God Had to Show Me That I Was Not a Good Person
I did not grow up in a Christian home. My dad left my mom when I was very young, and they eventually were divorced. I lived with my mom for a few years after my dad left, but by the time I was twelve, I lived full-time with my dad and his wife. I didn’t go to church until I was 21 years old and had met the woman who would become my wife.
The first church we belonged to was a Lutheran church in Allentown. We were there for quite some time, and I helped operate the sound system. One Sunday morning, a man was showing me how to control the lighting in the church. He told me that right before the pastor went up to the pulpit, he would say a prayer, and at that time I should dim the lights in the church and turn one on for the pulpit. I asked him why that was done. He said that it was like setting a stage. So, I thought, oh we are putting on a show. In time, we moved on to another church closer to our home so we would not have to drive so far. We stayed at that church for a while until the church membership tried getting rid of the pastor. After that we moved to another church, which was even closer to our home, but I know now we were not hearing Gods Word there.
"After that my wife told me I needed to be saved because she had been. I told her I was ok."
A few months later, we were no longer meeting at the college but met at Mike and Irina’s house to study the Bible. That seemed to go well, but we thought it would be better if we met at our home after that.
Mike and Irina’s first visit to Bible study at our home was on the topic of love. Michael asked me what I thought love was. I thought it was doing things for others and being there for them. I thought I loved my wife and daughters. Then we read John 3:16, “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.” I knew at that point I did not love anyone like I should. After they left that night, I told my wife I really did not want them to come back because I did not like what they told me. My wife said, he was not speaking for himself, he was speaking God’s Word. As that week went on, I was thinking those were the words of the Bible he was showing me, so I had seen how right Michael was. We continued studying with them, and I am so glad we did.
In spring of 2018 my wife and I left the church we were attending because it became clearer that we were not hearing God’s word there. We began attending another church for a brief period of time. The pastor of that church came to our home to talk about membership on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. He told me I could be saved and go to heaven if I said a prayer. I did what he said and did not feel any different afterwards. That very same week, Michael and Irina came for Bible study on Friday evening, June 8, 2018. I told them about the visit from that Pastor and the prayer he led me through to be saved. I told them I did not feel any different from before. Michael and Irina told me that it is the condition of my heart that would draw me nearer to God. The lesson they brought me that evening was about Good and Evil. Michael went on telling me that there is no one good, not no one. He showed me in the book of Genesis 3 how the fall of man came to be. We are all sinners; I thought I was a good person. I went to church and did all those things I am supposed to.
"We are all sinners; I thought I was a good person. I went to church and did all those things I am supposed to."
My wife and I attended Lehigh Valley Baptist Church that Sunday, June 10, 2018. We went again the next Sunday, June 17, 2018, and I was under heavy conviction that morning. When the service was over and we went out to our car, I prayed with my wife to God. I knew that He led us here for a reason. I asked God what did He want for me, and I knew I needed to go back into church. I sought one of the pastors, and he told me I could go right into the auditorium and speak to God. I went in and got down on my knees and asked God for my salvation. I asked Jesus to save me from my sin and help me be more like Him, for I was very sinful in how I used others to get what I wanted in life. I had seen my sin; I wanted to live like Jesus. Romans 10:9-10, “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.”
From that point on my life has changed. There were friends that I had wanted to do things with on a Sunday instead of going to church; now attending church is more important to me. I did not read in my Bible; now I have daily devotion. I did not think I needed to pray every day; now I pray several times a day.
I did not attend any kind of Bible study until I met Michael and Irina in the fall of 2016. I am thankful they continued to study with me and for the lesson they brought on June 8,2018, about Good and Evil. I knew then there was nothing good I could do without having Jesus in my life. I felt horrible for everything that I had done keeping God out of my life. I know now the only path I want to take is the one that leads me to Jesus. I want to be rid of this old man and be new in Christ. I want to stay in God’s Word because that is the only truth there is. I thank God for leading me to Lehigh Valley Baptist Church, for I know here I can hear God’s truth and stay in God’s Word.