grew up in a religious home and attended parochial schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. My religious upbringing left me with the understanding that I was a sinner and that my sin condition needed to be resolved in order to go to heaven. I also was taught and believed that the creator God took on the form of man in the person of Jesus Christ, who lived a sinless life and died on a cross to pay the penalty for mankind’s sin. That part of my scriptural understanding was accurate. However, I also held the false belief that Christ’s actions on the cross and His subsequent resurrection from the dead provided me the opportunity to “earn” my salvation.
So I tried to live a “good enough” life, not knowing how much good equaled “good enough” and always uncertain of my eternal destination.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but while I was in my late teens and early twenties, God was calling me to Him and He placed people in my life who challenged my false belief that I had to earn heaven.
Using scripture, they revealed to me that I could never be “good enough” to earn salvation, but that total trust in what Christ had already accomplished on the cross was the only hope for salvation.
After a period of struggling with my long held false beliefs about salvation, at the age of twenty-two, I placed my total trust in Christ and surrendered to Jesus’ Lordship. This life-changing decision that salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, has provided me a peace and certainty in my relationship with God and my eternal destination.
Realizing how much God loves me and that salvation is His free gift to those who believe, totally changed my life’s desire, motivation and purpose.
I now desire to be like those faithful witnesses that God had placed in my life to share the truth of scripture. And, full disclosure, one of those faithful witnesses that God had placed in my life, subsequently became my wife. How Great is our God!