This post is an updated version of one that I posted 10 years ago on this day. On this date, September 2, in 1965, I became a Christian at the age of 6. (Oops–now you all know how old I am!) That is, I repented of my sin and gave my life to Christ. That means I have been a follower of Christ for 50 years as of today.
The date of my conversion is easy for me to remember for two reasons. First, it was just two days before my youngest brother was born, and as my mother and I had our earnest and life-changing conversation, she was extremely pregnant–and ironing! (My mother irons more than any other human being I know.) Secondly, when I excitedly told my grandfather (a pastor and evangelist) what I had done, he made a point of telling me to remember the specific date when I gave my life to the Lord. That way, he said, if anyone ever tried to cast doubt on my salvation, I could confidently give them the exact date when I had made my decision.
I know there are some who question the validity of childhood conversions. I also know firsthand of several childhood “conversions” which were not in fact genuine. However, mine does not fall into that category. The Hound of Heaven pursued me for a full year before I put aside my pride and stubbornness and submitted to God. I was deeply convicted; I knew what I needed to do; yet I refused to do it. At the age of 5, I became obsessed with the idea that the Lord would return and take my parents away, leaving sinful and unrepentant me behind. When I woke in the night, I would sneak into the hallway to make sure my parents were still there–talking in the kitchen or living room.
On one occasion my mother went across the street to talk to a neighbor while I was taking my afternoon nap. I woke up earlier than normal, called for her, and when she did not answer I became convinced that the Rapture had occurred and I was left behind. My screams of anguish reached my mother’s ears and she came running back across the street, no doubt thinking I had greatly overreacted to waking up in an empty house. Yet even after that traumatic incident, I did not yield to the Savior for several months.
So there has never been any question in my mind about the validity of my own salvation. I made a very conscious and deliberate decision 40 years ago and I knew exactly what I was doing–and have never regretted it. I pray that God grants me many more years in His service!