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JJJ4given

Testimony of salvation; Give yours here!

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I'd like to give my testimony of how I got saved. Anyone else who would like to give theirs feel free to do so. Actually, I would like to see everyone who is saved give their testimony here if possible!
The reason I do this in this forum(The Bible) is because I have noticed someone/someones who has posted in this forum lately, seems to believe salvation is progressive. I would like to see that I am not the only one here who can tell you the day and the place I came to know the Lord!

I was raised in a baptist church. I was preached at ever since I could remember. But never had I turned to the Lord. Then, through the school system, I had "learned" about theories(taught as truth) that should never be taught in school. I then became an atheist. I believed that everyone was right in their own way and could know what they thought to be God in their own way/religion. I really had no idea what I believed now that I think of it. But I so strongly refuted what my parents held to and what I was raised in.
When I was 17 my parents made me go to teen camp(a baptist camp meeting for teens). I didn't want to go but they said I had to or they would kick me out of the house! So I went. I said in my heart, "I've made it through these every other time, this is the last time I'll ever have to endure one of these again." Throughout the week different people came up to me and asked me about why I was athiest. Then I went into some discertation on what I thought about the cosmos and the like. Thursday was the last day of the week of teen camp. That morning I woke up kinda early. I got ready for the day and then went to the basketball court outside to shoot a couple hoops alone(I played basketball in highschool). One of the teen counselors had gotten some coffee and stood there watching me. So I asked her if she wanted to play a game of "horse". She said, sure, and so the game started. I was winning with only an "H" and she had "HORS". She paused before making a shot and said, "How about every shot we miss we tell something about ourselves?" I said, "OK". So we ended up missing a lot of shots. I don't remember any of the stuff she said, but I would say stuff like, "My dogs name is missy." and nothing too controversial(ie. "I'm an athiest"). This continued for a while and then she paused before a shot and said, "If I win this game, would you promise to honestly answer any question I ask you?" I said, "Sure," and kinda chuckled because she was losing pretty bad still. Well, she ended up winning the game(I had known her for a while and knew she wasn't any good at basketball :? ).
She said to me, "So you're from the church in Dubuque, what do you think of it there?" I told her, "Well, they're a great bunch of people but I disagree with them." She said, "How so?" So I said, "Well, I'm athiest."(she already knew this, by the way, as did everyone at the camp) She asked me why I was athiest so I went on telling her but then she interrupted me and said, "I'm going to ask you a question but I don't want you to answer it, just think about it, OK?" And I kinda mumbled, "whatever." Then she said, "What if you're wrong?" And then I tried to explain how I wasn't but she stopped me and said just to think about it.
Well, it was about breakfast time and everyone was moving under the dining tent so I went there too. The teens were all split up into 3 teams and your team got docked points if you were late for something. Some girls showed up late and one of the counselors told them their team had lost some points. I was still steaming over the question, "What if you're wrong?" when one of the girls that was late, as she sat down said, "We were just a second too late!"

"What if you're wrong?"
"Just a second too late!"
About the same time I burnt my tongue with some coffee I was sipping. Through the rest of the morning God was convicting me through everything people did and said. It was like God was speaking through people without them even realizing it.
The message that morning was actually a message toward the saved people. Yet God used certain things the preacher said to convict me where I was at. I had the song, "I surrender all" going through my mind and couldn't really get it out, catchy tune. For the invitational he asked the pianist to play the hymnal, "I surrender all". As I stood there with my head bowed, I could hear the words to each verse in my mind, being that I had heard this song so many times since I was young. The words convicted my soul and tears could not be held back. I had no where to go except to the alter. I knew what I was and I knew who He was. I got down to the alter and my pastor came over to me and was saying some stuff but I wasn't paying any attention to him. It was between me and God. I repented of what I was and said in my heart, "I surrender all."
Immediately the weight of sin was gone! Instead of guilt I had peace in my heart like I had never known before! I was innocent as a child! I could communicate directly with God and ask him anything! And he would answer! No one needed to explain to me how God exists because he now existed inside of me! I got up and told everyone what had happened and everyone kind of looked at me with their mouths hanging down to their feet. They just couldn't believe that I got saved. Three other teens ended up getting saved during that service too. It ended up being a long service. We got to do some singing too(by my request) and I got to lead singing! It was great! All these hymns that I had heard so many times before took on new meaning! For the first time I had sat down and read the Bible and understood what it was talking about. Tears came again as I saw what he did for me!
I found out later that my mom and several other women in my church had stayed up the night before praying that God would use everything at the camp to deal with me and some others who were lost. Well, that sure happened. :D I remember, later that day, sitting under the teen prayer tree with some of the other teens. I remember when it was my turn to pray and it was like God was right in the middle of us. He was listening to every word.

A couple weeks later I got baptized and joined my church and have been doing my best to serve faithfully ever since! I have slipped up at times but God has always been faithful to me even though I've failed him so many times.

