This is a very basic walkthrough of what savation means and how anyone can be saved.
Yes, even you, no matter what you've done.
1. What does it mean to be saved?
"Being saved" essentially means that you ask Jesus to save you from your sin and agree to try to live your life according to the principles Jesus teaches. In return for this, Jesus promises to help you with your life, and when you die, Jesus will tell God that your sins have already been paid for so that you can live forever in Heaven instead of suffering eternal punishment in Hell.
Anything you do wrong is a sin. It's that simple. Most people know that big things like murder are sin, but so are small things like telling a lie or stealing a pack of gum. The rules for what is a sin are based on the Ten Commandments, as listed in Deuteronomy 5.
According to Romans 3:23, everyone has sinned. Everyone. Yes, that includes you and everyone you know, including the best or most religious person you've ever known.
4. What's the big deal about sin?
God is a judge, and according to 2 Corinthians 5:10, when you die, He will judge your life and reward or punish you accordingly. According to Romans 6:23, the punishment for sin is death. ANY sin, no matter how small. That means anyone who has sinned will be punished.
5. Is there any way to escape the punishment?
God is very clear that the punishment for sin is death. You must pay for your sin. Fortunately, Jesus, God's only son, chose to pay for your sin so you don't have to. Jesus paid the price for YOUR crimes. He chose to be born as a human and live with us here on earth. Being God's son, even in human form, he never sinned in the 33 years of his life on earth. Because he never sinned, he had no punishment to pay, but he chose to take your punishment for you. It says in John 19 that Jesus was hung on a cross like a criminal until he died. For you. He died and was sent to suffer in Hell as a sinner. After 3 days, God raised Jesus from the dead to show us God has power over death. According to Romans 10:9, in order for you to escape your punishment, you have to believe that Jesus died for you and for your sin, ask Jesus to forgive you for your sins, and publicly declare that Jesus is your Lord and Savior. You have to claim it. It's like having a winning lottery ticket. If you don't claim it, you're not going to get the benefit of it.
According to Romans 5:8: Love. God created you, and like any good parent, God loves you. He doesn't care what you've done or what you should have done. He loves you anyway. Completely. Unconditionally. He always will. Jesus would have sacrificed Himself on the cross even if you were the only one who needed it. Yes, he will punish you for what you've done wrong, but he doesn't want you to die. He's given you a way out.
If you believe that Jesus is God's only son, and that he died for YOUR sins, and you're ready to accept his gift of life instead of death, then the Bible says in Acts 16:31 that here's what you need to do: Pray. Praying is simply talking to God. He is always listening. God sees what's in your heart, so he knows if you're sincere or not. If you're sincere, then part of that is to try not to sin, and to become a better person. When you pray to be saved, declare that you believe Jesus is God's only son and you believe Jesus died for your sin. Ask God to forgive you for your sins and ask to be saved. Ask God these things in Jesus' name. That's it. Here is a prayer you can pray that does those things:
I believe that Jesus is your son, and that he died on the cross for me. I ask you to forgive me for my sins. Please save me and make me a new person. Help me to do what is right and avoid doing what is wrong. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
8. I prayed to be saved. What now?
First, congratulations! According to Romans 10:13, you've been saved! In Luke 15:10, it says that the angels rejoice when someone is saved! It's important you find someone who can guide you from here and answer any questions you may have. Getting saved doesn't mean that all your problems will go away, but it does mean that you don't have to fight your battles alone. There's a lot to learn, and much of it requires face-to-face guidance. Find another person who is saved to help you. Someone from a local church will probably be the best choice for someone to help you. They should be able to answer many of your questions and guide you on where to go from here. In the event they are unable to answer a question, they should know who to ask.
A quick note about prayer: Prayer is simply you talking to God. There isn't any magic formula to it and anyone can do it at any time. When we pray, we talk to God and we pray in Jesus' name, which is why we end our prayers with "In Jesus' name, Amen." (amen translates to "so be it") God is always listening. He's been watching over you since before you were born, so when you want to talk, you don't have to wonder about whether he is there: He always has been there, and he always will be.
If you are unable to find someone local to help you or you need someone to talk to right now, try this prayer line where someone is available 24/7:
1-800-525-5683 (this is the prayer line for K-LOVE)
Have a great day, and remember that GOD LOVES YOU!