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When the Holy Spirit spoke and took away my fear of death
Fear of Death and Hell
I’ve always known on a cellular level that there is a God. I had an extremely strong compulsion that resulted in me being baptized when I was fourteen years old. I already loved God then but I was in my early thirties before I finally came to realize that God loved me also.
I had an extremely abusive father and our family was involved in a very demanding religion where the “grace” message may have been preached; but, if it was, it was couched in a lot of hellfire and damnation and I missed it.
Partially due to that background, I had a hard time relating to God as a loving Father until my son Douglas was born. After that I knew what it was really like to love someone completely and totally, that I would give up my life for him if it ever became necessary, no questions asked.
Even though I felt that unconditional love for my son and I now felt like I knew how loving God was, I still didn’t think I was good enough to get to Heaven; that I was headed for Hell, because I couldn’t even get through one day without committing one sin or another. I was certain where I would wind up if I died. The thought was absolutely terrifying.
I remember questioning God about my salvation one day as I was studying the Bible during a quiet time during the day at my pharmacy. I don’t know if it was as much of a prayer as it was a conversation. I no sooner got the question out of my mouth when I heard a very calm and soothing but firm voice telling me to, “Roll back the stone.”
I didn’t know what to make of it. I knew I had heard it. I looked around to see if someone was standing near me that I hadn’t been aware of. No one was there. It wasn’t my voice. It was too real to have been a thought. I would play it over and over in my head, just like a lyric from a song that won't go away.
I asked my preacher and a couple of the elders what they thought it might mean. They couldn’t come up with a satisfactory answer. I also asked a couple of other people I know who are knowledgeable about the Bible – no luck there either.
Finally the answer
Sometime later, as a function of my being an officer in the local Christian businessmen’s association, I took Nick Pirovolos of Inside Out Ministries out to dinner after he spoke to our group. When I asked him what he thought, “Roll back the stone,” meant, he just laughed and said, “God has blessed you, Bob. He spoke to you through the Holy Spirit. Jesus did it all for you. The tomb is empty. He was resurrected and is alive today. You have nothing to worry about. You are saved. Jesus is eternal and you will be with Him forever.“
Wow! Talk about emotions. At that moment every care that I ever had was lifted off of my shoulders. It was like the baptism experience all over again. I finally realized that it wasn’t about me it was about Jesus. He did it all. All I had to do was to repent and accept him as my Lord and Savior. Case closed.
1 John 5:13 has become my anthem.
“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.”
Come, Lord Jesus!