Part 5: Saved
After I came out of my depression, I let myself be ignorant about Christianity. I decided that I didn't want to know anything more that would scare me. I just wanted to live my life without thinking about Heaven and hell and things that gave me fear. I didn't go looking for information about whether I was saved or not. I thought if I didn't know then maybe I would be okay. Maybe I could do a bunch of things that may or may not be sins, and if I didn't know, then I could use that as an excuse for God. The way I was thinking about this was really just stupid. I was being an idiot, taking risks with my eternal soul and thinking that God would take excuses, especially excuses as pathetic as mine. I was scared of the truth, so I was putting myself to sleep spiritually. Just a lesson to whoever is reading: If you actually try to change yourself, you are likely to have success. You can use that for good or for evil.
I succeeded in dumbing myself down. I stopped caring as much about God. I stopped looking for truth. I wanted to be able to rest easy at night and live a long life and do what I wanted and go after my hopes and dreams. I wanted to chill out and enjoy myself and return to attempting to create that adventure and amazing thing and something more to life on my own. I wanted to listen to damaging music and record an album and go on dates and get a black belt. I more or less took God out of the picture. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and I didn't want to give a second thought as to whether my soul was saved. I thought I would just make it this simple: I asked for forgiveness, I was sincere, once saved always saved, I'm saved, if I'm doing something wrong or I'm not saved then I'll keep from finding out and God will cut me some slack.
It was stupidity. I was asleep, and I wouldn't let myself wake up. There were things that I needed to hear, but I didn't want to. I was risking my soul simply because I was scared of the truth and I wanted to just live my life. It was idiotic, and it wouldn't last.
Thankfully, I reached the point where I realized that if there were things I didn't know that could make a difference in where I spent eternity, I had to know. I was 15 years old now, and I took myself to some research. Once again, I started to care more about God. I began to pray. I found evidence and came to believe that the Bible really was the Word of God. I read from a Bible. I found a teacher. On YouTube, I watched good videos made by a man who was called Levi. I was learning. I learned things about the Bible. I learned that Jesus was God in flesh. I learned that I was supposed to love God. What I didn't understand was how to love God. It was easy to say "God is great" but it was another thing to love Him. But I would come to love Him, finally.
I found a testimony that would change things for me. A man told a story of how he believed once saved always saved and went to hell because of it. The man's story was like this: He wanted to be saved, he prayed to God for salvation, he was sincere, he even felt the presence of God (he said not everyone feels it but he did), a preacher told him that all of his sins were forgiven, past present and future, he thought that if he sinned he just might not get many rewards in Heaven, he lived in sin, he died, he experienced hell, he came back, and this time he turned on his sins. He gave scripture against OSAS, and after hearing all of this, I knew that I had been deceived. I always knew in my heart that deliberate sin wouldn't be covered, but I wouldn't accept it. I wouldn't believe it. Now I believed. Being saved once didn't make a person saved forever. A person who went on deliberately sinning wouldn't still be secure.
How many people knew this? It was important. There seemed to be a lot of people deceived with OSAS. I found from one of his videos that, thankfully, Levi was not one of these people. I was glad to have found someone who knew the truth, and God taught me more through him. I learned about what real, saving faith really was. I started to repent from my sins, turning away from evil. A night came that I looked back on my life, and I regretted it. I had sinned so badly. I had wasted so much time. My life had been wasted. I had done nothing for God. I had done nothing for my Lord, who died for me, and for all of humanity. I didn't deserve His grace. He died for ME, a person who had been so wicked, who had done NOTHING for Him. I was only 15, but I regretted my life. I went outside at night, where I cried my eyes out, praying to God. I wanted His forgiveness for wasting my life. In this prayer, I didn't simply ask for forgiveness. I BEGGED for forgiveness. I apologized to my Lord so desperately. I was desperate for His forgiveness. He gave me my life, and I had wasted it. I had sinned badly. I'd blasphemed, I'd had hatred toward people, I'd snapped at people, I'd hurt people, I'd lied to their face, and plenty more. I didn't deserve the blood of Jesus, which saves. My God had died for me, and I'd done just about nothing for Him. So here I was, crying to Him, repeatedly and desperately apologizing and begging for Him to forgive me. Something was different about this prayer. I wasn't asking His forgiveness just to avoid hell. It was because I had broken His heart and I genuinely cared. And when I took it that He'd forgiven me, I thanked Him. I thanked Him for His forgiveness, for His grace, for His blood shed on the cross for me which I didn't deserve... I was thankful for what He had done for me. I loved God...
