Matt Penney - Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador

Matt Penney - Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador

I was brought up in a Christian home; I was brought to Sunday School my whole life. When I got to a certain age it started to become a real drag, but I was still made to come. Thank the Great One Above!  I knew about sin, I learnt verses like Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." I learnt others like John 3:16 and Romans 10:9 and many others. But these verses never actually meant anything to me until I came to Christ as my Personal Saviour. But these verses helped me, at the time I got saved. Life was pretty much protected for me - I had Christian parents who kept me from dances, parties and bad influenced friends. But I thank God for them! I didn't at the time. My friends that of me as "religious" even though I knew the difference between religious people and born again Christians. But I was to scared to tell them the difference - why would a unsaved person want to stand up for there Church?

I sat in a lot of Gospel Series, but I never got saved, I didn't want to get saved, and then try to face my friends. My friend, you can come so close and miss it. I had planned to be saved for a very long time, and every time I thought about getting saved, the Devil put the thought of my friends in my head. The Devil works at any stage of a person's life, I was the age of 7 and he put thought's of friends in my head. You might think that he doesn't work in someone's life that young - but the truth of this matter is he did, and the scary part of it was: I didn't even know (at that time anyways.)

I think it was the end of 1994, I wanted to impress my parents. So, I asked my dad how to be saved? Dad, how do you get saved? I never cared about the answer I just wanted to look good. So my dad's reply was: Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be Saved. Well, I thought well that's an easy thing to do, and I thought to myself: I believe in God, so I'm saved. Perfect I can tell the preachers at the door now that I'm saved.

For three years, I was battling with two forces: Am I really saved? - I was having second thoughts now, I think it was because of my age increasing - I understood more now. And, then I would think oh, don't be so foolish, of course I'm saved - I believe in God. I struggled with that for three and a half years. One can only go on so long with thoughts like that! The Gander Gospel Hall Easter Conference was coming up. In the mean time, I was still struggling with those two forces. But, I decided that now that it was Conference Time, I'll leave it at that for now - I'll deal with it after the Conference. Saturday night, we came home from the first day of Ministry and Gospel meetings, and I was really scared. We had other Christian's staying at our house, and the thought came into my head, if the Lord came I would be left here all alone! By myself, Mom and Dad will be gone home with their Saviour and all the other Christian's will be gone too - I would be all alone. I was scared. But the Lord didn't come, so I still had a chance.         

Conference time had come and gone, and I was not saved!  The next Saturday night (next weekend after the conference) came.  I didn't get much sleep that whole week. At this point I knew that I wasn't saved.  I wanted too be so bad. I thought about asking my parents, but the Devil put it out of my head not to do that. At that night I said to myself: I give up!  I was starring at the ceiling - all I saw was the darkness of the room, but I saw the flames of Hell! and I did not want to go there! I called out "Mom, Mom, come here."  She came in and said, "what's wrong?" I said "Mom, I'm not saved!"  She thought that I was and she said "Matthew, I thought you were?"  I said "no, I'm not, but I really want to be." So my dad came in and quoted verses that I learnt in Sunday School.  He kept saying the word "believe."  I didn't know how to believe.  Because of the false profession I had before- I knew that it wasn't just believing in God, there had to be more. He said "remember that Sunday School song we sing: God Said It I Believe It, And That Settles It For Me. Matthew, all you have to do is come to a point of realization, that the Lord Jesus Christ did it all on Calvary - and all you have to do is thank Him for it." He then went on to say that "At Christmas time, when you get a present, all you do is say thank-you for it right?" I said oh I get it! And right there and then I thanked the Lord for what He did! He did all.  You just have to accept it!   That's what I did there lying on my bed!  I was saved!  For all Eternity!  No more worries, I felt all my sins just being erased. It was like I had a new slate. On April the 18th, 1998 I got saved!! The Lord has been good to me ever since!

It's a Grand Thing to be Saved!