Assurance of Eternal Life
After the conference in Warsaw, we drove three hours northwest to Torun, a charming town with medieval walls, churches, and market. It is the home of our Polish host, the pastor who organized the conference in Warsaw, Tadeusz Tolwinski.
Tadeusz (pronounced Tad-e-osh) and his wife, Ewa (pronounced Eva), welcomed us warmly into their apartment, which sits atop the local church that Tadeusz pastors. At 10:00 the following morning, Sunday, the church filled with people of all ages, prepared to sing robust praises to the Lord Jesus Christ.
During the worship service, a young woman in her twenties, a student at the local college, gave testimony of her recent conversion to Jesus Christ. Like most people in Poland, she was raised a Roman Catholic and with a steady diet of rules necessary to please God and warrant entry into heaven. She was not encouraged to read the Bible for herself, but to accept spiritual assurances from the Catholic priest. Feeling unable to keep the rules perfectly, and unable to relate to God personally, she became buried in pangs of guilt, which morphed into bitterness at the bleakness of her eternal prospects.
Then she was confronted by a rarity in Poland, a person who had experienced personally the grace of God in the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. It was a person with whom, at first, she wanted nothing to do, and she told the person to leave her alone. But the person refused, continuing to pursue her in love with the good news of Christ. At last, she gave in and gave her life in faith to the Lord, was set free from guilt, forgiven of her sins, given a new Christ-centered heart, and assurance of eternal life – all on the basis of what Christ had done for her on the cross and in the resurrection, not on the basis of anything she had done.
As a result of this salvation, her Catholic father disowned her, refusing to speak with her even though he was terminally ill. She wants to minister the love of Christ to her father, but is heartbroken that he turns her away.
After her testimony, it was my turn to preach, which I did from Ephesians 2, which dovetailed beautifully with the words of the young woman, a ‘coincidence’ we noted together after the service.
No one left – the entire church family stayed after worship at least an hour, many over two hours. Lesli, Jon, and I finally had to be called away from conversations by our hosts Tadeusz and Ewa, who had prepared a delicious meal of Polish goulash in their flat upstairs.
It was not difficult to fall in love with Tadeusz and Ewa, so loving and hospitible and humorous and full of Christ were they. A friendship was birthed that weekend that will last for eternity, and, hopefully, be renewed many times before entry into the Celestial City. As a matter of fact, Tadeusz and Ewa plan to visit us in Cambridge, England later this month.
Blessings in Christ,
Read more posts from this series:
- Tokens of Love and Gratitude to Christ | Part 1
- Tokens of Love | Part 2: History of Poland
- Tokens of Love | Part 3: Through Our Suffering, God Can Work Mightily
- Tokens of Love | Part 4: Freedom in Jesus Christ
- Tokens of Love | Part 5: Poland’s Favorite Sons
- Tokens of Love | Part 6: Peace and Freedom
- Tokens of Love | Part 8: Exploring Krakow
- Tokens of Love | Part 9: From Artistry to Depravity
- Tokens of Love | Part 10: The World Slowly Being Transformed into a Wilderness
- Tokens of Love | Part 11: New Life in Christ
- Tokens of Love | Part 12: Reaching the Gypsies
- Tokens of Love | Part 13: Grieving the Empty Seats
- Tokens of Love | Part 14: The Greatest Work of All
- Tokens of Love | Part 15: The Kingdom Plans of the Lord
- Tokens of Love | Part 16: Until We Dance at the Foot of God’s Throne
- Tokens of Love | Part 17: Fullness of Life