All of my young life I believed I was a Christian. I was born in America, my parents were Christians and we went to a church that claimed to be a Christian church. I was, in fact, the typical American "good boy" who didn't get into trouble and if goodness could get you into heaven, very few were in better shape than I.
Imagine then my shock when a girl that I had dated told me she didn't think she should go out with me because I wasn't a Christian! But, rather than take offense I thought about things. I could make some changes in my life. So I started making some changes. I started reading the Bible. I went to church a little bit more often. I started trying to be a nicer person.
Well, I drifted away from this girl, moved away actually, and lost contact. I was still a pretty nice guy, people in general liked me. I drank a little bit, sure, I was underage, but that was just something EVERYbody did. Or so I thought. In my senior year I even began experimenting with marijuana. While I eventually stopped it because of concern over what might happen if I were caught, I didn't see any major problem with that. (At the time.)
Like most High School graduates, I wanted to get away from home! I eventually settled on TCU as my college of choice and traveled there in August of 1975, determined to begin studying with a plan to become a lawyer. There were may reasons I went there. As I told people often, there were at least 1000 reasons. I then noted it was about 1000 miles from Chicago to Fort Worth!
During the first week there I found other Chicago area people. One, Peter Marshall, invited me to the Baptist Student Union for an ice cream dessert party. I just laughed. I didn't want to be around Baptists. I used to call them "damentalists" because they took the fun out of everything. (You couldn't even call them Fundamentalists!)
Finally, my desire for free ice cream overwhelmed my aversion to Baptists. I showed up and began eating the ice cream. I noticed that all of the people there were having a lot of fun, talking and laughing. I kept wondering where the Baptists were! Then they began singing. Somehow, during the song, "They'll Know We are Christians by Our Love" God revealed Himself to me and I realized that all the things that I had thought were necessary to be a Christian weren't.
All that I needed to do was to ask Jesus Christ to come into my life and forgive my sins. As simple as that might sound, that is all I needed to do. I asked Jesus into my heart and HE began making the changes in my life that I thought I needed to work hard to do.
Since that time my life has had many twists and turns, but I can say that because of God's help my marriage has overcome some difficult times without major problems. I have been married since 1979 to a beautiful lady I met while working through the BSU. I have three great kids, who have turned out to be pretty good kids in spite of my parenting. I have peace in the midst of difficult times. AND I have more fun in the midst of life than most people, contrary to what some people think. :-)
This joy and peace is available to anyone. The only requirement God makes is that you accept what He
has already done for you through Jesus Christ. If you want to get this joy, you might ask God for it by
saying something like this: "God, I know that I have done wrong and turned away from you. I
confess that I have done wrong and ask You to forgive me. Please let Jesus Christ come into my heart,
forgive me and help me get things right with You. Amen."
If you prayed that prayer, or something like that, and really meant it, you can have that same joy in the midst of troubles that I have. That's all you need to do to get salvation and the promise of a home in Heaven. If you prayed it and REALLY meant it, nothing can take the promise of Heaven away from you. Salvation is a gift from God, and God doesn't take His gifts back. So rejoice and be glad! You will want to get with other Christians and learn to grow and become strong in your faith. May I suggest this article?