Before Coming to Christ
I was raised in a religious home where both parents were heavily involved in the good works of the Masonic order. God and the Bible were revered, but I don’t remember ever hearing the name of Jesus Christ mentioned in the home. I believed in the existence of God and marveled at his creation, but the gospel was foreign to me. At age eighteen I became engaged to a girl from a strict Catholic family and went through the Catholic catechism. We went to confession and mass together and often discussed what we were going to tell the priest. A year after my father suddenly died of a blood clot to the heart I joined the U. S. Navy.
My encounter with Christ
After basic training I was assigned to a submarine group at Mare Island Naval Shipyard across the bay from Vallejo, California Since I had good typing skills I was classified as a Yeoman, and spent my days typing up instructions to upgrade the World War 2 subs we had in mothballs.
During this tour of duty I met identical twins from Texas who were shipmates. They began witnessing to me about the need for a relationship with Jesus Christ. This was my first encounter with the gospel. At first I resisted their efforts because I believed in God and felt that was all that was needed to get to heaven. However, as Ron and Don continued to bring verses like Romans 3:23; 6:23, and 5:8 to my attention, I came to realize that belief in the existence of God was not sufficient, and I needed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
On the night of November 13, 1953 while Don and I had duty watch he kept reciting Rev. 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with me.” I now know that Jesus was talking about the church, but back then I thought he was speaking to my heart and every time I heard Don repeat the word “knock,” I felt as if he were knocking on my heart’s door. Don urged me to kneel and confess my sins and invite Jesus into my heart, so we knelt together and I poured out my heart to God and asked Jesus to become my Savior. When we rose from the steel deck of that ship, I felt as if the burden of sin had been lifted. When I went home that evening I told my wife, Elaine, what I had done and she looked at me and said, “How do you know you are saved?” Immediately, I had a glimmer of doubt, so I rushed from the apartment and ran down to the barracks to get Don out of bed to find out the answer to that question. He took me aside and showed me Scriptures on the assurance of salvation that convinced me that what God said in his word and true and he could not lie.
Several weeks later I invited Don over to our apartment for dinner and afterwards he got out his Bible and led Elaine to the Lord. Now we were a spiritual family on a journey with the Lord.
My Life with Christ
After believing in Christ as Savior, my whole life, attitudes, and outlook changed. Slowly, my interest in worldly pleasures waned, and my desire for spiritual things increased. I began studying and memorizing the word of God and sought fellowship with other believers. Time and space do not permit me to mention the twists and turns that have taken place over the past sixty years, but I can testify that God has been with me every step of the way.
If you are reading this and have not come to grips with your sinful condition before the Lord, I urge you to turn to the Bible and read out loud Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9,10, and John 1:12. These verses reveal our need for salvation through Jesus Christ and what happens when we put our faith and trust in Him.
I recommend that every believer write out his personal story of how he/she came to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.