There is something that I've been wanting to tell you about for a long time. It's an account of the most important thing that has happened in my life.
I was raised in a conservative farm family where traditional Judeo-Christian values were exemplified, taught and expected of us. We attended church, Sunday School and Bible School regularly. My life could be described as conservative with traditional values, with a desire to please my parents.
Then I went to college. (Among my Freshman courses were; Sociology, Psychology and Nursing.) It was a time in life when I was thinking much about the 'real meaning' of life and what I was doing here. Also, suddenly; 'Because mom and dad said so' was not a good enough reason for believing certain things and for doing things a certain way. Some of the thoughts that went through my mind were; "I'm studying to be a Nurse and will help sick people get well, and then they'll get sick again, then I'll help them get well, eventually they'll die and eventually I'll die too! Benevolence for benevolence sake? There's gotta be more to life than that!" & "Well there are so many sets of rules that one can choose from to live life by. But, what if I find after 5 or 10 years that I chose the wrong one and have to switch? How do I know which standard is Right?"
There was an Inter Varsity led Christian Fellowship group on campus. I fit in with these folks and ended up spending much time in conversation with one girl in particular, I'll call her 'M' for reference. One day 'M' asked me outright; "Do you know for sure that you're going to heaven?" Having in mind a balance that tips one way for sins and the other for good deeds, and not knowing which would be heavier when my time came, I answered; "No, how can anyone know that for sure?" Well, 'M' showed me from Romans, James and Ephesians that we are all sinners, and therefore condemned to hell, but offered a free gift of entrance to heaven by merely accepting the truth of God's salvation - our state before Him, His gift of eternal life paid for by Christ's death on the cross and proven by His resurrection. I responded; "Oh, that's why Jesus died!" And then realizing what this meant to me personally, I responded; "I'll take it!"
It wasn't long after that I discovered where my 'set of standards' was to come from. At this stage in life there are many important decisions that we must make. When I came upon some of these, I found that Bible verses that I had memorized as a child came to mind and gave - in no uncertain terms - instructions on exactly what decisions to make. I chose to follow these instructions and was blessed. This happened frequently in those first few weeks and months of my 'New Life' in Christ. It set me on a course of confidently following God's word as my 'standard for living.'
Around the same time, another friend began to play a big part in my life. She intrigued me because she not only knew the Scriptures, but she LIVED them. I had encountered Christians throughout my teen years who had 'tried to shove religion down your throat.' I wrote these people off because their lives weren't consistent with what they said that they believed. This girl was different, she really did live what she believed and I wanted to be that kind of a Christian. Our Lord provided for me to be discipled by this precious friend. I thank God for both of these friends who took the time out to show me the truth and then teach me how to really live it.
That was 23 years ago and God has faithfully kept me on a course of following Him. His standards are TRUTH, give PEACE and provide understanding and direction for all of life. I have found the Truth and it has set me free to follow confidently a set of standards that is absolute to a destination that is sure, and I have NEVER yet found it necessary to change!!!
Please, please, dear friend, I urge you to read the Bible for yourself. Make your own determination of whether it is to be believed. I pray that you too will see the truth and will be set free. I want to see YOU in heaven.
Here are the verses that convinced me of the truth:Email Beth
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Ephesians 2:8,9 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.