What a privilege it is to be able to share my testimony of salvation with you. That I ever got saved at all is only due to the love, mercy and faithfulness of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I give all the glory to Him! I have tried to be as brief as possible but my testimony is still very long. PLEASE take the time to read it. I pray that God will use it to bless your heart if you are saved and convict your soul if you aren’t.
I was brought up attending church faithfully and sent to a Christian school for all twelve years of my education. My parents sacrificed their time and their money to see that they did all they could to raise us right and they did their best.
Unfortunately, the only thing I understood about salvation when I was growing up was the "repeat a prayer" mentality that is sending so many people to hell. Like myself, they are ignorant to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Just like the Catholics recite their rosaries, the "repeat a prayer" movement instructs a person to say the "sinner's prayer" in order to be saved. I remember saying it probably 50 times throughout my childhood – when I’d feel guilty, when I’d hear a message on hell and get scared, when I’d get emotional, or when I’d "fill-in-the-blank". I’d recite it like some good luck charm that was going to be my ticket to heaven. And just like the rosary, it did absolutely nothing to save my soul.
When my husband surrendered to preach, we moved to Florida for Bible college. God blessed us by divinely putting us in a really good church, where the Gospel was preached clearly. For the first time in my life I heard about conviction, repentance, and the drawing of the sweet Holy Spirit. I learned why the sinners prayer doesn’t save – it’s because salvation isn’t in a prayer!!! It is in the person of Jesus Christ! We can’t get saved on our time but on God’s time; it is GOD that draws men to salvation!
Romans 2:4 "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"
It isn’t in anything that "I" can do but in giving in to God and letting him take control. Of putting total trust for my eternity in GOD’S hands. *I* can’t do anything!
(I would like to break here to say that if you haven't spent a great deal of time in church or heard the Gospel explained, some of this might sound confusing to you. Please, at the very least, scroll down to the bottom of the page and read the highlighted text)
In 1998, the Lord once again began to deal with my soul and for months the Lord continued to deal with me. Oh! How thankful I am that he never gave up on me! At first, I thought it was the devil just trying to confuse me, but every time I thought I’d gotten it settled, that conviction would creep back in. I even had a conversation with my pastor in the local post office parking lot. I told him that I wasn’t sure of my salvation and that I didn't want to go to hell, but I didn’t know what to do. He told me to wait and let the Holy Spirit work in my heart. So, I did.
Then one Sunday night, on April 11, 1999, the preacher for our revival preached on "Have you Give Up?" His text was Hebrews 6:1-6:
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
He no sooner finished reading his text, then the Lord spoke to my heart and said "Karen, you aren’t saved." At first I was mad because I was so sick of going back and forth, first thinking I was saved and then thinking I was lost. I tried to push the thought aside and listen to the message but I couldn’t. I sat there and said "Fine, I’m not saved. If this is really you Lord, please work in my heart during this message and put me under conviction that I can’t deny."
Well, the preacher went on to talk about his text, how vs. 1-3 you know it is talking to saved people because we know the apostle Paul was saved and it says "us" and "we". Then he explained that vs 4-6 changes subjects as you see it says "those" and "they". He said it was talking about people who have been in church and heard the preaching, have even felt the power of God and seen the Holy Spirit move, who have been under conviction and have been enlightened yet rejected God. By our standards, they act like a "christian" but they are lost!
Honestly, it scared me to death! I kept thinking "that’s me! that’s me!" I had all these excuses why I must be saved – I served the Lord, I’d seen him work in lives, I’d felt the Holy Spirit move in service. If you asked anyone that knew me if they thought I was saved, they’d tell you yes! But GOD’S witness is far more important than mans.I John 5:9a If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater:…"
I was under so much conviction that I couldn’t stand it. I don’t even remember all that the preacher said. I was just sitting there shaking and crying. My husband looked at me and said "what’s wrong with you?" and I told him that I wasn’t saved.
From the back pew, in the middle of the service, I went to the altar and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ to save my soul from hell. I finally know what that song "Burdens are Lifted At Calvary" means! The last thing on my mind was the sinners prayer. For the first time in my life, I realized that *I* couldn’t do anything to earn my way to heaven. I couldn’t repent enough or pray enough or work enough. All I could do was put my faith and my trust in the almighty God of heaven to save my soul!
We saw many church members saved both before and after I trusted the Lord as Savior and I can’t help but think of how many of our churches are filled with lost members who are clinging to something other than the Lord (works, baptism, a prayer, their own "righteousness") for their salvation. How about you?
John 3:8 says "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goest: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
The wind is a picture of the Holy Spirit convicting the hearts of men. You can’t make the wind blow when you want it to and by the same token, you can’t get saved when you want to, but only when the Holy Spirit knocks on your heart’s door… Is he knocking now? You know the answer. You know the truth. Are you saved? If God is convicting your heart, don’t tell him to go away, that you’ll get saved "some day". Some day may never come. The Bible clearly tells us that we can’t get saved on our time.
Hebrews 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found NO place of repentance, though he SOUGHT it carefully with tears."
Maybe you are someone who has never been in church and you don't understand the words I'm saying....repentance....drawing....conviction. Let me make it as simple as I can. Conviction and drawing is that feeling you get in reading this or in hearing a sermon about eternity or the guilt you feel over your life....it's knowing that you need God, knowing that something isn't right in your life, realizing that there has to be more, that something is missing. Repentance is simply giving up on yourself and your ways, it's junking all that you think you know about God and how to get to heaven, it's giving up on being good enough or living right enough and realizing that you are a wicked, dirty sinner who deserves hell. If you were the ONLY person in the world, Jesus loved YOU enough to come and die for you that you might have eternal life. GOD.LOVES.YOU!
When you come to that place....when you realize God is everything and you are nothing, that He is the ONLY way and that nothing you can do can earn you a spot in heaven...when you're ready to repent of your sins and trust Jesus Christ alone for your salvation, then YOU are a candidate to get saved! What a precious place to be.
You do not need a prayer or anyone to be with you. You can pray wherever you are at. Tell it to Jesus - tell Him you realize your need of a Savior and that He is the only way to Heaven, repent of your sins. Trust Him and ask Him to save your soul. He will!
For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life.
I am blessed. If the Lord never gives me another thing in my lifetime, I already have more than I deserve.
Psa 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Do you know for sure that if you died tonight, you’d be in heaven? Do you know for sure that if the Lord returned tonight, that we’d meet in the air? Don’t rely on some prayer that you said as a child or the fact that you’re a good person, to get you to heaven. Give up on yourself and trust the Lord to save you. Repent of your sins and be made whole today! Do I believe "once saved, always saved"? NO! I believe "IF saved, always saved"! Won’t you please make your reservation for heaven today? You’ll have all eternity to regret not doing so!