I was in my thirties, baptized, confirmed and married in the church. I had all that the world could offer–a career, many friends, a great family, a good husband, a house, money in the bank, etc. I had never really considered my eternal plight; after all, I had done all that my church taught me.
Then I began to hear about being “saved” and “born again” (both Biblical terms) from my husband’s sister. She had recently become a born again Christian and she sent us literature and tracts to read about what the Bible says concerning this. Every time she visited, she spoke much about how you could know you were going to Heaven. All of this was so different than what I was taught in the Catholic Church. One Saturday night after we had been out partying, we stopped to see her at my husband’s folks’ house. She had her Bible open and began to show us in the Scriptures what GOD SAID about our need to be saved.
We listened to her but didn’t necessarily believe her. On the way home, I mentioned to my husband the thought that was bothering me, “WHAT IF SHE’S RIGHT?”
The next morning we went to a Bible-preaching church (that she had suggested) and heard things we had never heard before. It was called the Gospel–and a clear plan of salvation was presented to all who would hear. I certainly wanted to go to heaven, so when I got home, I began to “change my life.” I threw out many, many bottles of liquor (I had been a bartender); I decided I wouldn’t swear anymore; I wore more modest clothing; I even repaid a debt that I owed that I had left undone. Yes, I was now a Christian–or so I thought!
What I didn’t understand at that time, one does not become a Christian by “changing one’s life.” ONLY God could convert my soul. I continued to attend this Bible-believing church faithfully (after all, I had changed my life and going to church was important, right?!) and the Holy Spirit began to peel away the layers of misunderstanding, pride and wrong thinking. I began to see that I needed a SAVIOUR–one who could forgive me of my sin and impart eternal life. The Scriptures say in Romans 3:23, “For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” At each service, the preacher would declare God’s promises from Scripture of how Christ died for our sins (for my sin!) and with true repentance and faith, I could have eternal life. I learned through the Scriptures that Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” In God’s sight, no amount of good works would get me to heaven.
It took 6 months for me to fully understand my need and admit my sinful condition before a Holy God. I was under a great deal of conviction–that is when your soul finds no peace. Often, I would toss and turn at night wondering where I would go if I died that night. I needed an answer.
I finally sought some clarification and Scriptural direction from my Pastor and his wife, and on April 1, 1983, I called on the Lord to save my soul. I finally understood my NEED and HIS provision. I finally surrendered my will to the Lord. I finally got peace. I finally became a Christian. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED.”
This eternal life is available to anyone and everyone who will follow the Scriptures. The Bible says in I John 5:1-3, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” There is confidence in God’s Word and plan. Don’t be lulled into thinking everything is all right because you have all of the things the world can offer. If you don’t have salvation, you have nothing.