I recently surfed by a blog entitled “What Happened To You?” and was uplifted by the salvation testimony there. The writer answered that question very well! That linked to an earlier blog, her salvation story.
My favorite part of her story is:
A few weeks later during our weekly counseling session, Pastor patiently explained Salvation to us. I didn't understand so he repeated himself. After the third explanation he finally asked, "What don't you understand?" I said, "You are telling me that I can come to God just as I am, smoking, drinking, all the stuff I've done, and He is just going to forgive me?" "Yes." I shook my head. I honestly believed that I had to "clean myself up" and make myself presentable before I could come before a Holy God and ask forgiveness.Yes, we must admit that what we are doing is sin. Yes, we must realize changes are needed in our lives. Yes, He forgives us in that condition. Change comes with Him in our heart and lives. It comes because of Him, not because we’ve cleaned up our act. He does a much better job of that than we can possibly imagine!
The writer mentions that some thought she had “joined a cult.” I can relate to that. I was raised in church, came to Christ as a teen. My Second Son-in-Law (SSiL) was not. His salvation came when his teen daughter became active in church. He was looking for assistance in completing a twelve-step-program and asked the pastor for advice. The pastor explained a one-step – ask Jesus Christ to be his personal Lord and savior. He did, and the change was so evident that his parents thought he had joined a cult instead of a Bible-based church with God at the center of his life.
It may seem that way as we follow God’s commandments. As we separate ourselves from those things that would drag us back into a sinful lifestyle. Paul tells us what happens to those unequally yoked, explaining that light and dark cannot co-exist. He tells us:
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:17-18 KJV)
The alcoholic no longer goes out to drink with buddies. The faithless spouse no longer seeks companionship elsewhere. The gossip no longer seeks another to garner attention, whether telling truth or not. The foul mouth no longer spews curses. This is what happens when we follow His commandments, and it often causes friends and family discomfort.
Ephesians 4 describes these differences in detail, summarizing:
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:24 KJV)
Are you ready to find out what happens? We’re ready to talk about it.