I hope you are having a great time at the Olympics. I have to share with you what has happend in my life today! Thank you for communicating with me through email the times you did. You were a big part in helping me to understand. I sent this email to OTB tonight:
Hello Ray, Mark, and EZ. Forgive me, I don't remember anyone elses name there. Sarah, here.
I was agnostic for 22 years. God changed that.
I saw Ray preach at Huntington beach, a few years ago and listened for a while. I think that was what really made me wonder why Christians believe what they believe.
My parents claimed to be Christian. We made references to God in our home, we read the Bible a few times, I attended churches a few times throughout my childhood. BUT I was taught evolution at home, also. That makes you VERY confused. God and evolution do not mix. I was taught evolution in school. Yes, I was very indoctrinated to believe we came from apes. With no one to explain anything to me, I came up with my own ideas about the world, about where we go when we die. I thought I was a wonderful person.
I've had only two experiences. Many people who claimed to be Christians who said this: "You need to believe in Jesus. God has the best plan for your life. Please don't wait. Come to him now, and you won't be sorry." I thought they were crazy. I had the "best life". I always thought Jesus was for those, who needed something to make themselves feel better.
I NEVER heard about sin, God's Judgement, about where I would be going.
Then you have the other end of the spectrum: Came across a street preacher, who said this, "You'd better believe what I'm saying. If you don't repent of your sins, you are going to burn in hell for all eternity, and I WON'T have a problem with it." I will never forget how much hate was in his voice, when he said that. You really expect people to listen to you when you talk like that? Not me. Then he wonders why people are angry with him.
Thank you, Ray, for the kindness in your voice when you talk with people. It makes a huge difference.
As you know I've engaged Christians in the chat room. I love OTB, you guys are hilarious! (Yes, you are allowed to have as much fun as you do. Haha)
Seriously though, God really used portions of what you talk about on the show, to show me my need for Jesus. Tony emailing me was very good, too. I have to email him and let him know what occured in my life today. Two people in paticular really reached out to me and shared the truth through chatting and email. Elizabeth encouraged me to continue to watch the show.
I got saved today after chat. It was suggested I use Psalm 51 as a model prayer. I was taken through the Ten Commandments again today. This is the email I sent, to those two people who shared the truth with me:
"I write this email, crying off and on. Thank you so much for sharing the truth with me. I just realized how much God has been working in my life for years. Even in the midst, of all my skepticism...God kept drawing me to himself.
I think the starting point for me, was when I saw Ray preach at Huntington beach. Then when Liz got saved I couldn't believe it. Liz shared the Commandments with me, but it didn't bother me then. I wonder why? I only checked out OTB because I was curious. Tony's emails were a big part in this, too. I had no idea that there was so much power behind what happened to her, and what she had been told. Well, I've experienced that power of God in my life!
I can't believe I ignored God for so long, even with proof in front of my eyes. Yes, it was sin that was blinding my eyes.
After chatting with you, I started to cry. Cry over things, that I had forgotten I had done. Even the "little things" made me feel so guilty. I looked up the 10 Commandments myself and what I found is that I was even worse than I felt, or what we went over.
I looked up Psalm 51 and it described exactly how I felt. I've sinned against God my whole life.
I couldn't stand the thought of being seperated from God, because of my sin. Hell would have been a just judgement for me. It hurt my heart so much that I had sinned against God.
I used Psalm 51 as a model for me to pray after. I kept confessing to God, for what seemed like a long time and asking him to forgive me. I told him I sinned against him and didn't want to be that person anymore. In the midst of tears, I asked Jesus to save me. I put my trust in him for my eternity. Yes, Jesus is God and yes he died on the cross and, yes, he rose from the grave! I was saved at 3:45pm today.
It's like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. A weight I couldn't deal with on my own. That weight is what had been bothering me this past week. Without the 10 Commandments I wouldn't have known, what a terrible position I was in. To think that God offered such a gift, to us. We don't deserve such a gift. That is LOVE. John 3:16 makes sense, after you are pointed to what you need saved from. I don't fear death anymore, and I don't fear hell. I'm glad I won't be seperated from God!!
To think I thought I was such a wonderful person, and I could go to a place like Heaven. To think that I said I didn't see proof for God, and thought after I died I would be good enough to go to a place like heaven..but there would be no God there. I think that's pride.
I can't stop thanking God now. The Gospel is indeed Good news.
I'm going to email OTB and let them know what's happened with me. What an awesome God!
Now I need to learn how to tell others!
I can't be on tomorrow, but hopefully chat with you Wednesday.
Thanks again, Sarah."
I'm sure that I will hear, from my friends, that I've been "brain-washed". I'll tell them, "No. I've been heart-washed. A new person."
With what God has done for me, coming to know Jesus, how can I do any less, than tell others this Good News, also?
I am thankful for your ministry. God has really used it. First in Elizabeth's life and then in mine. I didn't know I needed saved. Praise God he changed that.
Tony, I appreciate everything. Thank you for your prayers for me. For pointing out the truth and doing so in kindness. Have a wonderful rest of your week!!
Having seen Sarah's email just a few minutes before writing this post, I immediately sent Sarah the following email in response:
Sarah,Please join me in praying for Sarah during these first critical days and weeks of her walk with Jesus Christ. And join me in giving praise, glory, honor, and thanksgiving for what God has apparently done in Sarah's life.
I just now read your email. I am overwhelmed with joy for you and with thanksgiving to OUR Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As much as I have seen the Lord do in London over the last several days, your email has touched my heart more. To think that you are now my sister in Christ fills my heart with joy, gratitude, and praise for our great God and King.
Sarah, it is so very important now that you find a good, solid, Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church in your area--one that will love you and help you grow in your faith in Christ. It is also very important to begin spending time in God's Word every day. These things will not "keep" you saved, for the salvation you have received can never be lost or taken away (Romans 8:38-39). But temptations and trials will inevitably come. Surrounding yourself with brothers and sisters in Christ who love you and love the Lord will not only help you weather the storms of life, but will help you to grow closer to Christ through those challenging times.
I want you to know that I am here to assist you, to the extent you wish. If you have questions about your new-found faith in Jesus Christ, it would be an honor and privilege to help you find answers to those questions.
Sarah, thank you so very much for sharing your life-changing story with me. I will never forget your story or you, as long as I live.
With the love of Jesus Christ,
What a great start to Day 7 of my mission trip to the Olympic Games, in London!