The greatest truth and blessing that ever happened to me occured on April 16, 1976, Easter Sunday morning. That was when I truly accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.
I had been attending church from the time I was conceived. I made my first physical visit to church when I was a week old and had been attending ever since. My parents and siblings always went to church. It was just a part of our weekly routine. We attended a southern Baptist church and when I was eight years old I walked down the aisle. I thought that was all I needed to do to have my sins forgiven and an eternal home in Heaven. I can't remember a time when I began to believe in God. I always did. I read my Bible from the time I was eight and even got baptized then. I was pretty sure that I had a secure future in Heaven because I had walked to aisle and I believed in Jesus.
However, a couple years later, my folks decided that the Methodist church was the place for us. As a young teenager, the church taught me that I had to keep the ten commandments as best I could and do enough good deeds to get me to Heaven. Personally, I had a hard time with that because I had become very rebellous and hateful. I still attended church and believed in God, but was beginning to doubt what I was hearing. How could I know the truth?
Well, when I was sixteen, I couldn't get along with my parents anymore and went to live with another family half-way across the USA. This family was attending a different type of Baptist church, an independent Baptist church. I had never heard of them before. I figured a baptist church is the same as any other baptist church. So, I attended with them. It was easy to fit in with everyone there, because I had already heard much of what they said. However, there was something different. I kept hearing about Jesus and what He had done for me. I kept hearing that I needed to accept Him as my own personal Saviour. I thought that I had done that when I had walked down the aisle when I was eight. But something was really missing from my life.
I lived with this family for several months and began to realize that I was not going to go to Heaven when I died. I began to become convicted and started feeling guilty for the sins I had committed. Never before I had felt sorry for the wicked things that I had done. My mind felt shock. I came to understand that even though I had walked an aisle, I had never prayed and asked Jesus to save me from my sins, to forgive me, to accept Him as my Saviour.
On that Easter Sunday morning, the preacher's message was very clear. He spoke about the death of Jesus on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. He talked of the burial as a sign of the covering of my guilt. And he preached of the resurrection of Jesus as proof of His power as God. I was fully convinced of the love that God had for me and my great need of Him. When the invitation was given to come and pray, I was one of the first ones to go. A sweet lady talked to me and together we prayed. I can remember clearly that moment when I was on my knees, crying and praying. It was as if the room was empty except for Jesus and me. I accepted Him and He accepted me.
From that day, until this very moment, I know without a doubt that Jesus is my Saviour, my sins have been forgiven and cleansed, and that I have an eternal home in Heaven. There is so much more that He has done for me, but I will write about those later. Truth and Blessings.