Christian Living

Make a U-Turn to Follow Jesus

Discover the Key to Be Saved and Inherit Eternal Life

In the Bible, when people seek Jesus to be saved and have eternal life, he gives them different instructions. This is perplexing. Let’s dig into it. The most common direction he gives them is to “follow me” (Luke 5:27). That is, we must follow Jesus.

Other times Jesus adds the precursor to repent. To repent is to make a U-turn with our life. We make a U-turn to follow Jesus.

When we make a U-turn in our life, we stop moving in one direction and change course to head in a different direction. This is a good illustration of what it means to repent. When it comes to eternal life, we change directions to follow Jesus. It’s that simple.

But what about those times when Jesus tells people to do other things as a prerequisite to following him? For some he said to give away their money. To others he said to change their ways or persevere or obey God. Then there’s the command to take up their cross and follow him.

Do we need to do all these things to receive eternal life through Jesus? It’s an exhausting list if we heap all these requirements together.

Yet each of these instructions was to a particular person or group. It’s specifically how Jesus instructed them to make a U-turn in their lives. The direction they were going was taking them away from him—not toward him.

He needed them to change course so they could follow him. They needed to make a U-turn to follow Jesus.

To continue our understanding of repenting as making a U-turn with our life, know that it’s not about reaching a destination. Instead, it’s that initial act of heading in a different direction. That’s what it means to repent.

We repent and follow Jesus to be saved and inherit eternal life. This means we don’t need to do anything else; we can’t do anything else to earn our salvation.

We don’t need to follow a bunch of rules or check off things on a lengthy to-do list. All other religions carry the expectations of a performance-based solution.

Christianity does not—even though too many Christians wrongly pursue their faith as a performance-based religion. In Christianity, however, we are saved by grace, through faith and it’s not something we must work for to earn (Ephesians 2:8-9).

All we need to do is to make a U-turn to follow Jesus. Everything else is secondary.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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