Edited by TB
[Jesus came to] deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
The following is a testimony that we recently received from a Christian brother via e-mail. He graciously consented to our publishing it for the edification of others. Just reading it you will see how insidious Romanism is. The system keeps its adherents coming to it by claiming that salvation is only found in the Roman Catholic religion--I read that for myself out of their catechism--this is not second hand knowledge. But praise be to God, Jesus Christ is not bound but will save to the uttermost.
Beloved of Christ, tell people the truth, they need to hear it. Don't be discouraged by disparaging remarks. That one person that comes to Christ as a result of your witness is worth 1,000 "get out of my faces". Without further adieu, the testimony of a former Catholic.
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Let me give you a brief background about myself. I was raised in a Catholic church and was told from childhood that I should not talk religion to anyone other than Catholics. Before my conversion, I did not have a knowledge about God's love. I only thought of Him as someone I had to obey and follow His rules.
I was taught that if you did not commit a mortal sin, you could go to heaven but if you did, you were going to hell. I was also taught that if you committed a small sin (venial sin), that you could not go to heaven but you would go to a place called purgatory where you would have to pay for it yourself until you were considered worthy to enter heaven.
I later lost any desire to know God, and went about my ways trying to find happiness in the world. I tried just about everything and did not find happiness. Then one day, after I was married, I decided that I should buy a Bible and try to be a good Catholic.
I started reading in the old testament and I soon became very discouraged because I realized that it was impossible for me to follow all these rules. I put the Bible down and was going to give up. I would pick it back up from time to time and would read again only to find it hard to understand and impossible to follow all the rules without failing. I put it down for a time again.
One day while I was fishing, it started to rain and I got very mad at God because I wanted to fish and the rain was ruining my trip. I uttered words to him that I am terribly ashamed to repeat again. Immediately after that, I knew I did wrong and felt bad about it.
Then one day, after thinking about what I said, I started reading the new testament. It didn't make much sense, but I kept on reading it. Then I reached Matthew chapter 12, (the unpardonable sin). At that moment, I felt terrible. I felt that I had committed the unpardonable sin. In shock, I picked the Bible back up and hoped I had read it wrong. Again terror hit my soul. I must have picked up that verse 10 times that day only to feel worse every time.
I then put the Bible away for quite a while and did not want to read any more for fear of finding out what else was in there. I felt that I was hell bound and there was nothing I could do about it. I wished that I had never been born that way I would not have to answer for my terrible sin.
I nearly died when I was born but was spared (which is another story), and I wished that God would have let me die at childbirth because I was taught that babies that die go to limbo, a place where they lived in happiness but without God. Then one day I picked up the Bible again to Matthew, hoping to find some relief.
At that moment, I knew that I had offended a holy God and that I deserved to be sent to hell. It was like as though He showed me His holiness in my inner being. I even admitted at that point I deserved the fires of hell and was ready to accept the fact of being sent there even though I did not want to go there. I lived in torment with myself for years after that encounter. I would tremble when I would pass a cemetery.
I felt terrible that I had committed a sin I wish I would have known about before doing so. I felt that if I had known about that I could have tried to avoid that particular one. I felt that I was one of the few people that walked the earth that God had turned His back on. I wanted to be forgiven but felt I couldn't.
I would constantly go to the Catholic priest and confess all my other sins, but I would never confess that one because I was afraid they would tell me I would not be forgiven.
One day, a friend of mine got saved and I was drawn to him. He told me that I had not committed that [unpardonable] sin but I didn't really believe him. I would continue to go to confession (per Catholic requirements) but I felt no relief or assured of forgiveness. I had heard about Jesus in church but did not know too much about him.
Then one day as I was riding my bicycle, the realization came to me that Jesus had died for my sins. I stopped my bike, was full of relief and started to cry. I felt that the world was lifted off my shoulders. At that point though, I did not know that Jesus was God. I knew He forgave me of my sins, but I did not totally understand it.
Then I went to a retreat and I saw a banner was hanging which said, "the word was made flesh". I looked at it and said, "I seem to remember that saying". That night as I picked up my Bible, I opened to John. When I hit the verse that the word was made flesh, I jumped for joy. I said to myself, "Jesus is God. Why didn't someone tell me?"
[editor's note: look how Satan attacks new believer] For days afterward, I was continually being reminded in my mind the words I had uttered to God years past. It was like a tape player going off and I hated every time I heard those words. I prayed and prayed for the words or voices to go away and for weeks it continued. Finally one day, I said to myself, "Hey I did not hear those words for quite a while." I feel God miraculously removed them. I thought to myself how awful they must have sounded when I said them.
Months later after reading and studying God's word, I left the Catholic church to attend a non-denominational church. I now enjoy going to church and learning more about my God.
I believe that a man cannot earn his way to heaven and that the gift of salvation is from God and not by our merit.
I believe that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, and took upon Himself human flesh.
I believe that He walked a perfect sinless life and that He is God in the flesh.
I believe He freely gave his life on the cross to fully pay the penalty for my sin.
I believe that He was laid in a grave and on the third day He rose from that grave.
I believe that He is presently sitting at the right hand of the Father and that He will one day come again to receive unto Himself all those who believe in Him and also to judge to unbelievers and they will go to everlasting punishment.
I believe He will create a new heaven and earth and we
reign with Him forever.