I was brought up in a Christian home and have gone to church ever since I was a little baby. When I was 10 years old, my Pastor played a video called “The Appointment” during the church service. It was about a lady who had put off being saved and unexpectedly died and went to hell. (Note: salvation, saved and born again are Biblical terms referring to the forgiveness of sins by God and the rescue of a person from the power and penalty of that sin. This is God’s requirement for everlasting life.)
I was very moved by this story and did not want to go to hell. I prayed and I hoped all was well. But I later realized that I did not understand the truths of salvation. “I did not see myself as God saw me, an ugly wicked sinner whose just place was Hell.” I did not see myself as God saw me, an ugly wicked sinner whose just place was Hell.
In the summer of 2000, our church teen group went to summer camp in Charlottesville, Virginia. God had already begun to work in my life and show me that I was not truly saved. Before I left for camp, I prayed that God would work in my heart during this camp. One morning in the camp game room, one of my friends asked me if I was saved. I admitted to him I was not. He told me he had been saved the night before, and that he would be praying for me.
The next night Pastor Hartman, the camp preacher, preached on salvation. During the invitation, it was like a war inside my heart. I felt like God was calling me to get it settled, but on the other hand I felt the devil holding me back. Sadly, I gave in to the devil and stayed seated.
During the campfire later that night, I was sitting on the basketball court with our youth leader. I began to cry and told him I was not saved. He said there was nothing he could tell me besides what I have been hearing in the preaching all that week. Then he told me to read the book of First John and think about it. I did that, but felt I was not ready yet to be saved.
I left summer camp with a lot on my mind. Upon returning home, I started staying up at night listening to salvation preaching tapes by our pastor and another revival preacher. Each night, I asked God to make my heart tender to His word, and to help me know what I needed to know so I could get saved.
At the beginning of the school year, my pastor preached some messages about salvation and God’s will for our lives. He told us it was God’s will for us to be saved. All through the week, God worked in my heart and convicted me of my sin. On September 10th, I talked to one of the teachers and I told him I wasn’t saved and all that had been taking place in my life. He told me what I needed to do, but I was afraid I was not ready to be saved. That was just another excuse to put it off again. “I thought there had to be more to understand.” I thought there had to be more to understand.
God’s plan of salvation is very simple, yet I made it harder to understand than it really was. Before I left the room, he quoted Genesis 6:3 to me which says, “My spirit shall not always strive with man.” He warned me, “Don’t put off salvation. God will not continue knocking at your heart door if you don’t let Him in.” That night I decided that I had put Christ off long enough.
The next day, I knew that I could not go on without having Christ in my life. I needed to be saved! It took me awhile to get out of the pew, because of the spiritual warfare inside of me.
I went to a side room with a pastor, and there I prayed, repented of my sins and asked Jesus to come into my life and be my Savior. That morning, September 11, 2000, around 10:30 AM, I accepted the wonderful gift of eternal life that Christ offered to me. That was the most exciting time in my entire life, and I will never forget it. God gave me a new heart, and a desire to please him. I want to serve Him with the rest of my life.
Friend, you do not know how long you have to live. When you feel God working in your life, don’t put it off. It could be God’s final call. There is a song that was written which relates to my life. I hope you will let the words sink into your heart.
God’s Final Call
Someday you’ll hear God’s Final Call to you
To take his offer of salvation true-
This could be it my friend if you but knew-
God’s Final Call, God’s Final Call
How can you live another day in sin,
Thinking some day with Christ you will begin?
O will you hear above the world’s loud din-
God’s Final Call, God’s Final Call
If you reject God’s Final Call of grace,
You’ll have no chance your footsteps to retrace
All hope will then be gone and doom you’ll face.
O hear his call! God’s Final Call
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”