I Wasn’t Ready to Meet God
All my life, I was brought up in church. I heard preaching from God’s Word every Sunday and Wednesday. My parents loved me very much, and faithfully taught me from the Bible. I learned that Salvation means to turn my back on sin and trust completely in Jesus Christ. I learned that Hell would be my eternal destiny if I did not choose to give my life to God. All these things and more were taught to me, and I soaked it all in during my growing-up years. In my early teens, I attended a Christian summer camp in West Virginia. I heard a lot of preaching at that camp – morning and evening.
“This would often make me uneasy, because I knew it was all true, and I wasn’t ready to meet God.”
One of the verses that got my attention was in Genesis, chapter 6, verse 3,where the Bible says, “And the Spirit of the Lord shall not always strive with man.” These words echoed through my heart and mind continually. I had been given many opportunities to be saved, but I realized it may not last forever. I did not know how long I would live, and I needed to make my choice for eternity soon. However, my pride got in the way of humbling myself, and prevented me from talking to someone about it. I kept the struggle deep in my heart, and foolishly put off the decision.
I went home from camp still feeling the weight of my sin, though I tried not to show it to anyone. I wanted peace in my heart, and could not bring it upon myself. I was nervous about talking to my parents, so I wrote a note to my Mom and asked her to pray for me – which she faithfully did. A few days later, I asked if she would do a Bible study with me, and help me understand my need of salvation.
Throughout the study, I was reminded of many things that I had heard my whole life. I knew that everyone is a sinner, but up until now I had not personally seen myself as guilty before God. Yes, we are all sinners. The Bible says: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans chapter 3, verse 23. I had to come to that realization personally.
The Bible gives us clear guidelines of what is required for salvation: “Repent and believe the gospel.” What does it mean to repent? Repentance is turning away from my sin, hating what God hates, and choosing to obey Him instead. So, what is sin?
“Sin is anything I do that does not please God; it is my selfish choices that fall short of his absolute perfection.”
The Bible gives us Ten Commandments to keep. If we were to keep ALL of them perfectly, in every word, thought and action – every single day of our lives, we would be perfect. Only then would we be worthy of Heaven. But this is impossible to do. No human could ever be completely perfect. Only Jesus Christ, God’s son, is perfect. His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary was the only sacrifice that God would accept as payment for our sin. By accepting him as our Lord and Savior, we can be made right with God. And that is the message of the “gospel” that we must believe.
Salvation is about a relationship with God. My relationship with God was non-existent. I had no desire to read my Bible, I rarely prayed, and God was not the first thing in my life – though outwardly I conformed to what was right. My heart was selfish, and far from loving and obeying God. I did not honor my parents like I should, and my heart was often filled with pride. This is what I began to see, as I examined my heart in light of the holy commandments of God.
Even though I had grown up in church, and knew a lot about the Bible, I still had to humble myself and confess my sin to God. I had to personally reach out and take the gift of eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible 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.” Ephesians chapter 2, verses 8-9.
“I could never do enough good things to cancel out all the bad things I did.”
The Bible says, “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” Even the good things we try to do are like filthy rags in God’s eyes. He had provided the perfect sacrifice for our sins by sending Jesus to die for us, and I would only be mocking him if I tried to offer my good works as an atonement to obtain eternal life.
All of these truths slowly worked their way into my heart, and on August 16th, 2004, I chose to commit my life to Jesus Christ. I asked God to forgive me of my sin and take control of my life.
Now, I have a desire to read the Bible and talk with God in prayer. I have a relationship with God, because Jesus has provided the way of salvation. Now, when I sin or forget to read my Bible, I feel that my relationship with God is strained. I have a new desire to restore my fellowship with God, turn from my sin, and come back to him. The Bible has come alive to me now, when it was dry and confusing before. I wouldn’t choose any other life, because I know that Jesus is the only way.
The Bible says in I John chapter 5, verse 13, “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.” Jesus extends this offer of an eternal home in Heaven to all those who will come to him in repentance and faith.
Will YOU consider Him for yourself?
Will YOU turn to Christ before it is too late?