My mother brought me to church when I was 6 weeks old and I have never been "out of church". My grandfather was an Independent Baptist preacher but died 3 years before I was born and my mother raised me Independent Baptist. Even though I never met my grandfather, I have always felt some sort of closeness to him I guess because of him being a preacher.
My father is unsaved and I pray daily for his salvation. He thought he was saved when he was a child because several of his friends went up to the front when there was an altar call and he went too and professed to be saved, but wasnít really. Years later, he realized he was not saved and now believes God will not save him.
When I was around 11 years old, I was constantly searching for how to be saved. I had always asked my mother "How do you know when you are saved?" And she said "you will feel it in your heart." I took this literally and one Sunday afternoon, I had chest pain and asked her if I was saved because I felt something in my heart. Of course this wasnít the case. I searched the Bible and a book my late grandfather (the one that was the Baptist preacher) had given my mother called "Hereís Your Answer". It had many questions that people ask about the Bible. I had still never found the answer I was looking for on how exactly to be saved, I guess because it was so very simple.
When I was 13, on a Saturday afternoon, around 2 p.m. on December 13, 1986, a preacher at a church I didnít go to, but had went to Bible school there since I was little, came to my house and asked me if I wanted to be saved. I am sure he knew I wasnít saved because at Bible school every year when they would have the altar call, they would ask the ones saved to raise their hands and the ones that didnít know or that were not saved to raise their hands. I wouldnít raise my hand either time. I was really embarrassed and didnít want to raise my hand either way for fear that everyone would know and I didnít want to have to go up in front of all those kids.
Anyway, on the day the preacher came to my house, I said yes I wanted to be saved and that I believed that he died on a cross for my sins and was resurrected and I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart and to forgive me of my sins. The next Sunday I was baptized at the church we regularly attended. About a year or so later we moved our membership to the church where the pastor had came to my house to tell me how to be saved.
I have always went to church, but I knew that going to church since I was a baby wasnít going to get me into heaven. I had a very strict father growing up and he had a really bad temper. Before I was saved I hated him and wished that he and my mother would get divorced. I knew that he wasnít saved and that he would go to hell when he died. In a way it made me glad. When I became saved, my heart was changed and I no longer hated him.
We are really close now, but he will not listen to me or my mother concerning the gospel. He says I am brain-washed. I have a left-behind letter and several Bibles for him during the Tribulation. I pray that he will be saved before that happens, but since I do not know when the Rapture will take place, if he is left here during the Tribulation, maybe he will read the information I have left for him and be saved. For now I can only pray for his salvation. Family members are sometimes the hardest people to reach for Christ.
I have a real enthusiasm for Bible prophecy. My favorite book of the Bible has always been Revelations. I read it even before becoming saved. Now I have learned more about prophecy concerning the end times and enjoy Isaiah and Daniel as well. In March 2001 I started reading the Old Testament from beginning and hope to finish the end pretty soon. I never really understood the Old Testament and thought that all there was in it was "begats", but since I have found so many different end times prophecies in it I had to read it from beginning to end.
I strive to get closer each day to the Lord and to walk with him. Reading the Bible at least twice each day and having a continual daily prayer time has tremendously helped. I also listen to Southern Gospel and some Contemporary Christian music. I am not real good at witnessing to people, usually what I say comes out the wrong way. I hope to get better at it.
I know that my story isnít very exciting because I was saved at home on my living room floor, but there is a time that I know that I accepted Jesus as my Savior and if you havenít done the same, you really do need to TODAY! The Bible says "Boast not thy self of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." There is a real possibility that by the end of today your body could be laid out for viewing in the local funeral home. Then it would be too late for you to be saved.
Please accept Jesus Christ as your Savior today.
Revelations 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.