Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Testimony

I grew up Lutheran. We didn't go to church every Sunday, but often enough for me to have been familiar with most Bible stories. I knew about God, and that Jesus died on the cross.

When it comes to salvation, I literally can't remember one lesson, or sermon on the topic. I grew up believing that if you are good, you go to heaven, and if you are bad, hell. I simply thought if your "good" outweighed" your "bad", then you were in (heaven). Hell was not a word used in the Lutheran church. I honestly wasn't very concerned about it either way. Nobody ever talked about it, so I didn't give it much thought.

We moved to Indiana in 1999. We went to church with my husbands parent's on several occasions. I had never heard preaching like that. I was not familiar with the term "saved" . The preacher gave a sermon on salvation. He explained salvation so simply.. it confused me. Why didn't my childhood pastor ever tell us this? If you are going to go to church, and sing hymn's, and read from the Bible...shouldn't someone mention the most important part??

The preacher explained that:

You don't have to attend any certain church to get into heaven..
You don't have to attend church at all!
You don't have to do "good deeds/works" to get into heaven.
You don't have to be baptized to go to heaven.
You don't have to pay a priest penance to get your soul out of purgatory.
You don't have confess your sins to a priest to get into heaven.

Very simply..all you have to do is believe. Yep. That's it. Believe. Believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross, to pay for your sins (and the sins of the entire world). Believe that on the third day He rose again, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Then accept Him as your personal Savior. That's it. It's between YOU (yes YOU) and God.

The Bible says: Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. But, like any gift, you have to RECEIVE IT!!!

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. John 3:16

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation... Romans 10:9,10,11 Sunday morning when the preacher gave the invitation, I accepted Christ as my personal Savior. I didn't go up to the alter, nor do it publicly. I prayed silently right there in my pew for Jesus to come into my heart, and save my soul from Hell. I understood that it was between me and God. The preacher so kindly gave the invitation for anyone to go up to the alter to pray, or for us chickens.. we could just pray silently in our pew.

It was pride that kept me from going up there. It was pride that kept me from sharing my experience with others. I was hurt and disappointed that I had attended church for all those years, and not been told.

The Bible makes it very clear.

...that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21

...what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.. Acts 16:30,31

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1Cor 1:18

Get right with God today. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.


Adventures In Babywearing said...

This was really sweet to read! Thank you for sharing your testimony.


Becoming Me said...

Thank you for sharing your testimony. I too was raised in a Lutheran church.

Anonymous said...

That was a blessing.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Em.