Beth: I came to Christ on April 11, 1968 at age 19.

I came to Christ through the law. I already believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. I already believed Jesus Christ died for me to take away my sin on the Cross and was raised from the dead. I also already believed that I was a sinner.

I was separated from God as any hard-drinker, bank robber, atheist, or list of descriptors usually agreed upon as wrong.

How did I know that? I was willing to let this God I did not know judge my life, both my good and bad deeds, and from those determine if I were good enough to go to Heaven. I was willing to know nothing and trust in the general goodness of God. I had not read the Bible. I had not gone to a pastor or a Christian I knew to ask questions. I was content to let time go by and my life go being a know-nothing and just think I was probably going to make it into Heaven. It sounded good. I would let God Himself decide.

I was told if I showed up at the gate of Heaven (as is) to be let in by God, I would be CAST OUT of his presence! That made me so angry! My response was, "Well, that's God's last chance to get to know me!" I suppose if God was going to reject me "as is," I was going to pre-empt that and reject him! The problem, as was explained to me, was that God is holy and I am not. Because of His holiness, he could not tolerate my sin without treatment.

I realized I had to investigate two things. I realized I had to investigate two things. 1. Was I a sinner or a sinner lost in sin? 2. Did Jesus die for me (that was nice of him but not really necessary), or was I totally lost unless he died for me?

I had to investigate sin to determine if it controlled me or if I controlled it. So, being an engineering student, I set up an experiment. I did not really know what sin was, so I picked something I considered wrong. I decided that was showing affection toward someone when I had no affection for that person at all. I decided if I never did this thing I considered wrong (ever), I was a sinner but not a sinner lost in sin. If I did it, having set this law up myself, I would realize I was a sinner lost in sin and Jesus Christ had to die for me or I would be lost.

So I went along for 3 weeks being careful but apparently not careful enough. Now you can laugh all you want, but the custom at that time where I went to school was that you "make out" with someone you spent time with but basically didn't really know. Making out at that time meant kissing. The only place to take a long enough walk for the athletic type I was then was on the railroad tracks. I met up with a male student who had the same idea and we walked along the tracks back to my dorm. Before he left I knew he was going to want to kiss me not just a little but a lot as the custom was, simply because we had spent time together. I thought I would hit the elevator button with my elbow, lean forward and kiss him once, back into the elevator, and escape to the second floor of the women-only dorm where my room was. I did well and he couldn't follow as the door closed. I successfully escaped. It hit me like a ton of bricks between the first and second floor that I had broken my own law I had set up weeks ago before this happened. Within a few minutes I made my peace with God by exclaiming on my knees, "OK, God, you're right! Hide not your face from me!" Whether I understood the extent of what happened or not, I knew immediately I was forgiven of this one trespass which provided great emotional relief! I didn't realize I was a new person in Christ until some time went by. Some other people recognized it as I started to pray for gobs of time and read the New Testament for gobs of time. It took me a while to figure out my decision was accepted by God and was irreversible.

Except for not wanting to leave engineering and go into the ministry, I never looked back.

Have you heard of the annual Darwin Awards? They represent ways people inadvertently kill themselves and remove themselves from the gene pool.

Romans 7:11 in the New Testament says sin (things you know that God knows are wrong) hoodwinks us, masquerading as whatever will cause us to downgrade it to "safe" status, and then it comes in for the kill. My notion that I would allow a good God to decide whether I should be allowed into Heaven or not would actually have led me to being rejected due to his holiness which I had left out of the equation. I had underestimated my sin in God's eyes and I overestimated my loveliness to him when I was actually dead in sin. I wasn't dead physically, but now I knew I was dead spiritually and a dead man for sure before God because I had not asked him to forgive me and take advantage of Jesus' death for me.

I have asked many very young children after saying their parents may give them an allowance but they must take out the garbage or make their bed. The allowance is a kind of wages or payment. When I ask them what the wages of doing things they know God knows are wrong, each and every one looks at me and whispers, "Death." They are correct. Romans 6:23 agrees! Who sins? We all do!

Spurgeon, a preacher not forgotten to this day, may shed light through a sermon he preached in 1855. If this isn't relevant to you, try listening to Ray Comfort "Hells Best Kept Secrets" on the links page. He uses the Ten Commandments to show none of us, including YOU, do what the law says. He uses the master list to show we cannot co-exist with a holy God peacefully. I used one thing I thought was wrong and I set it up as a law for myself. The bottom line is no one's conscience excuses him or her. We might be drifting along, conforming to what we think is a good life, even better than the lives of others, but in relation to a holy God, we can't maintain that image of ourselves. The law, any law, makes us conscious of our state.

I thought I would recast my coming to Christ around God's holiness, my sin, and the law as this website is for law enforcement. You can tell an officer, "I didn't know it was against the law." He or she will probably answer, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse." You might plead your case and the officer might just give a warning or a 24 hour fix-it ticket and you might soon forget the experience or brag to your friends you were let go. But there will be none of that with God when we breathe our last breath. So it's not so silly when you see barn roofs that proclaim in large letters, "Prepare to meet thy God."

This is my email address:
Thank you to Mary Engelbreit Ink 1993 for this card which I've saved all these years!

Last updated: 02/25/2017