This is the story of how Christ saved me. It was in May of 1994, a time I will never forget. I was a young, progressing drummer for a rock-n-roll band and a self-proclaimed atheist who thought he was the best thing since sliced bread. I had pretty much everything that a young man of the world could dream of. I had a job making enough money to buy some old furniture to go in my cinder-block house that we paid $150 a month for in rent. I was out of my mother’s house and out from her immediate authority over me, against which I was constantly rebelling and I was in my live-in-girlfriend’s arms. I have joked that before I was saved, I was living the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll lifestyle without the drugs (or the money for that matter). Yes, I must say that I had it all, although have it all came with the price of constant depression, an anger that set me apart from everyone I loved, and the continual effort of trying to fill the spiritual void in my life with whatever I could. Sometimes that was sex and pornography, sometimes it was music, and sometimes it was anger. Those things didn’t last long and never gave me the peace and understanding that was about to come my way.
The Would-Be Drummer Boy
Along with reading Revelation, I was also searching for a band to play drums with and answered an ad in an Atlanta based paper called “Creative Loafing” for a Christian band seeking a drummer. I didn’t care at that point what kind of band it was or what kind of music they played. I just wanted to play my drums. I had played different kinds of music before. To me, this would be no different. Here in this, God met me where I was and I took the bait: hook, line, and sinker. And thank God I did!
Unfortunately, the band that I had been playing with broke up, much to my dismay. I loved playing music and planned to be a great rock and roll star with all the benefits that life had to offer. God had other plans. As I was searching for the next musical project that was going to take me to the top, little did I know that God was about to work a miracle in my heart. He was drawing me in. A few weeks before this time I had started reading and looking into the book of Revelation. God has used that book many times in my life. It seems that every time I read or study Revelation, God does something major. This was the first.
I called the band, set up an audition and took a demo tape with me. I had to travel to Atlanta to talk to the bandleader. I will never forget the man’s name, Mark White. Partially because he shared the same last name as my live-in girlfriend, but mainly for what happened next. I let him listen to the demo tape and we talked about music for a bit. Then he did something I didn’t expect him to do. He witnessed to me.
To my surprise he didn’t brow beat me with the Bible. He didn’t condemn me to hell. He simply asked me if I knew Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I was appalled. I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t want to hear this; this is not why I came up here. I told him that I didn’t care about Jesus Christ and all I really wanted to do was play drums. Then he said something I was never forget, “When God opens your eyes to the Truth, you will see the world as it really is.
At that moment, God lifted the spiritual veil off my eyes and, though I didn’t understand it at the time, I was getting my first glimpse of the Kingdom of God. Then something else happened that I didn’t expect. I had heard of many people speak of their salvation experience as God lifting a great weight off their shoulders. I felt as if God dumped a thousand Bibles on my head. I couldn’t explain it, but I saw it and now I had to figure out what it was. In that moment, everything changed. Life, as I had known it, would never be the same.
Something was different. I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t understand what I was experiencing at the time. I hadn’t repented of my sins or even recognized Jesus as He rightfully is, Lord and Savior, yet, something was different. Something was not the way it had been. My first few “spiritual experiences” would confirm that something had changed within me.
On the way back home from the audition, I had to stop for a bathroom break. I didn’t go to bars on a normal basis. I don’t like them and never really did (which was kinda ironic for a guy who wanted to be a rock-n-roll superstar). I’m not much for the crowds, the drinking, the partying, or the overall loudness of it all. I always liked a crowd, but not at that volume.
Anyway, I had to take a break. I’ve been in bars before and even though they were not my preferred social hangout, they had never been eerie or anything. This one was. There were only two people in the whole place. The TV was playing and nothing seemed out of the ordinary, however, this place was creepy. It was that spine-chilling kind of creepy, like something didn’t belong and I was that something. As quickly as I could I made my way to the bathroom and then got out of there. I finally made it home in one piece.
I was blessed in my meeting with Mark, not just because of his sharing the Truth with me, but also that he was prepared and generous enough to give me a videotape that would help point me to the Truth. I was actually interested in seeing what was on this tape. We had a middle-aged VCR at home. That’s right kids, a VCR (look it up). Now this VCR wasn’t the newest model, but it wasn’t in bad shape either. It ate the tape. I thought to myself, “how convenient,” and it was convenient. I believe, had I seen that tape, I might have actually been saved a day or two earlier.
Salvation Amongst the Music Equipment
It took a couple of days for my experiences to sink in. I don’t remember mulling it over and over in my mind, but it was there and I had the sense that I needed to do something about it. It didn’t dawn on me what I was supposed to do until three days later. Now, as I write this, I wonder if the three days may have had some significance. My live-in girlfriend was at work or away, I don’t remember which, and I had the house to myself. I simply got down on my knees amongst the instruments in that quiet block house and prayed, “God, I’m a sinner. I haven’t done things right and I’m asking Your forgiveness. Lord Jesus, please come into my life and be the Lord and Savior of my life.” It was that simple. I had prayed something like this before, but had never really meant it. This time I did. I had come to a place of realization that I was indeed a sinner, living in sin, loving sin, I needed a Savior, and that Savoir was Jesus Christ.
And then the most amazing thing happened. God saved me. I was born-again. I literally felt the Holy Spirit move into my soul. It was like I had eaten a fried chicken dinner with all the fixings, but it wasn’t my stomach that was full, it was my soul. There were no fireworks, no speaking in tongues, and no incredible mystic experience. There was just a simple man praying a simple prayer to a gracious, kind, and loving Heavenly Father and that Father doing what He said He would do. There was peace between my God and myself. There was love and there was forgiveness to a simple sinner needing hope. I will never forget the experience of that day in May of 1994 when God saved me.
