My name is Mark Scott and here is my story of God’s grace in my life…
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Where were you when terrorists attacked America?
I had just arrived at a field work site and noticed people gathered around a TV set. I asked them what was going on. They told me that a plane had just crashed into one of the World Trade Center Towers. So I watched with them as the events of 9/11/01 unfolded. Shortly after I began watching a second plane crashed into the other Tower. I was stunned and left the work site early feeling angry and lost.
Since I couldn’t fight this new war (I was too old), I decided I would find out why they (the terrorists) hated us so much and why people were always fighting in the Middle East. After the terrorist attacks, there was talk about a “holy war”. I remembered I had a Bible that a friend gave me years ago. In the archaeological supplement I found a reference to “a holy war.” It included a description of one of the dead sea scrolls that was a military manual for the conduct of a “holy war” between the “Children of Light” and the foes foreseen as attempting to oppress the people of God in the last age.
About a week after 9/11/01, I stumbled onto a Christian radio station. A preacher was talking about Satan and how he is a deceiver and how he would like you to think he isn’t real (one of his greatest deceptions), and how he is a liar and the father of lies. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44) As I heard these words I began to see my sins as God saw them. That God sees lust as adultery. But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)
I realized that God even saw my thought life. “For I know the things that come into your mind“. (Ezekiel 11:5) Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways. (Isaiah 59:7)
Then, God had mercy on me. Later that same day they played a song called “The Blood of Jesus.” As I heard the chorus I wept, “It was the blood of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, that opened heaven’s door to let me in, It was the blood of Jesus, the blood Jesus, that washed away, the guilt of all my sin.” I had been taught from childhood that Jesus died on the cross, but it never really made sense to me. But now, by the grace of God, for the first time in my life I began to understand why Jesus died on the cross. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:22)
I cried out to God in my heart, felt sorrow for my sins, having seen them for what they were. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight… (Psalm 51:4)
I now realized I had sinned against God and had been deceived into thinking I was basically a “good” person. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart. (Proverbs 21:2)) I had thought that as long as I went to church, believed in God and tried to live a good life, I would go to heaven when I died. I was wrong. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12)
I now knew that if God judged me by the Ten Commandments on Judgement Day, I would be guilty, and go to hell. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14)
It was only by the grace of God that I understood that Jesus died to take the punishment for my sins. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
From that moment on I began to turn away from my sins and turned toward God. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness..(Acts 17:30-31)
A few days later I bought a book that discussed the Jews return to Israel as a key end times prophecy being fulfilled. The very next day I watched a TV program called “On Wings of Eagles” that told of the Jews return to Israel. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. (Ezekiel 36:24)
Several days later I came across a Christian TV program. A preacher was talking about salvation and the need to repent and come to the foot of the cross and receive Christ as Savior. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12) I remember for a moment being at the foot of the cross shrouded in darkness, the burden of guilt and shame for my sins being lifted, and being cleansed from my sins. He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5)
God miraculously opened my eyes and I could see and understand like never before. I absolutely knew that: (1) God had forgiven me, (2) Jesus died for me, (3) I was created to have a relationship with Him, to know Him, and to love and serve Him. I gave my life to Him that day and will never be the same again. God’s grace overwhelmed me. Words fail to describe the peace I experienced then and ever since. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
All of these events transpired between 9/11/01 and 9/28/01 (my birthday). I opened the Bible my friend gave me and started to read. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11) On 9/28/01 I came across a devotional reading that centered around the book of Luke chapter 9 verse 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am? And Peter answered, The Christ of God. By the grace of God, through the eyes of faith, I understood who Jesus truly was.
For thousands of people at the World Trade Center and in the Pentagon, the answer would have been simple: “At work.” In a matter of moments-before anyone really understood what was going on-thousands of lives had been lost. Some of these people were ready; some of them were not. What about you? Are you ready today? If God judges you by the Ten Commandments on Judgment Day, would you be innocent or guilty? Where will you spend eternity, Heaven? Or Hell? The truth is that every one of us will one day die. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment. (Hebrews 9:27) Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4)
Have you lived a good life? Have you ever told a lie? If so, what does that make you? A LIAR Have you ever stolen something (its value is irrelevant)? If you have, then what does that make you? A THIEF Have you ever looked with lust? Then you have committed ADULTERY in your heart. The Bible also tells us, “Whoever hates his brother is a MURDERER.” (1 John 3:15). Have you loved God above all else? Have you made a ‘god’ to suit yourself (having your own beliefs about God)? If so, that’s IDOLATRY.
Have you used God’s name to curse, kept the Sabbath holy, honored your parents, or been greedy? Judge yourself-have you broken the Ten Commandments? Knowing that God has seen your thought-life, and every deed done in darkness, will you be innocent or guilty on Judgment Day? The only way you can be saved from His wrath, is to repent and put your faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ. When he died on the Cross, He took the punishment for our sins. He stepped into the Courtroom and paid the fine for us. Then he rose from the dead, defeating death. To find peace with God, pray something like this now: “God, please forgive my sins (name them). I turn from them and put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior.” Now read the Bible daily and obey what you read (see John 14:21)-God will never let you down.