Peace with God
I’d love to tell you my greatest joy. I was born in 1955 as the youngest child of seven. Early in my youth I asked myself about the meaning of life. Looking at the beautiful world, I came to the conclusion that there had to be a creator because this world did not come into existence by accident. Also, my conscience showed me the existence of a God who had put his will into my heart in order to prevent me from doing what I wanted to do.
I told myself, „If there is a God, my life only makes sense when I do what he tells me to do.“ As most of the people of the Valley/Switzerland I was raised as a Catholic. Through regular church visits, I wanted to be a good Catholic and live a decent life because I wanted to be with God after death. Despite my intentions, I wasn’t always able to live a good life. To make up for the injustices, I abstained from good food and said long prayers. I meant to please God with these sacrifices.
At the age of 23, I heard that each Swiss Catholic who had done the introduction to military service and was at least 1.74 meters tall could serve the Pope in the Swiss Guard as a bodyguard. I saw this as a way to serve God and the Church and hoped to get closer to God in this way. I applied and traveled to Rome with great joy in the summer of 1978. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the peace and joy I had hoped for. Instead, everything seemed like a pious illusory world. That’s why I left the Swiss Guard with the agreement of my supervisors after one year.
Later, I met Silvia. We got along well and had a similar outlook of faith, even though she was reformed. In June 1982, Silvia surprisingly invited me to an evangelistic campaign in Bern. I attended this event more out of curiosity than real interest. But then I heard something I had never heard before: the speaker said we can know if we are going to heaven or not. What separates us from God is our sins. Therefore, God sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world to die vicariously for the sins of all people. And because the Son of God died for us on the cross, he could forgive all our sins and give us heaven.
He continued by saying that baptism alone, confirmation in the Protestant as well as in the Roman Catholic tradition, or communion, do not yet make Christians of us. It is necessary to consciously turn to Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. He who wants to be a Christian must confess his sins in prayer to Jesus Christ, accept him as his Redeemer and Lord into his heart, and be ready to live according to God’s will. He who has never made such a decision for Jesus Christ is not a Christian either and will, after death, not go to heaven to be with God.
So far, I thought that heaven had to be earned with good works. I realized that God loves me personally and wants to give me heaven. The words of the Bible reached my heart. I thought I was a good Christian, but I never consciously invited Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord into my heart. I had never confided in him and invited him to lead my life. I had no personal relationship with Jesus. That’s why I could not really call myself a Christian. The evangelist invited everyone who wanted to choose Jesus to come to him after the sermon. For me, it was clear: what good is it to me if I win the whole world, but lose eternal life with God? I could hardly await the end of the sermon and said to Silvia, „Come, let’s choose Jesus!“ With a beaming face she said, „That’s why I invited you to the evangelistic crusade.“
After the message, we went together to the speaker. He explained to us that by praying personally, we can confess all sins to the Lord Jesus and then accept His forgiveness in faith. We confessed all of our sins to Jesus and invited him into our hearts as our Savior and Lord. Now we knew that we would go to heaven after death. God’s Word testifies to us in 1 John 5: 11-13: And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Very happy, we returned home from the crusade. Silvia and I got to know each other better and better. We wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. In September 1982, we gave each other our marriage vows. God gave us three dear children.
We are a happy couple and have a fulfilling family life, not because we are especially good people, but because Jesus Christ has become the center of our lives. No marriage and family is without difficulties, but with all our mistakes and problems, we can go to Jesus in prayer. He forgives us and gives us wisdom and success to solve the problems or the strength to bear the difficulties. Depending on God, we try daily to be a good role model in our faith in God, for our children and the people around us. My greatest joy now is living with Jesus and knowing that I have eternal life with him. This joy comforts me even in difficult hours.
If God has spoken to you while reading this, and you have the desire to accept Jesus Christ as your Redeemer and Lord, then you can pray to him right now:
„Lord Jesus Christ, I have earned eternal damnation. I believe that you also died and rose for me. I am sorry that I have sinned. Forgive me for all my injustices. (List what comes to your mind.) Free me and release me from all evil. I want to make good the damage done, where possible, and avoid any conscious sin. Come into my life and guide me according to your will. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for forgiving me all my sins, and now you are living in me. Thank you, Father in Heaven, I am now your child and I have the Holy Spirit who guides me to all truth. Amen.“
If you have sincerely prayed this prayer, then Jesus forgave you all your sins (1 John 1: 9), freed you from the compulsion to sin (Romans 6: 6), and gave you eternal life (John 10: 28). Thank your Savior and Lord Jesus Christ in your own words right now for the forgiveness of all your sins and for the eternal life He has given you now. You can talk to Jesus like to your best friend.
Your faith grows when you read the Bible daily, talk to God, and connect with other Christians. For more information, please visit: peacewithgod.net and jesus.net. God bless you!
Bernhard Dura, Chur, Switzerland Flyer