I am thirty years of age. I live next-door to a Gospel Chapel. They see this
"obvious sinner" on a Sunday in his backyard. He is not unaware of their
stares. He is puffing on a smoke, they are in their righteous-looking fine
Sunday apparel. They are sitting in church, some looking to the front, others
glancing sideways through the huge window overlooking my yard. Where can I go
to hide from their gaze?
Next they are knocking on my front door. Could you please turn your music
down, we are celebrating the Lord's Supper! Oh, you didn't see me knocking on
their door asking them to turn down their hymns!
Still, it amazes me how God knows our hearts, and knows how we will respond to
His message of foolishness! There is a way that seems right unto a man, but
the end thereof leads to death. Prov. 14:12. When they were building the new
chapel, they had to get my consent. After all, it was the size of a factory!
During the building process, they had shared the Gospel with me. There was no
special evangelistic program. I bet they were praying for me in the church,
though! They just told me over the fence!
One Friday night; a beautiful, clear, starry night, like the carol, Silent
Night, holy night, all is still.... God spoke to me. "Andrew, if you do not
take notice of what is happening to you tonight, you will NOT get another
chance!" Fortunately, the message was received more with a feeling of awe than
fear. I noted the "warning" with reverence!
"Oh, Jesus," I said repentantly, "I have made a mess of my life. If it is true
what they said You did on the cross to save me from my sins, I would like You
to take over my life." He did! I felt so clean. I was emancipated! I wanted
everyone to know!
On Sunday, everyone was praising God. The sinner next-door was saved! He's
cleansed, born again, "a Christian!" Truly, when God loves the unlovable and
transforms the sinner, it IS a miracle. I felt so clean, so fresh, so ALIVE!
Oh, how the saints rejoiced!
Funny thing, you know. It wasn't long before I had a problem with sin again! I
thought I had been set free! It was preached a lot! I guess I was told that,
even though I felt pure, I couldn't really be pure. Even temptation seemed
like a sin. No one told me it wasn't! Oh no, NOW the struggle begins!
Interesting, isn't it? "Once my heart was burdened with a load of sin, Jesus
came along and ...gave ...me well, what had He given me! A whole lot more
trouble it seemed!
I am now sixty years of age! I have spent thirty years trying NOT to sin. It
has been so hard! "All we like sheep have gone astray...", they preached. You
can't be without sin, not REALLY! That's what I was told! And, you know, it
is easy to keep sinning if you believe you already ARE a sinner, all of the
God is so good! I have another testimony! Well, it is part of the SAME
testimony! "He touched me, and oh the joy that filled my soul!" No, this is
not another measure of the Holy Spirit, though it feels like it! It is a
belated revelation from the word of life! Belated, indeed, in that it has been
there all along! Why God waited thirty years to tell me, I have no idea. I
could equally ask, why had I not SEEN it for myself! How blind can one be? Why
was it not preached to me?
This could easily be "Satan's best kept secret". This is not something WE do,
it is something God does, and has been doing for us, ever since He chose us
and we first repented of our sin. 1 John 1:9 tells us, "If we confess our
sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from
Now, if I were a dirty, rotten sinner that had just been saved by grace, and I
stood up in church and told everybody of God's love, you can imagine, to a
greater or lesser degree, how the saints would rejoice! Can you also imagine
how they will rejoice when I stand among them and tell them how God has made
me completely righteous! How it is "no longer I that liveth, but Christ that
liveth in me", Gal.2:20. That, even though I am glorifying HIM and telling
everyone what HE has done, and that it is in HIS word, they will still see me
as SELF righteous! No, the church is definitely not geared for righteousness,
only for the forgiveness of "ever present" sinfulness!
I am very pleased that God has cleansed me. I want to honour Him by NOT
continuing to sin. He has given me the power to do that! He has! Not ME has!
I look forward VERY much to hearing from you brother