I am a sixty two year old man, born in 1948, into a Roman Catholic
Brought up in the ways of the, Roman church I believed that outside the Roman Catholic church there was no salvation.
I believed the bishop of Rome,[the pope] to be Christ's successor on earth,
and that he was divinely inspired by God, and when he spoke, it was in fact God speaking through him, and his word was not to be challenged.
But as the years passed, I found that things that were beginning
to happen in my country, left me very little time to reflect on my standing
with God, sure I still believed that the Roman church, was the true church.
Sure weren't we the only people who offered up the mass [as the Lord had commanded
us to do]and we must be the true faith, weren't we being persecuted for our
beliefs, and so on and so on.
I started to go places and listen to people, and I got caught up in the history of my country. I convinced myself that my new found friends were right, we had a God given right to defend ourselves, against those who persecuted us, and so I started down a path that led me down many a dark road.
As time went by I got deeper and deeper involved, and began to lead others down that same dark road, convincing my self it was my duty as an Irishman, to do whatever I could to defend my people and free them from enslavement by an alien power, (it sounded good anyway).!
From time to time I would get the odd prick of conscience, when
things would go wrong, but these things happened in war, and anyway all these
things would be forgotten when we had achieved our goal. The end justified the
So I was convinced, and helped to convince others that the final outcome was what was important and not how we reached that outcome. My mind was telling me one thing but my heart was beginning to tell me something else and I would quickly put these new feelings to the back of my mind.
I had been hoodwinked for far too long by a church that had been in reality as much responsible for keeping my people under a tyrants thumb, than the tyrant was because they shared the same bed as the tyrant.
So I began to look for ways to convince myself that I was wrong about the Roman church and I found that my belief in God was fading. I found this was setting my mind at ease, so I was convinced that God was a myth and the bible was nice stories.
It would be nice if we could live like that, but life was what we made of it and so for years I lived my life as I saw fit, convinced I was right but my lifestyle slipped from bad to worse. I started drinking heavily, even my belief in the noble cause of freedom was beginning to grow dim. I was becoming more and more confused, my life seemed to be on a landslide. Things seemed to be going wrong one after the other, so in 1978,i was arrested and remanded in custody, it seemed that the past few years had caught up with me.
The first month or two were very unsettling and I was not looking
forward to what the future held. I believe at this time my life started to turn.
After the month or so the confusion in my mind seemed to be clearing up - I believe now that the Lord made it possible for me to spend some time away from the world and the temptations that I met everyday. There was conflict between my heart and mind but I was too close to what was going on too see were the faults were. I couldn't see the wrong I was doing because I was too close to it.
My sister who lived in America at the time sent me a copy of
the king James bible and it lay on my cell table for a while but I can still
remember when I opened it my sister had written on the inside cover,
John:3-16,for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son,that whosoever beleiveth on him should not die, but have everlasting life
Eight years later, in 1986,I asked the Lord Jesus into my life. I asked him to take over and in 1996,whilst on a visit to my sister I made my profession and got baptized. Over the years since the Lord has changed my life, I don't have any doubts any more, I know that the Lord has forgiven me.
Even after I got saved the road to the truth was not an easy
one but a lot of this was my own fault. I went from one church to another they
all sounded good but I could never really feel settled because although I had
ask the Lord Jesus to take control of my life I was still trying to work things
out for myself. I still had the misguided belief
that we needed to work our way to heaven.
Although I was saved it took me awhile to catch on that it was to late for me to do anything even if I could. Jesus had done it all, I only needed to accept that and dear friends that all any of us need to do:
Lord Jesus, you know our weaknesses and our strengths, you see the darkest depths of our hearts, be our shield, in times of temptation be our light in the darkness, help us be a light for those who are looking for a safe harbour, give each of us the words that will point other searching souls to you dear Lord, give us all understanding of thy precious word, and keep us safe till the storm passes by, in thy precious name we pray, amen.
Testimony of Karen Cullen
I wanted to write a few words of testimony to tell people what Jesus has done in my life since I was saved. I was 17 years old when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I used to be Catholic but I didnt have any interest in my religion.
