Saturday, October 31, 2015

THE BIGGEST DECEPTION OF THEM ALL

"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth 
and the life. No one comes to the Father except 
through me." -- (John 14:6)


A few Sundays ago we had a time of cardboard testimonies during our service at church, and I was privileged to be a part of it.

You see, several years earlier, I didn't know I had a testimony to share.  My conversion experience had been less than dramatic, and I thought testimonies were what people like former warlord and gang leader turned Christian evangelist Nicky Cruz had, or what addicts, criminals, or victims of abuse who had hit bottom had when they came to know the Lord and their lives were miraculously transformed--not people like me.

One day, however, during a discussion with some friends, the light turned on, and I was struck by the sudden realization that I did have a testimony, a testimony no less remarkable.  The miracle of my testimony was that I found the right path at all, considering I believed I had already found it and was no longer searching.

My memoir, "Sincerely Wrong: An Improbable Journey," tells the story.  It can be downloaded to your computer as a free PDF file by clicking on the image of the book cover on the sidebar of this blog.  The short version though, is that I grew up with a desperate need to feel significant, and after a long quest for roots and purpose, thought I had found them in New Age and occult doctrines.  My vulnerability led me to believe in a lie that I persuaded others to believe in as well.  I was not consciously deceiving anyone; I was just sincerely wrong.

Don't be deceived, as I was, into thinking that there are many paths to God, or that we get to Heaven by being good.  That is the biggest deception of them all.

Although we were created to have fellowship with the Lord, Adam and Eve's sin caused us to be born into a fallen world.  The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," and in Romans 6:23, that "the wages of sin is death." Because of this, a vast gulf separates us from our Heavenly Father, and there is no way we can cross it through our own efforts.  Only one path can lead us to eternal life, and that is Jesus (John 14:6).

The good news is that "God so loved the world [you and me included] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). God loves you so much that even if you were the only person on this Earth, He would still have sent Jesus to die for your sins so you could be set free.  It is a gift that can only be received by grace, through faith. It cannot be earned by good works (Ephesians 2:8-9), and as much as it is not God's will for anyone to perish, He will not impose His will on you or force you to accept it. The choice is yours.

Jesus stands at the door of your heart, knocking and waiting for you to answer (Revelation 3:20), and I implore you to open the door before it is too late.  Accept His invitation to enter your life, forgive your sins, and make you a new creation.  Don't believe the lies!

2 comments:

Called to Live - Live as Called said...

This is an amazing post. I'm a Christian Educator. I've run across a number of Christians who think they "don't have a testimony" either because they were criminals, addicts or abused. I'd like to use your post to help others see their own testimony - even if it seems like nothing special. You say, "The miracle of my testimony was that I found the right path at all, considering I believed I had already found it and was no longer searching."
Would you mind me using this post?

Sandra K. Stein said...

Just curious, how did you find my blog and this post? Please feel free to use it, or anything else I have written that you think would bring encouragement and hope to those who need it. I would appreciate your giving me credit though by pointing folks to my blog or book, which is also available as a free download if you double click on the picture of it on my sidebar. Do you have a blog I could read too? Or how do you plan on using the post? I clicked on your link, but it just took me to your name. No blog or anything about you.