Published August 26, 2014

Paul's Epistle...
"I Remember The Day"

      I remember the day when the Lord saved me
      All of heaven came down
      I was happy and free
      Glory filled my soul
      For I knew the Lord had made me whole
      I shall never forget the day
      When the Lord saved me.*


Those words from a song the Perrys recorded way back in 1988 (and later covered by many other artists) have been running through my mind quite a bit lately. I don't know why.

But, in fact, I certainly do remember the day when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.

My dad was a pastor. I heard his sermons twice every Sunday. We even had Wednesday night prayer meetings back then. And, of course, there was Sunday School, Christian Endeavor, Vacation Bible School, etc. So I was immersed in the Gospel for as far back as I can remember. I had plenty of "head knowledge" but was still lacking "heart knowledge."

That all changed on February 6, 1955. (I have that spiritual birthday written in a little Bible, in my dad's handwriting, that I still keep in my desk at home.) I remember it happened during an evangelistic service at the church in York, Pa., where my dad pastored. I don't remember the visiting evangelist's name or anything that was said – other than that he gave an altar call. That's when this shy, self-conscious preacher's kid felt so convicted by the Holy Spirit that I actually got up, excused my way out of the packed pew and went up front to the altar to accept Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I remember that quite well – and always will.

That church is still there. And, to this day, I could show you where I was sitting (give or take a pew) on that night that changed the rest of my life. I could even show you where I kneeled at the altar rail (I suppose it's still there).

Some people say there's no specific time when one becomes a Christian. But the book of Acts is full of definitive conversion experiences. (Look at Saul/Paul! And see Acts 2:41.) Some confuse the once-and-done salvation experience with the ongoing process of sanctification, in which we, as Christians, grow daily (or should) to be more like Christ every day until this life ends. Some even seem to believe that Christianity can be "inherited" from parents or something parents do, such as infant baptism or confirmation.

Clearly, though, salvation is a personal, volitional matter. Accept Christ or reject Christ – the decision is left to each of us, individually. It's a willful, mandatory choice. And there is a moment in time when that choice, if in the affirmative, is made and your salvation is sealed. Given the fact that it's the most important decision you'll ever make, if you've made it, you certainly should remember it.

Some have a "radical" conversion from a life of all-out sin and debauchery. Others, like me, remember it as a time when the firm decision was made to follow the Lord whom we'd known about for years. But the end result is the same in either case — salvation!

Do you remember the day when the Lord saved you? Would you like to share your conversion experience? Send me just a concise paragraph or two of your memories of that day. I'll compile some and share them here. Testimonies, anyone?

- Paul

*Chorus from "I Remember The Day," written by Mary Spencer, published by Pleasant View Music ASCAP, recorded by the Perrys in 1988 on their "God's Little People" album. This song went to #2 on the Singing News chart in January and February of 1989.

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