The apostle Paul wrote the Ephesians and explained that all sinners are dead in their trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2:1-9)
So if when we are sinners we are dead, how can we save ourselves by making a decision to “accept Jesus?”
This morning, I had a dream about a former enemy. In the dream, she was attacking me on all levels. I recalled all her old beefs with me, as they were made perfectly clear while I was still in the dreaming state of consciousness. However, immediately upon awakening, I realized the futility of my enemy’s dream state attack. For even though she is alive in the spirit, in her body she is dead. Consequently, this former enemy is truly “former” as she has been dead for about ten years now.
So when I look back to March 29, 1977, at around 4 pm on a Monday, I did not make a choice as there was no spiritual decision that I was capable of making as a vocal, seriously determined atheist who had never been to church in 33 years. I was dead in my trespasses and sins.
Yet in a split second, I was no longer an atheist. How did that happen?
I had been convicted of sin a few hours before. Nevertheless, I did not know what was going on until I read the bible days and even months later.
I had grieving over the sin that was revealed to me and I called a friend to seek help to stop the grief. While on the phone, the sorrow that had begun over myself, in a split second, it turned to the Lord. I blurted out “I am crying for what they did to Jesus. ” These words shocked me as if spoken by someone else.
Yet I did not get even a few seconds of opportunity to question that shocking confession when suddenly, a light bulb turns on in my head with a powerful thought. Pam, EVERYTHING YOU HEARD ABOUT JESUS IS TRUE.
What had I heard which I mocked and laughed at for decades had been gleaned through the holiday messages and deMille movies—that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that He is alive!
I found myself in a state of absolute shock. Faith was dropped into me like a coin into a slot machine. I started to travail like a woman about to give birth. I saw in a vision a hand of light going into my chest area. I travailed with groans for about 3 or 4 times.
Then, boom. Unspeakable joy. THE BABY WAS DELIVERED. I felt like I had literally just been born. I had no past. All burdens of sin removed, forgiven, washed and cleansed. Tears of sorrow turned to joy. Think of what you do when your team wins in a game. Multiply that by 100 and that was me.
As stated, this phenomenal experience occurred while I was on the phone with a non-Christian friend, Vivian. It started when she asked me to explain to her the reason why I could not stop weeping. Once the rebirth took place, I suppose I dropped the phone and she remained on the line. So while I was rejoicing, I picked up the phone again, and Vivian spoke. “you have just given birth to your new spirit in Christ Jesus. Go run a tub of water and baptize yourself in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.”
A few months later, Vivian did not remember any of this while it has been vividly planted in MY mind for 40 years.
I was dead in trespasses and sins. I was an atheist who had never been to church. No one gave me a tract. NO one invited me to their church. I turned off Billy Graham before I could hear his sermon. In fact, my ability to make a choice for Christ was overpowered by strong unbelief. I did not choose Christ.
HE CHOSE ME!!!
When did He choose me?
HE CHOSE ME AT THE SAME TIME HE CHOSE ALL OF HIS ELECT. ACCORDING TO EPHESIANS 1:4,5. The Lord chose me before the foundation of the world, according to the good pleasure of HIS will, And not mine!
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