Since I was a child I’ve heard the Gospel from my parents. I was born in a Christian home and received Christ as my personal Savior and Lord when I was eight years old. I learned that I had to accept Jesus myself because my parents couldn’t do it for me.
I knew that I was a sinner and that God is holy. I learned that Jesus came to pay for my sins by dying on a cross and the only thing I needed to do was to believe in Him. Then one day the visiting pastor invited those who wanted to receive Christ as their personal Savior to come forward, and that is exactly what I did.I went home so happy and secure with the assurance that I was saved. My parents hadn’t gone to church that Sunday morning and when I told them I had accepted the Lord as my personal Savior they rejoiced with me.
For a long time I was very sure of my salvation, because I knew I didn’t need to do anything to be saved. God had saved me by sending his son in my place,but one day I heard a pastor say that he had prayed for salvation again, and made another decision to receive Christ, because he was not sure of his salvation. I was disturbed with what I heard that day, because that man had already been chosen as the best student of the seminary and now he was saying that he wasn’t even saved.
I thought I wasn’t a very good Christian, and because of that I doubted my salvation. I was already in my second year at the seminary, but Satan put a seed of doubt in my mind. It bothered me for almost a year. In fact, I couldn’t serve God like I had before. Day and night I would worry about what would happen to me if I wasn’t saved. That year was a very difficult one for me.
Then one day while I was looking for answers, I found Psalm 116 where the psalmist had a similar experience. He said:
3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
4 Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
6 The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
…10 I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
...12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
14 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
This had really bothered me. I had even thought that I could have been possessed by demons if I wasn’t saved. I doubted my salvation because I didn’t remember the date on which I had received Christ as my Savior and who was the preacher that had preached that Sunday morning when I was just eight years old. And then I thought: ''How can I be saved if I don’t remember that?''
But the Bible does not say to remember the date or the name of the pastor that preached the gospel to you, but says:
“ … Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” - Acts 16:31, and the psalmist said: “I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted”- Psalm 116:10.
That was what I did. I gave my testimony in front of the congregation saying I had believed in Christ Jesus since I invited him to be my personal Savior. And from that day on I had assurance of my salvation. Jesus said:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” John 5:24.
I assume that many people may be passing through this same experience, and I know that a true believer may suffer a lot if he is not sure his salvation is “the gift of God - the eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23.
I have urged people to think over their decision. It is sad to think that so many people have deceived themselves about their salvation when in fact, they are not saved.
My heart also has a burden for the people that have never heard about Jesus. Many people in the world haven't even heard the Gospel. I want to do something about it. Me and my family have dedicated ourselves to serve God by taking the Gospel to these un-reached people, or to help my brothers in these countries (specifically India) with what I have learned.
Perhaps I could work in a seminary, to train some national pastors to reach their own people. I could also help the people from my country to open their eyes and look unto the fields.That is what I have been praying for, for almost 6 years.
This is a good time for our country to link with others. Perhaps it is a good time for our churches in Brazil to take advantage of this opportunity. My own denomination (Regular Baptist Church in Brazil) is becoming aware of this.
I have preached about being faithful where we are, but looking forward to reaching out to other countries. Preaching to those near us but not forgetting those who are far from us.
We need to reach them and be a witness for Christ
“…both in Jerusalem - Judaea – Samaria - and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)