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I'll try and keep my salvation story "short" and sweet (considering I kind of posted it else where)

My mother is Serbian Orthodox, my father a Muslim. I was not really raised with any religious beliefs, since I was fairly young I remember believing in reincarnation. When I was about 8, I entered into some foster homes, as my mother became ill. I saw her praying to God once or twice during this time, and I mocked her, telling her no one was listening.

The first foster home I got put in was a Charismatic foster home, I remember attending one of their services, and they performed a 'slaying in the spirit' to me, which as an 8 year old kid, that totally freaked me out, and from about that point on, I avoided Christianity like the plague.

From the age of 8 till I was about 17-18 I stayed firm in my atheist beliefs, I believed in reincarnation, but it wasn't something I was all die hard to defend against.

A Christian friend of mine who was heading up state met up with me before he left, we got to talking about religion and his beliefs. I was intrigued because after I left school, he had a dramatic change in behavior after a trip to Vanuatu.

After the discussion I was no longer positive there was no God, I became somewhat agnostic.

Before that time I did not really respect anyones religious beliefs, and would be very mocking of them, after the talk, I became very respectful, and saw every religion basically trying to explain the 'unknown'.

I read up on every religion, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, etc etc. The only one I didn't really look at was Christianity.

After studying these religions, I saw that all of them were man made, and that Islam, while not 100% sure it was man made, I was sure it had nothing really in it, as it contradicted itself, and some of the things mentioned in it were disturbing.

Example of which was in the preface of the Quran I obtained, it glorified the killing of 'infidels' that resisted Islam. I pretty much stopped reading the Quran after that.

Judaism while it seemed to be the real deal, some 'facts' mentioned in the book I got about it made me disregard it.

I for some reason later on got a Bible, it was an NIV, and since I read a Bible once before, I didn't really like it, since I preferred the old English.

I only read the first few chapters of Genesis.

A great influence on me was a friend I met at college, he is an Anglican, and his testimony really blew me away, his walk with the Lord, and his love for Him was amazing, we would talk about religion all the time, and I think he truly impacted on me.

(It is a shame though about some of his beliefs, he doesn't believe in eternal security and other things, I hope to get a chance to meet up with him again and discuss these things with him)

When I got back to college, at the enrollment day, there was a group of people from Gideons. They hand out NT Bibles. As I was walking to the place I needed to go, I noticed a man looking at me, and instantly I knew he wanted to give me a Bible.

As I tried to avoid him by making a long turn around him, he came up right to me and handed me a Bible. Since I was superstitious I couldn't throw it in the garbage bins around me like a lot of other people did.

It sat on top of my bedside for a long time, I read the first page of Matthew, but stopped reading it after I got bored going through the genealogies.

Later on I talked to a friend that was a Christian and asked him to give some recommendations about what book to read in the Bible, he suggested John and Romans.

After reading a passage towards the end of John 8, I got convicted, I read things before that in John (as in John 3 and 4) that really got to me, but none convicted me, I finished both John and Romans, and reflected on what I had read.

I read up on a creationist site to put my mind at ease on evolution, after their arguments on the site satisfied me, I was at somewhat peace.

I started playing Tony Hawk Underground, and I started reflecting on Christs sacrifice for me, I started crying, and I dropped to my knees and cried out unto the Lord.

I was thinking before hand that I didn't want to change at all, because I didn't want to freak out my friends. The instant I got saved, I knew it was wrong to swear, take the Lord's name in vain, and listen to the music I was listening to, I took care of all these things immediately. (I threw out all my music except my techno, I justified it for a few weeks, saying it had no lyrics therefore it was okay, but I gave in to the Lord about it a few weeks later after my salvation and got rid of that too)

That's it I think! (Sorry I was so long! :( )

-Alen

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I was about 13 or 14 years old laying in bed. I had been going to church for as long as I could remember. I was told that when I was in 1st grade, I had accepted Christ as my savior- but to be honest, I didn't remember that too much. It was a 1-2-3, pray after me type thing. My only assurance was this prayer.

I had been thinking that if such an important thing did happen, I would know the time and place when I confessed my sin and repented and accepted Jesus as my savior and sacrifice for my sins. I was laying there- knowing that I truely didn't know for sure if I was saved. I didn't have assurance that if I died that night that heaven would be my home. I knew what others had told me, but I didn't know myself.

I laid there and cried all night thinking of my sins and how Christ could wash those sins clean if I just accepted him. I had already tried a prayer before. I had already been baptised. I had already done good works. I went to church. But I knew that wasn't the plan.

So I turned my back on sin, and faced Christ. I asked him to forgive me. I trusted that when he died on the cross, was burried, and rose again- he acted as my ultimate sacrifice for my wrong doings.

Now I am forgiven! And while this flesh is corrupt and desires to do wrong, my spirit is washed in the blood and desires to do right. I know I am saved. And I know exactly where I'm going when I die.

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I grew up going to a Southern Baptist Church. At around the age of 10 or 11, I started picking up the tracts at the front of the church to take home and read. I became interested in salvation and one day my dad bought me and my sister an NIV Bible. My Sunday School teacher told me to read the Gospel of John. I became saved that evening after reading the Gospel of John.

