My name is Alan Simmons and I want to thank you for reading my Christian discipleship blog, www.thedailywalk.org. This site is a labor of love and obedience to the Lord, which I am blessed to be able to share with others. Since 2006, the Lord has laid upon my heart the need for Biblical teaching that focuses on basic discipleship and doctrines of the faith. Throughout this site, I exclusively use the King James Version of the Bible, believing that it is the inspired and preserved Word of God in the English language.
Updated on January 14, 2015
A false salvation
I was not raised in a Christian home and did not attend church at all. My father was career military which means that every three or four years, we would pack up all of our belongings, leave family and friends behind, and move to wherever the Army sent my father. I’m not at all bitter about the moves as I was able to see parts of the world that most people my age would never see; I saw the Iron Curtain near Fulda where the free West met the Communist controlled East. My parents and I travelled to France, Belgium, Luxemburg and I attended some of the best schools of my childhood through the Department of Defense Dependent Schools. Although those schools would academically prepare me for my future, they also exposed me to very humanistic beliefs that would take me years to overcome.
My father retired in 1988 after serving 26 years in the Army. We moved back to his hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi during my senior year of high school. Shortly after graduation in May, I concurrently enrolled in the Perkinston Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg. I was not ready for life in the college dorm and was much like a ship without a rudder. I soon fell into a crowd of people my age; without going into a lot of detail, I was heading down the wrong road as fast as I could go. In late September 1988, Dr. James Whitman came to visit me in the dormitory and after going through the scriptures with me, he knelt with me and led me in prayer. For years I believed that I had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior that evening; however, my “salvation” did not bear any fruit. Although I had the head-knowledge about who Jesus was, there was no salvation. The Bible teaches, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9), and while I had made a confession with my mouth, within my heart I didn’t believe.
From 1988 to 2006 I found myself believing that I was saved yet my life did not bear the fruits of salvation. Many focus on the outer appearances of what they think it means to be a Christian. I also had this belief; as long as what I appeared as a Christian to others everything must be alright. Although I would serve as an interim pastor for two churches, teach a Sunday school class, and went on regular visitation, I was not bearing the fruits that the Bible clearly teaches Christians should bear. The apostle Paul wrote, And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:9-11) and, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Romans 5:22-24). I didn’t have joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, or any of the other traits that defines true biblical Christianity.
Admitting the truth about my past
On August 21, 2006, a Monday afternoon, I was on my way back to my apartment in graduate housing from the family housing area where I worked as a graduate assistant. At that point in my life, in spite of everything I was going through, I still believed in my mind that I was a Christian but there was little real evidence of Christ in my life. There was not one area in my life where I could honestly say I could see the Holy Spirit of the Lord working but I was not yet ready to admit that I hadn’t truly accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Feeling the need to reach out to the Lord, I asked Him to forgive me of my sins and that from that moment forward, I was going to let Him have complete lordship over my life. I also promised the Lord that I would begin to study the Bible just as seriously as I did my assignments and coursework for the Ph.D. program I was enrolled in.
Since 2006, I continued to believe that I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and personal Savior in that September day of 1988. In 2007, a year after what I claimed was a rededication of my life to the Lord, I moved to Evansville, Indiana and would eventually move again to Henderson, Kentucky in 2011. During this time, I began to notice changes in my fellowship with the Lord; personal Bible study and daily prayers to the Lord were special times of fellowship between me and my Savior. If I missed a day of personal Bible study, my entire day seemed to be off; if I went to bed without Bible study and daily prayer time, I couldn’t sleep well until I did. I also noticed changes occurring in my life. As I continued to grow in grace, the Lord began changing my heart’s desires. Things that had once appealed to me no longer held power over me as they had done in those years between 1988 through 2006. But I still was not ready to admit what was clear – I wasn’t saved in 1988; I was saved in 2006.