Thursday, March 14, 2013

This Reminded me of a True Story

All scripture references are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

I just received a Facebook inquiry from my nephew Sam, from Providence RI. The church my brother used to pastor is having a special anniversary service and Sam asked if I remembered when his dad turned to God and/or received the Holy Ghost. I replied with a rather lengthy response of what I recalled. Then I remembered a posting I did on April 18, 2011 I entitled, "A Testimony to Truth". I thought I would re-post it for your reading pleasure.

My two brothers and I were raised not going regularly to any church.  When I was about three years of age, my mother moved to Puyallup Washington with her three small sons from Morton Washington where my dad was a logger. He was supposed to follow later but that never happened. At least that is the story my mother told me as a child. Divorce soon followed my parent's separation. After our move my mother had a nervous breakdown and stopped going to church altogether.  When I was about 9, my mother married my stepfather who was a Lutheran, although not a church-going one. 

My mother had been a Holy Ghost filled saint of God at one time in the Morton Washington church. My earliest recollection of going to any church was sleeping under the benches at the Jesus Name Pentecostal Church in Puyallup.  I remember as a child going to different Sunday Schools. Once as I recall we went to a Lutheran Sunday School probably due to a promotion by the Peace Lutheran Church of Puyallup Washington where my mother was remarried or (perhaps) because my stepfather was a Lutheran.  

I also remember attending a Vacation Bible School of some sort sponsored by a local Baptist church in Puyallup.  I went there with my brother Joe.  As I recall, he won a New Testament due to the fact that he memorized all the books of the New Testament. But I did not memorize the books so I didn't get a prize. However those things might have been, we were never exposed to church very much in our youth.  

When my brother Joe was about 18, and I was 15 or 16, he and my stepsister Geneal started attending a Baptist church in Puyallup. They found the pastor and people very friendly and decided they would join the Baptist church.  When they told my mother that they intended to be baptized in the Baptist church, my mother began to tell them of what the Bible said regarding baptism in Jesus name. My brother Joe and my stepsister Geneal, like so many people today, could not see the importance or the difference between one form or another. This distressed my mother greatly. 

Around that time, my mother, brother and stepsister sat in my mother's kitchen discussing baptism while classical music played in the background. (My mother used to have her radio set to a classical music station most of the time) My mother was desperately trying to get them to see the need to be baptized in Jesus name but without much success.  Suddenly, the classical music faded out and a male voice came on in its place.  The voice on that classical radio station quoted Acts 2:38, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Then the classical music faded back in as before.  I was not there at the time. The result of that was my brother and stepsister started attending the local United Pentecostal Church and after they repented, (they) were baptized in Jesus name. (And they both received the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues) My brother Joe went on to become a minister and pastor before he passed away in 2009 at age 70. 

After I turned to the Lord at age 23 my mother related this story to me.  Later I asked my brother Joe about it and I will never forget his words to me that day, he said, "John, it really happened." This true account fully agrees with the Bible in Acts 4:12 which says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." I know that just being baptized, that is just getting wet, won't save you. But Apostle Peter did say in 1st Peter 3:21"...baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."  

Friend, if you have given answer to God of a good conscience, believing in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, find someone to baptize you in the wonderful and saving name of Jesus Christ. God will give you full freedom, and forgiveness for the sins of your past and He has promised to fill you with His Holy Spirit.  Do it today!

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