God speaks to us from the Bible 

Mike Taylor - Salvation cannot be earned

Whilst serving in the Royal Navy I often ended up drinking and secretly taking drugs which were available from a ‘fence’ on board my sub. This seemed to help fill an emptiness in me for a time, but no matter how much I drank, or how many drugs I took, the emptiness would always return. At this time I had some very confused ideas about God, but there was within my heart a desire to know more about this well known person - Jesus Christ.

Within a few weeks, I now believe, God so ordered it that I was transferred to a new submarine. On board was a born again Christian. I was to be placed in a bunk directly above him. I had such an appetite to know the truth, that it wasn't long before we were regularly discussing the ‘pros and cons’ of Christianity. Soon I was convinced that truly the world had been created by God.

However, I was still taking drugs and was unconverted. But now God began to trouble my conscience. It was then that someone, out of concern for my welfare, reported me for drug taking. After 40 days in Colchester prison, I was discharged from the Navy. The day I was released, I went straight round to my dealer's house. That evening was a terrible night. The drugs closed in and nearly crushed me. The friend I was with that night is still in a mental hospital, nearly 3 years later. After that night, I was unable to take drugs again.

I had no self-confidence and sought refuge going to a local church. However, after a time, I felt that the church I was going to had little to do with the God who could free people from their sins. I decided to try somewhere else and by mistake ended up at a church where the Bible was believed and preached. It was here that God really began to lead me to himself.

The Bible says that it is by hearing the Gospel that we obtain faith and in the months that followed, my faith was to grow and grow. God had painfully sharpened my conscience. I kept trying to overcome my sins by my own strength. I felt that if I became more righteous, God would save me. Eventually I realised, as God says in Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace you have been saved, through faith and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast". Salvation can’t be earned.

A passage of Scripture God used shortly before my conversion, was from John's Gospel. It reads, "the one that comes to me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). It was not long after this that God gave me the assurance that he had forgiven me my sins through Christ and that now I would be with him in heaven.

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