Today, I am grateful that I was able to understand at that moment that I needed to receive forgiveness of my sins through Jesus Christ because he died on the cross for me. I came to God saying a simple prayer and I knew immediately that my sins had been forgiven.
Jesus has followed me through many ways in my lifetime, even though I had never shown any interest in him. I did not need Jesus to be a Christian. Maybe this sounds familiar to you. But my thoughts kept revolving around myself. In the best case I wanted to the good one before God and people.
Jesus kept following me. I remember being in touch with someone when I was a teenager, who witnessed Jesus. But all I remember are than the bible studies he always talked about, I don’t even remember our conversations.
The next time Jesus stepped into my life was many years later after I had finished my studies. My girlfriend had become a Christian by then and kept telling me about the things she read in the bible. One time she asked me what role Jesus played in my faith. I replied to her: nothing. I noticed that she had something in her faith that I did not have. But I kept thinking I was a Christian.
Jesus did not stop following me. A year after that, when I received an invitation to Teestube, someone there asked me if I had been saved. That was just about when I had started reading in a small Gideon-Bible on my way to work. I enjoyed hearing the messages at Teestube. At that time I still believed to be a Christian but I also noticed that the people at Teestube had certainty over their life that I did not have.
One night when I left Teestube someone told me: “Now that you have heard a lot about the gospel why don’t you start reading the letter to the Romans. It says it all.” I had not gotten that far in my Gideon-Bible but the next day I started to read the letter to the Romans. Reading the last verse of chapter 14, it felt like my eyes had been opened upon the question: Why Jesus? “From whatever is not from faith is sin.” My idea of the good Lord and good people had gone all of a sudden. I had understood that I was standing before God as a sinner and full of self-justice and self-will and without forgiveness. But I also just understood that Jesus had died for me and my sins on the cross. I bowed my knees before God and told Jesus everything in a prayer. I asked for forgiveness and accepted him into my life. I felt relieved from the big burden and I knew Jesus has forgiven me! Ever since, I know that Bible is the word of God.
Looking back I can see how the Lord has searched for me and has found me, even though I didn’t want to have anything to do with him.
“It’s just that he is in puberty” were the pastors encouraging words to my worrying mother, when I stopped going to church with them on Sundays. That is when I started forming my own opinion about church and religion. To me, God was just an abstract word for the good and the moral, which, so I thought, could also be executed in a non-religious manner.
My interest was dedicated to sciences based on human reason. Like a dehydrated sponge I sucked up the common theories on the evolution of the universe and the life on it. From the big bag theory to the highly advanced homo sapiens – my worldview had to wrap itself around science. To me the questions ”Is there a higher power (God)?”or “Does life have a greater purpose?” remained unanswered based on the fact that the interpretations of it by the world religions were contradictory.
During my time as a student and after I encountered a few people calling themselves Christians and that referred to the bible. I excused myself saying that I was a Catholic and let them know that I had no need for clarification and that I had found my purpose of life.
Feeling the desire to help the needy in this world – which to me seemed much more important than to deal with the theological questions- I worked for an international humanitarian organization in war zones. The work was fulfilling and gave me satisfaction giving the fact that I was not just using nice words but actually doing things. Coming home, I had earned some admiration and reputation amongst some of my friends. Behind the scenes though, things looked different. My guilty conscience accused me of the unjust things I had done. After an accident I had working abroad I suffered from psychosomatic disorders that hindered me from working in my job. I tried to find balance again for my inner self by exercising and autogenic training.
Out of pure curiosity I followed the invitation to an event of a church that was given to me. I was surprised to see that there are still people who fully believe in the word of the bible. Questions like “Is Jesus really the only answer?” started to bother me. He says about himself: “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14,6). Are the stories in the bible reliable or are they legends? I started to regularly visit the bible devotion of this congregation and proofread what I had heard by reading the bible on my own. With increasing comprehension, I realized that this book was not contradictory in any way neither to itself nor with science. In particular the story and the fate of the people of Israel opened my eyes. It became clear that God is speaking to us through the scriptures and through these people.
