One of the most perilous positions a person can be in is to be happy, lost, and unaware. That was me. But one night in 1977 as my wife Jane and I were reading she told me that she had just realized she wasn’t a Christian (though brought up in church). She had just that moment prayed a prayer at the end of her book that led her to repent of her sins and trust in Jesus for her salvation. She also mentioned this weird term - “born again” - and told me that unless one was “born again” he wasn’t a Christian and wouldn’t be saved. I thought little of it at the time but, in what I now recognize as God’s drawing me to Himself, the idea that I might not go to Heaven when I died, or more pointedly that I would suffer eternal damnation in Hell, started to prey on my mind. I was 27 years old but I had never cracked open a Bible and read a single word for myself. The only “Bible” I owned was a New Testament paraphrase but I decided to read and look into this “born again” thing for myself. Not knowing how to start I began reading in Matthew. Nothing much happened until I arrived at John chapter 3 where I read these words – “unless one is born again…he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” At that moment my eyes were opened to my lostness and peril and I prayed what is surely one of the worst prayers to be saved ever – “God, I don’t want to go to hell so please save me.” And in the mystery of God’s electing purpose and to my everlasting wonder and gratitude, He did. Forty years later I still have not gotten over it. I am still humbled by and have no answer for the “Why me?” question. And to top it all off God changed our marriage, gave us three wonderful children, saved all of them and their spouses and also gave us eight beloved grandchildren.
My Hope for Crossway
I want to make sure that I/we faithfully teach God’s Word, care for God’s people, and witness to the lost. The “Great Commission” that Jesus gave us sums up that vision: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:18-20