There is a common phrase used in Christendom. “I found Jesus”. But when I reflect back upon my own life. I did not “find” Jesus. He found me.
Jesus found me in the midst of my sins. Lusting after women. My desires fixed upon tatooes, drinking as much alcohol as I could hold nightly and wanting to be somebody in this world. I was unconfident, incompetent, barely able to hold my head above “water”. But through all this the Lord was calling out to me. He was calling me to Salvation in and through Him. For He sacrificed His earthly life upon a cross so that I could live. For the path I was on was one of death.
Deep down I knew this to be true. But even if I had a glimmer of light shone upon me, like a cockroach, I shunned the light and ran for the darkness. I had an interest in witchcraft and played Ouija board with friends. I listened to hardcore death metal, punk and heavy metal music. Bands like Slayer, Death Angel and Sam Hain, my favorites were Metallica and Kiss. These were the voices of the world that I knew.
But the Lord kept calling out to me through these worldly voices. He sent people into my life to share bits of the Gospel. He tugged on my conscience. He brought me to remember things of what I knew of church and Scripture from when I was a child.
Then, as I broke down and found nothing of value in my life, I began to look into Scripture more. Slowly I began to listen to Christian programming on the radio. For when you are not accustomed to hearing such things, like a beast stuck in a routine, it takes a while before the Truth begins to take root.
But then the fulcrum, the tipping point came. I realized I was in sin before a Holy and Living God. That there was no escaping this reality. That I was appointed to a lake of fire for eternity. I knew that God had provided an escape from this torment. The escape was not burdensome or troubling. But it required me to submit myself to Him. To submit and learn His ways. His ways of thinking and working in this world as He establishes His Kingdom.
So then let me declare to you today is the day of Salvation in Christ. Come all who are thirsty and hungry; blind and naked; destitute in life to the Lord, Jesus the Christ! The only one who can save from the captivity of sin and unrighteousness.
‘Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”’ (Mark 1:14-15)
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16)
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mat. 5:3-10)
3 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.[a] 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[b] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:1-21)
21 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving,abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.
14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes[ an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 21)
If I can send you Holy Bible free of charge please e-mail me your mailing address and I will send one straight away. No questions asked. No contact will be made unless you initiate it. May the Lord find you and pull you up into His Grace and Mercy by His loving Sacrifice on the Cross that your guilt and sin may be cleansed by the Blood He spilt for you. I am also available to answer any questions about who I am and my walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. My life is hidden in Him and open for all to see.
Having met you personally Al, I cannot imagine you being any of those things you spoke about your former life.
I marvel at what the future will encompass for those who have been called and continue in His faithfulness. The description of the New Jerusalem is “out of this world” literally and shows just how much greater our God is than anything man is or ever could be. Man rejoices over a little gold, a little silver or a precious diamond in the rough. God’s streets are solid gold, His gates are pearls and the foundations of His city are giant precious stones.
All this, and yet none of it will matter- not anymore. No more selfish acts, selfish gain or jealousy of those things we once thought would fill our hearts- not anymore. For their is something greater to be found…..
In God’s mercy, you, I and many others were called out of darkness into His marvelous light. Nothing in us warranted such mercy, grace or the blessed relationship we now find ourselves able to cultivate. We wanted no part of this thing called Christianity and yet were drawn to Him and to other likeminded souls as if our lives depended upon it- because we have to, possibly, but more so because we want to, and that’s the miracle. God not only changes our actions, but the motives of men that steer our very hearts.
Like you Al, I could have never imagined being free from the things that once bound me. I was resigned to a self-imposed slow death via my sins, I knew judgment was coming and yet told myself I didn’t care. On and on this went and yet even through what I knew was killing me, through these very things He spoke to me- another miracle.
Let us be about speaking the truth with those still bound in their sins. God still calls, still saves, still transforms the lonely hurting soul nobody else wants. Thank God He cares, and cared for those unable to help themselves.
He is the light. We could only fail to grasp the significance of these words if we fail to allow Him to be our light in this day we’ve been given.
Thanks for sharing your light brother. May your desire to impact the hurting be granted, and may many souls tend to the Master’s interests through your life. If a changed life is any indication of the presence of Jesus in you friend, I’m certainly convinced and so will those He leads your way.
“The city had no need of the sun or the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it” AWESOME!
Comment: Wonderful brother, really glad to read this testimony and encouraged in the Lord by it.