By: Tracy Smith
I’ve always known Jesus Christ, and loved him. I know everything I’m supposed to know- how he’s the son of God, Died for my sin, and resurrected to Heaven where he waits until it’s time for him to return for his believers, for our eternal life with him… I had all the tools I needed to build a strong foundation as a Christian.
Christians are devoted to their church, they turn away from their wicked ways and repent heavily for what little sin they do commit. Doing as Jesus did ensures you walk down the correct path, so that on Judgement Day- I would qualify as a Christian. See, I thought that knowing Christ meant that I COULD be a Christian- not that I immediately WAS one.
I spent every day of my life burdened by the guilt of my sin and the fear that I would be left behind after the Rapture because I wasn’t able to get my life right before my death. I saw Christians around me so peaceful and happy in their obedience- they all found success in turning away from sin and getting closer to Christ. I wanted this so badly for myself; but something just wasn’t right. I had the facts we learn in Sunday School, I had a deep love for Christ and faith in him, and an undeniable desire to be filled with his Spirit- still I felt empty and lost. I prayed to him begging him to find me and bring me safely home to his side- I could do no more, I had failed at becoming a Christian. Then while reading in Revelations recently, he opened my eyes for the very first time.
Knowing him didn’t mean I COULD be a Christian, it means I AM a Christian. My sin, while still a determinant of my heavenly rewards, doesn’t disqualify my salvation! Peace washed over me and my burdens immediately lifted. I no longer feared death or Satan- I knew I would have eternal life, but more importantly, I understood why, perfectly. All my questions were answered and my faith became more than faith- it became trust. I don’t worry about financial difficulties or other problems because I FINALLY knew what it was to, “Give it to God.” Since that moment, I’ve not felt concerned with my lifestyle or whether or not I’m right with God- I feel it with certainty; he saved me.
The time and energy I once spent desperately seeking answers or deliverance from my sin, I now spend using my Spiritual gifts to please God. It amazes me to know the pain Christ endured to pay for my sin, the Tribulation and death he saved me from, the eternal life he has given me- and all he asks in return is that I use the gifts he has given me to bring more souls for him to save. So much for so, so little.
I learned why Salvation is so effective, at least for me. See I loved Christ and desired to be with him in Heaven but I lived in fear that I would be denied my desires. Every good deed, each temptation I battled, every sin for which I asked his forgiveness- was rooted in fear. I found little comfort in my steps forward but rather guilt, because I knew fear was NOT supposed to be my motivation. Now that he’s saved me, I do all things out of love for Christ and gratitude for his incredible love for me. I want him to be pleased with me- if he is pleased with me, then I am pleased with myself and good will certainly follow. The emptiness is gone, the dark is now light, the storm is now calm- my heart has changed. “Was Blind, but Now- I see.” I finally understand what that means.