Hello! My name is Jeremy. I am 17 years old and a senior in high school at the time of this writing. I am homeschooled and take online college courses. I've been answering questions for 412teens for a while, but I'm just starting writing. For my first blog post, I wanted to share my testimony and detail the story of how I came to faith in Jesus Christ.
I did not grow up in an incredibly religious environment. My family members believed in God but did not practice the faith in an extensive manner. Church attendance was, for the majority of my life, essentially absent, and family prayer or Bible reading was not practiced to any significant extent. Worst of all, I had no understanding of the Gospel. I was under the impression that "good" people go to Heaven and "bad" people go to Hell. Later on, the Bible taught quite differently on the matter...
The exact specifics of how I came to knowledge of the actual Gospel are a little fuzzy. But I do know that I finally learned of the truth of the Good News and came to saving faith through the internet, specifically through our parent site, GotQuestions.org.
I used to have no knowledge of the things of God. Through His guiding hand in my life, I learned of the Gospel, which is "the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..."(Romans 1:16). This is the Gospel; everyone who has ever lived has sinned and committed an offense against God (Romans 3:23). God is completely holy and completely just, and since He is such, He cannot allow sin to go unpunished (Psalm 33:5). The penalty of sin is death, and eternal separation from God in Hell (Romans 6:23; John 3:18).
This is the good news, that God's "mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning" (Lamentations 3:22-23). In His mercy, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to come to the earth, completely man and completely God, live a sinless life, die on the cross, and come back to life. Jesus took the penalty for our sin when He was crucified. Isaiah 53:5 (NIV) says, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." All that we have to do in order to receive the forgiveness Christ purchased for us is to put our faith in Him (John 3:16).
Anyone who will turn from their old life and put their faith in Christ for salvation will be saved. It doesn't matter what you've done in your past or what you do in your future. Jesus said in John 6:37, "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out." I was wrong about my beliefs before I came to Christ. It does not matter how "good" or "bad" you have been in your life. We are all guilty before a sinless God. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."
The opportunity for the vast forgiveness we have in Christ is truly amazing. Like Isaiah 53:5 says, Jesus' punishment brings us peace. It is amazing that no matter how far we fall, we will always be forgiven. It reminds me of Psalm 139:8, which says, "If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there." God will never leave us or forsake us, nor will anything separate us from His love (Hebrews 13:5; Romans 8:23).
Now that I have been saved from my fatal error, God has taken me and turned me into a vessel for His work. I am very involved in my church and teach elementary and middle school kids about God's Word. God even allows me to minister through the internet here on 412teens.org. I am passionate about teaching truth and counteracting error. I hope to be called to pastoral ministry later in life.
For those of you who read this, let me assure you that the Gospel is for everyone. It does not matter if you grew up in church or if your family is staunchly atheist. My faith is the greatest blessing I have. I hope this post encourages those of you who haven't taken the step to saving faith to do so. I guarantee you won't regret it!
Jeremy is a homeschooled high school student. He enjoys teaching spiritual truth and helping out at his church. He believes in the sufficiency and objectivity of Scripture over the subjective and unreliable nature of the heart (1 Timothy 3:16; Jeremiah 17:9). He also enjoys pin trading, marksmanship, and visiting theme parks.