With time I understood the implication that the messages of the bible had regarding my own life. I realized that I needed forgiveness of my sins before God. My guilt was not just composed of some trivial offence but my whole life that I had lived according to my own standards and know-it-all.
One morning I got up and bowed my knees and confessed my sins before Jesus Christ. I asked him for forgiveness and entrusted my life to him. Today I know, that in that moment I was accepted by God and saved by grace and not by my own efforts (Titus 3,5) because Jesus, the Son of God had given his life on behalf of me on the cross. This wonderful act of grace implies new life starting here on earth that passes on to eternal life after death.Looking back over a time period of almost 40 years I can confess that a life with Jesus is worthwhile. I have experienced his guidance and grace throughout all areas of my life.
Even in my childhood I believed that God exists and praying was something very normal for me. Despite of that I was constantly restless and many fears troubled me, but I did not know where all that came from.
When I was 20 years old, a friend took me to an event of a Christian sportsmen’s association. A man spoke there in very simple terms. He said that a person who does not have Jesus has an inner emptiness. These words spoke to my heart but my own imagination of a fulfilled life was different: a family, a career, good friends and sports. Even though a lot of things in my life developed as I wished them to be, a state of restlessness remained in my heart and all my success and my luck were incapable of changing this inner state.
Within the scope of a training I got in touch with psychology. Following that I read a couple of books about it. Therein I expected to find help to handle my inner restlessness and to give meaning to my life. But instead, life seemed to become even more complicated and hopeless. Further and further I reached limits in my life. In my career but also in my private life I went through troubles. During this time, someone told me: “Jesus is the only way to heaven!” It made me angry, because my priorities were focused on being a “good person”.
Jesus continued to pursue[M1] me. Again and again I had contact with believers. One family in particular I spent a lot of time with. The way they treated each other was shaped by love and compassion and I enjoyed being with them. There was something that drew me to them and I noticed very well that they had peace in their hearts that I did not have.
For my 30th birthday a lot of friends came to my party. They had collected memories of me and them and presented them in groups to the audience. I would have enjoyed taking compliments, but my friends told stories that were embarrassing to me and that I wanted to leave behind me. They were trying to emphasize what a good time we had together. But I didn’t feel like laughing at it because my inner misery was exposed to me and I thought: “Marco, if your life doesn’t change you will go down.” I was relieved when the night was over.
The following Monday, it was January 12th 1998, I was alone at home. What happened still pursued me and I was very sad. Christians had given me a book for my birthday and I started to read in it. The statement that Jesus loves me unconditionally hit me. Yes, God is that way, he loves me unconditionally. I couldn’t doubt this anymore and my resistance against God vanished. It was further explained that God had given his son for my sins on the cross. For the first time I could finally understand that Jesus had died for my sins. It was shown that Jesus is the only one who can bring redemption because he is the only one who died on the cross and I can accept him into my heart with a simple prayer. Now I was ready for this step. I bowed my knees and prayed from a convinced heart. I confessed that I was a sinner and that I could not redeem myself, that I am weak and that I needed him. Then I accepted Jesus into my heart and an indescribable joy filled my heart. How easy and simple things suddenly seemed.
It was only a matter of accepting Jesus as my personal savior. My main problem were not particular sins I had done but that I was lost and had lived without Jesus. In Jesus my troubled soul found peace. Accepting Jesus into my heart was the most important and best decision of my life.
John 1,12: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
Hello, my name is Anna-Lea and I am 25 years old.
I would like to tell you how I came to believe in the invisible and righteous God.
Already as a child I had the chance to hear a lot about God and the Lord Jesus. As I had terrible nightmares as a child, I had the idea to pray to the Lord Jesus. Because I had heard that he, of whom Pilate had said at that time "I find no fault in this man," was hanged on the cross. For three hours he hung there, where complete darkness surrounded him.
Then, when the nightmares would come on and I would be so frightened at what I was seeing, I would think of the Lord Jesus surrounded by darkness for three long hours and I would know that He had seen everything that I saw at that moment and more. And I knew something else: this Jesus had died; but on the third day he rose from the dead and appeared to many people.
