I am a Christian because at the age of six I embraced the Gospel, accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior through faith. At that age the Holy Spirit gave me the understanding of the burden of sin I carried after hearing the story of Pilgrim’s Progress and Christian’s journey to the foot of the cross, where upon reaching it, his own enormous backpack came loose and rolled away. I also understood from what my parents, who were recently saved themselves, taught me about God and sin and grace and heaven and hell. I was afraid of hell and comprehended Jesus as the way to heaven. That’s why I became a Christian, but it isn’t why I am a Christian now.
By that last statement I don’t mean to imply that a Christian can lose their salvation. I believe the Bible makes it clear that we are eternally secure once we give our lives to Christ (John 10:27-28; Rom. 8:38-39). But I do see that a believer can be ineffective by walking away from the reality of the Gospel in his life and ceasing to live as a Christian, as many have. I grew up in Sunday school and going to Bible camps, but lived out a pretty mediocre Christianity by the time I reached high school, and it didn’t improve much during a year at Emmaus Bible College. Although I met my future wife there, who influenced me greatly that what I learned at Emmaus was worth living out fully. She seemed to be doing just that. Tons of research suggests that Christians walk away from church and the faith because what they put faith in rather blindly as a youth doesn’t intellectually square when they’re older. I think this was a danger for me too.