I contacted Levi and told him how I regretted my life. I started to talk with him regularly. I'd ask questions, and he would answer them and teach me. I gave him updates on my walk with God, and he would praise the Lord for good news I shared. When I was struggling, he'd give me advice. He said I needed fellowship, and I found fellowship with other Christians. I joined an online fellowship, and I came to know other Christians as my brothers and sisters in Christ. I grew spiritually, and I kept repenting. I'd already stopped listening to the same music, which was demonic. I repented from my anger issues, short temper, and bad treatment of people. I learned about loving people, even my enemies. I went against my sin and dedicated my life to Jesus. I found a family in other legitimate Christians. I found peace and joy in the Lord. There were struggles, and my parents didn't like me being so "religious", but none of the hardships that came with spirituality were bad enough. At the end of the stress, persecution, and even depressing times, I still had my God. My God was there for me, strengthening me, and even when I was having hard times He was there. Now that I was putting effort into following Him, I saw Him answering my prayers. I saw great things with my friends, I helped them in casting out demons, and I saw the power of God all over. Sometimes I didn't feel anything, but I had already seen God's power. One of the greatest things I saw God do was change me. I had been wicked. I had been bloodthirsty. I had been insane. But God was more powerful than all of that, and He fixed my life and made me new. God was so awesome, and it was awesome having a relationship with Him.
Now I knew that I was saved. Because now, I was following Jesus. Now, I repented whenever I sinned, and put effort into putting sin down. Because of this, I knew that I was actually saved. I'd been made clean by the blood of Jesus. I still had sin to work on, but I wasn't a sinner anymore.
In my childhood, I knew that there was something more to life. There was a great adventure to have. There was something awesome. There was a higher power. There was a hard but amazing life. There was a great fight against a great enemy.
Now I know that the higher power is the LORD, Jesus Christ. My true enemy isn't a person or people, like I imagined. My enemy is satan and all of the demons. The adventure that I was called for was the life of a tribulation saint. These are the last days, and I was born in the generation of Christians that will suffer more persecution than any other that has ever lived. I am here with a mission, as are my spiritual brothers and sisters. God will work through us, and by Him we will fight the devil, we will live faithful to our Lord, we will make war against the sin inside, we will do righteousness, we will build up the Kingdom of God, we will spread the Gospel message, we will help souls to be saved, we will walk with Jesus, who loves us like crazy and has our back. And if necessary, we will die for our faith. This wicked world shall hate us for following Christ, but by His grace we shall stand strong. Greater tribulation than ever is coming, and we will keep our faith to the end. We will suffer as much as we have to for our faith. The death of Jesus was a brutal and painful one. He bled out and died on that cross for us, even though we didn't deserve His grace. We will die for Him if we have to. Although He owed us nothing, but His love for us was so great. His blood was spilled for us. He gave us time. He forgave our sins. He gave us grace. He changed us. He saved us... We owe Him everything.
The fellowship is awesome. In the body of Christ, I've found a family. I've found people who can understand and accept me. I'm autistic, and it doesn't mean what I was told. I was told that I had a disability, but I wasn't any more disabled than anyone else. I had a difference. I had a blessing. Ignoring things I've been told I'm good at with geometry and writing and public speaking, there are greater blessings that come with the autistic mind God has given me. Instead of what normal people had, I had deep imagination, deep thought, feeling, and a desire for a higher power and something amazing, beyond normal life. I learned this instead of learning how to be socially normal. I immersed myself in this, and I went into my mind instead of out of it. I wanted that higher power and that adventure that I have finally found. Psychology can tell me that all of this is wrong and needs to be medicated, but I'm not listening to that anymore. I'm autistic, and what I have is not a disease, and it's not a disability. I'm no more disabled than any regular person off the street. I have equal ability, just in different categories. I've learned how to normally interact (Not that I always do it. If I don't want to make eye contact I can't guarantee that I will. Lol.), and I can pass for normal. Am I still autistic? YES! Thank GOD, YES! I still have that different mind, and it's a blessing, not a disability or a disease. I praise the LORD that He made me this way.
If being born without some social skills and such is the cost of being autistic, I'll take it. It was the way God made me. I was born this way, and I have a birthmark to prove it. I've known judgment from people. It was hard to confess to my friends that I'm autistic, because I feared that they would think of me differently. I had come to expect that. satan even tried to torture me into going back to my old ways because of my autism, giving me thoughts that the only way I would ever have respect was by violence. But the thing is, God never mistreated my autism. He never had any disapproval over it. He saw me as equal. If I were to return to my violent ways just for respect from human beings, I would lose the support of the LORD, who is greater than all, and has full approval of the way I was designed, because the design was His. There was a little time when I felt like no one who knew I was autistic would ever see me as equal or have respect. Not even my friends, who were true Christians. In my heart, I heard God speak to me. He said "I made you the way I wanted," telling me that He, God almighty, did not despise my autism. Then He told me "These are your brothers and sisters. If they have me, they will treat you the same way."
God always knows what to say. He knows what He's doing.
The body of Christ, we have an adventure now. Walking with God, preaching the Gospel at who knows what risk, living in the end times as one of the tribulation saints... and the adventure will not be over when our life on this earth ends. Jesus will come back, in a blazing glory, and we will come with Him. satan will be defeated again. We will be together with God in His Kingdom. We're Christians, so we've signed up for the greatest adventure ever. The life of a Christian is the hardest life, but also the best life. I may have been a flesh and blood fighter before, but I've found that my true enemy is satan and my sin. It shall be the most epic fight ever. I've found that higher power that I desired, and He is AWESOME. I used to yearn for something amazing that was missing from my life. Now I've found it. This is what I was looking for. A tribulation saint... that is what I want to be now. That is what I shall be. Thank God that my eyes have been opened and I have been saved by the blood of Jesus. Hallelujah.