I was raised in a Baptist church in Southeast Michigan, where I heard preaching and teaching from the Word of God all of my life. My parents took me to church as soon as I was born, so all of my childhood memories are intermingled with church events.
I was the youngest of the three children, and both of my older siblings had made professions of faith by the time they were seven years old. When I turned 7, I thought my time for salvation had come. I struggled to understand all the aspects of salvation, specifically with the operation of faith. I understood that I was a sinner, and that the wages of sin was death. I also understood that Jesus had died on the cross, and shed his blood so that I might be forgiven.
I visited the altar at our church frequently as a child. I remember praying the sinner’s prayer several times as a child, and then getting baptized, but it seemed that nothing would ever change in my life. I would go right back to my old ways and was the same person that I always had been, and had no assurance that I had been saved. Even after being baptized I was haunted with thoughts of death and separation from God, especially at night time. I had claimed to be saved, but deep in my heart I knew I was not.
Finally, when I was about 12 years of age, I fell under the heavy conviction of God. The apostle Paul said in I Thessalonians 1:5, “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance…”
Luke 24:32 tells how the two disciples on the road to Emmaus felt as Christ spoke with them, “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
When I fell under conviction, those verses describe exactly what happened to me. I was sitting in church on Sunday morning, and my pastor was preaching from Isaiah 53:5-6, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
I knew that my personal sin had been laid on the back of Christ, and that he suffered for me as an individual. II Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he (God) hath made him (Jesus Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
I had an immense guilt as a result of Jesus Christ suffering due to the sins that I had committed. I Corinthians 15:3 says that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. I also had something going on inside of my soul that I could only describe as a burning of my heart. I knew that God was speaking to me, and there was no mistaking it.
I also had knowledge from the Scriptures that if I died without being saved, I would go to a place called hell. The Scriptures describe hell as a terrible place, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched, a place of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and the list goes on. I was familiar with the story of the rich man in Luke 16 that lived his life in luxury, but died and went to this terrible place and couldn’t even get a drink of water. My church had scripture signs on the wall, and one of them was the well-known passage of Mark 8:36 that said, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” I pondered this verse often as a child and knew that all the gains of the world meant nothing if my soul was lost.
I knew I was lost, and needed to be saved. I knew that Christ died for my sins, and had an inner sorrow for my sinfulness. I knew that I didn’t want to die without Christ.
I praise God for the good news of gospel! Once I was willing to take responsibility for my failures, God showed me the wonder of His great love. Each drop of blood that flowed from precious Saviour on the day of his crucifixion spoke to his love for me. I Timothy 1:15 says very clearly that Christ came into the world to save sinners, and that every person should accept this fact.
As the church service would draw to a close, I had a fervent desire to visit the altar at our church once again. I knelt down at the altar, and confessed every sin I knew that I had committed and asked the Lord to forgive me, but I still had no peace in my heart. The inner burden of sin on my heart was very heavy.
I then began to plead with the Lord claiming verses in Scripture. One of the verses that I began to pray about was the verse in Matthew 11:28 that says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
The other verse that I was praying about was John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
My prayer wasn’t a conventional sinner’s prayer. I confessed my sin, then I began to plead with Lord to give me inner peace about salvation based on the fact that he told me to come unto him, and told me that if I came to him that he wouldn’t cast me out. At some point as I pleaded with the Lord, I began to realize that I had to trust him to do what he told me that he would do. He promised to save me if I came and believed; I simply had to believe him to save me. I distinctly remember saying, “Lord, I believe” several times.
Someone once asked me, what were you believing? My response to that question is several things:
1. I believed that I was a sinner, and apart from Christ I had no hope
2. I believed Christ died on the cross for my sins, and was buried and raised again the third day
3. I believed that Christ would save me if presented myself as a repentant sinner
Almost immediately after I began saying, “Lord, I Believe,” I remember a great inner burden lifted off of me! I also remember receiving a sweet inner peace that I had never experienced before! Only God could have calmed the inner storm in my soul, and I praise God that he saved my soul on that day! Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” I had that inner witness, and there was no mistaking it! I knelt down as a burdened sinner, and stood up as a forgiven and redeemed individual.
I hope and pray that this testimony will encourage others to be saved. Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn people, He came to save people! If you are lost, Jesus died so that you would be saved. The Scriptures declare that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. I found peace and forgiveness when I received the Saviour! John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
Salvation is not just asking Christ to save, it is Believing and Trusting Christ to save! In order to Receive Christ according to John 1:12, you must Believe and Trust!
Acts 16:30-31, “… Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,…”
John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
For more information on being saved, please contact:
Grants Creek Baptist Church
14685 Lower Grants Creek Rd
Rising Sun, IN 47040
Ephesians 3:21 says, “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus
throughout all ages, world without end. Amen”