I would like to start my first “official” post off with my personal testimony about the way God saved me.
When I was young one of my older brothers started riding a church bus. When I was 6 I remember him bring home a tape of Jim White(a now deceased evangelist). It was while listening to that tape I realized I was a sinner and going to hell. My parents had taught me about God, who he was and many Bible stories but I do not remember ever being taught that I was a sinner in need of God’s saving grace. I then prayed and told God “I don’t want to go to hell”. Years had past and I was allowed to attend church with my brother. One day as I was getting ready to get on the van for an evening service, I asked my mom what it means to “be saved”. She had told me it is when God saves you. Not really know what that meant, I sat through the main service with my brother. At the end of the service, the invitation was given and I went forward to “get saved”. I went forward and prayed a prayer that someone told me to. I understood the verses that I was shown; I understood that I was a sinner. I assumed that that prayer meant I was going to Heaven.
When I was in 6th grade my parents had stated going to a different church where I got involved in an Awanas program. My mom told me I had to get baptized because I had been “saved”, like I had told her. So I did. When I got to high school I was very confused about what a “Christian” was, I said I was but didn’t think that God loved me. I had trouble believing that God would have loved me enough to die and pay for MY sins. I dropped out of church and didn’t really want to have any part of church yet, I knew I should be serving God. I didn’t understand then why but I knew God had more for me that I didn’t understand. At 16 I meet a friend that I rode the church bus with in middle school. She still went to church and invited me back and asked me to go to teen camp with her. That spring when I went to camp, I realized that I was trusting in a prayer, in words to get me to Heaven. I was not trusting in God’s love, his blood that he shed on the cross. It seamed that all my friends were “getting saved” so I went and prayed a similar prayer I did when I was 6. I couldn’t admit to God that I could do nothing on my own to get to Heaven. To convince my self and every one else of my salvation, I got “baptized” again. I knew all the right things to say and to do. Even though I knew I was not saved, I lied to my church, my pastor and God.
I spent the next year, with little sleep, white knuckles while driving and living the biggest lie. That next year I went to teen camp yet again, knowing that I was not saved. After 5 days of camp I knew I could not do this any longer. I knew that that week would be the last time God would convict me of my sins. The invitation had not even stated when I started balling, stood up, grabbed my counselor, told her I wasn’t saved and I didn’t know why. She had known me since I started riding the bus, and was sure I was saved. Once she even tried to reassure me that I was, and then she realized I really wasn’t. With God’s guidance she helped me to realize that the burier stopping me from fully trusting Christ was my doubt of His love for me. The fear that Christ could never love me was so great I couldn’t see anything else. Once I realized that Jesus came down just for me, that there are things in every day life He does to show His love I couldn’t help trust His love. The blood that Christ shed on the cross was out of love for me, and every body else. It was then I took my “head knowledge” of Christ and made it my “heart knowledge”. I placed my trust of His love in HIM. The trust that he loved ME enough to DIE for ME and that nothing I could ever do would SAVE me from HELL.
Now…you may be asking your self “What is this “saved business?” she is talking about….Well, here it is.
1) ALL of us have sinned…ALL…of…us…have…sinned.
- According to Wikipedia (for those who may not like the Bible) “sin is the act of violating God’s will”. Meaning if you have done any thing that goes against God, you have sinned. I have sinned, you have sinned, your brother has sinned, your mom, you dad, pastor…get it?
- “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Romans 3:10
- Righteous is someone’s “goodness”.
- “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
- Because of our sin and lack of “goodness” we cannot reach God’s standard.
2) The penalty for sin is DEATH and HELL.
- “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12
- Because Adam was the first to disobey God and is the earthly father of all men, his sin nature has passed to ALL mankind.
- “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (Revelation 21:8, Luke 16:23)
- God can have NO sin in Heaven; He must have sinless people in heaven. That is why we must go to Hell that is our punishment, to be separated from God forever. BUT because God loves us and made us for HIS pleasure, he made a way to escape Hell. This “gift of God” is Jesus’s death on the Cross.
3) Jesus died to pay the price for your sins.
- For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him (trusting ONLY in Jesus) should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
- “Who His own self(Jesus) bare our sins in His own body on the tree(the Cross).” I Peter 2:24
4) Jesus wants you to be saved TODAY.
- “God … now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30
- “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.” Revelation 3:20
- “Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7
- “He (Jesus) came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:11-12
If you believe these Scriptures, and see your need to receive the free gift of eternal life you see you need for saving from Hell. God is a loving and tender God, yet he is perfect. When you believe that JESUS died to pay YOUR debt of sin He takes the shed blood of Jesus and covers all your sins…past, present and future. This is more than a “head knowledge”, this is a HEART knowledge of Jesus. That HE ALONE has made the way to get you to Heaven.