You need 2 birthdays to get into heaven
Vincent Donato born 8.1.59
Vincent Donato born again 4.3.88
I was raised in the Catholic faith for 29 years. I was approached by many to convert to a born again personal relationship with Jesus; however, I refused and rebelled against every one of them. I reasoned that I was a “good person” and believed in God. The Golden Rule and the 10 Commandments were the boundaries of how I lived my life. How could my parents lead our family in Catholicism for all these years and be wrong about it?
And then it happened, attending a full gospel evangelical church. This Italian/Catholic/Yankee boy from Connecticut was hit right between the eyes with God’s Word. The pastor spoke about Isaiah 64:6. It says, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags”.
I realized at that moment no matter how good I thought I was I would never be good enough to get to heaven. That morning the pastor had the altar call. I was shaking in my seat; I stood, wondering what people were thinking but then I didn’t care. I walked forward to the altar and prayed the prayer of recognizing that I was a sinner (Romans 10:9-11), that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and on the 3rd day He rose to be in heaven to sit at the right hand of God. That by believing Jesus is Lord and Savior of my life I will be saved and have eternal life in heaven. No more working for it, no more man made rules to follow.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Romans 10:9 says,if you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”. This is about a relationship with Jesus Christ; it’s not about being religious.
The first 29 years on this earth I was one of God’s creations – the last 24 years as one of God’s children. My name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, never to be removed. What a blessing, what security, what amazing grace.
Life’s short. Fish hard. Pray harder.
Captain Vinnie Donato