The Reason For The Hope That Is In Me
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 8
- Version: KJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the KJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
There is a world of stories out there to be read, in categories such as fiction, non-fiction, biographies, tutorials — the list could go on. Seemingly endless is our fascination to know more, and recluse to a place in our own minds through these escapes. As you read my own story, there is nothing you will find that is likely to endear you to me; I share this with you because you have asked or noted something about me, or because I have a care for you. I have never seen stories like this when searching the libraries of man, but I have come to know many people from all over the world who have this same experience to share.
These stories seem to be told by those we deem to be the religious type, until you come to understand that it is a Person these speakers are desiring you to know, and not a religion they want you to join. These experiences are most often discounted with the conclusion, “That’s fine for those who have it, but it is not for me.” Yet every single soul that has and tells a story like this, no matter their differences in this life or backgrounds — be they rich or poor, whatever their race, creed, culture and even religion — they all share this one reality, this one truth, this one moment: “Jesus Christ died for me — for my sins, for my welfare, for my soul’s security.”
It’s with this in mind that I tell my own version of this story.
I grew up in Green county Wisconsin and was your typical American farm boy. Life on the farm quickly teaches a small boy about death as there are always livestock to be raised and butchered. As a result, I saw more death than most children my age. Through these experiences these questions came to mind: “What about my life?” “What will happen to me when I die?” I know now from the Bible these very thoughts are created in us from God. As we grow older they grow less intense and get replaced with our own ideas that we think make us feel better for a little while. I wasn’t actively searching for answers, but I was fearful of death. Without even knowing it, God in grace was bringing before me the answer.
In our summers, my sister and I often spent a week’s time at each of our grandparents’ farms and it was there that I began to learn about God. I have always and still do love all my relatives, so as I lay out how God spoke to me it is not a slant against any persons, but reflects only what I could see in a boy’s mind.
One home was Catholic and the other was Christian. As an adult, I can say that in the former I saw formality, and not reality, for why did they pray to pictures and pretty things? In the latter, I witnessed a sincerity and devotion to the Bible and what it showed them and Who it revealed. This was not faith in religion, but faith in a person: Jesus Christ and His gospel. One had a half bathtub with a statue rendering Mary in the front yard, and the other had a verse painted on a metal sign: “…Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). I could never understand the verse. I knew no one as a boy more godly than my Moms’ parents, so did that mean that Christ didn’t die for them? It was during those years I saw religion and what I perceived it to do, and I heard the gospel, where preachers read to me from the Bible what was going to happen to me after I die, if I died in my sin without Christ as my Savior …. The former had a way of making you feel good — that you were doing something for God — but the latter scared me more of dying.
My mom was struggling in her life during these years and as a child I didn’t realize this at the time. She was a born again Christian herself and was desiring for her family to know the truth of how we can be sure of our soul’s eternal welfare. She would confess that her life for many years did not show the fruit of her salvation, just as I could say of myself years later (for we learn Christians cannot attain perfection here, nor can we live a sinless life, for we still deal with the flesh). But I will always be grateful she took us to a little Sunday School in Brodhead, WI to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. In these years between ages 8-11 I learned from hearing the Bible and learning verses that this was the word of God being spoken, and that it was the truth, and it affected me. It told me I was not right and I could not do right to please God. The way I was, I would not be okay if I died. I now understood that it was not religion I needed, or even wanted, but I knew I needed to be saved, as the Bible says it. I came to age 12 and with a major surgery for a young boy ahead of me, I wanted to be sure I would be okay if I died … I didn’t want to be in Hell. I wanted to be saved. I tried so many things from others who were saved … even reading stories like this one. Crying myself to sleep reading verses over and over, I just couldn’t get it. It was on a Saturday morning during a visit from my Uncle and Aunt, sitting with my Uncle on a tree swing, that he shared with me his story of how God saved him. Lost in my own thoughts, I just gave up. Sitting there, slowly swinging, my last thought was, “This is it, I am going to hell. I can’t save myself.” In that very moment God revealed to my mind: Christ died for me … He died for me! The sheer joy that filled me has never been forgotten. In that moment I knew Christ died for the ungodly, and that included me. I ran through the house and hugged my Aunt and my Mom and ran out the back door jumping to the clouds in the sky, thanking God for the first time in Spirit and in truth for saving me and giving His Son for me.
I have not feared death since, no matter my failures as a Christian, even when born again but shamefully for a time away from God. I am ever assured of my eternal destination being heaven because God has told me by His word. It does no good to tell in my story of those years, but I will tell you of the reason for the joy in my heart even now. Yes, I was saved and born again at age 12, but it was 30 years later in my salvation that I truly found deep appreciation for the long-suffering of my God and His grace, and the reality that His word is living and gives life. For I have found in these last 13 years that obedience to His word, being baptized, and coming into fellowship with likeminded believers (abiding in Him) is the fullness of joy in my salvation. There are many verses and teachings of the Bible I could and would share with you that are truth, and are the evidence of what this faith in Christ is. In His Word, God teaches us everything of utmost importance about Himself and who He is. He also tells of us: what we are without Him and what we are in His salvation with Him. This salvation in Christ is available to all, but it must be accepted by the individual soul whom He gave his life for, to pay the price for each person’s sin with His own blood. I know God is satisfied because He raised this Jesus from the dead. In His love and sincere care for your soul, please consider His Word to you in these Bible verses:
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12).
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
— Kevin Doskocil