I was born on July 20, 1963, in northwest Tennessee.By the time I was three years of age, I had lost my brother to a house fire, and I had lost my parents to divorce.My entire childhood amounted to my moving back and forth between my two parents and my grandparents.The only memory that I have of seeing my mother and father together was on one occasion when they had a discussion about custody over me.My childhood was filled with all sorts of evil influences, yet very few Christian influences; so I didn’t hear a clear presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ until I was fifteen years of age.At that time, I had a sincere concern about my soul.I wanted to know the truth, and I was grateful that God had sent someone to give me the gospel.
When I heard the gospel, I believed it, and I received Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.That was on May 3, 1979.I was truly born again that day.I was truly saved by the grace of God because a youth director named Patrick took the time to carefully guide me through the Scriptures, showing me that I was a sinner and that I could become a real Christian by receiving Jesus Christ as my Saviour.
The following Sunday I was baptized, and I became a faithful church member.I also received training on how to lead others to Christ just as Patrick had led me to Christ. By the grace of God, my life had been totally transformed, and, for the first time, I felt that I was now a part of something very important.I was excited about my future as a Christian.Then Patrick left for the mission field, and another man took his place.
I looked forward to getting to know Ron, our new youth director, and I hoped to continue my Christian growth under his leadership.Then it happened.Ron, the man that I was trying to respect and follow, made a complete fool of himself while trying to show me how to lead a manto Christ.While standing on the doorsteps of a certain Mr. Wurley, a man who made it clear that he had no interest in Jesus, I saw Ron pressure the man into praying a little prayer.He then told him that he had just gotten saved.We left Mr. Wurley’s house with Ron rejoicing over his latest “convert” and with me in a state of shock over what I had just seen.Unlike Patrick, who had carefully and prayerfully led me to Christ, Ron carelessly and rudely offended a lost sinner and pushed him further away from Christ!The man had no remorse for his sins; therefore, he didn’t repent.He didn’t come to church, didn’t get baptized, and we never saw him again.He clearly did not become a Christian, yet Ron had assured him that he was “saved” because he had repeated a prayer just to get us to leave.I thought, “How could anyone do God’s work in such a way?”I later came to realize that Ron wasn’t doing God’s work at all.
Today, three decades later, I serve God as a husband, a father to five children, and also as a pastor.I’ve knocked on many doors over the past thirty years, and I’ve had many people tell me that they were “saved.”Yet, most of them were just like Mr. Wurley.They had never turned from their sins.Their lives were filled with sin and worldliness, and there was no visible evidence that they were living for Christ.Most of them claimed to be “saved,” but the simple fact is that most of them only said they were saved.Some knew they weren’t saved, but others honestly thought they were saved simply because they had once prayed a little prayer, or they had been baptized, or they had joined a church.Like Mr. Wurley, they were yet in their sins because they had never truly received the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s gift of salvation.John 1:12-13 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”To “believe” on Christ is to “receive” Christ, according to the Bible.Repeating an insincere prayer is not receiving Christ, and it is not believing on Christ.Accepting certain facts about Christ is nothing more than mental assent, and even the devils believe mentally (James 2:19; Luke 4:33-34).Mental assent is not salvation because salvation is not a mental issue.Salvation is a spiritual issue, a matter of the heart.So, a sinner must believe on Christ with his heart by receiving Christ into his heart:“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”(Rom. 10:9-10)Anything less than true heart belief is a false salvation.One might say he is “saved” because of some past religious moment, but he isn’t truly saved until he has received Jesus Christ:“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”(John 1:12)
What about you, friend?Are you a real Christian?Have you really been born again into a new life in Jesus Christ?Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”(John 3:3)That includes you.Were you really born again, or did you just repeat a little insincere prayer?Were you really born again, or did you just get baptized and join a church?Were you really born again, or did you just believe someone who told you that you were “saved?”Were you really born again, or did you just marry into a Christian family and pretend that you too were a Christian?“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”(John 3:3)
If a man is born again, then he is living a new life.He isn’t the same anymore.The Bible says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”(II Cor. 5:17) No sinner becomes a Christian and then continues in his sins.Jesus said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”(Luke 13:3)If you have not repented of (turned from) your sins, then you are not born again, you are not saved, and you are on your way to hell.
Romans says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”No amount of church membership or “accepting Christ” mentally will change that. You are a sinner who needs to REPENT and RECEIVE Jesus Christ by BELIEVING on Him in your HEART.Any plan less than that will leave you perishing in your sins.
Friend, you don’t have to continue in your lost condition.God doesn’t want you to perish.John says, “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.” Romans 5:8-9 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”Friend, it’s the blood of Jesus Christ that you need, and nothing else.Colossians says, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”Jesus died for your sins, and He rose again for your justification.Don’t think for a second that God Almighty will grant you an entrance into His glorious kingdom just because you had a little religious moment.God is looking right into your heart, friend, and He knows whether or not you have truly been “born again.”He knows whether or not you have become a “new creature” in Christ.You might fool others, and you might even fool yourself, but you will not fool God.I beg you to please examine your heart, and receive Jesus Christ today, if you have never done so.“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”(Rom. 10:9-10)“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom. )
(This tract is printed in black and red ink on white 60 lb. paper.
A blank space for a church stamp is provided on the back.)
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