Rick's Testimony Of Conversion
“I was born and raised in the Philippine Islands to a family of 14. As a child, I was raised in a church atmosphere. I prayed, tithed, and did all the things I thought would please God. Though I was raised with these Christian values, I was still confused and struggling with my life. I was constantly wrestling with three questions: Who am I? What is my purpose in life? Where am I going after I die?
When our family came to America in 1979, I continued to do what I was taught. I prayed, tithed, went to church, etc. Basically, I was trying to be a good person so I could go to heaven. I wanted to please God and thought that doing good works was the way to do that.
When I was in high school, my friend, Brent, would hang out with me at school and then come by my house afterwards to play basketball. Brent was a Christian who told me what Jesus did for me. He asked me, “If you were to die today, do you know where you’re going?” I was very confident in my answer and responded, “Yes, I know where I’m going. I’m going to heaven, because I’m a good person.
I don’t cuss, I don’t do drugs, I give money to the church, I pray every day, I help anybody who needs help, and I respect and obey my parents all the time.” His response was, “God is going to tell you, away from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you!”
I thought that was kind of a harsh response from God, but Brent explained to me that I was basically telling God that I was good enough because of my works. Then he showed me where the Bible says that my righteousness was as filthy rags in the sight of God. He told me that I could never work hard enough to make it to heaven, on my own – that Jesus did it all for me when He died on the cross for my sins.
Needless to say, Brent really got my attention that day. All that time, I had been living my life based on a lie; thinking that my works were good enough to earn my salvation. I discovered that afternoon that I was a sinner who needed God’s forgiveness. That by repenting of my sins and accepting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and by receiving Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I could be saved. That was some of the best news I had ever heard!
That whole week I pondered in my heart what Brent had shared. He had planted a seed in my life and that month, I attended an outreach event in my hometown and made the decision to come forward and receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I cannot tell you the specific day or hour I made that life changing decision, nor do I remember the evangelist who gave the invitation. All I know, is that God did a work in my heart that night and saved me.”