Do I Have to Clean Up My Act Before Becoming a Christian?

Dr. Mel TavaresBy Dr. Mel Tavares4 Minutes

Billy Graham was a famous preacher and evangelist, known worldwide. He preached over 400 times in 185 countries, speaking to more than 200 million people. Each time he ended a service, he gave an invitation for people to receive Jesus. The old hymn played in the background, inviting people to come to Christ just as they are. God does not expect people to clean up their act before becoming a Christian. When people accept Christ as their Lord and Savior, changes begin as the Holy Spirit works in them.

Verse two of the hymn says “Just as I am and waiting not, to rid my soul of one dark blot. To thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, Oh Lamb of God, I come.” Maybe you have more than one dark blot, more than one mistake that you’ve made. Maybe you wonder if Jesus will really forgive what you have done. He will. You do not need to clean yourself up before becoming a Christian. He loves you, just as you are.

In Matthew 12:31-21, we are told Jesus forgives all sins, except the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit; that is to say you have deliberately and repeatedly hardened your heart against God. If you believe in Jesus and believe He died to forgive you of all of your sins past, present, and future; your sins are forgiven (Romans 10:9).

We need the power of the Living God, in the form of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us, to clean us up and make us new. Don’t try to clean yourself up before deciding to become a Christian. You cannot do it in the power of your own strength and self-will. If you were able to clean yourself up, you would have done it already.

Come broken, and the Lord will mend you. Come with all of your emotional wounds, and be healed. Do you need to be rescued? He is your rescuer. Are you empty inside? He will fill the void in your life? Are you struggling with a load of care, burdened by all you are dealing with? He is your burden bearer. He sets the captive free, breaks the bondages that keep you from freedom. Are you overwhelmed with guilt? He is the one who pardons you. These are all promises found in the Bible.

The Bible also says you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 8: 31-32). The more you get to know Him, through reading the Bible and spending time with Him in prayer; the more you will desire to change. You will be ‘cleaned up’ and become more like Jesus as time goes by.

Some people describe the decision to let Jesus clean you up as a ‘Come to Jesus Moment’. You don’t need to be in a church service. You can make that decision wherever you are right now as you read this. My come-to-Jesus moment took place in my living room while reading a book written by Billy Graham entitled You Must Be Born Again. You are loved just the way you are. You don’t need to get rid of bad habits or somehow fix past mistakes or clean yourself up before beginning your life as a Christian. You can make that decision today, just as you are.