I was raised in a loving Christian home, the second youngest of five siblings. I first remember becoming aware of my need of forgiveness and about Jesus Christ’s love for me when I was nine. The day after my oldest brother gave his life to Christ, I wanted to do the same, and I made a profession of faith.
However, I didn’t fully understand the choice I was making, and I was merely mimicking my bother. 1 John 3:10 says “Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God,” and I did a lot of things wrong after that. I never had any peace.
I was baptized shortly after that without any real understanding of the meaning of baptism. It was in my teenage years that I rebelled and turned my back on God and the church. 2 Peter 2:21 says “it would have been better for me not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn my back on the sacred command that was passed down to me.”
It’s not that I lost my salvation, but that I turned my back on God and falsely claimed my salvation. I got into drinking and drugs a lot in my early adult life. I got married to a divorced woman with three kids, and took on the role of daddy, all while hiding my problem.
Then came the day I got arrested, when my life spun our of control and became unmanageable. For two years, I held on to my false conversion, going through the motion, reading my Bible, praying, even doing Bible correspondence courses and pretending I was a Christian. I did all this while enduring inner turmoil, struggling with anger and resentment, and wondering why I did something so sickening.
Then, it finally clicked. I realized I was a lost sinner in need of God’s grace. I felt the empty gap where the Holy Spirit was. Because of my upbringing, I knew what I needed to do, so I prayed to the Lord. I gave my life to Him, surrendering my life to His will. That was the best decision I ever made.
I received lasting peace for the first time. I went through a total life transformation. The anger disappeared, along with the urge to drink and use drugs. I went from being shy and introverted to warm and outgoing. From severe anxiety to next to none. From misery to contentment with my circumstances.
What can I say? The Lord is real and He is good. I love doing Crossroads’ correspondence courses. They challenge me when I feel too comfortable with my knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. God bless.