When I Met Jesus, The Testimony of a sinner coming to Christ. by Clint Schramek

My Testimony.
A short account of
how I came to know
Jesus Christ.

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Before I was a Christian...

At the age of fourteen I was living with my dad in a little one-bedroom house. More or less it was a shack. My parents were separated. At the time my dad and I were living off a hundred dollars a week. Not much, but we made it. Both my parents really loved me, but it was many, many years later before I understood that. I had already chosen the wide path that leads to destruction. I was mad at my mom because she had kicked me out of her house . My favorite saying was "who cares." In my eyes it seemed like nobody cared. I was depressed most of the time, and hated being sober. So I would do whatever I could to keep away from reality, and get away from the feelings of hurt, fear, and rejection. As time went on I grew harder and harder. Life was rough, but I got by. One thing I will always remember was the bit of scripture my dad had taped to the cabinet over our table. It read, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Somehow that scripture always stuck with me, and I knew all would be for nothing if I lost my own soul. I figured that since I believed that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins I was okay, and I put off getting serious with God. I decided I would deal with Him when I got everything else straightened out in my life. If I had only known that He was the only one that could straighten it out.

Mushrooms and acid (LSD) had become my drugs of choice, but I had my share of cocaine, marijuana, speed, ecstasy, and if there was a pill that would make me high I took that too. I could tell you all kinds of stories about all that, but this is the story of the most important things that ever happened to me.

When I was twenty-three and working for a huge company as a department manager. I had just gotten back from College Station where a group of us were up there helping another store out with inventory. I went out that same night to shoot some pool. I had a few beers, and then decided I wanted something else. So I went over to a friend's house and bought a few hits of acid, ate those and went home. I laid down and spent the next five or six hours reading book written by Hermann Hesse called "Demian." I don't recommend it. After reading this book I was terribly frightened. I had a vision of myself going to war, like at the end of the world or something like that, but I was on the side that was fighting against God, and all I had were a few rocks. I thought to myself, "what could I possibly do against God with a few rocks?" I realized I was fighting on the wrong side and it was not going to go well for me, at all. I had no idea of what to do. Panic and fear gripped me. I felt as though demons were trying to take hold of me to drag me to hell. I was fighting just to stay conscience. I feared that if I let go; I would go insane.

I tried to read the bible, but that seemed to intensify my fears. I searched through some tapes of sermons my mom had sent me. I found one that sounded like what I needed. It was titled "What Happens when you quit Running Away From God?" I put it in my stereo and listened. This gave me a little comfort.

I finally saw who I was in the light of who He is...

It was there, laying on the floor that I found the reason for living. There on the floor as I listened to that man preach, I began to see how desperately wicked I was, that my entire existence thus far was an abomination in the light of the Author of all creation. It was there on the floor that the grim truth was revealed to me. All the motives, intents, and desires of my heart were exposed before the Living God, the very nature of my being was spread out visible to the eyes of whom I must give account. I saw that I deserved the full sentence for my sins; that I had in full measure transgressed the Law of God. I realized that the only just punishment for my sin was to spend eternity damned, separated from God, in the scorching pits of fire and brimstone, where the closest thing to comfort is the waling and gnashing of teeth. I saw that this was the only way that justice could be fulfilled for my rebellion against God Almighty, for denying Him love and obedience, and declaring my independence from Him.

As I lay there on the floor it only seemed just and fair that I should go to hell. Oh, how I had grieved the Lord with my wayward living, with my lawlessness, treating Him as though he were part of some fairytale, living as though He were not real, and making myself out to be His enemy. I had loved the sins, which He so much hated. He had reached out to me so many times. He sent people to testify of His love for me, to bring me in as one of His own, but I had wanted nothing to do with Him. Instead I wanted to have my fill of eating and drinking and worldly pleasures. I wanted to do what I wanted to do and was not going to be dictated by God's law. I had found no place for God in my heart.

