I’d like to begin this with some scripture said about himself.
FOR I KNOW THAT IN ME (THAT IS IN MY FLESH,) DWELLETH NO GOOD THING: FOR TO WILL IS PRESENT WTH ME; BUT HOW TO PERFORM THAT WHICH IS GOOD I FIND NOT. (19) FOR THE GOOD THAT I WOULD I DO NOT: BUT THE EVIL WHICH I WOULD NOT: THAT I DO. (20) NOW IF I DO THAT I WOULD NOT, IT IS NO MORE I DO IT BUT SIN THAT DWELLETH IN ME. (21) I FIND THEN A LAW, THAT, WHEN I WOULD DO GOOD, EVIL IS PRESENT WITH ME. (22) FOR I DELIGHT IN THE LAW OF GOD AFTER THE INWARD MAN: (23) BUT I SEE ANOTHER LAW IN MY MEMBERS, WARRING AGAINST THE LAW OF MY MIND, AND BRINGING ME INTO CAPTIVITY TO THE LAW OF SIN WHICH IS IN MY MEMBERS. (24) O WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM! WHO SHALL DELIVER ME FROM THE BODY OF THIS DEATH? (25) I THANK GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. SO THEN WITH THE MIND I MYSELF SERVE THE LAW OF GOD: BUT WITH THE FLESH THE LAW OF SIN.
As I deliver my testimony, I’d like for each of you to know that all I am is a sinner saved by the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I, like the Apostle Paul still struggle with my flesh and I realize I will until my journey through this life is complete.
I often tell people that my greatest burden in my born-again experience is for those that are members of Churches, say they believe in Jeus Christ, been baptized and joined a local Church but have never experienced the new birth it takes, be born into the family of God. More than likely for a good portion of my spiritual life this has been something that was present with me but, because of the weakness of my flesh, I didn’t understand all that Our Lord was instructing me to do. With that being said, my testimony might reveal to you why I can clearly see what happens to many people that are deceived about their own personal salvation.
In my life I have basically always been in Church. As a boy my mom seen to it that my sisters and I went to Church each Sunday, taught us how to dress and basically started the foundation of salvation in our lives. I remember when I turned sixteen, on a Sunday morning my mom came to my bedroom door to tell me to get up to go to Church. She said this: today will be the last time I ever call you up to go to Church, you’re sixteen. From now on you’re on your own. You can decide for yourself what you want as far as Church is concerned.
Guess what? I quit going! From that morning up until I was around twenty-three years old, I only went to Church for maybe Easter, mother and Father’s Day. Just being respectful. I often tell young people that you can make mistakes between the age of fifteen and twenty-five that you won’t live long enough to get over. What we fail to understand is this. Jesus Christ has already forgiven each of us for our sin. That’s a simple statement and very true. However, if you choose to live in sin, you will suffer the consequences of the sin you live in.
When I make that statement, understand this. Every person that ever died or will die and spend an eternity in hell, their sin, every one of them was covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Thet just simply didn’t except the sacrifice he offered.
When I was eighteen, I made a girl pregnant. While the young woman and I never married, I made up my mind that I’d support the baby as long as I was supposed to. However, the baby died at birth. Well, do you think that ended it as my life moved forward? Far from it my friend. As you see, I’m even writing about it now. Can you see how that one thing changed that young woman’s life and mine for as long as we live?
You also must realize that that was just one thing in my sinful life! However, that was a very big thing. You have to understand, my mom and all three of my sisters were people that sought to walk with Jesus Christ. I felt like I had let ever person that was important in my life down. Now remember, I’m not going to Church anywhere.
My sister actually got married to a young man that went to an Independent Baptist Church. Before she was married, she would often come home and tell us that we didn’t know what we were missing in our Church experience. She and the young man got married in that Church that he was a member of. I had already told the young woman that was pregnant I would take her to their wedding. So, we went and that was the last time I had anything to do with her. To be honest, I can’t remember whether even she knew she was pregnant at that time, really doesn’t matter.
My oldest sister got married on (October 5, 1969). In March the next year they had a revival at that Church. I was dating someone else at that time. Being very grieved about how I had let my family down, she and I went to revival one night. You must understand that as a sinful young man I was seeking a way to make myself look better in the eyes of my family as well as other people. That night when the alter call was given, I went down to the alter.
As I knelt at the altar, the man that was preaching revival came and knelt beside me. He asked me if I had been saved, I replied (no). He then asked if I would like to be, I replies (yes). He then took his Bible and took me down what I now know as (the roman’s road). That simply showing a person how to be saved using the Book of Romans in the Bible. I answered all the questions just as he desired for me to. He then helped me pray the (sinner’s prayer). When we stood up, he announced to the Church that I had just been saved!
Just as soon as I could, I ran out of That Church. I went by the pew where my girlfriend was sitting, got her hand, as I went out, I shook a few people’s hands but, I was really ready to get out of that place.
From that night on, not one thing changed in my life. I still cursed, I still done things with my girlfriend I shouldn’t have done. I had a problem stealing, not big things but just little things I wanted, However, that’s still stealing! The only thing that changed in my life was this. If you or any person ever asked me if I had been saved, I’d reply (yes). Why, just because I had been down to an altar, made a profession of faith and said the sinner’s prayer. From that night until sometime in 1973 I never went back to any Church.
I was married in 1970, August. In July 1973 my wife and I had a little baby girl. We had just moved into a new house we had built on June 1 that year. Sometimes In August I remember going up the steps to our house thinking this. I need to at least give my daughter the same opportunity I had as a boy, I need to take her to Church. My wife and I stared going back to the same Methodist Church that my mom had always taken us to. Two of my sisters and my mom still were members of that Church. At that time another one of my sisters had married and her husband taught Sunday School in that Church, we were in his class.
