This morning I listened to one of the sermons from our prophecy conference/revival last year with Bro. Daniel Fried. When he was actually here for the revival, I must say I only went to one of the meetings of the several we actually had. I told Josh he was too charasmatic, too negative, and that he talked about hell/end times way too much. Looking back, I know I was just under conviction. I wasn't sure if I was saved and I hated being told so boldly that I needed to check my heart and get right with God. Seven people got saved at that revival - seven people who I had already assumed were saved. Their testimony scared the crap out of me. I didn't understand how these people who served in the church weren't really saved. I just told myself they were crazy loons. This "charasmatic" preacher just guilt tripped them into "getting saved" with his hellfire preaching. A bunch of weak wackos; that's it!
There came a moment shortly after that time, however, that I knew. Josh and I were pedal boating at Freeman Lake and these people kept coming into my mind. I began to realize that I saw myself in them. I was a good person who worked in the church and did "Godly things." However, I couldn't get it settled in my heart whether or not I was saved. I couldn't confirm in my mind a time that I got saved - no true recollection of a moment when I accepted Christ. I could not say with 100 percent positivity that I was going to Heaven. I told Josh that I was lost and he began to explain how to get things right. I was on the verge, I was right there. My heart was ready and God was working. But I thought to myself, "I don't want to go to church tonight and confirm to everyone that I haven't been the real deal." Pride crept in and I didn't want to admit it to anyone. I became angry with God for putting me in that position, for making me see that my entire "Christian" life up to that moment had been a lie. I walked away from my chance at grace, my chance for salvation. I blatantly ignored the drawing of the Holy Spirit. I rationalized and made up some kind of story about how I got saved to give myself a temporary and false sense of peace. I denied God that day. & Because He is a just God, I deserved death for that and all of the other sins I had ever committed. (The Bible says we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23)
That was June of 2009. God extended His mercy on me, something I did not deserve. I battled conviction several times after that, but I always had a rationalization to shoot it down. Finally I met up with the testimonies of those who were saved at the revival, along with many others who got saved in our congregation. My heart was convicted, I knew I was lost, I knew for a fact that I was going to hell, and I couldn't fight it anymore. On January 3, 2010, I was saved by the grace of God.
I had never felt so free in my entire life. I was able to stand before my new family in Christ and tell them I had been living a lie. I felt so relieved, a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I was free. & Today I think back at the girl who sat under Bro. Fried's preaching. I know that first off his sermon on the Mark of The Beast does not scare me, it is like listening to a totally different person. (Hey, since I know where I am going, I am excited about Jesus coming back!) I am also so glad that I am no longer under the bondage of sin. I sat in that pew angry and annoyed - also somewhat terrified with what I was hearing. I had no peace. I sat on that lake full of pride and fear - unwilling to humble my heart because of what other people would see or think. I am sad for that girl, because she was condemned. I did not know Christ and I had not accepted His gift of salvation. The Bible says I was condemned already; damned to an eternal hell. (Imagine what would have been if God didn't have mercy on me?)
I can tell you now that I am truly free, I can truly experience freedom through my salvation and relationship with Christ. I am so content, so full of joy and peace, and so relieved. I am also so thankful that God didn't choose to end my life before January 3, 2010. That was seven months later; seven months that I could have died or seven months that could have included the event of Jesus coming back and leaving me behind. I am free of that punishment, because Jesus took it on the cross for me. He paid the price and gave us a free gift, all I had to do was accept it.
I don't ever want to go back to my life as a lost person. They were some of the scariest, most unhappy, and most angry times in my life. Today I am saved, I am Heaven bound, I am ready for Jesus to come back, I know my name is written in Heaven, and I am free! & I have to say it, I have come a long way since the days of loud and bold Bro. Fried. God bless the preachers who are willing to say it outright.
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
"For by grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out." (Acts 3:19)
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13)
"If that 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." (Romans 10:9)