Over the past year, I had been really struggling to come to clarity in the issue of salvation and what true faith is. I had been raised on the doctrine of eternal security as presented by Charles Stanley and the OSAS promoters.
There was a time when I even visited your site and read through some of the articles but I didn't want to accept the truth that you were presenting. I realize now what really was the case was that I didn't want to accept God's truth because that is exactly what you were presenting, straight from the Bible. For so long I had been taught a faith that didn't need the testimony of bearing fruit or of holding onto to the very end. I first accepted Jesus Christ into my life at a very young age (5) and over the years, I fell away, especially the college and post-college years. If anybody said that I was never saved, that would be a lie because I sincerely loved Jesus when I was child. But that love faded away over the years as I put idols in the place of God and allowed the world to influence me.
In the past, I would have argued that I was still saved even through college even though I got drunk on a number of occasions and was a slave to sin in more ways than one. But truth be told, I was in no way saved at that time and surely was no child of God. I used to have dreams in which my life would come to an end but I was not welcomed into heaven. I went to the other place, hell. I used to wake up in a sweat from those dreams.
Then there were dreams in which the accomplishments and things I had done in my life were taken away and when I woke up, I would have to take a few seconds to realize it was just a dream. I came to realize that through those dreams, God was really trying to get my attention and was showing me where I was headed if I were to have died during those years. And in the dreams with the accomplishments being taken away, I realized that it symbolized that everything that I had done was going to be counted for nothing because I was headed for hell. That was a scary thing to consider.
A little over two years ago, I was reading the story of the prodigal son and after I read it, I knew that I had to repent and return home to God, to be alive again because I was dead in my trespasses. Since then, my life has been transformed by His power. Through His mercy, He has opened my eyes to His truth and it has literally blown me away. I am in shock at how far off I was and how foolish I was. I had to come to the point where I found that my knowledge of the faith wasn't as much as I thought it was and in reality, it was next to nothing. From the past two years to the present, I have experienced what having my mind renewed really is like and your web site has been a big part of that.
It's really sad to see how badly the Church has fallen away from the truth. And the Church in many respects has become so much like the world, that people can't even tell the difference anymore. And according to statistics, especially with the divorce rate, the Church is more wicked than the secular society. It's no wonder that the nonbelievers look upon the Christian faith as a joke because there are too many people out in the world claiming to be Christian and because of their deeds, the name of Christ has been made into a mockery. I myself was one of those that hindered others because of the double standard/hypocritical lifestyle that I once lived. Why would people fill the need to repent when I was living the same life they were living and yet had the audacity to call myself saved?
I also know what it is to really fear God and revere Him now. There are many people that are going to be turned away when they face Jesus on judgment day and it saddens me that many of them will be ones who claimed and thought they were Christians their whole lives. But Jesus will be sure to let them know whether they were or not. We can hide nothing from Him.
I really thank God that there are still people out there that know the truth and aren't afraid to speak the truth. You have helped me more than you could ever imagine and somehow God willed it to be so. I have purchased your book "The Believer's Conditional Security" and look forward to reading it. Through your sharing of the truth, the Bible has become so much more clear to me as well as the life that I am to live as a sacrifice unto God constantly and continuously. May you continue to do God's will and may we all hold fast to the faith, bear fruit and endure to the very end. Blessings!