Salvation Testimony

CHAD’S TESTIMONY

My mother, Ann Marie Bernick, led me to Christ on Nov. 4th, 1988 in Stratford, CT. Before my conversion, I went through a period of about two months of intense nightmares. As a six year old child, I began secretly praying in my closet for God to keep me from the devil. God had made a spiritual battle very real to me, and I was constantly plagued by fear. Even though my parents are born again Christians, at the time they were not dedicated Christians. Their frustrations in failing to provide comfort for my inward turmoil led to their turning to God for wisdom. Through prayer and a thorough presentation of salvation, my mother led me to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The nightmares ceased and God gave me peace inside.

My first Bible teaching came through reading Chick Tracts and my mother’s personal testimonies. Two years later we joined a Southern Baptist Church where I was baptized and God began to deal with me about reading the Bible. It was around this time we received teaching on the King James Bible through G. A. Riplinger’s works. As a result we left the SBC.

Our family spent years in and out of church. We joined a Missionary Baptist Church when I was about twelve. It was here I began volunteering and teaching Bible studies in the Men’s Brotherhood Meetings. On occasion, I would also fill-in for the Song Leader when he was absent.

Shortly into my teenage years I began to get a deep conviction for sin and began questioning if I had been truly saved. During my high school years, my parents quit attending church again. God gave me encouragement when I was asked to lead Bible study with a student group in the public school library. At the same time, I was introduced to Dr. Ruckman’s Bible teachings. My inward struggle about assurance of salvation increased as I began to see a lacking of true scriptural experience.

Immediately after high school, in the fall of ’00, I began classes at Pensacola Bible Institute. It wasn’t until my second year that doubts about my conversion were settled. As I learned to confess my doubt as unbelief in God’s words, I also began resting on his promises to me. God restored to me the assurance of salvation I had lost while growing up, and taught me the difference between salvation and fellowship. Thank God, now I know that I’m saved!

SARAH’S TESTIMONY

My heritage was something I had never been proud of, but since I’ve been saved, “yea, I have a goodly heritage”. I had always wondered why God would let a young girl go through so many bad things. Now, I can think about what my Saviour went through for me. All the horrible things he endured were so that I can live eternally. When I think back about how I was raised and grew up, it doesn’t bring me happiness. That is until I think of how my Saviour turned all my pain, loneliness, heartbreak, and sorrow in to tools to minister for him.

My earliest memories are of my father and mother with their friends doing hard drugs. When I was about 7 years old my mother went to prison. I was then moved around between family members and foster care for the next 2 ½ years. For a time, I stayed with my grandma. She was like a mother to me. I spent a lot of my childhood with her. Because of this, I was always close to her. She always wanted the best for me and put me into a Catholic school. She wanted me to be religious, but the Catholic school only made me bitter at God. “Why would a good God allow such bad things to happen?” This was my question from an early age. My grandmother taught me morals and how to pray. She prayed for me a lot.

When my mom got out of prison I was about 10 years old. I moved back in with her and lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We got along pretty good at first, but it wasn’t long before we started to argue. I was an angry child and had no sense of authority outside of my grandmother. Before long, I was running away or she was kicking me out. This began a long struggle of being in and out of juvenile detention centers, group homes, back home, shelters, and eventually into adult jail and even prison.

I dropped out of school when I was 13 years old and ran away. I was already smoking marijuana, “tripping” on LSD and traveling to Rainbow Gatherings (hippy festivals) with “friends”. By the time I was 15 years old; I was living on the streets, hitchhiking, and hopping freight trains. I was also shooting heroin and was on some kind of drugs and/or drinking heavily most of the time. When I was 19 years old I got pregnant with my first son. This was a huge reality check for me. I quit drinking and drugging almost overnight. I got off the streets, but being sober was pretty short lived. In my early twenties I started going to black metal shows. This led to openly worshiping Satan. The whole time I was drinking heavily. I was in bad shape.

When I think back I can remember several times in my life that the LORD has tried to get my attention and draw me to HIM. A tract a woman on a street corner gave me that I never read. An old friend called me out of the blue, telling me he was “saved” and what the Bible said about salvation. My dad, who had been a drug addict, also got “saved” in a treatment center and was telling me the same thing. I remember thinking, “What is everyone getting saved? And what does that mean? Saved from what?” This made me start to look into the Bible for myself to see what GOD had to say.

