As a Young child and throughout those years that I was growing I always believed that there had to be a God. I never doubted that God was the Creator of all things…including me. I never doubted that God was invisible and I had never seen Him but somehow I knew that He was there. As I grew older I became rebellious to authority and chose an unacceptable way of living. I would not have been mistaken as an unbeliever and could have easily been classified as an atheist or agnostic by the way that I lived. But in those days of wickedness I still knew that there was a God and there was this awareness that someday I would answer to Him for my chosen way to live. I lived in ignorance of the facts and tried never to consider the reality of God. One day I found myself in much trouble and there was no way out of the consequence. Miraculously, God made a way out and that does not mean that I got away with wickedness that means that God had a plan and a purpose for my life and He was working out the details.
I was born at a very early age and grew up normal…Whatever that is. I was the son of a man who had done well with his life financially. Not rich, but comfortable. This man taught me to work and to pay my bills. He taught me to be honest and do the right thing. He wanted me to get an education because he had only completed the eighth grade. In his day that was sufficient but he could see that more education than that would be needed for my generation. I finished high school, started college but soon dropped out. When I was the age of eighteen this man that had taught me about life was killed. I immediately acknowledged God by telling Him that if that was the kind of God He was then I did not want anything to do with Him. You see, I did not deny the existence of God I denied the work of God that I did not agree with. I knew that it was God that killed my dad.
Enter, the Rebel! I became very rebellious to authority and was bent on doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it because I wanted to do it. I developed an exceeding hatred for life. At the age of 20 for reasons unknown to me I decided to join the U. S. Army. I found out quickly that I no longer had the freedom to be a rebel. The crazy thing is I liked the Army way of doing things. I took the blood transfusion. If you cut me I would bleed O D Green. The Army way of life fit me. I liked the Army but my anger at God grew more manifest in my choice of life style. I drank and became a drunk. I never was an alcoholic because I hated going to meetings and making confessions. So I was a drunk.
I had gotten married, had one child and another one on the way. I was in the running for worst husband and father of the year. I was on my way to a disaster full speed ahead. I hated life. I wanted to die. I was afraid to commit suicide. You do remember that I knew there was a God and I knew that death would not be the end of anything but physical life. I knew that I would face God. I knew that there had to be a Hell for people like me could not go to Heaven.
God was at work doing what only God can do. I had relatives and they had gotten things right with God and they were serving Him faithfully in a church. These relatives got burdened about my wife and I and they began to pray for us to get saved. They thought that maybe they should get others involved in praying for us so they shared their prayer request with other members of their church.
I had been sent to Germany for a 39 month assignment with the U. S. Army. In 13 months I was on my way back to the U.S.A. and Ft. Hood Texas via a mental hospital. After evaluation I was released and my family and I made straight course for Abilene Texas. You say why was I going to Abilene? I had a God ordained appointment that I was not aware of. I went to visit those relatives who had been praying for me but I did not yet know that they were praying for me.
Arriving on Saturday we planned on leaving the next day, Sunday. We were asked to go to church with these relatives on Sunday and we agreed. I don’t know why. I did not want to go to church. God is much bigger than you think and He is definitely smarter than anyone you have ever met, physically speaking.
I sat through a Sunday School Class on that Sunday morning and I do not have a clue what the teacher said. I sat through a sermon on that Sunday morning but I do not have a clue what the Preacher said. But while I listened to that man preach someone began talking to me on the inside. No, not audibly but clearly from within. I was impressed with the fact that I needed a Saviour. As I sat and listened to this internal voice I remembered from my childhood that at the end of the sermon there would be what is called an invitation. An invitation is given so you can walk down the isle to the altar and someone can take the Bible and answer your question. I began to think, “I wish that Preacher would shut up, I need to go to that altar and get saved.” Finally the time arrived and the Preacher did give the invitation and I rose with tears in my eyes and informed my wife that I needed to get saved. I believe I said to her, “Do you want to get saved?”
On that day I received the Lord Jesus Christ to be my Saviour.
How important is salvation? My life was changed. I no longer hated life. I now knew how to love my wife and my children. I was no longer a rebel. I had reasons to live and no longer wanted to die. I had a worthy purpose for my existence. I still believed in God but my view of Him had greatly changed. I now believed that God made no mistake when He killed my dad. I now believed that God had the right to do anything He wanted to do anytime He wanted to do it and everything that God did was right. I know that someday I will answer to God but I will answer as a saved man. I know that I am eternally secure and Heaven will be my home when I leave this planet. I know that I cannot go to Hell because the Lord Jesus Christ, My Saviour, has already done that for me. Why is salvation important? It makes life worth living.
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