Personal testimony of a fellow Christian missionary-pastor
I want to share with many of you through my personal testimony the most important thing I could share. In deep love, please read.
At the time my mom died when I was eleven years old, I felt close to God. However, soon after her memory faded, so did my close feeling toward God. I always tried to work hard in my youth at being courteous, polite and nice to other people. Then these people would always in turn praise me for being such a good person. I really liked getting a pat on the back for being such a good person. I went to church every Sunday for 20 years and did my best to think about God. I thought I was a Christian. I thought that if anyone would go to heaven, surely I would.
As I grew older into my late teenage years, I noticed some changes in my life. I didn’t seem to care for people as I used to. I didn’t want to help people anymore. I looked at pornography growing up and had a great lust in my heart that I knew was not right. The Bible says, “that anyone who (just) looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28).
In the religion I grew up in, I thought that I was really devoted to God. However, when I saw these changes occurring in my life, I thought about becoming a priest; I thought that if I dedicated my whole life to God in ministry, it would guarantee me getting into heaven. I knew that getting to heaven was the most important thing in life; yet, I couldn’t become a priest because it seemed too great a sacrifice: no marriage, no sexual relationship, and a life that seemed boring. All this made me feel guiltier and sinful because I wouldn’t do what I really believed would get me into heaven.
Around this time a guy I knew in high school who was a couple of years younger than me was killed in an auto accident. This really got me thinking about death and the afterlife. A few months later I was coming out of church. I was there not really to worship God but to look at girls. This brought me more guilt because I knew I wasn’t there for the right reasons. As I walked to my car with all these feelings of sin and guilt, I was completely terrified of driving home. I knew without a doubt that if I died in a car wreck, I would go to hell. What would you do if you knew that the next time you got in your car and you died, you would definitely go to hell? Would you get in the car? I cried out to God for help that night!
The next day as I was on a college campus for school, a guy stopped me and shared with me what the Bible said a person must do to go to heaven. As I drove home, it all became clear and a great burden of guilt and pressure was lifted when I knew for sure I would go to heaven when I died because Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for all my sins. I would go to heaven, not because I was more polite or nicer than anyone else, but because the Bible (God’s Word) told me I would go to heaven if I just believed Jesus died on the cross for me as my substitute and that He was my only way to heaven.
This may shock you, but most people (possibly many of you reading this right now) will not get to heaven when they die even though they think that they are Christians. Why? This is for this reason: people think, as l once thought, that going to heaven is by a “combination of faith in Jesus Christ AND trying to be a good person”. It must be by FAITH IN CHRIST ALONE! Most people think that by believing in Jesus’ death for them AND by being the best person they can that this will get them into heaven. Most people believe this:
Belief in Jesus + Being good (i.e., going to church, trying your best, etc.) Heaven
However, the Bible teaches that the person who believes this will not get to heaven because he’s not completely trusting that Jesus has done everything necessary to get us to heaven when He died for us on the cross. Please! Make sure you are not one of these people.
Thank God there is hope, though, for us. One person asked in the Bible, “Sirs, what must I to be saved?” They replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:30-31).
Belief in Jesus Heaven
[Believe “ON” Christ. It is not enough to believe “about” Him! Multitudes believe the historical facts concerning Christ, but they are not believing “ON” Him, TRUSTING, DEPENDING “ON” Him, as the payment for their sins. There is no other way to God (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
Believe on “THE LORD JESUS CHRIST”. God did not say, “Christ AND GOOD WORKS”. Yet multitudes ARE trusting that COMBINATION. Good works and right living should be the RESULT of genuine salvation, but they cannot HELP pay for it. People trusting their good works or good life for salvation, EVEN PARTLY, are not trusting CHRIST ALONE. Not trusting Christ 100% for their salvation means THEY ARE NOT SAVED! (Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 11:6).] – from “Eternity Maps”
Thank God that getting to heaven is a “free” gift. If something is free, like a Christmas present, all you have to do is receive it (Jn. 1:12). You are not obligated to do anything or give anything in return for it. The Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. (Eph. 2:8-9, NIV)”.
Since you are my family and friends, I sincerely pray that you all will receive this free gift as I have, if you have not already done so. I know that I am going to heaven now and am seeking to do good things now as a “Thank You” to God for my salvation.
Belief in Jesus Heaven Doing Good
My life’s purpose has completely changed. In the past I was living for college degrees, career, marriage, sexual relationships outside of marriage, money, pleasure, happiness from the world, etc. These things can’t fill the emptiness that only Jesus Christ can fill. I encourage you to start reading the Bible on a daily basis (you’ll never be able to handle life’s problems without doing this) and build an intimate relationship with Jesus, and not with the world.
In love, Glenn (Col. 1:28-29)