Out of unbelief Jesus

On 3 February 1952, when I was 11 years of age, I responded to Pastor Ralph McIntyre’s invitation at the Handley Baptist Church and made a decision for Christ. I was baptized at the evening service on 10 February 1952.  I do not remember any details of my confession of faith except that I walked down the aisle and responded to questions Rev McIntyre asked.  Was I genuinely saved at that time? I certainly didn’t turn from my sins (1 Cor 3:1-4, talks of baby Christians who follow their own desires). Either I was not saved when I was 11, due to not really and truly understanding what I was doing, or I remained a baby (immature) Christian for many years while the Holy Spirit silently and imperceptibly changed me so that as I entered my late forties an unusual unease began to stir within my spirit. I became aware that somehow I was missing the mark in life. I was made conscious by God’s gracious Spirit that man’s life did not consist in the abundance of his possessions.

Always there had been a craving to know Christ but I ignored it. In mid-life this craving became more intense, more demanding, compelling, urgent like a yearning, burning quest for God’s very person and presence.

The Spirit of the Living God was present within me, yet, always standing, as it were, at arm’s length from me: close at hand, it is true, but somehow strangely just out of reach, out of intimate touch.   So it was I was determined to search for Him with all my soul and spirit.

In His own persistent, patient forbearance God began to give me insatiable thirst for His Word. I found myself, for the first time in my life, spending hours searching the scriptures, pouring over its pages, exposing myself to its truth.

A crucial, burning issue which God’s Word revealed to me at this stage of my spiritual saga was the whole matter of forgiveness. Never before had I realized the titanic cost of suffering borne by Christ at Calvary, in order to extend perfect pardon and full forgiveness to me as a man. It was His impeccable life, poured out in total self-giving on my behalf and in my place, which atoned for all my willful waywardness and wrong-doing.

Such stupendous self-sacrifice to save me humbled my spirit, and made me acutely aware of the great debt of gratitude owed my God!

In late 1988, I got down on my knees and confessed my sins to my Lord and asked for forgiveness. I confessed Jesus as Lord and asked Him to help me yield my life to His total control. I asked Him to change me and make me into what He would have me to be. He began to change me. The things I once hated I now love, and the things I once loved, I hate.

Christ has my heart. He has my thoughts. I love to talk to Him. Christ has my warmest affections and best energies. All I have is consecrated to Him. I long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things.

Jerry Young

 
 
About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.