Testimony Monday – Noel Kerslake, Australia
Each Monday, for a number of weeks, someone from around the world shares the story of how they heard the gospel and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. This week’s contributor is Noel Kerslake, who lives with his wife, Jenny, in Gosford, Australia. They have a deep interest in the salvation of souls and regularly go to rural shows and markets with free Bibles and Scripture wall plaques, and have supplied many thousands of these pictures for distribution in Australia for over 20 years, and now more recently through a friend in the UK.
I was raised in a Christian home with both of my parents being saved when I was four years old. My father was brought up in a Christian home and my mother was raised in a home where she and her parents were practising Jehovah’s Witnesses. My father was saved first and then my mother approximately three weeks later. My parents were baptised and belonged to a local assembly, and I was bought up under the sound of the gospel, for which I am very thankful to God.
There were a few times in my early years when I was concerned about my soul and wanted to be saved. By the age of 16, I had started working, and in a short time I ceased attending assembly meetings on a regular basis due to the pull of unsaved friends and the love of motorcars. By the age of 17, I had started drinking, smoking and living a worldly life and that went on for some years without thinking of salvation. In 1975, I was married at the age of 22 to Sue, a girl who had no interest in the things of God and, soon after, two daughters, Nicole and Belinda, were added to our family.
Over the years, my parents invited me to many gospel meetings, and I attended some, mainly to keep them happy rather than from any desire on my part to be saved. In the mid-1980s, my parents invited me to a series of gospel meetings where my brother and another person were saved. At that time, I wanted to be saved but Sue, my wife, was not happy with my interest in salvation and I just left it aside (oh, the work of the devil).
In 1991, Sue was diagnosed with cancer and had a short time to live. On receiving this news, I told her that she needed to be saved – at that time I was not saved myself. She told me she had been thinking about salvation. I quoted to her, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). She was saved that very day and went home to be with the Lord ten months later in 1992.
In early 1996, both Nicole and Belinda had a friend stay who was a believer. She brought the gospel to them and Nicole was saved at that time.
I had a concern for my own salvation, therefore my daughters and I commenced attending the meetings of the local assembly, as well as special gospel meetings held in neighbouring assemblies. By this stage, I was around 40 years of age and my desire to be saved was very real. I was reading the Bible and attending gospel meetings, and I discussed salvation with many people. Over the next three years, I became increasingly confused as to how to be saved. All this time I was in deep conviction of sin but could not see the simplicity of God’s salvation. I could not sleep or eat, I was losing weight, but I was not giving up as I knew I needed to be saved. One night in great distress, I was walking around the farm in the rain going over verses (all of which I had learned as a child) and John 3:36 came to mind:
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.John 3:36
The verse impacted me and later that night in bed, thinking on John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son”, I could see the Son as my Saviour and I was wonderfully saved by God’s grace.
One week later, after a prayer meeting, my second daughter, Belinda, trusted the Lord as her Saviour and, soon after, the three of us were baptised and came into fellowship in the local assembly.
Later that year, a dear friend, Jenny, and I were married and we continue together rejoicing in the wonderful work of God and thankful for the way He has led us.
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