I was born and raised in the Catholic Church. I figured that God would let me into heaven if I was a good person which of course I was not. Honestly, spiritual things never really entered my mind, until Laura (my wife) attended a Bible study for women down the street from where we lived in Ankeny. From that Bible study a guy named Chuck who knew the couple down the street asked me and Laura to do a three lesson bible study. I was reluctant. Actually when he gave me the first lesson, I gave it to Laura and she did it. I kind of looked through it but it didn’t interest me. As time passed Chuck would call and ask to go over the first part of the lesson. I didn’t want to go over it so I would avoid him. Laura was the one who answered the call and told Chuck to come over.
This Bible study started the softening of my heart and put me on the road to eternal life. The first lesson opened my eyes to the certainty of Heaven and Hell and that God wants us to know for sure that we are going heaven, it isn’t a guessing game. Also it taught me about my sin, I never accepted that my sin was what separated me from God, I just assumed if I did good things it would balance things out, God would have to let me into Heaven. During high school, then college, and then after college I got into a lot of trouble, (drugs and alcohol and other things). I realized after the first study that my sins are what separated me from God and Jesus came to save sinners like me (). God will forgive me if I will believe that His Son died for my sins. I truly was engaged in the bible study at this point. I remember asking Laura if what this Chuck guy was saying was true. She told me the Bible says so. I was floored. I started to think back to all the bad things I had done and couldn’t believe how unworthy I was for Christ to die for me.
The second study came and I was ready to learn more. Chuck came back the following week or so and we discussed salvation. I always assumed if you weren’t a murderer or really bad person we could all go to Heaven. This study showed me salvation was through Christ alone (), He paid the penalty for my sins. I really thought long and hard about my relationship or lack of one with God. I didn’t know God’s Son nor did I believe with all my heart that He died on the cross for my sins. This was about to change. I wanted Jesus in my life!!!!
On Friday, November 2, 2001, I accepted Jesus in my heart, knowing that He died on the cross for my sins of which I have asked forgiveness. I will spend eternity in Heaven with God. This assurance is a promise from His Word ().
Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation old things have passed away behold all things have become new.
God has done a mighty work in my life since November 2, 2001, and there is much more God will do and He will receive all glory and praise!
13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (ESV)
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” (ESV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (ESV)