October 31, 2002: Dear Vladimir, please read this brochure. This woman explains what the Bible says about heaven. I love you. Gail Chord
April 30, 2003: A German woman (in August 2002), sent me this testimony. She's a good woman and I want to honor her. Therefore, I will publish her testimony. I believe if I publish her testimony, she'll be happy, because this good woman (like myself) loves the German people. I use [*---------*] to correct spelling in the German version.
MY TESTIMONY OF SAVING FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST
We've often tried sometimes to talk about this, but somehow we had to break our silence.
Yes, on November 3rd, 1973 my life changed; not because I became a better person, but because Jesus Christ came into my life. I know that I am a wretched sinner and deserve nothing good from God. My conscience told me many times that my way of living was not right, but then I drank again to forget everything. But the heavy load of my sins was always there again. I thought many times that this could not be everything there is to life: getting up in the morning, going to work, and then at night, drinking and messing up. The load of my sins was lighter when I was drinking, but it was not gone. The next morning it was there again. It was like a circle without end.
Then I moved to America and thought I could start all over again, but my sin and guilt was there too. I could not get rid of it.
The first week I was in America, I heard something that I had probably heard before but never understood. My sister-in-law invited my husband and I to go to church with her. I didn't want to hurt her feelings, so I went thinking the hour would pass by quickly. There in the services I heard, and believed for the first time, that there is a hell, a place that was "prepared for the devil and his angels" and that "the wages of sin" is eternal damnation in hell. God is holy and has to punish sin.
When I heard that, I knew that I would go to hell when I died, because I was a sinner.
But after that, I heard the best news I had ever heard in my whole life. It is written in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish (in hell), but have everlasting life (in heaven)." God does not want us to go to hell. Whoever goes there, goes against God's will. God said from the beginning that blood had to be shed to forgive sins. Hebrews 9:22 says "and without shedding of blood [there] is no remission." God killed an innocent lamb after Adam and Eve sinned. Then through all the Old Testament the Jews had to bring sacrifices so that their sins could be forgiven. Then Jesus came. He was "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Jesus did not come to judge the world, but to save it. Jesus died for the sins of every man. Our sins hung him on that cruel cross. The Bible says that God laid the sins of the world on Jesus, and He paid the penalty: He died in our place! And this is the gospel or the good news. 1 Corinthians 15:3 says, "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." By rising, He conquered death. Now God can forgive our sins if we accept His gift, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:5 "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." God became flesh and died for our sins so that we can be free. "The wages of sin" were paid by Jesus Christ on the cross. This is God's gift. His present, to us. Gifts are always free. We cannot pay for God's gift with good works. We are saved by God's grace, not by our works. John 3:36 says "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Jesus says in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
When I heard that, I knew that I was on my way to hell and that Jesus died and shed His precious blood almost 2,000 years ago for my sins so that I could go to heaven and my sins could be forgiven. The first thing I thought was that I had to become a better person first before I could come to Jesus. But God says in Romans 5:8 that "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." And in Ephesians 2:8-9 God says "For by grace are ye saved though faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Grace is something that we receive, but don't deserve. So I could not be good enough to get to heaven by my works. Each of us must come to God the way we are and ask for forgiveness (repent) and accept Jesus as our Saviour from our sins. In Romans 10:9-11, the Bible 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. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." Then in verse 13 the Bible says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Not maybe or perhaps, but SHALL BE.
I did that. I asked Jesus to forgive my sins. I told him that I was sorry that my sins hung him on that awful cross and that I received him as my Saviour and Lord.
After I prayed that prayer and really believed it in my heart, it felt like a big load fell off my back. I had peace in my heart and knew that my horrible sins were forgiven. Suddenly, I had a reason to live. The peace, that only God can give, is still in my heart, and it will stay. I know for sure that I will go to heaven when I die; not because I am a good person, but because Jesus died for my sins and paid the debt I had before God. In 1 John 5:12-13, God gives us assurance of salvation when He says, "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things I have written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." Yes, I still remember my sins and am ashamed, but God has forgotten about them. He says in Hebrews 10:17, "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
Many people think that Christians are faultless, but that is not true. As long as we are in this body, we will sin. But God says in 1 John 2:1, "And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the righteous" and in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." When I received Jesus as my Saviour, I became a child of God, and my life changed. God says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." The things I used to like to do, I don't want to do anymore. They are no more fun. And the things that I didn't want to do before and mocked at, I want to do now; they make me happy. God changed my view about a lot of things. I am only really happy when I do His will. I have fallen many times since I became a Christian, but God always forgives me through Jesus Christ and puts me back on my feet, after I confessed my sins.
I hope that whoever knows me will understand a little better now that I am not better, but that I want to try to do God's will. It is a lot easier to go the broad way than the narrow way, but the narrow ways leads to heaven and the broad way to damnation.
My prayer is that you too will accept Jesus as your Saviour before it is too late. There is no more chance after death, only judgment. God says in 2 Corinthians 6:2, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." And in James 4:14, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Jesus is coming soon. He says in John 14:2-3, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
And the last sentence Jesus said is in Revelation 22:20: "SURELY I COME QUICKLY."