Eric Walberer ~ Phoenix, Arizona

During my life, I have had three changes to my citizenship. I had nothing to do with the first one. Being born into this world in Germany, I automatically became a German citizen, as were my mother and my father. At the age of four, my parents moved to the United States of America and they became naturalized citizens of the United States of America. As I grew older, I had to apply for my own Certificate of Citizenship to prove that I was a citizen of the U.S.A. That was my second change of citizenship.


The third change of citizenship came though my accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. That is when a merciful and loving God made me a citizen of Heaven.


The U.S. Air Force sent me to the Panama Canal Zone to work in Headquarters as a draftsman. I met an Army Chaplain there who had been a Baptist preacher. He invited me to some Gospel meetings in town. Having been raised in the Presbyterian Church, I had never heard Gospel preaching before. All I remember about Sunday School and church was having lots of fun, being good, and believing about God.


Now I was hearing from the Bible that I was a sinner and needed to be saved by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. It was not what I wanted to hear and it bothered me a lot. In the barracks where I lived, I saw and heard many men coming in drunk and falling down the stairs in their drunkenness. In my mind, I would reason with myself that I was not as bad as they were.


However, I had heard solemn warnings from the preacher about the “wrath of God abiding on those that believed not.” As I lay in my bunk thinking about all the things that I had done in my life up to that moment, I suddenly realized that I was no better than anyone else. I needed to have my sins forgiven.


The verse that I had heard from the preacher suddenly came to my mind again. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). God’s holy wrath, that was ready to punish me for all my sins, was a reality in my mind and heart. At that moment, I simply believed on the Son and accepted Him as my Savior. Now I have God’s written proof that I have eternal lie, am a child of God, and a citizen of Heaven. He promises, “He that believeth on the Son HATH eternal life.”


After more than 50 years, I can still remember that night. Every day I thank God for His love in giving His Son to suffer upon Calvary’s cross where He shed His precious blood and died for me the sinner. One day soon, the Lord Jesus is going to take me to my homeland, and the One who died for me will welcome this citizen.


Are you a citizen of Heaven? Are you in danger of the wrath of God for your sins? Remember, “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).