I claim to be a Christian. This is my personal testimony of how I came to the Lord.
Every Christian’s testimony is different, but the plan of salvation always includes the following: the realization of the need to be reconciled to God; a conviction of sin; repentance (changing the mind); a willingness and desire to accept Jesus Christ as personal Saviour; belief in His death, burial, and resurrection; and faith in His merit alone.
The following is how God worked in my life to bring me to salvation.
While growing up, I attended church with my family every time the doors were opened. I was taught Bible stories and knew the plan of salvation from an early age. I was baptized as a youth. I served as janitor of the church, cleaning it every week with one of my siblings. In addition, I mowed the church yard and shoveled the sidewalks. I was in the youth group and sang in the church choir. At times I even participated in church services, but through all of these things I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The fact that I did not have a relationship with Christ was manifested by my eagerness to sin as I struggled to get out from under my parent’s authority. My life became characterized by the things done by those whom the Scriptures describe as being alienated from God, but I was having a great time or so I thought.
The difficulty with the sin (disobeying direct commands of Scripture) and having a great time participating in this lifestyle, was the emptiness left within. While a student at a small college in the Midwest, I wrote the following: Love is eating away at my soul, and I can do nothing for its control. I wish someone could help me, but no one can. I’m destined to die a lonely man.
There were two things wrong with that statement. First, it wasn’t love eating away at my soul, it was sin. Second, it wasn’t true that no one could help me, the Lord could. He heard my cry, but He had to put me in a position where I would want His help.
The tragic deaths of four young men got my attention. They died doing things that I had done under similar circumstances. Something would happen to me, and then it would happen to one or two of these young men, resulting in death. The first events were over a year apart, the second set of events were months apart, and the last events were just seven days apart.
When those last two young men died, a fraternity brother said to me: That was you and me last Friday night! His words became the writing on the wall. I wasn’t ready to die.
I knew something had to change in my life, but I wasn’t exactly sure what or how. My sister was home for Christmas, so I asked her if I could go back to Florida with her after the holidays. She consented after a couple of days of prayer! I had no job, no money, and no wheels, so I attended church with her where I heard the plan of salvation again.
One night in the spring of 1973 I got on my knees beside my bed and read through the Romans Road in my Bible (see blog article entitled the same). I admitted to God that although I knew how to be saved, my life gave no evidence that I had a relationship with Him through His Son. I told God that I wanted to be saved, and it was then that He not only changed my heart, He began a work in me which would change my life.
That is my testimony of how God brought me to Christ. What is your testimony?
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. II Corinthians 5:17