About two months before I asked the LORD to save my soul, I went to a bar to see a band play. I had a free “all you can drink” pass and started drinking whisky in the afternoon. By midnight I was borderline blacked out. At the time I was a whisky drunk and drank a bottle a day by myself. I was dancing and spinning in circles with a “friend”. When they let go of my hands, I spun and hit my head on a lose piece of metal on the wall. When I reached up and felt my ear, it was already bleeding down my shoulder. I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. The top of my ear was almost cut off. I had no money for a cab, and then the club manager kicked me out. This all happened in the middle of a Minnesota winter and it was about -30 degrees outside. By the time I got to the hospital, I had frostbite on my ear. I also had to get 25 stitches to sew my ear back together and a cut behind my ear. My brain was slightly bruised. I was in so much pain that I was in bed healing for weeks. I took this as a literal “slap in the face” from GOD. I knew for sure that He was trying to show me my sin. Because of this I quit drinking again for a short time.

Later, I was invited to go to a church in Pensacola by the same old friend that had been telling me about the Lord. At the time, I traveled a lot and was headed to New Orleans for New Year’s. I decided to visit my friend and go to church in Pensacola at Bible Baptist. I had never been in a Baptist church, which is so different from the Catholic Church. A man named Brian Donovan preached. I don’t remember what the message was about. I didn’t know what a gospel invitation was, but I did know God was dealing with me about being a sinner. At the end of the service, I ran out the back door and went into the bathroom to cry my eyes out. I normally never cried about anything. “What was wrong with me?!” I know now it was conviction. I just wanted to get out of that church. I left, but went back that night for the evening service. This time I went down front to pray at the end. I was sitting in the front row and was the first one down to at alter to pray. Thus began the battle in my mind. The devil was screaming in my head, “You can’t do this! You can’t become a Christian! Just think of what your friends are going to say!” I was a drunk and had lived a wicked life. “What would they say?” I stopped praying. “Could God really forgive me?” I thought. I knew there was a God and that He is real! With a heavy heart, I left town that night to go back to Minnesota.

On our way home I saw a book in the middle of the highway with its pages fluttering in the wind. I was real superstitious back then. I got a weird “feeling” to head back and get that Book! We turned around and picked it up. It was a King James Bible! I knew that God “threw the Book at me”. I knew that what I had heard that day at church was the truth. I had realized that I was lost and needed to be saved from hell. I knew I could not do anything to make up for all my sins and that I didn’t have to! Jesus paid it all when He died for me on the cross. He shed His precious blood: God’s blood as the payment for me! I prayed and was saved. My friend read the Bible out loud all the way home! This time I was really changed. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Titus 3:5

Since I have been saved, God has given me a wonderful Christian husband and three more beautiful children. It’s not always an easy road, but God is faithful. As the song goes, “When I think of what he’s done and where he brought me from, I’ve got so much to thank him for!” Praise God, I have a new life now! My husband and I are missionaries on Alaska’s North Slope, preaching the gospel far above the Arctic Circle, in a remote village. The girls in our village have many of the same “bad things” happen in their lives as I had. I never thought that God would use my past as a tool to minister to the Inupiat people. God has been so good to me. I just want to live for him. Now I have a goodly heritage. “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” Psalms 16:6

“For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.” 2 Corinthians 1:12

If you’re reading this and think I got some kind of religion, you’re wrong. God deals with everyone on a one on one basis. He showed me that I had sinned against a holy and living God. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “I’m a pretty good person.” May I ask, by whose standard? Compared to the people you know? Are you better than the drunk on the street? You cannot impress God by doing “good” things.

Let’s look at God’s standard for a moment. Thou shalt not steal. Have you ever stolen anything before? A pen maybe? How many times do you have to steal to become a thief? Once. According to God’s law you’re a thief. Thou shalt not commit adultery. You say, “I’ve never done that!” But God is so righteous that He says in Matthew 5:28 “That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” You might say, “Okay, that might be true, but I’ve never murdered anyone.” God says in Matthew 5:22, that hating your brother without a cause is judged as murder. By your our admittance, you’re a thief, an adulterer and a murderer. And even if you’d only broken one law, God says inJames 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

Do you think when you stand before God that you will tell him you’re good enough to get into Heaven? Now that you know you’ve sinned against God, what are you going to do? I’ll tell you what I did and what the Bible says you can do. Romans 5:8-9 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. …being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” We can only be justified by God’s blood because he is sinless.

1Corinthains 15:3-4 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

Romans 10:9-10, 13 “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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

When you stand before God after you die, you cannot say, “ Lord, I heard about your Son, Jesus, and that he died to pay for my sins, but look at all the good things I’ve done.” Just imagine for a moment standing in front of your Creator and telling him you’re better than his sinless Son. No way!

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The Bible says in John 3:15-18 “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Don’t wait! You have no promise of tomorrow. Call upon God to save your soul! Pray. Believe him, and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you and give you a new life in him. If you have never trusted Jesus Christ to be your Saviour, why not do it right now? Just pray the best way you know how.