My Week of Hell
by Larry Whittington
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By Larry E. Whittington
Junior High was my growing up years. I was leaning even though I didn’t realize it. Our family attended church quite often where my Grandparents went. There was always a lot of singing, preaching, and Bible studies. I remember that for one series of Bible studies all they did was take turns reading through the Bible. Sometimes the Old Testament Bible reading sounded weird as some would just say “skip-it” for every name they couldn’t pronounce.
I also can remember one vacation Bible school time where my Mom taught the creation story. We made little story booklets of the seven days of creation. Now after 65 years my 97 year old Mother probably still has my story booklet someplace as she kept all us kid’s projects and school work.
In the church services Grandpa was called upon regularly to lead in prayers in the church assemblies. He also would pray before mealtimes at home. In my mind I can still hear the resonant sound of his voice. He was one who lived what the Bible taught.
Just before I started high school our family moved. There was no similar church there so Mom and Dad choose not go to church regularly unless we were visiting my grandparents. Mom didn't like missing church assemblies, though, so at times on Sundays she would gather us kids into the front room and we would have a short session of some songs and Bible reading. I am sure the songs were not always in tune but we could read the words from the old songbooks we had. At times I was not eager for these sessions even though I knew it was a good thing to do.
After high school graduation I was able to attend college and was now also able to attend a church like we had attended in junior high days. I believed in God and the Bible stories. I knew Jesus was God's Son and he had died on the cross for our sins. I grew up knowing the Lord's Supper was for baptized believers and it was to be remembered each Sunday.
During one Sunday evening service after I had been home from college for the week end, one older lady in the assembly noticed that I did not take the Lord's Supper. She knew that I had not been to any other service that day and she asked me why I hadn't taken the Lord's Supper.
I knew I needed to be a Christian before I took the Lord's Supper but I hadn't been baptized yet. In answer to her question as to why I hadn't taken the Lord's Supper I replied; "I wasn't a Christian”. Her simple reply was; "You know what you need to do, don't you?" To that I replied; "Yes, I know." With this she came back with; "Why don't you do it next Sunday?" I don't remember what I said back to her but in my heart and mind I knew I would yield my will and obey what the Bible taught. I would be baptized for the forgiveness of my sins.
Hell week began.
I knew that those who didn't believe in God and obey the Bible commands would not go to Heaven. Because of my decision to obey Jesus, I admitted to myself that if I died before I made my confession that Jesus was Lord and Christ and was baptized, I would not go to heaven.
During that week of work, I lived in fear of dying because of God's word. I spent time reading the Bible each day. I was in continual prayer that whole week. This was my time of repentance.
The following Sunday I yielded to the invitation song, made the good confession that Jesus was Lord and was baptized for the forgiveness of my sin.
Faith and obedience to God and his word finally brought peace to my life but it might not have come if it were not for a little old lady who was curious enough to ask that simple question. “Why didn't you take the Lord's Supper?"
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