Hi, my name is CJ and I repented asked God to forgive me and Jesus to come into my heart to be Lord of my life on Sept. 29, 1998. Before that day, my life seemed to be so empty and missing something that I could not explain. I tried to gain popularity in many ways, thinking more friends would help. I searched high and low for the answer by trying different drugs and alcohol to the point that I became an addict and am still, daily, in recovery from addiction. I thought the love of men would fill the void, but promiscuity was NOT the answer. Everywhere I looked, everything I tried…NOTHING was able to fill the “God-shaped” space in my heart. My soul was so empty that I began to question life itself. There had to be something more than these things and money, or power and control. I went to my best friend and asked her, and her husband, “Why do I feel so empty inside?” It was then that Howard and Amy began to show me the answers. Howard said these words to me, “You sound like you are lost, sis! Can I tell you about Jesus?” He told me things I never knew, even though I had been faithfully raised in the Catholic Church. How I really would live forever (all living souls will spend eternity somewhere!) I had never really believed that after I died, I would have more existance left. I thought when I die, that’s it. But I was wrong! Like a secret I was being enlightened to, my listening was intent and my heart started to pound. THIS was it! I am made to know my Creator! I do have a destiny and I can know what will happen to me when I die! This life here on earth is NOT everything! I wanted to know more and more. It was then that Howard asked me if he could include his (late) father James E. Rector Jr. in this conversation. (God rest his soul) He said that his dad could show me, from the Bible, how to get saved better than he could. I was very nervous and kind-of scared because I had a feeling my parents would not approve of me changing my religion behind their backs. However, I was 22 years old and an adult, with a baby boy to raise on my own. (My husband Brian H. McCarl had recently passed away after we were involved in a terrible car accident. I was pregnant at the time of the accident and Brian was killed immediately; but my unborn son Nicholas and I, and Brian’s son Scotty, were not harmed at all.)
So, I agreed and followed Howard across town in my car toward his dad’s house, seriuosly contemplating turning around and going home, where it was safe. My heart was beating out of my chest and fear of the unknown was welling up inside me, like a giant wave on the verge of crashing onto the seashore. But I felt an urge inside my body to trust and follow and DO this thing called “get saved”, so I kept driving until we reached the driveway. I desperately needed answers, and this was the place where I would get them. I got Nick out of the carseat and carried him tightly against my pounding chest, not knowing Who I was about to meet inside, although I had previously met Howard’s dad on a few occasions. My new friend Jason, (pictured here),(and now husband of 14 years) was sitting at the kitchen table that night with James. Howard and Jason are brothers and I had recently been introduced to Jason at a dinner/movie night at Amy’s the week before. I smiled nervously and sat down with these wonderful men. I had arrived with a burning desire to hear what the Bible had to say about ME! James (dad) opened up his Bible to the book of Romans, after a brief, “How do you do?”, and showed me how I was a sinner in the eyes of a Holy God. I had no argument with that, as I was intimately aware of all the bad things I had done in my life …thus far. Then he read to me another few verses about how much God loved me and how He sent his Son Jesus to pay the penalty for my sins so I would not have to go to Hell when I died. He read about why God needed the ultimate sacrifice of his perfect Son Jesus for the sins I committed, and about the old time ways of sacrificing animals for forgiveness of sins. I learned more about Adam and Eve and their sin in the Garden of Eden. I listened with intent and learned about what Heaven was like and who would be there. I was asked if I knew how to pray, to which I responded, ” Sort-of, I guess.” James asked me if I knew what the word “repent” meant, and told me how to turn away from the lifestyle I was living and follow Jesus’ example. He taught me what faith meant and how to trust in someone I could not see. He told me about Hell and how it is a real place with real pain and eternal torment. Hell really is very hot and very real, and I was on my way there if I did not do something about it. So I made the choice to accept Jesus and not reject Him. Then he led me in the prayer that would seal my destiny and place my name, forever, in the book of Life which is in Heaven. I prayed, “Lord God, I know that I am a sinner and that the penalty for my sins is death and hell. I believe that Jesus was born of a Virgin, lived a sinless life, and died on the cross for the redemption of all people, even me. I believe that You raised Your Son Jesus from the dead and that Jesus lives today in Heaven with you and your angels, and in our hearts as our friend and our Lord. I believe that you will send the Holy Spirit into my soul and spirit to guide me and seal my place for eternity in Heaven, no matter what I do or say. I ask you Father God to save me. And I thank you for loving me and giving your precious Son as the only sacrifice for my sins I will ever need.” I opened my eyes and was completely overwhelmed with the greatest feeling of joy and relief. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I was finally free from a tremendous burden. We all hugged each other and I was so happy! Then they explained what Grace meant (Giving me what I don’t deserve) and how God has Mercy on us ( NOT giving me what I do deserve),and hoe God is full of Grace and Mercy toward us at all times. So COOL!
I now know that I did not find Jesus, rather it was Jesus who found me right where I was, just as I was. Jesus is calling you also, and it is time for you to make a choice. He will never let you down and wants you to trust in Him completely. You can pray the same kind of prayer that I did, right now. God IS listening and He WILL hear you, and God KNOWS your heart. Read on for more information or call (and leave a message), text, or e-mail my husband and I and we will help you get saved. Call or text: (573) 280-1394 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since that day, I have had the Holy Spirit inside me to guide me and I have “anytime, anywhere” access to God our Father through PRAYER! I pray and ask God for forgiveness on a daily basis, because we all sin every day, even christians. God’s grace and mercy are now a major part of my life. I pray for understanding before I READ the Bible, King James Version (most accurate and undefiled by man) which is God’s Holy Word and it is without mistakes! As I read my Bible, I learn about God and His Son Jesus, who died on the cross for all of our sins. I go to Church regularly and I also pray for my christian brothers and sisters when they have a need and for Missionaries out in the world trying to share God’s good news with all ends of the earth. Most of all we pray for the many people living today who are in danger of going to Hell when they die because they do not have Jesus as their Saviour.
