I was at the age of 20-21 when my mother, by reading Gods Word found salvation thru the Lord Jesus Christ. I can remember how happy she was as she would try to show me and others in the family how she knew she was going to heaven, and that we could know too. I was happy for my mom, but as for me, I just closed my ears to her talk about the Lord. I loved my life just the way it was, and figured I wasn't that bad a person anyway. I believed in God, but wasn't about to be a fanatic about it. Although I knew she had something special, I wanted no part of it.
As Jesus said- THIS IS THE JUDGEMENT THAT THE LIGHT IS COME INTO THE WORLD, AND MEN LOVED THE DARKNESS RATHER THAN THE LIGHT, FOR THERE DEEDS WERE EVIL. JOHN 3:19
About a year after my mother was saved, she became ill with luekemia, in and out of the hospital, sick and losing her hair from the chemotherapy, she would still talk about, and praise Jesus. During the 2 years she lived after learning of the disease, she never seemed worried about her death. She had a hospital bed put into the frontroom of her new house, and when she was well enough to go home for awhile, she would just lay and look out the window trying to make the best of the situation. Not knowing the Lord as she did, I had no peace about what was happening. After her death, I just went on living in the darkness, without the Lord. I enjoyed my life of drinking and partying, and fell even deeper into it. Several years later, my brother Kerry surrendered his life over to the Lord. It was by his conversion that I began to see the reality of Gods power. I witnessed a man who loved the world of partying, beer drinking and pot smoking, change to a soft spoken man of God. A man that would witness for the Lord to family and friends, a man that would pray over meals at family get-togethers, (something that was never done before.) To say the least, the change amazed me! At times I wished my brother would just go away!
At first I had thought that this was just some kind of phase my brother was going through, and it would pass. I at times thought that he was a bit fanatical, a bit nuts, but it was only out of ignorance. I could not recognize the work of the Holy Spirit that dwelled in Him, the Holy Spirit in which compelled him to lead me to the Lord.
By his witnessing to my wife and me, the Lord began to convict me of my sin. At times the conviction was great, it gave me a real funny feeling inside, a feeling of being condemned. My brother then talked us into visiting a church which was being started in our area. It was the first time I was ever in a fundamental, Bible believing church. Things were different there, everyone had Bibles and the Pastor would often refer to verses while delivering his sermon. Being brought up in a Catholic church, I was not used to this type of preaching, which again had put me under conviction. It concerned drinking, drugs, etc. Boy, the Lord was working Hard on me! Also during that same service, my wife had professed Jesus Christ as Her saviour. I had began to realize how the Lord was reaching out to me. First it was through my mother, And now years after her death, the Lord had graciously sent my brother to help show me the way of Salvation.
It was in December of 1986 that I truly realized my lost condition. It was upon returning from work late in the evening, that I had dropped to my knee's and admitted to the Lord that I was a sinner in need of His Gift of salvation, I asked the Lord to forgive me, and save me, by his death on the cross. With a repentant heart I had prayed, putting my trust in Him, and the Lord has since blessed in many ways. When I decided to repent of my sins and call upon the Lord, It was also my decision to get rid of the things in my life which I knew were sin in the eyes of the Lord, And He made it easy to do. And although it didn't happen right away, In time the Lord had taken my desire to drink, and sit in the taverns away from me. I just didn't feel I belonged there anymore. That may not seem like such a big deal to you, but I was the type who couldn't imagine a good time without a beer in my hand, a little dope to smoke etc. Now, those things are no more.
I had also been blessed with the opportunity to see my 7 year old son invite Jesus Christ into his heart also. This was a special time for me, alone with my son, reading to him from the childrens bible. I was reading to Him the story of the Rich man, and the poor man lazarus, ( Luke 16:19-31.) And showed him some illustrations of the differance that there is between heaven and hell. At that point he wanted to know how he could get to heaven. He told me he didn't want to have to go to hell, and asked me to tell him how to be saved. I first explained to him that we were ALL sinners.(Romans 3:10) (Romans 3:23) I then explained the penalty that must be paid for that sin, death. (Romans 5:12) and then read him even more verses showing Gods love and grace.( Romans 5:8.) ( Romans 6:23.) And finally, I read him verses explaining all that he needs to do, to be saved,( Romans 10:9-13.) After a few short questions, he bowed his head in prayer And accepted Christ as his Saviour. That night, after seeing him off to bed, I had prayed that he truly understood what had happened. Well, the following sunday that prayer was answered. I was teaching childrens church, and near the end of the service a man from our church opened the door and asked Joey if he was ready. I was a bit confused as to what was going on, my wife and I were asked to come along with him. Upon entering the church, he went straight up to the front, and along side our pastor, he told everyone how he had accepted Christ, and was Saved! Apparently before the service even started he told our pastor that he wanted to make a profession of faith. He also had told his grandma about his salvation, and how she too could be saved.
This is just one of the ways in which the Lord has blessed me and mine, since I have recieved Him. I just hope by this testimony others may see the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the work of the Holy Spirit, and surrender to Christ also, resulting in eternal life.
God Bless! Keith
" My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of my hand." John 10:27-28.
" Let not you heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me." " In my fathers house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; For I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again. and recieve you to myself; That where I am, there you may be also." John 14:1-3.
This article originated on The Salvation Online Network