I was raised as a Roman Catholic and accepted Jesus Christ as my savior at an early age, but I was never assured of my salvation. We were always taught that maybe we would get to heaven, but most likely because of our sins, we would go to purgatory first and then make it to heaven. By around the age of 18, I went to a Baptist church for the first time. Here, I learned about eternal salvation because of my belief and faith in Jesus Christ.
Being sure that I would go to heaven to be with the Lord because Jesus was in my heart was a very new concept to me. It made sense though. The idea of purgatory no longer made sense. I thought "Jesus died for ALL of my sins--not just some of them. Purgatory is saying that we need to go somewhere else first because Jesus did not take ALL of our sins, but the bible does not say this!"
I first read the bible at this time also and learned that the Catholic church did tell me some truths like the trinity (God the father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit are all one). I can no longer agree with purgatory, but I still love all Catholic people and think there are many who are indeed saved, but are not aware of that. If they study the scripture, they could sleep better at night KNOWING that they will be with the Lord forever because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
After I was assured of my salvation, I experienced some times where I backslid in my spiritual walk with the Lord, but I knew that I still belonged to the Lord. I had just received the bible so I was learning to walk in my spiritual life like a baby. I had to learn all of the basics first and that included how to be led by the Holy Spirit. I always knew about the Holy Spirit, but had no idea of how the Holy Spirit could help me live the life that God chose for me. Every time I would fall, I knew I needed him to help me get up. The Lord was faithful. I have discovered in my walk with him, whenever I allow him to be in control of my life, I am living life like he intended it to be for me.
The road with the Lord is not an easy one, but we must persevere and never give up. We must always remind ourselves that Jesus Christ was perfect, but we are not. This is why he came. He took all of our sins and put them on himself so we can be with his father. We must pray continually and repent of our sins and ask the Lord to lead us. It doesn't end there. We must share this wonderful news with others so they can know that they can have eternal life too. If it wasn't for someone else taking the time to share the gift of eternal life with me, I wouldn't be where I am now and would be still wondering if I could be with Jesus forever.