John Prins ~ Sarnia, Ontario

 

Do you ever feel you are missing something as a Christian’s child? You look around and realize you have many blessings in your Christian home, but what about all the restrictions? Wouldn’t it be great to have all the blessings of a Christian home and none of the restrictions? “God is the ultimate killjoy.” This is what Satan whispers in your ear. The devil’s plan for your life is to go to gospel and prayer meetings in your spare time and read the Bible with whatever time you have left. He wants you to believe that God is the enemy of a “good time” and wants to keep you back from sins you really could enjoy.

 

My name is John Prins and this is the lie Satan used, with great effect, on me as I grew up in a Christian home. I actually came to believe that Satan was right, even though the Bible says, “he is the father of lies.” As a teenager, I began to pursue things that as a child I thought I would never do. Even with my conscience bothering me, I would engage in behaviors that I clearly knew were sin. The big surprise was, instead of growing happier and more satisfied, the opposite occurred. I became increasingly dissatisfied.

 

By the age of 20, I had come to a point where I realized that the Christians were the happiest people I knew. My so called “friends” were as miserable as I was but could not admit it to themselves.

 

I started reading my Bible and attending Gospel meetings once again. I had heard every part of the gospel and agreed with all of it. Yet, I could not figure out how to be saved. I became bothered by the idea that God could not save me as I had sinned too much.

 

On a cold winter’s night in January of 1981, as I sat reading my Bible and trying to understand God’s salvation, I came across words in Proverbs 1 that filled my heart with fear and dread. “Because I have called and ye have refused, I have stretched out My hand and you did not regard it.” I realized that I had committed a sin that was so terrible that I was sure there could be no forgiveness for me at all. The sin was rejecting God’s offer of mercy. Often I had felt the Spirit of God dealing with me in gospel meetings and yet I had not received Christ. I told my father I never could be saved as I had sinned too much. He asked me if I would like to be saved.

 

“Of course!” I said. He then told me that “a seeking sinner and a seeking Savior always meet” and that God was more interested in y salvation than I was.

 

As I sat there full of despair, a verse that I had learned long before in Sunday School, came to me, “But He was wounded for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5). Suddenly it hit me, that in spite of all my sins, God says “BUT” Christ was wounded for you. I understood that, while I deserved judgment, it had fallen on Christ instead. Since my judgment fell on Him “by His stripes I am healed (saved).” What a wonderful day! I knew that my sins were all forgiven and I had done nothing but take God at His Word.

 

At that moment Christ became my Savior and very precious to me. Also, the Word of God became interesting, and now praying was something that I wanted and needed to do. I had a new life begin in me the moment I trusted Christ. Now, I realize that receiving salvation was the greatest moment in my life.