Douglas R. Lupo
John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:8-9
Before I Accepted Christ.
I was raised in a Christian family. Both of my parents insisted we go to church every Sunday. Essentially, I felt I was a pretty good guy. Some buddies and I used to have a saying that went, “I don’t drink, cuss, smoke, or chew, and don’t date girls that do . . . chew.”
I was a proud young man. I excelled in track and played on the football team, which ranked 4th in the state. I also had a good paying job for a high school student. I thought I had my head on straight and knew what I wanted to do in life.
One day, I realized that athletics, having a good job, and being a good guy, still left me with an empty missing-piece feeling inside.
How I Accepted Christ.
Even though I was raised in the church, I really did not “hear” the Gospel until I was in the 10th grade (1976) visiting my best friends’ church. I eventually joined his church, but still was not sure if I was a Christian. I felt if I got involved with as many church activities as possible, God would have more opportunities to make me a Christian.
On August 4, 1978, at 11:45 PM, the message of the Gospel finally sank in. I realized, for the first time, I must personally receive Christ as my Savior and Lord. John 1:12, says, “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” I had to believe and receive. Church involvement was not enough. I realized after eighteen years of going to church, I had missed the point about Christianity. Ephesians 2:8-9, says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”
After I Accepted Christ.
When I asked Jesus to into my heart, there were no earth shattering changes or lightening bolts. However, I did begin to see evidence of the Holy Spirit working in my life.
While at East Carolina University, I was active in The Navigators and Campus Crusade for Christ. As I began to mature spiritually, the Lord led me to leading Bible studies, witnessing, playing the guitar, and organizing campus out-reach ministries (i.e. Christian concerts, guest speakers, etc.).
After I graduated from college and was commissioned in the Air Force, the Lord led me into being a youth worker, at a local church, and the President of the Men’s Christian Fellowship (CMF) at Tyndall AFB, in Panama City, Florida.
It was not the fact the Lord led me into being a youth worker and President of a CMF, along with seeing both of those ministries successful that motivated me into serving Him. It was realizing 2000 years ago Jesus paid the penalty for all my sins by His sacrificial death on a cross, Him cleansing my impure heart, His Spirit filling the empty missing-piece feeling in my soul, and Him giving me a peace for daily living. The Lord spoke to me through 1 Peter 1:8-9, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” That motivates me to have a hunger and thirst for everything He has to offer and compels me to want to serve Him.