E. Rosehill Avenue,
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Phone: (812) 466-4899