“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” – My salvation testimony.
Oh miserable man that I am, who will save me from this body of sin and death? I thank God through my Lord Jesus Christ.
This is a testimony to the faithfulness and goodness of God. Let’s suffice it to say that about everything a person could do against God I did. I sought to mask my loneliness, insecurity, pain and fears by sex, drugs and rock and roll and any other thing that would medicate the wounds of my heart and soul. I think deep down inside I knew these things were wrong but my own sin, selfishness and desire for instant gratification drove me. I now understand what Paul means when he said that you can be either a “slave of righteousness” or a “slave of sin.” The righteousness that comes from a relationship with Christ Jesus brings joy and peace. Sin is a very cruel master to serve, it strips you of your dignity and honor and clothes you with shame, guilt and dishonor.
I wasn’t raised in what you would call a Christian home but did attend the Catholic Church for many years as a kid. As time went on, I would go less frequently. I always felt a sense of reverence for Jesus Christ and knew that He was God and that He died for my sins. I am thankful that I always retained that awe of Jesus and His name and what He did for me on the cross. No one told me, though, to take Him off the cross and ask Him into my heart and life. I was also never told that I could have a real, intimate, loving relationship with the God who created me.
When I was twenty-nine years old, I had what can only be called a spiritual crisis. I had done something ugly and evil that night and came home very depressed and tormented. I lay in bed in anguish of soul and spirit and wondered how I could be so bad. That night I experienced something that was so terrifying that it is beyond words. It was so incredibly frightening that I was physically, mentally and emotionally paralyzed with fear. It felt like a huge, incredibly powerful hand was squeezing the life out of me. It was so intense that I thought I was going to die that night. I started bawling uncontrollably. I definitely wasn’t ready to die. Then it hit me, “If I die tonight, I’m going to hell.” Then I really lost it and just broke down in total torment. The weight got worse and worse and I truly thought I would die.
Then from somewhere deep within me I cried out, “Jesus Christ please save me, Lord Jesus please save me!” As soon as I did, the weight was gone. The weight of all the sin I had carried around all my life was lifted as easily as if He had blown the dust off the cover of a book. I just lay there as the tears dried in total awe and wonder at the power of the name that I just called upon. The Bible says, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Even after all the years I had sinned against and run from Him, He had tenderly, lovingly and patiently waited for me to ask Him into my life and heart. The Savior who died on the cross to take away my sins and rose from the dead become real to me that night and I made a commitment to get to know the Beautiful Savior who had revealed Himself to me. I am still learning daily what it means to be a child and son of God.
I still have my struggles and at times I fall. But with the help and teaching of my Lord Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit I am learning more about what it means to love and walk with God. I thank and praise Jesus for His goodness, His incredible sacrifice and because my name is written in the Book of Life!
God has given me some very special relationships that I will treasure for eternity. Shortly after coming to the Lord, I was being blown about by what the Apostle Paul called, “Every wind of doctrine (teaching).” God, in His grace and mercy, knew that I needed to be grounded in the Word and in my knowledge of Himself. He put one of the most patient, caring and loving people in my life that I could have ever hoped for. He was the Pastor of the first church that I regularly attended and took me on as his roommate. Tim not only preached the Word but quietly, humbly and lovingly lived it. He was a big brother I never had. Through Tim, I also got to know another wonderful brother in Christ, Eric. We became such good friends that I had the honor of being the best man at his wedding. Tim, Eric and Amity (Eric’s wife) and I keep in contact and it is a precious thought to me that I will enjoy their company for eternity.
One of the most beautiful and incredible things about my walk with God is that not only do I have a relationship with the One who created me, but I have millions upon millions of brothers and sisters who have the greatest thing in the world in common, a love of our heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
I praise and thank Jesus continually for the gift of eternal life and the grace (giving me what I don’t deserve, an eternal home with Him in heaven) and mercy (not giving me what I do deserve, eternal separation and punishment) He has shown me. What did I do to get saved and change my eternal destiny? I guess it can be summed up in a few simple verses. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8&9) “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13)