“For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:13 NKJV).
I know many people who have astounding testimonies of conversion to faith in Christ. A friend of mine was delivered from heroine addiction when he came to faith in Christ. I know of folks who’ve left prostitution to come to Jesus, folks who have come to Christ while in prison on death row. By comparison, my testimony of conversion seems too simplistic to have accomplished my eternal salvation.
I distinctly recall at age five, sitting with my mom on the living room couch. We lived in Lake Charles, Louisiana at the time, my dad being in the Air Force, was stationed at Chenault Air Force Base. It was 1960. Having become believers in their early years, both my parents had strayed away until the pastor of the nearby little Baptist church came to talk with them about living their lives for Jesus Christ. They decided to do just that and at age five, I had no memory of anything prior to their living lives faithful to the Lord.
One day, while sitting on the living room couch with my mom, the subject of heaven came up. I felt pretty good about heaven. After all, I thought, it was where good people who loved Jesus went, and that certainly included me. I had been in church as long as I could remember, and I loved Jesus, God’s Son. I knew He loved me too.
My mom explained that heaven was prepared for believers in Jesus Christ. Everyone had sinned, she said, and sin separated us from God, Who was completely good and could not allow sin into heaven. Well, I was five-years-old. How much could I know about sin? I hadn’t killed anyone. And I hadn’t robbed a bank.
On the other hand, I had to admit, I had hit my sister and made her cry, and I had dug a hole in the plaster wall with my fingernail during naptime. So, there I was, a five-year-old hell-bound sinner, and I knew it.
Fortunately, mom continued, God had provided a way of salvation for sinners like me, by sending Jesus to die on the cross to pay for my sin. I knew the story. He loved us so much that He died in our place.
Then she explained that Jesus would forgive and give eternal life in heaven to anyone who trusted in Him to become their Savior. So, as my mom and I sat on the couch, I prayed, telling Jesus I knew I had sinned, asking Him to forgive me and come into my life as my Savior.
Sometimes we forget the astonishing miracle of salvation . Or, maybe we think that a testimony of conversion must be dramatic to be compelling. But my story teaches us several profound truths. First, whosoever will may come to Him, whether a hardened criminal or a little child will be saved. But we must come to Him on His terms. We must first recognize we are sinners by nature and by choice and that we cannot fix our sin problem on our own. You see, as a young child, I loved Jesus as I understood Him. Thousands upon thousands of people believe that they are eternally secure because they sincerely love God. But until I recognized that Jesus Himself said I was a sinner and in order to be accepted by God, I must turn away from my sin to trust Jesus, I was separated from God and without hope.
Second, no matter how dramatic the events surrounding salvation, the miracle comes through trusting Jesus alone. Third, that God would stoop so low to convince a little girl of her need for Him, grant understanding of the great gift of salvation, and enable a heart transformation that set a new course for her life speaks as powerfully of God’s supernatural intervention as Paul’s Damascus road conversion.
The reality of our testimony does not consist in the dramatic events surrounding the experience.
1. Dear friend, do you have a testimony of conversion to faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior?
2. Read the following Scripture passages to understand how you may trust Christ as your Savior: Roman 3:10; 3:23, 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10, 13.
3. Agree with God about your sinfulness, turn to Him to trust Jesus Christ’s as your Savior. He waits with open arms.