"My main hope in giving this testimony is that some young Christian going through the same spiritual battle I was going through will get the proper instruction which I did not receive because of the unconditional eternal security teaching.
It finally hit home with me that God loved me so much that He spoke to me personally that day and scared me back into reality. He also assured me of where I would have ended up for all eternity if I had not repented and turned back to Him.
As I was basking in His love soon after these events, the terrible truth struck me. Not all get a second chance like I did. Please listen! Yours in Christ, Pastor Mel."]
We need to be careful in these last days. Many hearts will turn cold and many will not put up with sound doctrine any more, the Word of God says. This is happening already within our churches. Some of it is done consciously and some of it is done unconsciously.
When I accepted the Lord I was into the Baptist persuasion. A Baptist minister was a good friend of mine. He remains a good friend of mine, although I haven't seen him for awhile. I don't blame him for the choices that I made. But I want to tell you, what I learned from him did influence my walk with God.
When I accepted the Lord, I truly accepted him. It was a real conversion. I loved the Lord with all my heart and I began reading his Word and trying to live by his Word. About five years after I accepted the Lord, I began to slack off. I began doing, once again, crazy things of the world for whatever reason. I went to my minister friend and asked him about this. I asked him if I could lose my salvation, because I was really concerned. I felt myself being pulled away. He said something like, "Is God wishy-washy? Would he save you one day, just to let you go the next?"
It all made sense to me as a young Christian, a babe in Christ. I was looking for instruction and that's the instruction I got. And that's just the instruction that my flesh wanted to hear. I felt within me something begin to die at that point. And I fell farther and farther away from God. I stopped fellowshiping, as the Word commands us not to do. It's not a suggestion. It means not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together.
So that's where my falling away began. I also stopped reading my Bible and began associating again with my old friends of the neighborhood and some relatives. And I fell back into drugs. I fell back into the world.
God didn't just let go of me. I went through a process of falling away for about two years. I fell farther and farther away. I got deeper and deeper into sin every day. I felt the Spirit of God begging me back to him. God didn't just let go. Every day, even in my disobedience, I heard the Spirit of God begging me back but I didn't want to listen. I didn't think I had to listen. I would arrogantly stand there and say, "Once saved, always saved!" Every time the Spirit of God tried to minister to me, I would say, "Once saved, always saved"; arrogantly, "Once saved, always saved!" I didn't realize who I was speaking to at that time, I was so far gone. I was on the verge of receiving a reprobate mind, and I knew that in my heart, but I kept hanging onto that, "once saved, always saved." God kept ministering to me. He kept begging me back to him.
As I got deeper and deeper into drugs, I got into parapsychology, white witchcraft, and Satan worship. I used to violently fight against people who told me that I was losing my salvation. I called them all kinds of names, as my wife can testify. God sent several good ministers to me but I didn't want to hear it.
We began having instances where demons would materialize in front of us. The farther I fell away from the Lord, the stronger these demons forces got. I used to scare her half to death because I would call up Satan and the demons and they used to materialize. My wife saw them, too.
I remember one night laying in bed. I had hold of my wife's hand. We were just laying there, and she began to float along the bed and I had hold of her hand, and she kept getting farther and farther away. I didn't know what to do. So I kept holding onto her hand. Pretty soon, it felt like if someone didn't let go from one of the sides, that she would be ripped apart. And God said, "Let go, Mel. You let go and I'll send her back down to you." God cared about me and what was happening.
Like all good drug addicts, I got thrown in jail. We lived out in California when a lot of these things were happening. God would send people to me. And I would point my finger in their face and say, "Once saved, always saved. And you're a cult if you're telling me I can lose my salvation." I wasn't too friendly of a guy in the world. God keptsending people. He kept trying to touch my heart. He kept begging me back to him.
Pam eventually left me when I got put in jail in California. I eventually got out and came back to Arizona and I continued using drugs. And more and more, I would feel the presence of the demons.
Don't you know Satan wants you back? Don't you know that one step away from God is a step in the wrong direction? Don't you know that these are not suggestions in the Bible? Don't you know that even in this day of grace, we have an obligation to God to keep his moral law; to obey his commandments? He didn't come to destroy the law and the prophets. He fulfilled them. He re-established them. Number one, to love God. Number two, to love your fellow man.
We need to read the Word. You can be in the Word for two hours a day, and I know that's a lot to some people, but it's not enough for everyone. You can be in this Word for two hours a night and God's going to speak to you and touch your heart. And then you watch all that TV and in five minutes, you lose everything that you learned in that two hours.
There's nothing out there that I would ever want to go back to. I fell away for those two years and that was it. I learned slow, but I learned. I've never desired to be away from God since then.
I was getting ready to do some drugs out in the desert, out in Mesa. I heard a voice that rumbled through the sky that shook my inner being. I don't know how to explain it, but it shook every fiber of my inner being. I wasn't afraid of demons, but I was afraid of that voice. The Word of God says it's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God. He means just that. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.
Let me tell you something, I didn't change overnight, but I decided in my heart that day. It took me awhile. I wasn't delivered all in one night from drugs. I struggled with it for about a year after that. Eventually, there came a time where I was able to lay them down. I was called to do something. I had a pack of cigarettes in my pocket and a guy asked me to teach. I had just gotten off drugs. I should never have been put in that position, but I was and I accepted it. I went to walk into that church door and I felt the cigarettes. God said, "You can't go in there and teach like this." I threw the pack out into the street, and I think I may have smoked one or two cigarettes after that and that was it. God took it away. He took it away that night. I just lit up the one or two afterwards, but the craving was gone. He can do it for you, too. I'm nothing special. He's not a respecter of persons. He loves you just like he loves me.
You need to hang onto the Word. I don't see anything contradictory in here. It's all nice, plain and realistic. But you have to read it. You have to study it. He said, "I'll call it to your remembrance by the Holy Spirit." Let me tell you something. In order for Him to call it to your remembrance, it has to be up here in your memory first.
Now I want you to go to Jude, verses 4 through 13. After He snapped me out of it and after I began to listen to Him, He began showing me Scripture verse after Scripture verse.
"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever."When you tell somebody they can call on the name of the Lord, but live any way they want and still enter the kingdom of God, that's turning the Word of God into lasciviousness.
I found a church and I began going to church, but more importantly, I rededicated my life to God. I developed a relationship with Jesus Christ again. I went back to the first love that I had for him when I first met him. I had to choose to follow him. Each day we have to choose to follow him. You can't live on yesterday's faith.
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