guest post by Nancy Golden
While visiting Phil’s parents this past July, on impulse I went into a Tractor Supply store in Clovis, New Mexico to purchase some hoof conditioner for my horse back in Texas. A lady was stocking a shelf in the equine section and we began to chat. In the course of our conversation, she mentioned that she had been studying the “end times” and felt like the rapture could happen at any time; she felt that she had messed up a lot and hoped that she was “good enough” for God to take her too. At that moment, it broke my heart to realize the fear and daily struggle she was experiencing because she misunderstood the true nature of God’s grace. If she only understood that she would never be “good enough,” because if any of us could be, then we wouldn’t need Jesus!
I believe it was a divine appointment that first brought me into Tractor Supply at that particular time (probably the only time I will ever be in that particular location) and then moved me to explain to a person whom I had never met before that she could never be “good enough,” but that if she trusted in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, that He has already prepared a place for her in heaven and she truly didn’t have to worry about that anymore. To address her concern that she still messes up, I was able to share with her that while we are saved and therefore becoming transformed to be like Christ, we still mess up and won’t reach that perfection in this lifetime—but if we ask with a sorrowful heart, God forgives us and forgets our sins so that we don’t have to keep holding onto the past; He is much more concerned with our present. God tells us that it is by the blood of Jesus in his perfect sacrifice that we are forgiven of our sins and the Holy Spirit testifies to this truth in Hebrews 10:17, “Then he adds: ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.’”
The Holy Spirit prompted me to ask if I could pray for her and we stood in the horse fly spray aisle arm in arm as I prayed for her to truly know that her Savior had already assured her a place with Him in heaven. Sometimes God uses His people in order to care for His people in the most unexpected places, and that is a blessing in itself, for it gives us real joy when we know we are having an impact on others for Him and that we are furthering His kingdom—even in a Tractor Supply store!
One of my favorite books in the Bible is 1 John because it offers Christians great assurance in their salvation. John even shares his reason for writing in 1 John 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
Rest assured, my Christian brothers and sisters, that by Romans 10:9, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” The work that Jesus did on the cross completely covers all of our transgressions—past, present and future. We can never be good enough on our own—never—but we can have full confidence in Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” and it is truly in Him alone that we are good enough!
This text is an excerpt from Nancy Golden’s book, The Second Greatest Commandment Meets the Great Commission: How to Love Your Neighbors to Christ.
You can learn how to build relationships with those around you in Nancy’s upcoming course, Evangelism: How to Love your Neighbors to Christ.
Nancy Golden has a passion for sharing her faith and a heart for people of “every tribe and language and people and nation.” She is an adjunct faculty member at Dallas Christian College and has taught How to Study the Bible, New Testament Survey, and World Religions. In addition, she has developed a Cross-Cultural Missions course for Dallas Christian College that incorporates both the theology and the history of missions. Nancy and her husband Phil are certified lay servants and along with their son Josh are members of the First United Methodist Church in Carrollton, Texas. Phil and Nancy also serve as Sunday school teachers for the high school and young adult class at the Cambodian United Methodist Fellowship in Carrollton. When she is not busy with her family, students, and church activities, Nancy can be found riding her horse Pistol, who fortunately does not mind listening to her sing praise and worship songs! You can visit her website at love2christ.com.
I truly enjoyed your article, I tell people about how Jesus died for us and I realize even those who have studied the bible sometimes feel they won’t qualify for heaven when they die. I’m a Cert. Lay Speaker at my church and constantly pray that I have made it easier for people to accept Jesus and look forward to their meeting him in heaven. Life is hard for people in these days as there is so much conflict every where.
Thanks for taking the time to let me jabber on. aka Sandy
Hi Sandy and thanks so much for your comment! I apologize for being so late in responding, but I did not receive a notification regarding it and am just now seeing it. You are indeed correct, it is very sad that many people have a misconception about what it means to be saved through grace and struggle with uncertainty because of that. One of my favorite things to tell people is that perfection isn’t required and is impossible because we are all sinners – if perfection was possible we wouldn’t need Jesus! I am so thankful He is there for us! Thank you so much for your service, Sandy – I am confident you are blessing many folks with your loving assurance and kingdom work!