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14 October, 2010

My Testimony

I had a different childhood; not a bad one, mind you, just "different". I grew up in the military. That, by itself, will make it interesting because of all the traveling! By the time I was 9 years old, I had lost count of all the places we had lived; That is a lot of moving! Usually, we did that moving by car. We had moving companies to actually move the furniture and such, but the family traveled by car. What this means is that my whole world could be touched by hand. I saw a lot of this country going by, but never really experienced that much of it, and never really got into that much trouble. Oh, I got into the usual kind a kid will get into when traveling: "She touched me!" "Are we there yet?" "He crossed my line!" That sort of thing, if you've ever traveled with children, you know what all that can sound like! So, yeah, I got into trouble, but not the kind that so many were getting into at the time. I didn't try any kind of drugs, I never drank any alcohol; The sort of thing that many kids will get into to rebel against parents. I just never really had that much contact with it. They don't call them "drug runners" because they're chasing you down the road while you're driving!
What, then, does this have to do with accepting Christ? Well, When I got older and could understand better what was being said from the pulpit, the Evangelists would give all manner of sermons concerning salvation. I needed to turn from my "wicked ways", I needed to be delivered from my sinful past! This might have meant more had they not began the sermons with stories of how they had been drug dealers, possibly a pimp, maybe in a gang of some kind and had done all sorts of things during these times. Some spoke of being beaten so badly they were left for dead, others did the beating and nearly killed others. The sermon would then turn to me needing to be delivered.....from what?! I didn't kill anyone! I haven't done drugs! From what I could make out from these sermons, you need salvation because of drugs, or alcohol, or maybe the blood on your hands from drunk driving or outright murder; I was guilty of none of these things,so I just assumed I didn't really need salvation! I had nothing to be "delivered" from. However, the man did say I needed to go forward and tell the Church I was saved, so I did.
If you have ever wondered why you need a Sunday School Teacher that is not only a devout Christian, but is also grounded in The Word of God, this is why; I thought I was "saved" until I got to High School, went out with a couple of friends to see a movie and in that movie was a scene that depicted (?)something that frightened me to my core! On the way home that night, I stopped by the house of my Sunday School Teacher and told him of my fears, he explained to me the Truth! He brought out his Bible and read to me the verses which told me what God had to say about salvation. What he told me that night sounded nothing like what I had heard before! I told him that I didn't really need salvation because I didn't "do" anything, so what was I going to be "saved" from? He explained it to me something like this:
(I'm paraphrasing) In Wynne, there is a house, on "C" street. That house has 4 walls, something like a roof on it, no doors inside or out, and no windows. It had been condemned. Obviously, right? No one can live in it, it can no longer be fixed for someone to move into, so, condemn it and get rid of it. That house is us without Christ. We are condemned to sin (Rom. 5:12)! It's not anything in particular we've done that makes us like this, we are born to it. I was convinced it was because of certain things you did that put you in need of salvation, it's because of our sinful nature that we are separated from God, and thus need to be reconciled to Him! It had nothing to do with drugs and alcohol and killing; and it had everything to do with all those things! I stood just as guilty as any murderer, any pedophile, any drug dealer or rapist alive! There is no difference between the sins I had committed and the ones they committed, we all stand equal before God! When Jesus died on that cross, His blood covered sin. Not certain kinds of sins, nor certain kinds of people with sin, it covered sin! It covered me so when I stand before God, He will see that blood, not the stupid things I do. He will give to me what I could never deserve, never earn: His Grace. I should be like that house on "C" street, and thrown out to be burned. Because of a Sunday School Teacher that took the time to be grounded in God's word, and cared enough about me to tell me what he had learned, I found grace!