Yes, I grew up in a Christian home. My dad was saved in 1972, when I was six years old, and my biological mother was saved when she was a little girl. My stepmom was saved early in life too. So for almost as far back as I can remember, I had saved parents. And during the week of revival meetings that my dad got saved, I had gone forward during the invitation one night. The wife of the man who had invited us to church came to the altar and asked me if I'd like to be a Christian. Of course, being a six-year-old little girl anxious to do what was right, I said, "Yes," after which she led me in a short prayer. She did not mention to me that I was a sinner, or ask me any other questions about why I had come to the altar, but after I said that little prayer, she told me I was a Christian. And I believed her. I had no faith in Christ at that point; my faith was in this lady saying I was a Christian.
Throughout my growing-up years, I would have doubts about my salvation, and no wonder! I would usually fight these off, but every now and then I'd ask the Lord to save me, just in case. Many times, I would pray over and over to be saved, like a mantra that I had to repeat in order for it to work. Never once do I remember just trusting Christ. I knew all too well that I was a sinner, but I never once trusted Christ.
I eventually married and moved away from home. When doubts would come up, I'd pray again. Occasionally I'd talk to Wes about it, and he'd try to help me gain assurance of my salvation, but still, I never really trusted Christ. Shortly after Beth was born, I began having those doubts again. We were faithful in church, so when our ladies planned to go to a weekend ladies' retreat, I was very excited to get to go. That weekend, Mrs. Earlene Stephens, the sister of Dr. Jack Hyles, gave her testimony. I was miserable. You see, her testimony could have been written by me. She had spent years and years doubting her salvation, but never able to gain assurance of it. Then one day she had gotten saved and finally had assurance. I don't remember the circumstances of how that happened, but I knew it hadn't happened yet in my life.
The next day was Sunday. We had a visiting evangelist that day, and after the evening service, my pastor's wife stood to testify that she had been saved that day! I felt my face blanch. I was terrified. I knew I had to get this settled, and it had to be soon. That night, before we went to bed, I told Wes about these strong doubts I was having again. He said that I needed to talk to our pastor, which terrified me even more! LOL I didn't sleep well that night, and the next morning Wes called our pastor and made an appointment for us to go talk with him after Wes got home from work that afternoon. I was miserable all day, but deep down inside, I was hoping that I'd finally be able to get this thing settled.
Five o'clock finally arrived, and we made our way to the church and into the pastor's office. My pastor questioned me about my former "experiences", whether I had any known sin in my life - trying to discern if I was truly saved and had broken fellowship with the Lord, or if I really needed to get saved. After a few minutes of questioning, he said this, "Susan, why don't you just trust God to do what He said He would do? He said that if you'd repent and confess your sin and trust Him (that's your part), He would save you (that's His part)." Then he told me to bow my head and imagine Jesus standing before me with His hand stretched out to me. He quoted John 6:37 - "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." At that moment, for the first time in my life, I believed those words with my whole heart. For some reason, I had always doubted that those words really meant that I could come to Jesus. Why? I have no idea! But at that moment, I knew they were meant for me. That is when I decided to quit hoping that Jesus would save me, and believed that He would. I almost literally reached my hand out to take Jesus' hand, it was that real to me! Something in my heart gave way, and I cried out to Jesus to please forgive me for being a sinner, that I would trust Him and only Him, not any of my prayers I'd prayed over the years. A burden lifted from my shoulders; I wasn't carrying the weight of sin or the fear of Hell anymore!
I can't tell you how many people, especially women, I have met who have a similar testimony to mine. Satan loves to deceive, and I believe he has an easy time deceiving those of us who have been raised in solid, fundamental homes. We swallow those doubts and keep on trying to live the Christian life, but deep down, we know it's not working. We know we haven't truly believed. If that's your condition, won't you just let go of all those fears and just plain old trust Jesus' payment for your sins right now? These are all of the verses that my pastor used that day to convince me that I could indeed trust Christ and He would save me:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. II Peter 3:9
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: I John 5:13,14
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:37
If you know you've never been saved, and you know that the Lord is drawing you to Himself, don't put it off! I'm so glad that the Lord was patient with me and kept drawing me to Himself! There's nothing like knowing you're saved.