God Cannot Lie
My name is John Petersen, and this is my story.
The story of my life includes two marriages, alcohol abuse, a smoking habit, a term in prison, and dabbling in several religions. But, it wasn’t until the age of 66 that I finally found God and began a personal relationship with Him.
“I grew up in a Catholic home, but it did not make a real impression on me.” I grew up in a Catholic home, but it did not make a real impression on me. As a teen, I got involved in smoking and drinking, and then joined the military where I was exposed to many other vices and sins.
When I was discharged, I got married. My wife was searching for meaning in her life and began to study with the Jehovah’s Witnesses for a while. Meanwhile, I tried to find fun and fulfillment in further drinking and a life of crime. This led to a five-year term in a state prison.
When my wife and I separated, I experienced a great sense of loss. I turned to religion to find some meaning to life. I jumped from one church to another – Christian Science, Free Methodist, non-denominational, and Lutheran.
Soon we started attending a Baptist church near our home in Erie, Pennsylvania. I joined the church and became very involved as an usher, assistant treasurer, bus driver, and other areas of service. Looking back now, I realize that these were all good works, but were not the fruit of true salvation.
“As we studied the Bible, my interest and desire to know more grew greater.” As we studied the Bible, my interest and desire to know more grew greater. Between the lessons I read and reread all the verses that were used in the studies.God was using His Word to convince me I was a sinner and to help me understand the wonderful and loving way He had made possible for my sins to be forgiven. In Romans, chapter 5, verse 8, the Bible says “But God commendeth (showed) His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.“
Just before the last of the four lessons, I was reading in Hebrews and one verse in particular really spoke to me: it is impossible for God to lie. Suddenly I realized that whatever God had said in His Word, the Bible, was absolutely true. God cannot lie. Whatever He said I must do to be saved, I was ready to do it. The confusion of so many religions in my background was suddenly cleared away and I was ready to hear what God told me through His Word.
The last lesson was about believing on Jesus Christ (John, chapter 3, verse 36). Before the lesson was over, I bowed my head, repented of my sins, and surrendered my life to Christ. I asked Him to take control of my life from that moment on and I would trust Him. Immediately, a great peace of mind descended on me!
Since that day in February of 1998, even at my age, I have seen new life and changes that only God could bring about. My attitudes have changed. My desires are different. I want to read and study the Bible and know God. He has also given me victory over smoking, which for years plagued my life and ruined my health.
Because of His mercy and grace, I am looking forward to spending eternity in heaven with my Savior – without my oxygen tank!! God gave me that promise in Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.“