We went to that Church until 1975. There was an independent Baptist Church that had started in the little town we lived in. My sister and her husband had begun to visit that Church on Sunday nights. They would often tell us to visit with them. For a while I refused stating I was fine where I was. However, as time moved forward, we started to visit with them;
The very first night I visited, when we walked in the entrance of that Church, I knew something is different here. Our second daughter was born in January 1975. She was just ten months old. As we sit down on the second or third pew from the front, she was squirming around in my lap. I’ll be honest, what I was feeling and her squirming, I was ready to leave. A woman (Mrs. Wagner) came over, just took her out of my lap and said, I’ll take her to the nursery so you can enjoy the service.
Every time I give my testimony, I always give her credit for being a part of my salvation. I say that on that Sunday night I probably actually heard the salvation message for the first time in my life. That doesn’t mean it hadn’t been preached in my presence, I just didn’t listen. In October 1975 I was just short of being twenty-five years old. While I didn’t go to the alter that night, we continued to visit on Sunday nights. Then, we enjoyed it so much we decided to go on a Sunday morning sometimes in November.
On that Sunday morning, I often tell people that I was so bad about cursing I probably cursed someone out on my way to Church that morning. However, that Sunday morning as I listen to the message, God’s Spirit spoke to my heart. When alter call was given, I went down to the alter. Not one person came around me, no pastor, no deacon, not one Church person met me at that alter. However, I want you to know that Jesus Christ met me there on that Sunday morning! When I left that alter, my life was changed forever!
I often tell people this. I went to Church that Sunday morning cursing but at that alter, God cleaned my vocabulary up! I tell them now if I even start to think, not say just think curse words I realize I need to be drawn back into a closer walk with Jesus Christ! That Sunday morning, I was born-again! I want you to consider this. There was a factory just across the street from our Church. I’m an electrician by trade and we were working in that factory. There, in that factory not many weeks after I was born-again, we were working. I have never seen a (self-tapping screw) at that time. Now they are a very common thing but, not then. Another contractor that we were working with had a whole box of them. I wanted some. When no one was around, I reached down to get me a handful of them. As I reached down, God’s Spirit said (NO) they’re not yours! At that point, I stopped! I never forgot that moment! I did ask the other contractor if I could use some and he said to help myself. What a blessing! Before that we would always have to drill a hole and use a stove bolt but now, we can use self-tapping screws!
The rest of my life is history! Over the years I have always used a (King James Bible). I don’t study anything else. I often hear people say that they can’t understand the (King James Bible), I wonder, do they understand the one they read? You see, it takes God’s Spirit to reveal God’s word. When I was lost, I couldn’t understand it because I didn’t have that, Spirit.
My burden! Just how many people is it that’s living just like I lived from (March 1970 until November 1975) confessing to be saved but have never experienced the new birth by being born again? That is what drives me to my knees and causes me to be as much of a witness as I possibly can in every way!
I’d like for you to recognize something with me. From (March 1970 until November 1975) if you Rember if someone asked me if I were saved, I always reply (yes). However, if they took it a step farther and asked (Do you know you are going to heaven when you die)? My answer would always be (I hope so).
I’d like to try and explain one difference I see in me since I am born-again. When my dad was a boy, he was raised in a Primitive Baptist Church. They say you have no choice, if God wants you to go to heaven, he takes you. If you are predestined to go to hell, then you will go. In the Methodist Church I went to they believe you can fall from grace because of sin. Once you say you’re saved if you sin afterwards, you have to be saved again. The Baptist Church I went to preached (eternal security).
Now, I’m not saying I understand all about the Primitive Baptist’s belief or the Methodist. I still have a lot to learn about all scripture teaches. However, when I was born-again, I remember thing, just who is this man? What makes him right? Why can’t we say the Methodist or Primitive Baptist are correct and he is wrong?
To those question, I made up my mind. It’s not up to any man to teach me. If the answer to my questions can be answered it will be because of scripture. I began to pray, Lord, teach me! I don’t want to be Baptist, Methodist, Primitive Baptist or any other man’s belief or opinion. My desire is for you Lord to teach me!
I’ve now been studying for forty-two years. I’m still seeking for a few or, many answers but I refuse to simply take any man’s word for what turns out to be (my eternal destiny). I don’t believe you should either!
I’ve learned over the years to listen to people. Take what I can use for God’s glory and leave the rest alone! As you read my testimony, look at your spiritual walk. Where do you stand? (I know) I’m going to be with my Lord when I die. I don’t say that because someone else told me that but rather because I studied, listen to the Holy Spirit and learned at his feet! You can do the very same thing!
I’ll close with this. I was once asked by a man if I knew I was going to heaven when I died? I replied, yes, I do! There was another young man standing close by listening to us. This is what he said: (No hell you don’t, nobody knows where they are going when they die). I looked at him and asked, sir can I asked you a question? He said, yes. I asked, just how much time have you spent studying your Bible? He said, I probably haven’t read two verses my whole life. To that I replied, I’ve spent now a major part of my life seeking answers from that book and you think you can honestly say that? He never said another word, just walked off!
All I might know in my heart. While I might be able to enlighten you in your Seach for truth it still has to be what you know that helps you as you seek for answers about eternal security. It’s there! Please, don’t just let someone else tell you how to think. Find a know so answer and let them do whatsoever they please! There’s only one Holy Spirit, one truth. God’s Spirit will always reveal truth, nothing short of the truth. Let him be your teacher in all things spiritual and learn just how much you can trust him. It’s your eternal future we are talking about!
2 Timothy 1:7