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I didn’t want to live, but Jesus Christ gave me hope and peace

 

My name is Calvin Cromley, and this is my story.

 

 

I grew up in a modest home in a small town. Early in my life I had heartache, because when I was three years old, my six year old brother died.  We had such fun playing together.  He had been ill with diabetes, but the doctor in our town did not diagnose him correctly, and by the time the larger hospital in another town diagnosed him, it was too late.   His death was very difficult for my family.

Until I was 4 or 5 years old my mother took me to church around the corner from our house at the top of the hill. I went there until I was 7 years old and then began to attend another church with friends so I could join the children’s choir and eventually join the youth choir.

I went to Vacation Bible School at several churches during the summers and loved it. I also went to backyard Bible clubs in the neighborhood in different people’s yards.   I enjoyed these schools and clubs each year. They were fun, and I was learning the Bible.  I went to a Good News Club at a husband and wife’s home in their basement.  I enjoyed hearing Bible stories and singing songs about Jesus. I didn’t understand everything until I got older.  The husband and wife invited me to go with them to church.  I went and learned more about Jesus, but I did not know Him as my Saviour yet.

One of the things I learned in children’s Bible schools and clubs was that there was more to life than what I had. When I was in 10th grade, I wasn’t happy with the way the world was, and I didn’t want to live.   I had no peace or satisfaction, because I didn’t know Jesus Christ personally as my Lord and Saviour.

On June 8, 1968, as a senior in high school, I went to a church that was going to Montrose High School to hear a Gospel group sing, and a man preached a sermon right from the Bible. He preached many things that were new to me.  He showed in the Bible about sin and judgment, and the Lord was convicting me of my sin.  He spoke of God the Father, and God His Son who came to die and rise from the dead for me.  At the end of the sermon, the preacher invited people to come to the front of the school where there were counselors ready to answer questions and pray with those who came forward.  I went forward that night. I talked to a gentleman named John.  He showed me different verses in the Bible that explained how to be saved from my sin and spend eternity in heaven.   I realized I was lost and didn’t deserve heaven; I deserved hell,   but Jesus had paid the penalty for my sins.   I was sorry for my sin, and I wanted to be rescued from my sinful life.  I needed Christ to come into my heart. I prayed that night, and  I asked Christ to save me.  He did save me!  As I look back over my life, I see now that the Lord had used the Bible verses that I learned in the Bible clubs to speak to my heart for this very moment.

I joined the Navy, where I received an honorable discharge. There wasn’t much opportunity on the ship to go to church, so when I got back home from the service, I felt like I needed to get into a church to grow in the Lord; I started attending my childhood church.   I also went back to school and earned an associate degree in business administration.    Soon after I graduated, my 22 year old younger brother was riding his bicycle and was killed instantly by a car driven by a drunk driver.  The Lord gave me the strength to get through my brother’s death.   I rejoice each day that I know Jesus as my Saviour.  He cares for me and helps me through many trials.

After my brother’s death, I began working in a department store in our town. One of my co-workers asked me if I went to church.  I told him I did.  He told me his church preached right out of the Bible.  That interested me very much, because the church I had been attending did not really do that.  My co-worker invited me to attend Heritage Baptist Church.  Pastor Hettinger was the pastor there at that time. I went a few Sundays and realized the Lord wanted me there. On the church’s first anniversary in 1977 I went forward to join the church. Soon after that I was able to take my parents to hear the Gospel.   I understood more about the Bible as I went to church and quickly grew spiritually as I heard God’s word. I love serving the Lord.  I will continue serving the Lord until He takes me home with Him to heaven.

Here are some Bible verses that helped me see my need of Christ:

We are all sinners: Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”      We chose to disobey God and go our own way instead of God’s way (Isaiah 53:6). Even our thoughts are sinful (Mark 7:20-23).  The price of sin is physical death and an eternity in hell: Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Revelation 20:15 “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

The only one who has never sinned is God. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh: 1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

Jesus Christ came to this world to take away our sin and give us His righteousness as a free gift so that we can have the opportunity to go to heaven:  Romans  6:23  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Jesus Christ paid for my sin: Romans 5:8-9 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

To receive the free gift of God’s righteousness, the sinner must repent and put his faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.   To repent is to have a change of mind and heart where the sinner is sorry for sin and desires to be rescued from his sinful life. Christ can rescue you from your sin when you humble yourself and submit to Him as your Lord and Saviour.  The moment you submit to Him, He saves you and changes you so that you can live a life pleasing to Him.

Jesus is the only way to heaven:   John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jesus alone is Saviour. No one else and nothing else can save. Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

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