Monday, April 01, 2013

Show Me Your Testimony


Rev.6: 9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

Rev.12: 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Every believer should have a testimony that both reflects his original conversion as well as reflects his present conversion. When you ask a believer to share his testimony he should have shared it many, many times already. I realize that some people get converted as young children, but their testimony should reflect how that original conversion worked its way out as they grew up and how it was confirmed in later years. But when a professing believer seems uncertain about his conversion experience it can be very troubling.

Not everyone has a Damascus Road experience, but every believer should at least be well aware of when he saw the light of the gospel and his heart was transformed. We all grow in the Lord at different rates, and most of us have struggled at times, but without a testimony we seem to be just religious people. The afore mentioned Apostle Paul gladly shared his testimony before paupers and kings. Men’s arguments dissipate when a person has had a personal encounter with the Crucified and Risen Christ. I know I am saved because of God’s Word and because I was there when it happened. Yes, I have a testimony.

I have not always lived up to my testimony to say nothing of living up to my Risen Lord in all His glory, but it always nourishes my soul to relive and retell my testimony. As the song goes, “Take me back to the time where I first met you”. And even in the midst of his correction and repentance, the Patriarch David asked God to “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation”. After all the theological arguments subside, and after all the systematic theologies have been read, there is nothing that can compare with the day God’s Spirit came to live inside a lost sinner and in that moment darkness became light.

I was baptized as an infant and raised in a mainline Lutheran church where my mother was choir director and my father went on Christmas and Easter. I went to three years of catechism and was confirmed as a member as I received my first communion. Despite all the ceremony I was lost and did not have a personal knowledge of Christ. I was a disinterested high school student and although my SATs allowed me to attend college I squandered my first year and dropped out. I quickly went into alcohol, drugs, and a promiscuous lifestyle. I became involved with drug dealing as well as violence.

I was an out of control train racing toward the cliff with no thought of tomorrow. It was all a game and survival and pleasure was the goal. In my life there were arrests and police and violence and drugs sold right into the high school. I was notorious in my community and I loved it. I was planning to rob a bank and kill the guard as we went in. I stood 6 foot 5 inches with platform shoes, a 18” afro, a red dog collar with gold studs, and I was looking for trouble. It was all planned out.

But something happened in March of 1975 that changed everything.


I cannot show you heaven, and I cannot show you eternal life. But what I can show you is a transformed life changed completely by the power of Christ. The man I described died in 1975, and a new man was born. I am observably imperfect and I still sin. But I can stand before you and say my testimony is this. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and to Him alone I cling. I have let Him down many times but He has always been faithful to me. I am not what I could be. I am not what I should be. But since 1975 I am not what I was.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.

That is my testimony.


Least Brother said...

One thing I (by God's grace) have become keenly aware of in the past few years is a person's testimony. Yes, I have a testimony of my initial conversion, but for me that isn't sufficient by itself. In Revelation we read that they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and their testimony. If I have a living daily walk with Jesus, my testimonies are continuous not just my conversion experience. It gives people a perspective and hope that transcends the years and shows them a Jesus that is alive and speaking to His sheep. Your a blessing brother! Continue to share the light He has given you. AMEN

Lorena said...

My life has been one filled with sin. I was never a confident person, and got myself into much trouble. I caused my parents a lot of heartache. At 18, I became a thief breaking into people's homes, and schools ...although I was a thief for years before that. I was arrested and saw the inside of a jail several times and a women's prison, where I spent a day and night, while the judge decided what to do with me. I ended up living on the streets when I was 19 for about four or five months.

In my early 20's I joined a cult, not realizing what it was as I was too busy thinking I had found something unique from Christianity. I believed I was in 'the true church'. Obviously I wasn't and spent 21 years trapped in a false 'church'...afraid to leave for fear of the lake of fire. I was married in that church, and after 18 years decided to leave the marriage for someone else-a woman. I continued living sinfully, not caring and did what I wanted. About five or six years later, I suddenly realized that I had never been a christian to begin with. I was relieved because I had thought I turned my back on God completely and it was too late. In the summer of 2007 JESUS saved my life; the life of an undeserving sinner. This is my testimony.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that incredible testimony. It's so easy to give up and think that we can't reach criminals and law-breakers and rebels, but the truth is, it IS always possible. It's done every new day. I love to hear about those, who were cast off as unredeemable by the world, receive a new heart and salvation through Jesus Christ.

Praise God!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to other commenters for sharing your testimonies too.

We are all different, yet fall into snares and traps of different kinds that kept us from the truth.

My testimony isn't too dramatic. Just a shy fearful person that became a yes-man to everyone, preferring not to create waves, because of the strict dominance of a mentally disturbed mother. But, the Lord followed me, tugged at me, knocked and if he hadn't, I don't know where I'd be today.

