Derek Prince - How I Came To Faith
This excerpt is from: Overcoming Guilt, Shame And Rejection
I would suppose that there are, maybe at least 25 percent of the people here this evening have one or other of those three problems: guilt, shame or rejection. And there is a place where they can be healed. Tonight I’m going to speak about that. The place is the cross. And in Hebrews 10:14, we have this statement: For by one sacrifice He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. That one sacrifice is the death of Jesus on the cross. And notice the language that’s used. He has perfected forever. It’s perfect, and it goes on forever. It never loses its validity and it never is incomplete. By one sacrifice Jesus has made total provision for every need of humanity.
Many people do not realize that the death of Jesus on the cross was a sacrifice. In Hebrews 9:13 it says: He (Jesus), offered Himself through the eternal Spirit to God. Jesus was the Priest, He was the sacrifice. He offered Himself and He did it through the eternal Spirit. I remember the second time I went to a revival service. I had no idea what it was. It was in the Assemblies of God. I’d never heard of them. I didn’t know anything about all this. But, I’d been to one previous service where the Holy Spirit had put my hand up at the appeal. I didn’t put it up, He put it up. Which is a frightening experience, believe me. I had enough knowledge to know they were going to do that kind of thing, which was totally foreign to me. So sure enough they got to the end of the message, and everybody who wants this put your hand up.
So I thought somebody else did it for me last time I couldn’t expect that to happen twice, so I’ll put my hand up, and I did. That’s all they were waiting for, then they carried on with the service. Later the pastor came to me and talked to me and I think he realized he had a problem on his hands. And he said, Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for you? I thought it over. My whole background was in philosophy and definitions. And I said: To tell you the truth I can't see what the death of Jesus Christ, nineteen centuries ago, could have to do with the sins I’ve committed in my lifetime. And he didn’t argue with me. which was to his credit. But they prayed for me and about two nights later, in an army barrack room, in the middle of the night, clad only in my underwear, I had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ which radically and permanently changed my whole life. And that was... 58 years ago. So this was no temporary flash of emotion.
Later, when I was reading the New Testament, and I was reading it in the original Greek, I read that Scripture, Jesus through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God. And I knew the meaning of the word eternal. It means something that’s out of time, that’s not subject to the limitations of time. And then I saw the answer to my own question. On the cross Jesus comprehended, took upon Himself, the sins of all humanity, from Adam to the last one that ever is to be born. It was not within the limits of time. It was an eternal sacrifice out of time. And that completely solved my philosophical problems.
So I want to talk tonight about how I entered into this. When I met the Lord I was a soldier in the Army. Salvation brings promotion. I was a medical orderly because I had been a conscientious objector, and so I was not eligible for a promotion. But the Army is a bit mixed up. They sent me on a Junior NCO’s course in Leeds, on this vast parade ground, which stretches much further than this building here, and being from a totally military background, all my male relatives have been officers in the British Army, I passed the test. So then they had to promote me.
I didn’t know all this was going on so I came back, and the commanding officer, who was a doctor, sent for me and said: We’ve made you a Corporal. I said: Yes sir. He said: How’s the cooking going? Well, you know, you learn in the army to be pretty discrete, so I thought to myself, it’s about as bad as usual, but I didn’t want to tell him that. So I said: It seems about the same as usual, Sir. He said: Didn’t you know that you were the Corporal Cook of this Unit? I said: No Sir, nobody told me. He said: We had to promote you and the only vacancy was for a cook. So from now on you’re the Corporal Cook. By title I continued that way for several years but I never did any cooking. Which was a real blessing for my fellow soldiers. I can tell you that. I was a local acting unpaid Lance Corporal when I went on that course, and I came back a Corporal. So you see, promotion follows salvation.