I knew, therefore, that He was stronger than all that had surrounded Him there on the cross during those three hours, and so I prayed, "Lord Jesus, I know that You are stronger, help me!" At that moment, silence came. All the images were gone. I marveled and gave thanks and was allowed to fall asleep.
However, the nightmares came again. Every time I prayed, the Lord Jesus helped me and made me calm. My parents can remember that at that time I always prayed on several evenings that I would become a child of God. They let a few evenings pass to make sure I was serious. I was five years old at the time.
Then one Sunday afternoon my father asked me if I really wanted to become a child of God. I said yes. Together we went to his small office. I was excited to finally become a child of God. But my father is an academic and of a more rational than emotional nature. Therefore, he first took a paper and asked me what I knew about God and Jesus. I answered that God was just and that we could not have fellowship with Him, and that Jesus therefore died and took all sins upon Himself so that we would be pure before God.
My father asked me if I was unjust, if I was a sinner. I said yes, but deep down I didn't really know what a sinner actually was. I only knew that I had a guilty conscience when I did something stupid. My father took the paper and made me write down what came to my mind that I knew was not right.
Then he explained to me again exactly why Jesus died for me. We prayed and I gave my life to God. After the prayer, my father took the paper and tore it into very small snippets and said, God will remember this no more, he has forgiven all that you wrote down and more.
Then he made a fist and said: "Try to open it". I couldn't do it and gave up. Then my father said, see, that's how tight Jesus holds you, because Jesus promised that "All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away."(John 6:37). I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish(John 10:28)."
Since that day, I have never had a hint of doubt that I am a child of God. This means eternal life in Christ Jesus by grace. I was allowed to become a child of the heavenly Father as a five-year-old child because I do not have to do any works to enter Heaven. For Christ is the end of the law, to every believer for righteousness (Romans 10:4).
Even if you feel you are a righteous person, the Bible says that with God there is no respect of person, believe in the Lord Jesus who died for you and me, and spend the rest of your life and eternity with Him.
I am Joel, 33 years of age and would like to tell you how I found faith in Jesus Christ.
Starting from an early age, my parents took my sister, my brother and myself to church on Sundays. I grew up in a Christian environment and heard of God and Jesus early in my life. It never felt like a duty to go to church with them. It was quite the contrary, I enjoyed going to church and see my friends to play with them and listen to stories from the bible. I was a wild and naughty boy and wore my parents out quite a bit. When I reached Kindergarten, I was old enough to sit quietly throughout the service with my parents in the second-to-last row of the audience. So, I watched the service and listened to the songs and even started to prefer certain songs over others. As I was already able to read before I started going to school, I found a great challenge in following the lyrics of the songs as they were sung by the adults. My favorite song which was often chosen by a man named Herbert (also “Herbi”) was song number 202. Not only the melody but also the lyrics spoke to me, as it says: On the cross he carried my sins, his blood makes me clear…”. Being 8 years old at that time and an eager singer I thought: I want to sing along, too because I know that these lyrics apply to me if I accept the offer. On the same day I invited Jesus to come into my heart and accepted his offer to forgive my sins. It was clear to me that my heart was sinful and that Jesus had cleansed it. I didn’t tell my parents immediately about what had happened.
One night, shortly after my conversion, when my parents read a bible verse to the children before we went to bed, the following verse was cited: “He that has the Son, has life; and he that has not the Son, has no life.” (1 John 5,12) I said to my parents: “This is now also true for me! I accepted Jesus into my life and I know, I am a child of God!”
Even if rather unspectacular from the outside, I consider my salvation by far the most important event in my life. I can confess that an eight-year-old boy can be aware of his sins and that he needs forgiveness that can only be given through Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins. He frees us and cleanses us. God saw me sitting in the second-to-last row and drew me to him so I could simply accept his salvation. The song number 202 continues as follows: “His hand touched me gently, he said: ‘Oh my child, you are saved.’” Yes, I immediately became a child of God! It doesn’t mean that my life changed completely after his; I continued to be a wild and naughty boy who wore his parents out. I was a child in a gradual growth process. In our church there are the following words on the wall: Jesus changes” – Yes, Jesus should further change me!
