Once I opened up Spurgeon's book on prayer, and read a short ways in, I came upon this:
"I would ask anyone here who has found Christ to bear witness that God heard his prayer. I do not believe that among the damned in Hell there is one who dares say, 'I sought the Lord and He rejected me.' There shall not be found, at the last day of account, one single soul that can say, 'I knocked at Mercy's door, but God refused to open it.' There shall not stand before the Great White Throne a single soul that can plead, "O Christ, I would have been saved by You, You would not save me! I gave myself up into Your hands, but You did reject me. I penitently asked for mercy of You, but I had it not.' Everyone that asks receives. It has been so until this day-- it will be so till Christ Himself shall come. If you doubt it try it and if you have tried it try it again."
I knew God was speaking to me when I read this. Those were my exact thoughts. Thoughts I hadn't expressed to anyone but answers to those thoughts I was desperately searching for. And then again:
"Do you feel yourself as if you were shut out from God altogether? --that matter not, either-- 'knock, and it shall be opened unto you, for everyone that asks receives.' "
My constant feelings of this wall between me and God were acknowledged and told to ignore and press forward. Who could know this was an issue for me but God? Spurgeon continued, posing that some of us might be saying this:
" 'I have been crying to God a long while for salvation. I have asked, I have sought and I have knocked, but it has not come yet.' "
My long agony and constant begging was acknowledged. It was as if he was speaking to me directly. As I realized this was all applying to me, I wanted to know what the answer to my issues were though. Why had I never been saved all those days I had asked?
"Now you have been asking God to save you--do you expect Him to save you without your believing . . . ? "
It was here I realized that I believed in the resurrection of Jesus and that he and God were one. I believed it, but I didn't believe I would be saved- God wouldn't save me. I just knew it. That was my issue. Spurgeon continued:
"But how am I to know that I am saved?" asked one. God says, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved." Have you believed? . . .If so, you are saved. How do I know that? On the best evidence in all the world --God says you are-- do you need an evidence but that? 'I want to feel this.' Feel! Are your feelings better than God's witness? . . . I have no evidence this day that I dare trust in concerning my salvation but this -- that I rest on Christ alone with all my heart, soul, and strength.
Every time I had prayed, I had waited on a feeling, hoping I would feel saved. But I began to realize that feelings account for nothing. You can feel good about sin, but that doesn't make it okay. Feelings change so often. As I continued on, he said:
'I have asked for faith,' says one. Well, what do you mean by that? To believe in Jesus Christ is the gift of God, but it must be your own act as well. . . . You must believe for yourself or be lost! Trust in Him and you are saved, and your prayer is answered!
And I realized that's what had hindered me all this time. My disbelief. And my reliance upon feeling some magical way once I finished praying- hoping to have warm fuzzies inside. That's not what has to happen though in order to be saved.
So that very day when I finished reading the chapter, I prayed for the last time for salvation. I was tired of my habitual sins. I desperately wanted a new heart. And I finally believed God's Word about salvation. And no, I didn't experience magical feelings, but I knew in my heart this time that salvation had come to me. I knew God had heard, and I noticed a difference in my viewpoint of life automatically. The fears I had about death were gone. I wasn't the least bit concerned about catching the virus from this pandemic. I wasn't worried about flying anymore. In fact, that's one of the first things I thought of- finally flying because I no longer was afraid to die in a plane crash. If I died, I died. No loss. I had finally been assured of my salvation- for twenty years I had doubted, and it was gone! All of a sudden. No more doubts. No more fears.
I held back sharing my testimony for awhile because I wanted to see evidence of my salvation and behold fruit as confirmation because feelings don't define truth. God has revealed so many things to me and even now has required me to give up things I never would have imagined. I am thankful for my salvation and have no regrets. I am thankful for Spurgeon and Pink's life who helped lead me to salvation, but most of all my parents who knew I was lost and prayed constantly for me. I don't doubt that it was perhaps hours every week for quite some time. I'm thankful for their persistent prayers. I am thankful that God drew me to Him by using these four individuals to bring me to Christ. I cannot imagine living my life deceived and saying ending up in hell, being one of those saying, "Lord but didn't we do all these things in your name?" and His response with, "I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of iniquity." What an awful end that would have been. Perhaps you are like I was- deceived. Consider your salvation carefully. Consider your fruits. Are they real? I wish all who are deceived would come to know the truth. There's salvation for you too.