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Today I’m going to share with you something I probably should’ve shared ages ago. But, you see, I’m new to blogging. I’m learning new things everyday.
Like how to create a pop up form for you to become an email subscriber… *wink wink* I’m just teasing. But for real, I finally figured it out!
I want to share my testimony of salvation with you today. It’s still the single greatest thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life.
Let’s start from the beginning.
I was born May 14th, 1996 to two very young parents. My mom and dad were already saved and we attended a little country Baptist church in Sugar Land, Texas. I was in Cubbies and then Patch club at that church.
Quaint beginning right? Yeah real cute.
Then we left that church when it split because of some backstabbing and hypocritical members that everyone had loved and trusted. The church basically fell apart at the seams. That was hurtful, to say the least. My parents had a hard time finding us a church after that.
Fast forward to the part I can remember clearly.
We were out of church for many years, but my parents still always taught us to love God. But the thing is, that’s not how you get saved. The longer we were out of church, the more the world crept in and the further our family got from God.
I had always believed in God. As I child, I never doubted it and as a teen, I never had any serious doubting either. Although there is always the nagging of Satan in your mind saying, “What if it’s all a hoax. What if God doesn’t really exist?”
But I never believed him, even being out of church and only knowing basic bible trivia.
But one thing I knew, God is real and so is Hell.
I was always pretty terrified of Hell as a child, as I should’ve been. But as a young pre-teen, I really had a serious fear of dying. It was something that, when it came up, consumed me and left me praying I wouldn’t die suddenly in a car accident. I would go to funerals and panic.
I wonder if other lost people are in the same boat I was, or if they never think about it.
If you would’ve asked me back then, “Are you going to Heaven when you die?” I would’ve answered yes. I knew I loved God, and I knew that Jesus loves me. That’s all I thought it took. When I was little I used to write notes to God attached to helium balloons and let them go “up to Heaven”. I really loved God.
That’s how I was raised. And that’s about as deep as it went.
I thought if you love God, you’re saved. If you hate God, you go to Hell. But even though I was one of those in the category of “God lover”, I still felt the fear of death and Hell. It would keep me up at night. I think it was the Holy Spirit convicting me that it wasn’t enough for me to just love Him. But I still didn’t know what was enough.
I had never heard a salvation message at that point. If I had, I was too young to understand it back in the tiny country church in Sugar Land.
Eventually, we met some friends who attended a Lutheran Church in our town. We weren’t Lutheran, but our friends attended and we had found nothing better. We also weren’t looking very hard to begin with after being burned at the other church.
We went to that Lutheran church for 8 wasted years. My mom taught in their preschool program and I assisted. It was a more of a contemporary style Lutheran church. I saw it later as a “come as you are, but never grow” church.
I never heard the gospel, not one time, from that youth group. Never.
I could not even look up a verse in the bible. They hardly ever opened it.
The only bible stories I knew were Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, Daniel and the lion’s den, Jonah, and Jesus. And I couldn’t give you more than a basic outline of the stories.
THAT YOUTH GROUP WAS A JOKE.
If we had stayed in that church, I’m not sure I would’ve ever gotten saved. None of the people in the youth showed any fruit of salvation. In fact I’ve never encountered more drama than that one large group of teens. Satan had us right where he wanted us.
The worst place possible- To think you’re right with God.
If Satan can get you folled into thinking you’re a christian, he’s already won.
I think the leaders tried, but not very hard. We came in and played games, sang worship, and then heard a ten minute “sermon” from whoever was deemed worthy of the role youth pastor.
He wasn’t our pastor. He was just another one of us that tried to put a spiritual twist on what was really only game night. Simple as that.
Eventually, my mom started to see the church more clearly for what it was.
I see that church as our “Hotel California”. We came in, got enamored, wasted 8 years, and then woke up to our need to leave after we were in deep.
At that church, we had befriended a couple that also wanted out. The wife taught in the preschool like my mom did, and they planned on looking for another church. They both quit after the school year was out and the hunt began.
We tried mega churches, we tried barely-in-existence churches, but then we found the church we’re in now.
And I wasn’t into it.
Basically, I had really enjoyed the youth group that I just trashed in retrospect. But in those days I was blind and I thought it was fun and whatever. Only after I got saved did I see it for what it really was.
This new church (my current home church) was about as opposite as opposite could be! This was another tiny little country Baptist church. There were hardly any kids my age, all the women were wearing skirts, and I just felt downright judged.
The Lutheran church had actually asked us NOT to dress up for church because it might offend new comers and make them feel unwanted. So basically we wore casual clothes to church every Sunday and Wednesday. Plus, being raised with all the brothers I have, I hated skirts. HATED THEM.
So anyways, my parents fell in love with the church right away. It felt just like the Sugar Land church. Just a small, hymn singing little church that was big on missions and preaching the word of God.
And we’ve been there ever since.
It was there that I heard the gospel for what it actually was from scripture. We read the 7 Steps to God packet they gave us and it was powerful. My opinion of the church began to change. I made friends and I learned that my perception of judgementality wasn’t true.
Then, one night in my room, I gave my life to Christ for real. I told Him that I knew I wasn’t right with Him and that I was sorry for breaking the rules with no regard for how He felt. I knew I deserved Hell. I told him I believed He was the Son of God, that He had to die because of my choices and He didn’t deserve it. He was perfect, but He died for me, the imperfect. I knew I couldn’t defeat sin, Hell, or death on my own.
I needed a savior.
I told Him I was done playing Christian and I wanted it to be real. I asked the Holy Spirit to change me and use me for something other than myself.
After that night, my life changed forever. I could see the path I was on before from a different angle. While I was on it, it felt normal. It wasn’t.
It was sin.
I didn’t go to youth group for God, I went for myself. That youth group didn’t give me any points with God. It did me no good whatsoever.
I repented of the way I was going and I did a 180. I turned from what I was before. I didn’t become perfect, but my heart was changed. If the heart and soul are persuaded, God can do the rest of the changing that we can’t do.
If we could do it on our own, why would be accept Jesus’ salvation?
Ever since then, I’ve gotten new Christian friends that love the Lord and I’m in that same country Baptist church serving God. I was baptized several years later.
Praise God that He opened my mom and dad’s eyes and got us out of the complacency and comfort of the Lutheran church.
If you have any questions about how you can be saved, contact me at email@example.com
I’d be more than happy to counsel you and listen to what you have to say or any questions or doubts you may have. I’ve been there, but I came out the other side saved by the blood of Jesus who forgave my sin and can forgive yours too.
Seek Adventure with Christ,