I wish that every human being, no matter what age (but rather early than late), can meet God in Jesus Christ and accept the offer – it is worth it!
My name is Hans-Jörg, I am 61 years old. Today I would like to tell you, how I found faith in Jesus Christ.
I grew up in a house where religion did not play a big role. Despite that I prayed with my mother every night before I went to sleep. It was a pure ritual; however, I was always looking forward to it. It gave me reason to never have doubted that God exists and that this God can answer my prayers.
When I became a teenager, the question of “where from”, “where to” and “why” concerned me. In high school I had a teacher who was an atheist who did not keep his thoughts on it to himself. He wanted to change my mind and despite his superior intellect my faith was not affected by it, in fact it was the opposite.
Reacting to these conversations with my teacher I started to read the bible and within me, certainty grew that this book was the revelation of God to us humans, that it contains the truth of God for us people. Even though I did not understand most of what I read I considered myself a Christian from then on.
Despite my engagement with Christian faith my heart felt a void. I had no peace. The question of the meaning of life was still unanswered as well as the question of life after death. I believed in God in my head but he was a stranger to me. I assumed he existed but I did not know him. In the sense of a positive certainty I did not know whether he existed or not. My faith, as it looked like then, did not fulfill my heart. It did not bring peace. Although I had no need as a young man and had many reasons to be happy with my life, I was not happy. How could I be happy if I didn’t know why I was alive and if I didn’t know what to expect after death. Things distressed me that I did of which I knew they were not in line with what God says in the bible. I tried to calm myself by thinking that God would most likely show mercy with me. But immediately question arose in me asking “Are you sure it will turn out well? Is your hope that you will make it into heaven not a bit vague?” And I always had to admit: “Yes, I am not sure that it will be enough. Yes, my hope is very vague, that God will not make me accountable for my sins.” Then I tried to bring order into my life by changing things of which I knew they were not right. I failed miserably. I did not rob a bank nor did I kill someone but in my heart, there were things I wanted to have removed, of which I knew they were sinful. And so I knew: if you stay the way you are until you die, I will have to stand before God with my life and I will have to pass. And It became clear to me that this could not go well. Self-delusion is a too high risk in this matter.
In military I met a guy who confessed his faith. First, I thought: Well, so am I.” I noticed quickly that this Christian had something that I did not have. He had a 100% guarantee over the presence of God in his life. He talked about “Jesus, his Lord”, and I noticed, that he had a relationship with this “Jesus”. I realized that his faith was alive, in contrast to my faith, which was a purely intellectual head thing without having a relationship with God because of it. And on top of that I did not understand why Jesus should be “my Lord”.
After serving in the military we went separate ways. I started to read more in the bible and had so many questions that after two and a half years I started looking for this Christian again. I was 23 years old at that time.
He explained me that it is normal for me to have no relationship with God, because every human being is separated from God through sin. He further explained me that this is why Jesus Christ came to this world as a human being to die for me and to take away my sins. I understood that Jesus offered me forgiveness of my sins because he gave his life and that this was the beginning of a relationship to God.
On march 7th 1982, it was a Sunday night, I gave my life to Jesus by saying a prayer. I thanked him that he had died on the cross and carried away my sins. After this prayer peace filled my heart and from this moment on I was sure that Jesus Christ had accepted me and had given me eternal life. I was very joyful. My questions regarding the meaning of life and life after death had finally been answered. I knew that the point for me in life was now to live it with God and that I would be with God after I died. This assurance and the joy have not left me for 38 years now. It clearly is not explainable just by imagination but it is the testimony of the spirit of God in my life.
I wish that every reader of this text can recognize themselves as a sinner before God and turns to Jesus to accept salvation. Jesus Christ also died for You on the cross. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. (Act 16,31)