Some time ago, I had really begun to question whether I was really saved, as I thought I was. This became, not just the fleeting doubt, but real thoughts and concerns about whether I was truly saved, and what would happen if I were to die? I had this overwhelming fear of death! I always pushed my doubts away, by reassuring myself that because I liked going to church, reading my Bible, and I had a desire to serve the Lord, that this all indicated I was truly saved; but this was the extent of my assurance and hope for eternal life. I had several earlier salvation “professions,” but it was always because a friend of mine had been saved, or because it seemed like the thing to do after I had messed up in my life. I recall others telling me, “You just need to get saved!” Not once, until the last six months before I was truly converted to Christ, had I ever known true, Holy Spirit conviction over my sin! Then, finally, I knew God was drawing me to Himself. Over the last couple of weeks, prior to my truly coming to Christ, I really started to question, and I read several of the personal testimony tracts of others. Consequently, I began to discover I had nothing of what truly saved people talked about, and I did not have a real salvation testimony.
One Sunday morning, I prayed and asked God to show me if I was lost, because I really wanted to know! Our pastor preached a little on salvation in the Sunday School lesson, but it was not enough for me, and I said to myself, “Ok. Pastor always preaches a salvation message in the morning service, and I will know, then, what the Lord is trying to show me.” On my way towards the auditorium, I was asked to fill in for someone in the church nursery, and the entire time during that hour I thought to myself, “I should be in there! How is the Holy Spirit going to show me for sure that I am lost, if I am not listening to the preaching?” I went home for the afternoon, anxious to get back to church for the evening service! The pastor preached on the sting of death and victory over the grave, and for me, that was my answer. I knew what was going to happen if I died in my sins, but that there is victory over the grave through faith in Jesus Christ, if I would trust Him and repent. To everyone else, it meant many other things, but for me, it brought everything right home to my heart, and by the time the last song was being sung I had tears coming down my face. The words, “I can hear my Saviour calling: take thy cross and follow, follow me. Where He leads me, I will follow…..” The Lord reached down and said, “This is Me, and only Me drawing you. Will you follow Me?” I had asked the pastor if I could speak with him after church, and when I got in his office, I told him I was not sure I was truly saved. We talked about the conviction of the Holy Spirit and professions of salvation, and then we talked about the love of God and loving God, and of knowing about God, versus knowing God, and there is a big difference between the two. We talked about having a personal relationship with Christ. I told Pastor, “I do not know God and I have never loved God the way he talked about.” Pastor then asked me if I wanted to get more confirmation from the Holy Spirit; all I could think to myself was, “I want this settled, and I can’t wait anymore.” This was just me before God, not caring what anyone would say. I couldn’t leave there without settling this critical issue once and for all; I was tired of myself and my sin, and seeing myself as a sinner before God, I asked Him to save me and come into my heart.
I know there is no “perfect prayer,” and I couldn’t tell you what I prayed, but I know, when I said “Amen,” I was totally assured that I was a child of God! That sweet, settled peace flooded my heart. Since then, God and His Word have come alive for me! The clarity and ability to talk to God as He is right beside me is a blessing, and amazing!
It’s no longer, “Well, I SHOULD read my Bible,” but, ”When can I read next?” The assurance I find in His Word is truly amazing. I am rejoicing and praising the Lord for His mercy and grace. Now I can love the Lord with all my heart and I never want to stop, and then I get to see Him face to face, and keep loving Him. I have a REAL salvation testimony, because I now have real salvation! It’s all because of Christ, and what He has done for me!
To God be the Glory, great things He has done.”