When I was 17 years old I had an amazing encounter with the love of God and this was all by Gods grace. Roughly 2500 years ago God spoke to the prophet Joel about something great he would do. Joel chapter 2:28 says “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions. Prior to my encounter with God I was in a lot darkness and sins. The weight of guilt from my sin was crushing me and I did not feel alive. As the bible states, I was dead in my sins and trespasses. I was far away from God and I knew I was going to hell.
I used to go to church and take part in Christian activities but I was lost and did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, God or the Holy Spirit. I struggled a lot with pornography addiction, partying, idolatry, pride of life, bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, blaming others and a lot of other things like selfishness etc. I was carnally minded (only focused on pleasure). The most important thing on my mind was the next party or club I was going to go to. I started to become aware of my condition before God (by his mercy) and started trying to do good deeds to make myself acceptable before God and go to heaven. I would think to myself if I stop doing this bad thing for the rest of my life then I will be okay. My conscience was warning me that I was going to hell. The problem was I could not stop doing the bad things I was doing because I was a sinner by nature and under the power of sin (Romans 3). During a bible study with my mom she spoke about the cross of Jesus, this convicted me and made me want to be saved.
I started to struggle with great depression and anxiety because of my sins. The anxiety was pretty severe to the degree that I started panicking while doing normal things like paying a bus fare, even just sitting on the bus or doing work in class. I had no peace with God and started to question what the point of life was. I would try to blame other people for my situation and would avoid personal accountability for my actions. I was in my first year in college so I would go to parties quite often, but I still felt empty. I tried doing many things to be happy playing games, doing sports, watching TV shows but I still felt empty. I started to think more about God and Jesus. This was actually God the father drawing me to his Son. I liked to listen to worship songs because I grew up in the church and I felt nice feelings when I listened to them. I really started to hate my sins especially the porn addiction and was fed up with the guilt and depression it caused. I tried to stop but I could never break free from the sin. I started looking to God for help. I read Christian and non Christian articles about pornography and masturbation and felt a sense of hope of freedom in Jesus Christ from sin. I watched a particular testimony (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1leTC8JYOE) and asked Christ to come into my life but at that time nothing happened because I did not truly repent.
A bible verse I read in the book of proverbs had a life changing impact on me. It told the story of a man who committed adultery and was now paying the consequences for his sin. He cried out why didn’t I listen to my teachers. Proverbs 5 11-14. These verses made me think of eternity and the afterlife and what if I have my sins but go somewhere bad in the end. By Gods grace I came to the end of myself and in desperation told a very close family member about my situation. It was hard to do this but my life was falling apart. I was being oppressed by demons also because of my sins although at that time I did not know this. I heard a voice clearly say to me my life will never be the same. This was the voice of the Holy Spirit. I told my family member in an email my struggle with internet pornography as I was too embarrassed to say it in person. I told him I knew it was a sin and that could he please pray for me so God can help me. He responded in a very kind way saying that many young men struggle with this but it is bad for confidence and self esteem. He told me that the good Lord will help me overcome and that Christ loves you always.
This statement Christ loves you always was in my mind. The bible says that the Holy Spirit will come to reprove the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. I started feeling sad about my life and the poor choices I made and the sins I committed. I realised I was a moral failure and knew I let my dad down. I began to cry the words Christ loves you always came to mind again. I remember questioning can Christ love me even if I am doing wrong things against Him. At this moment I was crying and cried out to God to forgive me of my sins and that I was sorry. I immediately felt the love of God surround me. I was shocked, that God really loved me so much. God revealed his nature to me and I knew that he was so good, righteous, pure, kind and holy. The Holy Spirit convicted me of sin, righteousness and judgment. I understood I was evil and I confessed I am evil. I understood I was meant to have something good to present before God but I had absolutely nothing.
I was shown a vision of hell, there were flames of fire and it was a dark place. I understood I deserved to go there and confessed I deserve it. I saw how all my life God had been good to me and loved me and all I ever done was do evil to him when he did me no wrong. I realised I deserve hell and did not know what to do. Then a vision of Jesus Christ on the cross appeared before me. I understood that this was because of me the crucifixion of Jesus Christ the innocent one was because of me. I saw the agony and pain of Jesus. The sadness and pain in his eyes. He looked so hurt that it broke me. I broke down in tears.
He died to pay for my sin and evil life. He paid the price he did no wrong but he stood in my place to save me. He took the punishment he took the blame that was rightfully mine. I was told to bow down by the Holy Spirit and the Father. Whilst bowed down I told Jesus I am sorry and confessed Jesus you are LORD. I told him I am sorry a couple more times and that I surrender to him and that I believe. I thank God with all my heart for that moment.
The bible says in the book of Romans 10 If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart God hath raised him from the dead; thou shalt be saved. All the glory to God. The next day I woke up feeling brand new, different and very light. I was born again! I was a new creation. I felt such a great peace and everything seemed beautiful like the world around me. There was a fire burning in my heart this was the inner witness of the Holy Ghost. I felt the love of God and of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit in my life. I was set free from my sins no more porn addiction. I was free from depression, anxiety, social anxiety and panic attacks. I had a purpose and meaning to my life from Jesus. I had a great love for Jesus who had healed my life, set me free from my bondage to sin and saved me. I remember giving God the glory looking out my window. I also had a great desire to read the word of God. When I read the Gospels of Jesus like Matthew it became alive and was full of power. I was amazed at the life of Jesus, his teachings and his miracles. I was also amazed because before when I tried to read the Gospels I did not understand it at all. Jesus is Lord! I also by the promise and prophecy of God about 2590 years ago was cleansed from my idols other gods. (TV shows, games, self) Ezekiel 36 -25-27.
The Lord is so good. God forgave me of my many sins because Christ died for me! Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world to redeem and reconcile mankind to God. God is worthy. God healed me and saved me because of his grace. I have the hope of Eternal life because of God’s mercy. This is my salvation story and testimony of Jesus Christ the Lord. My Journey with God has had some trials and some victories so far and I have unfortunately committed many sins after accepting Jesus as saviour but I thank God for his love, His faithfulness and forgiveness.
How to be saved?
You must understand that God loves you but you must acknowledge to God that you are a sinner and you are separated from the life of God because of your sin. You must realise you deserve hell. You must repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ. Believe that he died for your sins was buried and rose again 3 days later.
1 Corinthians 15: 3-4 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
Romans 3:23 All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 10:9 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.
John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him
Matthew 25:31 – 46 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal