First of all, I want to praise and thank the Lord for my salvation. I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness in an upper middle class family. I had everything I needed and wanted. As Jehovah’s witnesses we attended church twice a week, and were told that if we prayed, went to church, and passed out their literature, we were all right with God. I was never told I was a sinner, that I needed the blood of Jesus to cleanse away all my sins, or that I needed to keep God’s commandments to make it to the Kingdom of Heaven.
We would go to church, and when it ended, we would go out and do the same things everyone else was doing. I was not happy with my life, so at the age of seventeen I left home. I went on a search for true happiness, for something that would fill the emptiness I had deep inside. I wanted answers. What was life all about? I sought out different churches, but they had no answers. I finally decided that no one had the answers to what life is all about, so I gave up and started doing my own thing. Before I knew it I was taking all kinds of drugs. I was drinking, and I ended up becoming a member in the largest gang on the West Coast. I would stay out all night taking drugs and getting into all kinds of mischief, then in the morning I would drink heavily so I could sleep the day away and be ready for the next night.
I went to jail so many times that I could not keep count. This continued on for several years; finally I decided to change. I found a decent paying job, but had no place to live, so I ended up sleeping in a box on the streets of Los Angeles. Even though I had saved up enough money to rent a room, I still continued to sleep in a box. Eventually I lost my job. I began drinking again and eating out of garbage cans; I had nowhere to go and no one to turn to.
One afternoon I decided to take a little bit of the money I had left and buy myself a pack of cigarettes. On my way to the store I was confronted by someone from the Tony Alamo Christian Church. He immediately started telling me about Jesus. I did not want to hear about Jesus; I just wanted to be left alone. As I began to leave, it was as though my feet became stuck to the sidewalk. I decided to listen to what he was saying, and I heard the full Gospel that day, preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. I was invited to services that night at the church in Saugus, CA. When I saw the church, I knew this church was different. When I entered the doors, I could not believe it. These people did not even know me came, yet they were happy to see me.
During the service Pastor Alamo preached a Hellfire and brimstone message. Fear came over me, and I knew I needed to get right with God. I gave my heart and soul to the Lord that night. The same night I also received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. It’s a day I will never forget.
This world had nothing to offer but death and eternity in a burning Lake of Fire. It has been over 25 years since I accepted the Lord, and He has been with me every step of the way. I have peace in my heart and soul knowing I am on my way to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Praise the Lord!