This Is My Story: Laura Lindwall

It’s strange how God could use a jungle gym and a tomato allergy to bring me to the assurance that I would go to heaven when I died. But He did just that. When my family entered a Bible church for the first time, I was eight years old and unaware that I needed God.

During Sunday school in that Bible church, I learned for the first time that my soul, as a sinner, would go to hell when I died, for the “wages of sin is death.” I knew in my eight-year-old heart that it was the truth. I remember thinking how odd that I had never heard this before. I thought about this news that because I was a sinner and God is holy, I needed to personally ask Him to be my Savior. I also learned that Jesus had died for me, was buried, and rose from the dead so that I could have a personal relationship with Him. All I had to do was accept His “gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.” Admitting that I could not get to heaven on my own, I just needed to humble myself, ask Him to save me from hell.

The part that I found difficult

Soon after that Sunday school lesson, I told God that I believed all that was true. The part that I found difficult was admitting to others that I wanted this salvation. Since I was a fearful child, I did not want to tell anybody that. I really should have talked to somebody so that I could get some biblical instruction and assurance that I was truly saved. Instead I just let everybody think that I was already a born again believer.

But God knows our weaknesses, and He helped me. Two years later my mom sent me to our church’s camp. I enjoyed every minute of that week; in fact, I wanted to take my camp counselor home with me. The speaker of the week focused on the events of the last days. Once again I knew that I needed to talk to somebody about salvation so that I could have assurance that I was going to heaven, and once again I was too scared.

“I want to know”

This is where the tomato allergy and jungle gym come in. I was allergic to tomatoes, but I ate the spaghetti dinner that night anyway. That night in bed I became rather sick, but I was still too much of a little chicken. I was too scared to wake my counselor. She heard me groaning though and took me to the nurse. Afterwards we sat on the jungle gym, and she asked me if I knew for sure that I was on my way to heaven. I said “No, but I want to know.” I told God that I knew that I was a sinner and could do nothing to get to heaven on my own. I asked Him to forgive me. I wanted His free gift of salvation. He gave me eternal life and saved my soul from hell.

Perhaps you are as I was at the age of eight, knowing that this is the truth, yet resisting it. Will you accept it so that you do not have to go to hell to pay for your sins? God has to punish sins just as an earthy judge punishes criminals. People may think that since God is love, he will not send people to hell; He is love, but He is also holy. He must judge sin. Can you imagine an earthly judge saying to a murderer, “Since I love you, I will let you go”? No, the judge punishes the crime. The amazing thing about God is that He sent His perfect Son to take the punishment of our crimes, our sins. Jesus died for us and then rose from the dead. All we need to do is believe. It’s not too good to be true; it’s good and it’s true because God is good and God is true!

“For if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and will believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-10, 13)

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