Everyone remembers many important and impactful days in their lives, ones they will never forget. Days of joy, love, hurt or sadness… days of victory and defeat.
My most memorable day is something worth sharing...
Of the many days I remember, the most memorable day was on a warm Wednesday night, March 16, 1994.
It was the first Wednesday night service I’d ever attended at Fairfax Baptist Temple. I don’t remember the message, but Bud Calvert always had a way of getting the need for salvation through each time. I’m sure it was a culmination of his messages over the past month I’d been attending and the Holy Spirit putting in some overtime. That night I came to grips that I was lost and finally surrendered.
I bowed my head in the dimly lit parking lot and asked God to save me. I remember pleading with God to save me. I wasn’t sure of my eternal home and it scared me. Crying, I begged God for mercy... to save me and in one moment, one prayer, I acknowledged my sin and accepted Jesus dying on the cross as sufficient payment of my sin debt. I thanked Jesus Christ for shedding His precious blood and paying the cost for my sin. I thanked Him for taking my place of punishment and sorrow and rising again the 3rd day victorious. At that moment, I knew I was saved. Saved from eternal damnation and the wrath of God. Heaven is my new eternal home.
My brother was the first to share God’s plan of salvation with me. Trey Elmendorf, my dear brother who went home to be with the Lord on August 2, 2015. I never knew of the countless hours he prayed for me and actively sought to share the gospel with me. I remember as a teenager sitting in Victory Baptist Church with Trey and the family. I heard the gospel clear as day and even raised my hand acknowledging that I needed to be saved... and then refusing to respond to the invitation. A deacon of the church who saw me raise my hand even came up behind me and asked me to go forward. All I could say was "No, I'm OK". Well, I wasn't OK. Many years later when I was 18 years old, Trey and I had a phone call. I was lying on my brother’s bed in the basement of our old home, recently dumped by my girlfriend and still dealing with the loss of our mother in February of that year as well. Trey told me of a friend who would never leave or forsake me. Thank you, Trey, for planting many seeds of love and being obedient to God's call to witness to others. I love you and will see you soon.
I feel that it is my duty to share my personal story and how you can also have peace with God, true fellowship, and know for sure that Heaven is your home. I hope you will indulge the following thoughts I have for you concerning your eternal destination.
“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:"
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
When one repents of their sin and accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, they are saved. Once saved, you can never lose your salvation. The Bible tells us that saved people are free from the penalty of sin and will avoid the judgment of God to come. We will be in Heaven for all eternity with our God. It is then our responsibility to declare the free gift that God has so graciously offered to all who will believe.
What is the sinner's prayer?
The sinner's prayer is offered to God when someone realizes that they are a sinner and in need of a Savior. Saying a sinner's prayer will not accomplish anything on its own. A true sinner's prayer only represents what a person knows, understands, and believes about their sinfulness and need for salvation.
The first aspect of a sinner's prayer is understanding that we are all sinners. Romans 3:10 proclaims, "As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one." The Bible makes it clear that we have all sinned. We are all sinners in need of mercy and forgiveness from God (Titus 3:5-7). Because of our sin, we deserve eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). The sinner's prayer is a plea for grace instead of judgment. It is a request for mercy instead of wrath.
The second aspect of a sinner's prayer is knowing what God has done to remedy our lost and sinful condition. God took on flesh and became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1,14). Jesus taught us the truth about God and lived a perfectly righteous and sinless life (John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus then died on the cross in our place, taking the punishment that we deserve (Romans 5:8). Jesus rose from the dead to prove His victory over sin, death, and hell (Colossians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 15). Because of all of this, we can have our sins forgiven and be promised an eternal home in Heaven - if we will just place our faith in Jesus Christ. All we must do is believe that He died in our place and rose from the dead (Romans 10:9-10). We can be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Ephesians 2:8 declares, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."
Saying the sinner's prayer is simply a way of declaring to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ as your Savior. There are no "magical" words that result in salvation. It is only faith in Jesus' death and resurrection that can save us. If you understand that you are a sinner and in need of salvation through Jesus Christ, here is a sinner's prayer you can pray to God.
Did you pray the sinner's prayer? If so, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. Secondly, you should get involved in a local, bible-believing church. When you arrive, let the pastor know of your decision to accept Christ as your Savior. I pray for each that may land on the pages containing these words. Accept Jesus right now!
In His Service,