I will never forget what I saw. It was at an area youth meeting somewhere in New Jersey in February 1970.
Scores, if not a hundred or so, of teens packed the church. It was the first time I had ever been to such a meeting, and though I do not remember if there was any preaching, I do remember the response to the altar call.
I am not even too sure what the altar call was about that night. Regardless, I was wide-eyed as I saw people my age kneel, sit, stand and call upon God, some with smiles, others with tears.
Then I saw it. A young man, standing, lifting his hands, and with tears coming down from his eyes loudly saying, "I love you Jesus!"
"That's it! This is what God really wants from people," I thought to myself. Committing to Christ just weeks before this, I had only read a fraction of the Holy Bible by that time. As I continued to study the Holy Bible, it was confirmed in my mind that God foundationally desires our unconditional love.
As a minister, I teach new converts that one's relationship with God should be one of love. It is initiated by being born-again, where Christ, the very Word of God, is placed within us upon our confession of sin and commitment to Him. Thus, by the Holy Spirit, John (14:21) writes, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."
If we have truly committed to Christ, we then endeavor to do right and shun evil because we love Christ, not because we think the good will outweigh the bad at the judgment. It is only by His grace, which gives us the ability to truly love God, that we are saved.
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