Despite our many different personalities, whether rebels or not, we all had sin and now we are redeemed, thank the Lord Jesus.

When I think of all the trouble we've overcome from our pasts, it's worth the misery just to be called out by the Lord unto salvation.

Evelyn S said...

My godly grandmother taught me about the Lord thru her words and deeds, took me to church and the Lord begin to speak to my heart, when I got into difficulties I would pray for Him to help me. I thought about God and what heaven was like. When I was eight or nine, while attending a church service I felt compelled to walk down to the pulpit area and accept Christ as my Lord and Savior and I was baptized! My family became very disfunctional after my grandmother died when I was ten, she was the anchor for the family. I felt so frighten and alone, the Lord watched over me and kept me safe and I felt an assurance that God was always with me. Psalm 27:10 has been so true for me, He has carried me when I had no one. I've sinned and have made many mistakes during my life but God is faithful and forgiving. I am still a work in progress. I thank God for saving me and praise Him for His goodness and abundant mercies.

Cherie c. said...

A Third Kind of Christian

That's Me.

I am sure I have a conversion story, a testimony, but I cannot really tell you when regeneration happened. Regeneration, a new heart, a new mind set, a new life in Christ.

I do know that He is so good to me. He corrects my ways to His almost daily. I deserve anything He dishes out too. Willful disobedience is a struggle for me. How to know when it's my flesh vs. when what I need is what I need. I usually wait too long and suffer for it or I don't wait long enough and suffer for it.

Regardless, I know who I want to be like, who I want to follow, and who if I lost, I would be truly lost and more broken hearted. Jesus, my Lord and Savior.

Do I have a long way to go? A resounding YES! John MacAuthur says in one of his sermons that we are to stop sinning. I kinda got it, but then I didn't. But I think what was meant was to follow all the things of the Spirit as told in the Bible. It is a choice.

We choose to love, have patience, not lie, not curse, even if we are not saved. But we understand the difference when it comes to the choice after we are born again.

Malice, covetousness, strife, anger and the other sins, as described in Scripture are things that are easier to put down with the power of the Holy Spirit. We are given the power to leave that all behind and to understand why we do.

I was saved at 14, again at 25, and again July of 2010. And the last time, with much more confidence than 2010, was this past fall. I truly heard the call this time. Brought about by much fear and trembling. He was not going to allow me to wonder again. Or it was when I was 14 and it has been one big correction after another all these years.

Most have a pleasant experience, I did not. I spent three weeks living with fear and trembling. Not of people, or things, but of God. To those who are saved with a sense of peace and all things beautiful, I did not have that. The Scripture where it says the beginning of wisdom is the fear of God hit home like a freight train hitting a brick wall. I think Jonah went through something similar.

I truly believe it saved me once and for all. It helped me realize the seriousness of salvation and how precious it really is.

Today I struggle with a prayer life, and work can get in the way along with tv, the kids, the dogs ect. But I have no excuse not to wake early and seek Him. I must set my course on that. I want to set my course on Him. Seek Him early, and often.

I have been dealing with a lot of health issues these past three months and I don't understand why. But I know it keeps me thinking on Jesus and God, and how I praise Him when I get relief.

My testimony is not one that would put a smile on your face. In fact it could scare you. But God deals with each of us in the way He sees fit. If He didn't love me I would be fine and dandy, but because He does, He does not leave me alone to send myself to eternal hell, which could easily happen. Thank you Lord for saving me even if I don't exactly know when it was.

In case you are not sure either, go to the page referenced above and read this man's testimony. It sounds a lot like me and maybe you too. All I know is that life is not the same, I am not the same and no matter what, He is my all and all.

Love to all my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

God only saves someone once. He doesn't have multiple goes at it! God is Our peace and when we are saved we will praise Him for His peace-bringing presence.

Christians and non Christians both sin. The good news is Christians are no longer under condemnation. As they desire fervently to trust and obey God He purifies them and they develop a hatred for sin and God empowers them to sin less and less.

They are blessed to continue to rely on the perfect finished work of Christ!

Unlike Christians, non-Christians are still slaves to Satan and sin. Not only are they enslaved to sin but they are also under condemnation.

Truly God is gracious, generous and good!

Cherie c. said...

Anonymous 2:48

Yes, the Lord only saves once, but that depends upon which church you go to.

Some people I spoke to, or a church I went to made me feel like I wasn't saved when all along I believe I was but was being led astray.

Can you be saved more than once, no. But the bottom line is I don't really know at which time it happened, but I am a child of God non the less.

Context. Sorry if you misunderstood.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.