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Arthur Crisp

Released from Satan's Stronghold (Romans 10 v 9)


I was the eldest of a family of five who lived in Upminster, Essex. I was very blessed in having a good Christian mother who, although being very firm with us, was very kind. I had a very happy childhood. Mum would gather us round her knees morning and night for prayers and guidance, and these things left a deep impression on my mind. We all had to go to Sunday School and Bible Class and were made aware of the love of God.

My mother was one of those people who would not hesitate to witness to tradesmen who came to our door if there were opportunity. But, you know, there came a time when I wanted to do other things, things which my mother did not approve of and which brought me into trouble. I wanted to go with my father to the local pub (he was not a Christian). I wanted to stay out later at night and go to different places out of bounds and so I would tell lies and be deceitful about it. I did not realise I was in Satan's school of learning where you learn fast, telling lies, using bad language, learning the art of stealing and so on. But by the grace of God, and through a mother's prayers, I was kept from more serious things. My mother was the type to punish you where it hurt most - it could be the loss of pocket money (not that we had much in those days) or loss of treats, but anything serious meant the strap. I might add here that my father was away in the 1914-1918 war, and so mum had to be 'father' as well and she acted as such.

Abut that time, an evangelist came to preach at the old chapel, Upminster, and, of course, I was asked to go and promised to go on the last night. When I arrived at the chapel door that night, I found it impossible to go in, with a little voice saying, "There's plenty of time; come another time!" and so I went back home. However, God was at work on my behalf.

"Mr Penfold has agreed to stay two more days," I was told when I arrived home. I felt compelled to go back as I had let them down. And so, on the first of those two nights, I heard the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in a way I had never heard it before and I felt like a prisoner before a judge. I knew I was a sinner and felt like one too. The speaker read from Romans chapter 10 verse 9:

"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

"You've got plenty of time for that later on," said Satan. "You only a young man yet."
"The wages of sin is death," said the speaker. So I went home knowing the consequences if I refused.

It was the worst night I have ever had and I had no doubt in my mind what I was going to do on the last night.

I do not remember what the preacher said that night, but when he made the appeal for anyone to go forward, I never hesitated. I was glad to do what the Bible said and confess my sin and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus.

Praise God for praying mothers and fathers! Two weeks later, I realised with a shock that I had not used any bad language or told any lies, Praise God! - a new creation in Christ Jesus!

Dear parents, lay hold on the power of prayer. God will surely answer. God bless you all!

Arthur Crisp

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