For 32 years, I was taught the truth of the birth, death, burial and resurrection of Christ. When I was a young teenager, someone at church asked “What does the Lord Jesus Christ mean to you?” I didn’t know what to answer.
As years progressed, the temptations of sin took hold (James 1:14-15). The kindness of many people and a guilty conscience kept me attending the church meetings. Often my conscience would be pricked by the fear of death and hell, knowing the greater damnation is reserved for those who willingly and knowingly refuse to obey. “It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey” (Kierkegaard) was one quotation that resonated with me through discussions with Christians who took the time to reason with me.
Soon the sin started to have noticeable consequences not only for me but for those around me. On one occasion (October 2015) my frustration with my seeming inability to get saved led me driving home from church in tears and asking the Lord to save me. I waited to see what would happen. Well, nothing happened. By the end of the week, sin was being indulged again and my hopes sank.
This led to much confusion internally and an all-consuming spiral of introspection. Assurance was non-existent while I relied on myself.
One evening (December 2016) I had spent an evening engrossed in seeking pleasure, but ended up utterly distraught at the direction of my life. Sitting in my car I committed my life to the Lord, acknowledging my total failure. Nothing happened. Again.
In my heart I knew I wanted to change from a life of sin, to live a life of purpose and I knew through the scriptures that was only possible through the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was in trusting Him to take care of all the problems I’d caused and give up any expectations, feelings or reliance on self that made a difference.
Was I saved at that instant? God knows, and I don’t worry about it any more, because He’s done all that’s necessary for my eternal salvation.
During the rest of that week I wondered. Was I now saved? Could I prove that I wasn’t? Well the historical facts wouldn’t change. My understanding and appreciation of Christ might waver, but that was never a prerequisite for salvation. I had let my hopes for life and eternity rest with the Lord and therefore I was and still am saved by His grace.
Since then I’ve seen the Lord working to resolve so many of the problems I caused in wilful and wanton sin. I’m so happy now to have the sin forgiven and to be able to move forward in confidence in Him. I trust you will do the same, no matter your circumstances, as the Lord is full of lovingkindness and compassion (Isaiah 54:7-10).