“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
The fourth of seven children, I grew up in a small community called Exeter, in the coal fields of southwest Virginia, USA. Dad worked hard in the mines to support his family while Mom took care of us at home. As a small lad, I vividly recall going to the little community church with my grandmother. There, in the Bible classes, I learned that God loved me.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
When I was eight years old, my grandmother died. About a year later, Mom accepted Christ as her personal Savior and began to teach us about the love of God. I saw how the grace of God transformed her life; hate turned into love. There was a great change in my mother’s life. We started going to church meetings regularly, and I was trying to be a “good boy.” The problem was my sinful nature. Because Adam sinned, and I came from Adam, I was born a sinner.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
At age 15, someone gave me a can of beer. I drank it and felt very guilty afterward. Little by little, I started to rebel against the moral convictions which I had learned at home. I started experimenting with alcohol and marijuana. Gradually, I stopped going to church. At age 18, I strongly resented my father’s discipline. Two friends, who were practicing Zen Buddhism, invited me to move into their home and I accepted. For several months, we worked, studied, and had drunken parties at night. My life was very much like that of the prodigal son (see Luke 15:11-32).
I was so miserable! On the night of October 24, 1972, seated alone in my bed, I asked myself the question, “Who am I?” With my eyes closed and earnestly searching within my heart, I suddenly understood that I WAS DARKNESS. I was filled with the darkness of sin. I was a sinner (see Ephesians 5:8). I thought of God. A demonic voice within me said, “There is no God. He does not exist. Do not pray.” Satan was my master and he did not want to lose me.
I said, “God, I don’t know if You exist or not; but if You do exist and if what the Bible says is true (that Jesus died for my sins and arose to save me), then I want to be saved right now.” I begged, “Please, let me feel the presence of the Holy Spirit!” Nothing happened. “Give me proof that you are there!” Still nothing happened—(I wanted to believe. I wanted to be saved!). The proof was in the Word, which says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
The risen Christ said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). That night I did believe! I opened the door of my heart by faith. I invited Jesus Christ into my life. I accepted Him as my personal Savior and He gave me eternal life. He forgave me all my sins and cleansed my heart. He even took away all desire to drink, smoke marijuana, and to do all the other sinful things I had practiced before. I praise and thank Him for saving me!
Dear friend, Christ loves you and He wants to save you. In Romans 10:9-13, God promises to save you if you will:
- CONFESS with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ—Admit that only He can save you.
- BELIEVE in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God who died to save you and that God raised Him from the dead—Believe with all your heart, and not only in your head.
- CALL upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, asking Him into your life, asking forgiveness.—Turn from your sins and trust Christ for salvation.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me…Behold, now is the day of salvation” (John 14:6 and II Corinthians 6:2). Jesus wants to come into your life. He wants to save you now. Why not surrender your all to Him? Why not open to door of your heart to Jesus now by praying?
“Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I cannot get to Heaven without Jesus. I do believe that Christ died for my sins and that He arose to save me. Jesus, I now receive you as my personal Savior by faith. Please, forgive me. Cleanse me. Make me your child. Come into my heart and give me eternal life. Thank you for saving me! In your name, Lord Jesus. Amen.”
If you truly accepted Christ as your personal Savior, congratulations! Welcome to God’s family! You are as a newborn babe in Christ!
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.” (I Peter 2:2)
In order to grow in God’s grace, practice the following:
- READ THE BIBLE—Prayerfully read and study daily, beginning with the gospel of John in the New Testament.
- PRAY—Talk with God every day in your own words. Pray “without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17), “giving thanks always for all things” (Ephesians 5:20).
- MEET—Gather with other believers to worship God and study His Word. Trust God to lead you to a Bible-practicing Church.
- SHARE—Talk about your salvation testimony with others as you have opportunity. Tell others how to know Christ as Savior.
“He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)
My prayer is that you will trust Jesus Christ for salvation today.
Robert Fultz: Born again at age 18, I followed my calling to do the Lord’s work: evangelism, pastoral work, and short-term missions. Bi-vocational, bilingual pastor married to my wife Cheryl for almost 50 years and by God’s grace, we are committed to serve the Lord until He calls us home.