I want to add these last two sections to tell you, reader, that the devil hates it when a sinner gets saved. He will try to convince you that you’re not saved. He will try to make you doubt your salvation. However, when you are born-again, you know it and there is nothing that can change that fact. The devil can’t do anything about it but now he doesn’t want you to grow.
Satan’s first attack was to try to get me to doubt my conversion. He has tried again and again over the years, but God has always pointed me back to what He did that day in that little block house. As I have said, my life at this time involved a live-in girlfriend and, in a way my life centered around her. I had sacrificed several opportunities so that I could stay with her. I could not wait until she got home to tell her the good news that I had gotten saved just a few hours before and we were to start going to church. I just knew she would be excited about that!
She arrived home and I followed her into our makeshift kitchen/laundry room and told her the good news. “Hi honey, you’ll never believe what happened to me today… I got saved. I’m now a Christian.” The first thing out of her mouth was, “You’re so gullible.” I don’t remember if that started a fight, but I do remember that she never saw me in the same light ever again.
The Satanic Attack
I don’t remember how many nights afterwards that this happened, however, I know that Satan hates it when a person gets saved and will try to discourage or scare a new believer any way he can. It was a few nights following my conversion. I had laid down and could not get to sleep. After a time I had finally started to drift off to sleep when I literally “felt” something (what I consider a demon) standing in the doorway of the bedroom. I didn’t see anyone or anything, but “felt” it in my spirit. Then it moved across the room, around the bed, and jumped on me to pin me down. I was already lying in bed and now I could not move. I was literally scared stiff. I did not know what to say. I did not know what to do. Then a thought came to my mind: “rebuke it in Jesus Name.”
I thought that it was a great idea and tried it, but nothing came out. The problem was that I was so scared that I couldn’t move. After a minute of struggle with the thought of what should I do, I heard, “I rebuke you in Jesus Name!” I recognized my voice, but I did not recognize that I had made the effort to say it. It just came out. Just as fast as the attack began, it was over. Sometime later I determined that the Holy Spirit must have said what I needed to say. God had delivered me from a satanic attack.
Now, just an update, “I rebuke you in the Name of Jesus” is not a Biblical response to something like this. The proper Biblical response is “The Lord rebuke you.” (Zechariah 3:2; Jude 9). We are not to even bring a blasphemous remark to those beings higher than us (Jude 8). Please consider that, having matured over the years, I’m am cessationist, and I was only a couple of days old in the faith at this time, I was only operating on what I knew at the time. I also understand that some people will have a hard time accepting this part of my testimony and may even attribute it to my mind playing tricks on me. That actually very well may be, however, it was a very vivid and intense mind trick, if, in fact, that was what it was. Now, back to our regularly scheduled testimony:
I can certainly say that being born-again and coming to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior has changed my life. The cussing left within a few days. The depression I had experienced for years left within a few months. Life is still hard from time to time, bills still come in every month, but the Holy Spirit is teaching me how to be content in every situation. I still have my trials and tribulations, but now I have Jesus and I don’t face them alone. I thank God that He revealed Himself to me and it is my hope that if you are reading this, He will reveal Himself to you as well.
If you haven’t been born-again, if you haven’t repented and placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I would like to tell you why you should:
Why become a Christian?
Why should you admit you’re a sinner, repent (radically turn from your sins), and place your trust, your faith in Jesus Christ? That’s a fair question to ask. You see, the Bible says that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God:
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23 ESV)
What does it mean to “fall short”? It means that we haven’t measured up to God’s standards. You may say, “What are His standards?” or “How have I sinned?” Those are also fair questions. Have you heard of the Ten Commandments? They are ten simple laws, ten of God’s standards that we fail to meet? When we sin, we break these laws. Consider this: how many lies have you told in your life? It only takes one lie to be guilty before God, for the Bible says:
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16 ESV) and “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8 ESV)
Have you ever stolen anything? Took something that doesn’t belong to you? Downloaded music from the internet without paying for it? Or even taken pencils or paper from your job? That’s make you a thief before God:
“You shall not steal.” (Exodus 20:15 ESV)
Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (ESV) Have you ever looked at a woman to lust after her (to have sexual thoughts about her)? The same principle applies to a woman: have you ever looked at a man to lust after him? That makes you an adulterer or an adulteress. In fact, any sexual relationship outside of one man and one woman, married to each other, is considered adultery, a violation of the seventh commandment:
“You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14 ESV)
These are not the only laws but it is safe to say that we have broken all of them. The problem here is that the Bible says, “The soul who sins shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:20 ESV) We don’t just died physically but also spiritually. Spiritual death is an eternal separation from God’s goodness in a very real place called Hell. Instead of God pouring out His goodness upon us and we enjoying Him forever, the person who hasn’t repented and trusted Jesus Christ will have God’s wrath poured out on them in hell for all eternity for breaking His laws.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 6:23 ESV)
Somebody has to pay the wages and that somebody is you and me. So, on Judgement day when we have to stand before an Almighty and Holy God we will have to give an account of our lives to Him and since we have already shown that we all fall short of His standard, we must pay the penalty.
The only way out is for someone else to pay the penalty for us. That’s what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary. God took our sins and placed them on His most Holy Son (Who had no sin) and made Jesus the sin bearer for us. In this way Jesus paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross. We broke the law, Jesus paid our fine (it was a legal transaction). Do you see why we need a Savior?
“This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”(1 Timothy 2:3-6 ESV)
Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay the penalty for our sins and to purchase a place for us in heaven, which He offers to us as a free gift. The Bible says:
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”(Romans 10:13 ESV)
You can do that now simply by going to Him in prayer, confessing and repenting (turning from your sin), and placing your faith, your trust in Jesus Christ as Lord. When you do that, look at what Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” (John 6:47 ESV)