Years ago, I had tickets to a Barbra Streisand concert. But what I really wanted to do was go backstage to meet her.

I imagined what the guard at the stage door might say as I tried to enter:

“Do you really believe in Barbra? If you really believe, then it’s OK.”
“What do you know about Barbra? Can you tell me all about her? If you can pass this test, then it’s OK.”
“If you really want to get backstage, you’ll have to do something special. Give up everything you find enjoyable. Go do some good deeds. If you can show me you’re miserable enough and good enough, then I’ll let you in.”

What do you think? Does any of that make sense? Are these the reasons the guard would let me in? Of course not.

The guard would only check one thing–to see if my name is on the list of people allowed backstage. You’re either on the list, or you’re not. And how do you get on that list?  Simple: You’ve got to know Barbra Streisand–or more precisely, she has to know you.

It’s the same way with God. If you want to get into his kingdom, you’ve got to be known by him.

Not simply believe in him, or know about him, or even work good works.  You’ve got to be known by him.

Now here’s the good news. God has provided a way for this to happen. It’s through Jesus.

Jesus said,” I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Becoming a Christian is not based on what you do, or going to church on Sunday. It is having Christ himself take residence in your life and heart. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door (of your life) and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in . . . .” (Revelation 3:20).

If you would like to have a life-giving relationship with Christ, simply ask him!  Pray and mean it in your heart. He is alive and ready to listen. Here’s what you might say to him:

Pray something like this:

“Jesus, I’m sorry for the way I’ve treated you. Please forgive me.  I reject my life of rebellion against God.  I believe you are the Son of God who came to this earth to save me from a life that I have lived apart from You.  Please save me, and give me a new heart that is holy and acceptable to you.  I call upon you to be my Lord and savior. Change me from the inside out. I mean this. Though I will surely fail sometimes, I believe that You will never fail me.  And according to your word, I believe that I am now in You, and You are now in me by your Spirit. Thank you.  Amen.”

If you just prayed that prayer and meant it, Jesus Christ has now taken residence in your heart! Your decision to follow Christ means God has forgiven you and that you will spend eternity in heaven. The Bible tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

You may not feel any different yet, but faith and feelings don’t always agree with each other. It’s okay if fireworks don’t go off or you don’t hear God’s audible voice or you don’t hear a choir singing “Hallelujah.” You have a new life. Jesus said it. Believe it by faith. Faith is living like God is telling the truth.

If you prayed this prayer, let me know.  Answer this question.   (    I’ll be praying for you.