We sing a song in church sometimes that says these words:
“Thank you Lord, for saving my soul. Thank you Lord, for making me whole. Thank you Lord, for giving to me, thy great Salvation, so rich and free”
As a Christian, I am called to pass on the wonderful news (The Gospel) of Eternal life and Forgiveness of sins through the work of Jesus Christ alone. We need to repent of our sins and learn to forgive others as God has forgiven us. There is One way into Heaven (Acts 4:12) and Heaven is a very EXCLUSIVE place! (Revelation 22:14-15) The narrow way is looking unto Jesus, the wide path is the world’s ideas that everyone can get there their own way.(Matthew 7:13)
Jesus was born of a Virgin, Died on the Cross for our sins, and Rose Again into Eternal Life and He is coming again! I want to share with you how much God loves you and me! (Romans 5:8) We aren’t good people, as some may say. We deserve to be punished for those things that we do, but God has provided a way to escape that eternel punishment. God is not sending us to Hell, we are already going there and God made a way (1 WAY!) for us to be saved fron Hell, and it’s FREE!(Romans 6:23) We do bad things all the time. (Romans 3:23) God is perfect, honest and just, in other words, Holy. Even the smallest little lie is considered a sin and makes us “men” (or the Human race) unable to be in the presence of God. Romans 5:8 says,” But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” So Jesus Christ gave himself as a sacrifice, once for ALL, so that we may enter into the presence of God! (1John 2:1&2) When we get saved, God sees the shed blood of Jesus covering us instead of our sinful human nature! (Isaiah 53:10-12) This makes us acceptable (Holy, see Hebrews 12:10) to Him! This is a major part of Jesus’ work done on the cross! (Romans 3:25) We could never die for our own sins, we are not sinless like Jesus is and was. Jesus never sinned, but was tempted to by Satan. He was tempted more than any other man ever has been BECAUSE Jesus could NOT SIN! If he did, he would have to have a saviour just like us! (Read John Ch. 1 & 2)
No man (or woman) can work for their salvation or earn it by doing good things. (Ephesians 2:8-9) The only way to Heaven is by trusting (having Faith in) Jesus and believing (having Faith in) what God says about Eternal life. Romans 10:9-10 says, ” 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.” It’s really that easy.
When we reject Jesus in our life, we tell God we don’t need Him. So when we die in this state of unrepentance we get the very thing we asked for, no God in our death! Hell is, simply put…SEPARATION FROM God. But Hell is a real place where there is eternal torment and fire with extreme heat. (Read Luke 16:19-31) It is said by some that torture is pain inflicted by others from the outside and torment is pain inflicted on ourselves from the inside. We will have all our memories in Hell and it will last forever. The worst thing, I think, about Hell is remembering when we had the chance to believe and chose not to. Heaven is for all people, no matter how bad or good, we all need to be saved and we all can be. Because the Bible says in Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The place called Hell was only created by God for the Devil and his angels (Demons) to spend their eternity in punishment.(Ezekiel Ch. 28) God didn’t make Hell for people. People choose to go there when they deny the existance of God. (1John 5:10-13)&(Revelation 20:13)
If God is not Lord of your life, how can we ask him to be Lord of our death? When we realize the state of our sinfulness, we MUST ask God to forgive us. We must REPENT. (Luke 13:3) We confess sins to God, and we confess who God is to him and that we BELIEVE Him. (Romans 10:9-10) Jesus died for me and you ( John 3:16 : For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall be saved.) and God accepted the death (sacrifice) of His only Son Jesus as the only requirement for us all to have Heaven as our home and not Hell when we die. (Romans 10:13)
When we believe and receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we ask Him to be our Lord (or Master). Jesus will lead us into the right path for our life, (Proverbs 3:5-6) but we must give our life to Him. We must SUBMIT to His authority. God sends the Holy Spirit into our soul the moment we pray and ask for forgiveness and tell God that we believe.(Romans 8:16 & 8:26) The Holy Spirit is our internal guide throughout life and is our security. The Holy Spirit is our “down payment” toward our eternity in Heaven. He helps us have faith and believe things that we find difficult to believe, like how God really can bring a dead man or woman back to life again. The Holy Spirit helps us understand God’s Word, the Bible. He is our evidence of the salvation we have and will never, ever lose.
Once you believe God, and receive Jesus, you will always be in the family of God, no matter what you do. You wil never lose your salvation. Think of it like this, once you are born from your earthly mother, can you go back and be un-born? Well, it’s the same when you are born-again spiritually, it can never be un done, not even if you think you don’t want to believe anymore. Jesus never loses any person at any time for any reason, once they believe. (read Romans Ch. 5, 6, 7 and 8…it’s WORTH IT!) Check out this verse, and I’ll let you go…”Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, FOR THY SAKE WE ARE KILLED ALL THE DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us fron the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 8:35-39 How cool is that?! The Bible is totally inspired by God, but written by men. You can believe every word, because , really, God wrote every word to us and for us!
I suggest you begin reading the Bible immediately after you accept Christ, even before if you have more questions. We are reading through the whole Bible as a family this year. As we all read through the Bible this year, we will all learn more and more! This year we are “blogging” about it so as to share our experience and get comments (feedback) from you. See the “READ” page for our schedule and the “BLOG” page for our comments. The “PRAY” page is for prayer requests and stuff. You can read our posts and look at the “LIVE” page for discipleship info. If anyone needs a King James Bible, we will send you one for free if you ask.