Since then I have been in many different churches and have fallen away many times. Each time I came back. I became Catholic earlier this year at Easter. I am no longer Catholic but Baptist once again. Except this time I am an independent fundamentalist Baptist.

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My mom was saved at a very young age but lived with atheists so she never grew. My dad was raised in a Christian home but never got saved and rebelled.

When I was eight, a man my dad worked with supervising a blood center started trying to get our family to come to church. Eventually my dad decided we'd go with him. I remember we had tried a couple other churches and I enjoyed it but found the wrong kids and giggled through class. Within only a few weeks of being in this new church though I found myself under intense conviction every time the invitation was given in Jr. Church. Only I was too scared to go forward. Finally after three weeks the teacher changed it to "stay in your seats" if you want to be saved. I could manage that so I stayed back and he showed me how to be saved. The only catch was he had me copy a prayer and although I wanted desperately to be saved I was also nervous about being in a back room without my parents knowing where I was. I listened to him and copied the prayer with an eye on the door out of fear. That night I told my mom that I wanted to pray myself instead of copy that prayer. I didn't know it but about the same time my dad got saved, and then we were baptized together! The two main things that changed in my life is that the intense conviction left...and also though I had been an avid liar before salvation, afterwards I could not lie without feeling horrible inside...and soon I found I was no longer a "good liar" even if I tried. To this day I have trouble lying and am very easy to read, to most people. :D

Sometimes since then I've suffered doubts, which is why I NEVER have anyone copy a prayer. Some people can get saved copying a prayer I'm sure, but it just leaves room for alot of doubt. I did alot of "praying to make sure" after that, including praying with my youth pastor as a teen. However I realized that none of this was helping me "feel saved"... what made me saved is not a good "feeling" after praying but trusting that what God says in the Bible is true...God said if I confess my sins and believe on Him that I'm saved...which I did, and I am! After that, God says you have to keep a clean account with Him to keep the good relationship, not keep saying the sinner's prayer. God tells us to leave behind the doctrine of salvation and repentance of sins, and go forward with your Christian life.

I'm very thankful for someone at work who cared about my family and discipled them as well. I recently looked up this man and wrote him a thankful email for everything he did for our family. Its because of people who cared that I am where I am today. Reminds me to take time to help others!

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Like I said in my Intro, my name is Will. I was born into a Christian family, my dad was an Independent, Baptist Youth Pastor, and both parent's taught in our church's Christian school. I attended the school from eighth grade on, being home-schooled previously. When I was four years old, I made a profession of faith in Christianity because I was told by another four year old that I could get this really cool jacket if I did. I didn't really understand the gospel story, but I did it anyway. For the longest time, I trusted in that profession of faith as being my salvation experience, although sometimes I wondered if I was really saved.

When I got into high school, I discovered that I had some native American ancestry, so I began studying native American spirituality. I found myself intrigued by the totem spirits and rituals of the native Americans. I began incorporating this into my belief system. I was picked on alot in high school through my sophomore year, and this caused me to rely on my new found beliefs more. I began exploring some more into the Greek gods and goddesses that I had read about as a child(I was an avid reader, having read Homer in fifth grade). I began to elevate certain 'deities' in my spirituality, and progressed to calling on them and my ancestors as well as my totem spirit. I thought that I had found true power, and I enjoyed it.

When I was a junior, I became extremely ill, and was hospitalized for an entire month spending two weeks in the intensive care unit. For the first time in my life, I was truly scared. This brought back some of the Christian faith I had been taught, but not for long. Instead of allowing myself to be picked on, I began to lash out at those who picked on me, and found myself harassing others. My spirituality began to grow darker at this point, and I began reading up on dark magick and the dark gods/goddesses.

After High School, I went to a Christian college, since it was what my parent's expected of me. Funny thing is, at this college I could feel more dark energy than I ever had in my life on my own. In secret, I continued casting spells, particularly every weekend when I had to go into the city(Chicago) for church ministry. The slums of Chicago scared me a little, so I relied on every bit of magick I knew for protection. I also relied on it while at college, for there was something sinister dwelling within there.

And then one day, something changed. I was sitting in chapel, and I for once I listened to what the preacher was preaching. He spoke of the Salvation message, and for the first time I heard it clearly. I realized my need for a Saviour, and at the end of the service, I went forward and asked Christ for Salvation. And for a time, magick was out of my mind.

But unfortunately, the story doesn't stop there for me. After a couple years, I began to backslide. I gathered myself a couple of new charms that I began wearing again, and once more I slipped into paganism. This time, I began to try and combine it with Christianity. I knew that what I was doing was wrong, but I chose not to stop. Instead, I drank, smoked, and sometimes invoked magicks for a season, until once again, God grabbed ahold of me.

God has done a great work in my life, but I know He's not done yet. I need Him so much from day to day, but sometimes I fail to call on Him and began to rely on myself.

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