Let me start by saying that I was raised in church and had a lot of head knowledge about Jesus, God, and the things of church. It had no meaning to me though. I chose to live my life as I saw fit not caring how it affected those around me, including myself.
My selfishness continued to where I became involved in sin that was destroying my family, friends and me. With what head knowledge I had of church I could pretend to be a Christian while at the same time continuing to live in my sin, which was making my life and those around me miserable. There finely came a point where I wanted to change and stop doing the things I was doing. I prayed one day “God, make it stop, whatever it takes make it stop!” and that very day, my sin came into the light where it had to be dealt with.
After talking with a pastor I felt that I must not be saved, or I could not have been involved in the particular sin I was committing. So I made a profession of faith for the benefit of my family, friends, and myself, thinking all would be happy and grand. The night of December 28th 1993 at 11:30pm God freed me from the sin in which I had allowed to take control of my life. The problem was my prayer was that God would change me, not save me. It was the prayers of my family and friends that delivered me, just like in Luke 5: 17-20, the friends of a man with palsy lowered him through a rooftop to Jesus, and because of “their” faith, the friends faith, Jesus healed the man. Just as these men brought their sick friend to Jesus for healing, my friends and family brought me to Jesus for healing.
Now God started working on me. I had made an empty profession of faith and felt now I had to prove to everyone around me, myself included, that I was a Christian. I got involved in everything I could by putting my name on every list that could be seen by others so they would know that I was a changed man. I felt that if I was doing things such as Evangelism Explosion, going on visitation, being a decision counselor or anything church related, that it would prove to everyone I was a new man. I felt I had to do work for God to please Him and be right with Him, not only Him but to be right and please everyone else. Even after doing all these good things I still felt dirty inside and that something wasn’t right.
During a crusade at church in June 1995 God began convicting me about the games I was playing and my salvation. When I would talk to anyone about receiving Christ as their Savior My stomach would churn and ache. I could not admit to myself that I needed the very thing I was talking to them about. I spoke to a friend that night about the feelings I was having. I remember asking him “Am I doing these things for Christ, or me? Am I saved?” and he responded with the truth. “Wayne, I can’t tell you that. That is an issue between you and God.” In my heart, I knew I needed to talk to him more, but my pride would not allow me to admit that I was not right with God. So I decided to tough it out and keep trying to prove to myself and everyone around me that everything was OK.
In February of 1996, my grandfather passed away and I was in the room with him when he died. This really affected me in a profound way. It was so final. One moment he was breathing and the next he just stopped. That was it. Then questions started racing through my mind. “Where did he go? What happened to him? What will happen when I die? Will I go to heaven? What if I don’t?” these questions started haunting me and I was getting scared of dying. As a Christian I thought I wasn’t suppose to fear death, so why is it scaring me?
Shortly after my grandfather’s death, a lump came up on my neck and this really scared me. I just knew it was cancer and I was going to die. When I went to the doctor it was nothing but an ingrown hair. I felt pretty silly but knew that something in my life was not right. I began to pray that God would show me what I needed to do.
It wasn’t long after this that I heard a sermon about Wheat and Tares, wheat being the real grain and tares being a weed, not real. I had heard a lot of sermons by this time but this time was different. Before it started I had asked God to speak to me, to tell me what I needed to hear and that I was tired of playing games.
At first, nothing really jumped out at me, just the same old preacher stuff. But when he was wrapping things up he said something that grabbed me and shook me. He said “If you feel 99% saved then you are 100% lost”. These were the very words I needed to hear.
I was convicted! My heart had not been right!
From a worldly point of view things were great. My life was getting back together. I had a great family and great friends I had a good job. I was active in church. I had all this but still didn’t have the peace of knowing that I had eternal life.
Again, I went and talked to a friend and told him about the sermon I had listened to and how it had spoken to me and convicted me that I had not given my all to Christ. Again, he told me “Wayne I can’t tell you where you are in your life with Christ but it’s obvious you are having doubts. What are you going to do about it?”
When he asked me what I was going to do about it I was pushed over the edge.
That day, March 14th 1996, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. I made him the boss of my life, holding nothing back. I’ll be honest it’s not been all smooth sailing but now when problems come up rather than fearing and being scared I’m able to face them, knowing that I am never alone and God is always there.
The best part is I now have the confidence and peace that when I die I will spend my eternity in heaven. Jesus forgave my sins and is living in my heart today. How about you?