My name is Mark. 40 years old. Been saved now for about 10 years. I’m just thankful to God for such a great salvation that we have in Jesus Christ. I just want to share my testimony of what the Lord God did in my life.
Man, I always go back to this because it’s amazing. I think about how many times I went to church with my mom, my grandmother, and we went to church Sunday, after Sunday, after Sunday. But no change in our lives.
Do you know how many people right now are sitting in church are going to hell? Literally. Sitting in church, going to hell. Don’t buy that lie neither. Rappers do that too. They’re real big with that. They go out to those churches and they sit on the front row and they give their big gifts. Don’t buy the lie. You can go to church Sunday after Sunday. Unless a man repents of his sins and receives Jesus Christ; have Christ; that man is lost.
I got baptized. I thought I was right with God. You know, your parents are smiling… “My baby got baptized today!” You’ve got on the white little suit. You feel all good. Everybody’s taking pictures. The pastor is holding you up in the air. On your way to hell. Grandma – on her way to hell. People don’t think that the God of heaven and earth will cast an old lady into hell, but He will. It doesn’t matter. It’s the same way across the board.
As I got older and began to be in high school, life made a drastic change. I started hanging around some guys, and the rap music scene came around. We were very interested in rap music. So we tried to pursue someone to invest in us and help us to become rappers. The next stars. During that time, everybody was rapping, so we had an interest in being some rappers. No one would help us. They felt like there were people out there that were better than us, so I had this wild thing that I would just do it myself. So we really got caught up into a whole bunch of drugs, to not only be able to gain things – materialistic things in this world, but to become rappers. So fast forward, that’s what happened. Ended up in selling drugs and rapping, ended up with a lot of cars, houses, girls, jewelry, cash…
I thought I was having a whole bunch of fun at that time. Drunk every night. Waking up in the streets, in my front yard. Just horrible, wicked life. I never really considered at that time that if I would have died, I would have been damned to hell. Eternally separated from the One that created me. That’s a sad thing. But it’s a joy to know that the God that created the heavens and the earth, before even the foundations of the world, before we even see what we see now, He chose me. He called me to Himself out of darkness into His marvelous light.
And it’s no greater thing, I tell people all the time, I say, man, you really don’t know that there’s no greater thing than to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. There is absolutely no greater thing. And I don’t think people understand it. But as I look back, I know why they don’t understand it. They’re blinded. They can’t see. They’re still chasing drugs, alcohol, women, money, all of these little gods of the world. They can’t bring true satisfaction. There’s only one God. Christ is wonderful. He’s a mighty God. And He’s worthy. We were created for His glory. To bring glory to Him, He did that. He created us. Throughout the Bible, there’s a call for man to repent, and to place their faith and trust in Christ. There’s no other way. You have to come to the Lord on His terms. And it’s only through Christ. Jesus said, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father, but through Me.” No other way. Not by your good works. Not by trying to reform yourself. Not by praying to Mary. Only through Christ.
And I’ll never forget one time I was staying in a house and I was laying in my bed and it was nighttime, and I’ll never forget, I was thinking, man, what is wrong? Something ain’t right. I’m not satisfied. I know that every time I get that feeling, I would get something, go do something, let’s go out and have some drinks, or let’s go out and start some trouble, or just do something to kill that. Well, this particular time, it wouldn’t go away. It was like there was a major problem. Something’s not right. You’ve got this house. And you’re just not satisfied. The fact of the matter is every man has a conscience. And only God can fill that void that’s in a man’s heart. Me not knowing it at the time, I just knew it was a problem. So I’ll never forget, I met a girl that had actually been staying with me. I wanted to follow her, and she began to go to a church, so I would follow her to the church. Not thinking anything about the church in particular. Just really wanting to follow her.
So, I’d sit there sometimes listening, sometimes not. But immediately when it was over, I’d always go back to what I was doing: Wickedness. Every single time. And I’ll never forget one day I walked in there, and the Lord opened my ears and my eyes. He made me to where I’d pay attention to what was actually being spoken that day. And I really did, and I’ll never forget how he began to talk about man’s sin, and how we could have life in Jesus Christ. And if man would repent of his sins, that he could have salvation in Christ.
Well, I left there that day with that thought on my mind. I thought, wow, I’m in trouble. For one, I don’t have a relationship with God. All that time, I thought I was in church and everything was alright, but I really don’t have a relationship with God. There’s a problem in my life. And so, in that I guess you could say I began to call on the Lord, asking the Lord, “Save me, Lord.” “Forgive me, Lord.” And He did. The Lord not only granted me repentance, but He granted me faith in Jesus Christ.
Man, how thankful I was at that time! Not knowing that getting saved is a drastic change. I didn’t have any biblical knowledge. I didn’t know for sure that if any man be in Christ, he’s a new creature. I just knew, man, something is strange. I’ll never forget going to a nightclub with my friends after that, I was still in the music business at that time. And I’ll never forget going in the nightclub, and we were in there, and I had such a weird feeling. And I looked over at my buddy, and I said, “I got to get out of here.” “I don’t know what it is, but I’ve got to go.” And that was many years ago, and believe it or not, I’ve never been back in the nightclub since. The Lord took that away from me, where I didn’t have the desire to want to be in that type of environment or to do those type of things anymore. He took a lot of things from me in my life that was detrimental to me, but most of all, He gave me Christ. He gave me salvation. Now, in moving around, I had a peace. It really didn’t matter if I had cars or girls or friends. I just knew that I’m a friend of God now. I’m not an enemy of God. And what I thought I was missing, I really had now in Christ.
And so, if you speed it up, I’ll never forget from my previous wickedness, running around, I’d been saved for a while, and I’d married this girl that I was with. All of a sudden, I found out I had a warrant for my arrest, because that sin that was so fun at the time, it was time to pay the price for it. So I ended up doing three and a half years in prison. I’ll never forget the Lord teaching me His Word. And He gave me that time to just meditate on His Word; to run across the path of many people with many different beliefs. All of these type of things… God kept me all those times. He kept me. He let me know that, “I’m with you.” “I’ll never leave you. I’ll never forsake you.” Don’t die without Him.