I laid there on the floor with the heavy pressure of God's judgement on my heart, facing the pits of hell. Oh, how I did not want to go! If only there was another way, if only there was something I could do, but there was nothing. It was inevitable, I was doomed this time I had gone too far. He was not going to let me go this time like times before. When I had told him I would never do it again. So many times I had found myself in a hopeless situation and cried out to God for help saying, "I'll stop, I'll never do it again just please help my this once." And he always helped me, but I never stopped I just kept on sinning. Then the wretched, blind, and naked soul that I was began to weep and sob. God knew all of my secret hidden thoughts, intents, and desires. Nothing was hidden from him. Oh, how ashamed I was! All I wanted to know was how to be saved from this miserable end.

The pastor on the tape was talking about repenting from sin and giving it up. I pleaded with God, "Oh, if I had only known the severity of the consequences of what I was doing," but I had known and I had still chosen the wide path that leads to destruction. God wanted me to give up my sin, but I loved my sin. The thought of me giving up all the things I had loved to do, the music, the drugs, the drinking, the smoking, the fornication, seemed impossible. It was my life. I knew no other way. It was time to give it up or suffer the consequences. God was not going to allow me to go on sinning like that any more. I chose to repent. I told Him, "You are Lord and I'll give it all up and do what ever you want me to," then I asked him to forgive me for all my evil ways.

Grace Grace Grace...

Then as I lay there on the floor still sobbing, I began to see the beauty and perfection of God's awesome Love for me. Light began to pierce the darkness of my heart, and a warm flood of emotions seized my body. The weight of conviction began to lift. It was there on the floor, tears streaming down my eyes that I saw the true reason for God sending his son into this world. It was for terrible, rotten, no good sinners like me. Jesus was beat, whipped, mocked, and spit upon. People laughed at him, pulled out his beard, impaled a crown of thorns on his head, and nailed him to a cross where his blood flowed freely. They crucified him even though he was innocent and He endured it all for the sake of sinners like me. That through his death I might gain the gift of life, he had paid the price for my sin and bore my iniquity on the cross at Calvary. He loved me that much. As this realization of this hit me I began to laugh with tears of joy. There was nothing I could have done to save myself from hell, but God had done something already. I realized it wasn't just believing about Him, but knowing Him and surrendering to his authority in submission. I finally really understood the old hymn, "Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound That Saved a Wretch Like Me, I Once Was Lost but Now I'm Found ‘Twas Blind but Now I See."

So now I ask you - where are you with God? Do you know Jesus? He said, "Not every one that says ‘Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of My Father. Many will say in that day, ‘Did we not do all these wonderful things in Your name?' But He will say, ‘Depart from me you workers of iniquity I never knew you.'" We are told in the Bible that "He who says, he knows God, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." We are also told, "Love not the world nor the things that are in the world, if any man love the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Jesus has called us to give up our worldly lives and serve Him. Anything that you find more important than Jesus is an idol. Think about it. Is there anything that you wouldn't give up for Jesus? What about your house, your job, your car, friends, clothes, television, music, anything that you are not willing to give up is an idol, and you are not worthy to follow Him, until you lay it at His feet in submission. Our God is a jealous God, and will have no other gods before Him. A man cannot have two masters, either he will love one or hate the other. A friend of the world is an enemy of God. Jesus said, "He who saves his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for My sake shall save it."

We were bought with a price, we are not our own. God paid for us with the precious blood of his Son Jesus Christ. You are in complete rebellion against God until you quit playing god with your own life and put it back into the hands of Jesus to whom it belongs. As long as you keep rebelling against Jesus you are denying him the Glory, love and obedience he deserves. God hates sin, and all of your sin will be exposed before the light and be judged, unless you repent. For the wages of sin is death. Jesus said, "wide is the path that leads to destruction and many there be that follow it, but narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it." Jesus is the Life, and the only way to Jesus is to repent from your sin, give it up, and let it go for good. Be obedient and do whatever Jesus tells you to. Jesus died for you, that you may have life eternal. Revelation 21:8 reads: "but the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have there part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone." So what are you going to say on Judgement Day? What excuse will you give for your sin? I tell you, you will have no excuse for you have been warned. It is time that you make a decision: are you going to serve the world and Satan, or Jesus and the Kingdom of God?

"Tell me in the light of the Cross, isn't it a scandal that you and I live today as we do?"

---Alan Redpath