I always feel like my religious upbringing makes my testimony a little bland, you know? Like, how cool would it be if I said, "I was headed straight to hell in a handbasket when the Lord picked me up and turned me around and changed my life forever." Wait, that's exactly what did happen. See, it doesn't matter what your life is like growing up, we're all sinners heading for hell unless we except salvation from Jesus Christ.
A few times this summer salvation questions have been brought up in my small group. I've mentally kicked myself for not having my study Bible on hand instead of my "pretty church Bible" that I don't ever write in. My study Bible is worn out! It's literally falling apart. That's why I leave it at home. I don't want the minor prophets to fall out and end up all over the sanctuary floor! Inside it though, is so much truth.
I've been part of some of the most amazing church revivals. I've heard most of the greats: Billy Graham, Henry Blackaby, and Louie Giglio among hundreds of others. But it was a revival message preached by Ken Freeman that changed my outlook on salvation forever.
The name of the sermon was "Test Your Faith." It was February 13, 2000. I know because I wrote it all in my Bible afterwards. I was sitting close to the front of the congregation at the Summit Church with my boyfriend. It's likely we were more concerned with our Valentine's Day plans than anything else, but from the time Ken walked on stage I was captivated. If you've never heard Ken speak, you're missing out. He delivers his message in a fresh way that has you interested in what the word of God has to say.
He preached on 2 Corinthians 13:5, which says, "Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is in you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith." He spoke to those who, like me, had grown up in church and knew all the answers to all the Sunday School questions. He asked if we'd ever questioned our faith, then went on to give five "test questions" to test the work of God in our lives.(I'm including scripture that you can look up on your own)
- Did you feel the Holy Spirit start to work in your life first?-John 16:5-11,6:44
- Do you realize you are lost?-Romans 3:23
- Do you have saving faith from God?-Ephesians 2:8-9, The whole book of Hebrews, but especially chapter 11.
- Do you have repentance?-2 Corinthians 7:10
- Do you feel guilty and unforgiven all the time?-Acts 5:31, 10:43
If you read through this and still have questions contact me or someone else you know can help you. We are all in need of a Savior. It doesn't matter what kind of life you live. We need Jesus.
**EDIT**I should mention this also helps when trying to decide if your children are ready to make a commitment yet. That's a tough decision to make on your own, so cover it with a lot of prayer.