The priests never preached the free gift of eternal life. Before I was saved I had heard the message of salvation but I never really understood it. My father was a great testimony to me because I had always watched him read his bible every day and that always made me think there must be something special about that book if my dad keeps reading it. Then when my dad died I just kept thinking where is he? Will I see him again? What if there is no life after death? These thoughts stayed with me for a few years until one day Pastor Fox, my uncle and my cousin came to my mums house and started talking to my husband about salvation.
I just listened to what they were saying and it was making sense. Not long after that I went to Bethel Baptist Church and heard how much Jesus loves me and that I could go to heaven if I repented of my sins and accepted Christ as my Saviour. So I came to realize that I was a sinner and that I needed Christ to pay for my sins. I was so happy when Jesus came into my heart because I now have a purpose in life. I now know the answers to my questions about my dad I know he is in heaven and I know I will see him again because I am saved and he was too. I would never want my old life back now. I am 22 years old now and people might think I am missing out on things of the world because I dont drink or go out to clubs etc, but I have realized that Jesus is all I need. I dont feel the need to do the stuff I used to before I was saved.
When I got saved I lost interest in the worldly things. The trials still come now in my life as they did when I was lost but there is a difference now-I can cope a lot better because I have God to help and comfort me through hard times. He gives me the victory through trials that I bear. I love that bible verse in Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. I also think on the words of a song May I grow to be like thee, May my friends see Christ in me I pray that my friends do see Christ in me. To anyone that is not saved and reading this the best thing I could tell you is to accept Christ as Saviour. Its the best decision I have made and it is the best decision anyone could make.
By Karen Cullen
My Name is Mark Bradfield.
I am now the Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church. But I wasn't always a Christian - yes I had a mom and dad that went to church but it wasn't until I heard the Gospel preached - A Hell hot and to be avoided & a Heaven free and to be accepted but only by sinners that put their trust in Christ Jesus and Him alone as their own personal saviour - that I realised that I wsn't going to get to heaven by doing the best that I could do. In fact the Bible says that I couldn't do enough to pay for all the sins (BIG and small) that I had committed. And anyway I was too late - Jesus paid the price on the cross two thousand years ago for each and every person in the world.
I used to hate Christians - all denominations - anyone who went to church - to me- was a hypocrite. This probably came from attending a Church where one thing was spoken of on a Sunday and another was carried out every day of the week.
Fourteen years ago whilst working in my uncles hotel - a lady came - by chance - to stay for a few days. She had only just accepted Christ as her own saviour and been born again herself and so was intent on telling me how God had been working in her life - how He had forgiven her of her sins and the changes He had made. Assurance of going to heaven, promises of eternal life, a friend that sticks closer than a brother and the difference it made to her inside. Cleansed from sin - a new beginning - a new start - a new reason for living - a new boss - you could say under new management!. This sounded good to me and she invited me along to some of their church services.
I duly went and over a period of about 2 years heard enough of the Bible preached to know that I was in deep trouble with God. All my sins were not paid for. All the things that I had done were coming to my attention - I was being convicted of my need for a saviour - I was seeing myself as God saw me. When this started I was in a quandry - I knew I needed to be saved, born again, but I couldn't see how or why God would want me. In the end I surrendered and went down on my hands and knees one Sunday afternoon and said to God "God, you know I'm a sinner. God I know I'm a sinner. These people don't know a thing about me. Please save me!" Adn you know what - HE DID! It felt like the burden I had been carrying had been lifted away - I had another start, another chance at life this time as a Christian. I had become through God's grace and my faith in His Son's finished work on the cross, one of the people I hated most in the world and realised that it was me who was wrong and not those bornagain Christians.
Since then - He found me a church, a family, a reason to go on, a job to do, a house, friends but most of all He found me!
I have never regretted getting saved - in eternity it will be all that matters.
If I could say one thing to everybody - It would be - seriously think and make sure you know that your soul is saved. Check for yourself all the things anybody has ever told you regarding your eternity - It IS the most important decision you will ever make. I wouldn't change my mind for all the gold in Fort Knox.
Amen & Amen