By Teena Myers
At the tender age of nine, a concerned Christian asked Kathy if she wanted to go to hell. She immediately replied no. Kathy was marched into the presence of the pastor’s wife. She looked up at the formidable woman, who looked down at her and said, “Do you want to go to hell?” Terrified, Kathy reaffirmed that she did not want to “go to hell.” The pastor’s wife led Kathy in a prayer, and the following Sunday the pastor baptized Kathy. She emerged from the baptismal tank thinking she had met God’s demands to receive salvation.
Kathy knew the terror of God but remained unaware of his great love for her. Four years later, she heard friends in her youth group talk about a God who gave them peace. They rarely spoke about hell but had much to say about a personal relationship with God. Deeply convicted by the love radiating from her friends, Kathy became painfully aware of the deficiency in her own relationship with God.
For several years, God tugged at Kathy’s heart to make a sincere commitment to him. She came to a breaking point at a church camp. Kathy sat on the top bunk wrestling with God when her camp counselor asked, “Is there something wrong?” Her first inclination was to lie. Weary of her struggle, Kathy blurted out the truth. “I need to know how to be a Christian.” God had already prepared the counselor to meet Kathy’s need. The previous day, the counselor had discussed with a friend how to lead the children at camp to salvation and highlighted the scriptures she needed. The counselor showed her Romans 3:23 to prove that everyone has broken God’s laws, then turned the pages to Romans 6:23 and showed her the result of sin is separation from God. Kathy understood from John 3:16 that Christ died for the whole world and then saw in Romans 10:9-10 that she could have a restored relationship with God. Kathy believed the scriptures she read with her counselor. This time she made a sincere decision to accept a loving Savior.