While growing up, I went to church every Sunday. My grandfather made sure of that since I would stay with him, because my mother worked. I went every weekend, until the summer I turned 16 years old and got a job. I would still go to church every Sunday that I didn’t have to work. Eventually, I stopped going to my grandfather’s on the weekends, and I stopped going to church. In Sunday School class as a teen, I remember that we did more gossiping and projects than actually reading the Bible. When we would read from the Bible, we never discussed the scriptural meaning. By the time I had graduated, I wasn’t even concerned about going to church. I worked most Sundays between my two jobs, and had no time for church.
I wanted to go to school and further my education. So I had an appointment to register at the National Education Center’s Allentown Business School. I took my husband, Ed, with me because I didn’t want to go by myself. Both Ed and I enrolled in the Management/Marketing Program. A little over a month before classes were to start, I was in a car accident. Because it was an older vehicle, and it would cost more to fix it than it was worth, my car was declared a total loss.
“This was the worst time in my life. I had bad times before, but not like this. “ This was the worst time in my life. I had bad times before, but not like this. I was really depressed. I saw no reason to live. I would dream of different ways to kill myself, though I would never try any of them. I just saw no reason for being alive. But, as I would find out later, God had a reason for me to be here – and He would show me exactly what it was. In Jeremiah, chapter 1, verse 5, the Bible states, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee.” This verse clearly states that God knows what each and every one of us looks like – and what we are going to do in life – before we are even born.
Ed and I started business school. A couple of months later, at the invitation of two men in Ed’s National Guard unit, we attended the Lehigh Valley Baptist Church. One of the men, Jack, asked us to get together to do a Bible study.
We met with Jack for the first time in April 1992. He had taken us through the Bible and showed us God’s Word. He showed us, in the Bible, how to know for sure if we were going to Heaven or Hell – and what to do about it if we didn’t know for sure that we were going to Heaven. Jack led us to Romans, chapter 3, verse 10, which states, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.” He showed us Romans, chapter 3, verse 23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” and Romans, chapter 6 verse 23, which says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life though Jesus Christ our Lord.” In John, chapter 3 verse 16, Jack showed us that Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” One passage that impressed me greatly was, Romans, chapter 10, verses 9, 10 and 13, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.“
“Although I prayed a prayer, I did not understand what God wanted from me.” Although I prayed a prayer, I did not understand what God wanted from me. It would be another three years till I was really born again. (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.)
It was in October 1995, that I realized that my prayer was not a prayer of repentance, or of true salvation. I had been uncertain for some time whether I was truly saved or not – but that night I knew for sure that I was fooling no one but myself. Second Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 17, states, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” I was still the same old me. Nothing had changed, especially not my heart. That night in October, my husband and I were discussing something about our marriage. I grabbed my Bible, and left the room. I went to our bedroom, and knelt on the floor by the bed. I knew what I had to do. I needed Christ, because I was lost and just a rotten sinner. I began to pray. I asked God to forgive me for how much I had hurt Him with all my sin, and I said that I wanted to be different. I wanted to live my life for Him, and to do His will. This time I knew I had repented of my sins and accepted God into my heart. I know that when I die, that my home will be in heaven.
My life has not been perfect since I have been saved. I still have battles in my life. The biggest area is my pride, but I am working on that with the help of the Lord. I am reading the Bible daily, and prayer with my Lord is part of my daily life. He could be your Lord also – if you would just let Him. Don’t think just because you are a good person, and do good things, that you are going to get into heaven. The Bible says in Ephesians, chapter 2, verses 8 and 9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” There is nothing you can do to get yourself into Heaven except to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior. In John, chapter 3, verse 3, Jesus said, “Verily, verily , I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Please – don’t waste any more time. If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior, seek Him out today!