As part of my seminary application, I was required to write out my salvation testimony. It ended up being three pages long, but I'd still like to post it here on the blog. I'll divide it up into several pieces for easier reading, and spread it out over the next few days.
Now, I've hesitated several times to post this thinking it to be rather self-aggrandizing. But this is not my story. This is HIS story of me. This is a testimony of God's grace in me. And because of that, we should all share our own HIStory.
(All four posts here)
Growing up in a good home can sometimes be more dangerous to your soul than being in a bad home. I was in a good home and my soul was indeed in danger. My parents were good to my younger sister and me. We were well taken care of. In my eyes, mom & dad were near perfect.
We occasionally attended the Methodist church in our small town of several thousand, sometimes more frequent than others. By the time I was in seventh grade, I became active in our church youth group and was a regular attendee. I gradually took on youth leadership roles within our church and was soon gaining the respect of the adults around me... even the pastor once asked if I’d ever considered the ministry as a vocation. I had a good life… but I did not know God.
During my most formidable years at home and in this church, I cannot once remember hearing the Gospel. I cannot remember ever carrying my Bible. I can't remember ever hearing of my wretched sinful condition nor of the holy wrath of God set against me. Of course, I was taught that Jesus was God and that I needed to be good, but if I wasn’t good Jesus would forgive me anyway. He was simply Someone you believed in, not a sufficient Savior Who’s death satisfied the justice of God on my behalf.
I always figured I was doing all right with God. I figured I was safe. My good outweighed my bad. In my own mind I was better behaved than most of my peers and well thought of in my church.
I didn’t start rebelling until my last year or two of high school and on into college. And, because my sin habits were concentrated in “just” a couple of areas, I still thought I was a good guy. After all, I often thought, at least I don’t drink or do drugs. This particular area of abstinence was my self-awarded badge of moral honor.
To be continued Thursday.