Brother Matthew (Buddy) Taylor

God saved my soul when I was 12 years old at Beautiful Home Missionary Baptist Church in Milford, Illinois. I am 53 typing this out, and I am as saved as when God lifted the sin burden.

I was raised listening to the gospel, that one day I would need a Savior, and without being saved by the grace of God, Hell would be my home when my life is over. I also heard many preachers talk about the torments of Hell, the glories of Heaven and how God will destroy the world one of these days. The worst, for me, was that I knew that I’d not only be separated from my family, but God for eternity.

I was not under conviction yet when I had gone up to the mourner’s bench the first time. I waited until benediction was over, knelt down and began to look like I was praying while everybody else went to where we visited before and after services (even mustard up some tears). Elder Junior Elrod came up behind me and asked if I wanted everyone else to come pray with me.  I nodded yes.  After I knelt at the mourner’s  bench a friend of mine knelt right beside of me to seek.

I remember my dad, Elder Larry Taylor came up, placed a hand on top of my head and told me to trust Jesus, that he couldn’t help me this time. At that moment, before Sandy stood up, I looked up at dad and told him God saved my soul. Of course, dad had me stand and give my testimony to the church. When I told the church God saved my soul, conviction hit me like the sting from a yellow jacket bee.

I went several months being scared to go to bed.  Remember, I’m twelve, and took “come like a thief in the night” as actually coming like a thief at night.  Now, I believe that God actually targeted my conviction with a thunderstorm.  We had already gone to bed when this thing opened up. Lightning, thunder and winds, to me anyway, was God ending the world!  I ran all over that two story house trying to find some kind of refuge. I woke my dad; he stopped me in the dining room and asked, “Son, what in the world is the matter with you?” “God’s ending the world.” He told me to go back to bed and talk to God about the problem. I did, and all I said to God, “if you let me live, I’ll tell dad I wasn’t saved.” He did so I did. Thought I was going to get a whipping, but dad just told me to talk to God about it; and he smiled.

Two Sundays after the storm, I realized all of my immediate family had been saved but me. That’s when my heart broke. That and of course Jesus suffering the cross for me. This time I ran to the mourner’s bench, for real this time. Although God took away the sin burden before kneeling, I did anyway, to ask God to forgive me and thank Him for saving my soul. It was just a calming relief, but it is real.

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