IT'S MY LIFE....
By Tom E. Winkleman
|I was raised on a small northern Minnesota farm, without any of the modern comforts -|
|There was lots of room to play - I was the greatest Indian or Cowboy - running wild thru the woods; with hardly a care - except -|
|EXCEPT: Once in a while, I went to the Country Church just down the road. The teacher said, 'Ask Jesus into your hearts and you can go to heaven.|
|Almost every night, I'd ask Jesus to come into my heart, but I'd never feel or know if He came in; I was sure I should... so the next night I'd do it again! Night after night!|
|Later on, I wanted to own a large ranch; maybe the biggest in Minnesota! There would be a lot of cattle wearing the 'Flying W' Brand.|
|Now, I heard a different
message at the same church:
REPENT! Turn from Sin, NOW! or burn in Hell, SINNER!!!!!!
|Sometimes, watching the sunset, I'd think of God and Heaven - how just before I died, I'd do that important thing 'Turn from sin' - wouldn't have any time left to sin then anyway!|
|Soon I had to leave the farm; I was drafted and about 6 months later I got orders for Vietnam - after a leave at home I would drive to Minneapolis, then fly to Oakland where I was to report in.|
|BUT: on the way to Minneapolis an oncoming car swerved into my lane and crashed into me head on.|
|At the Minneapolis V.A. Hospital about 1 month later I was in awful pain - constant pain. I wished I had died... But I would be in hell... too scary to go there!|
|Then I heard a TV preacher with another and different way to go to heaven... GIVE YOUR LIFE TO CHRIST! NOW... MAKE THAT DECISION!|
|This I understood to mean: If I gave my life to Christ and gave up my future plans, did special work for God and lived perfectly, in exchange, I would be able to go to heaven. Giving my most important thing; my life, to attain heaven when I died - the exchange seemed worth it - BUT - that is NOT GOD'S WAY to heaven! The preacher didn't know God's Salvation!|
|13 months after the accident I was discharged from the Army and the Hospital on the same day. All my Signal Corp. buddies returned from Vietnam without any injuries! And, slowly, the fact I had bargained my life for heaven faded.... except I was sure I was going there.|
|The next years I spent building up the farm - resenting the car wreck: I had to sell my horse, legs cramped up making riding impossible.|
|Then, after a special meeting: the preacher came around and asked everyone... He said, 'Do you know for sure you are going to heaven?'. I thought, 'Sure, sure I'm going there!' BUT... If he had asked, 'How?', he'd have found.... my way wasn't God's way!|
|Later on; I went to a new
church. The preacher said, "Turn in your Bibles to Acts 16:31 - See
- the Bible says, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be
I thought, 'Wow! They do know the bible here!'
|One day while driving along, I
'HEY! Christ died to pay for sins; my sins - ALL SINS! I'll go to heaven because He paid for my sins - It's believing! Not giving my life, or doing something. WOW!
|"HEY!" I shouted, "That's
the GREATEST news I ever heard!"
That Christ's death was absolutely enough - and by accepting IT AS A GIFT, I can know right now, I do have eternal life."
|THEN... Amazement gave way to anger! I thought, 'If salvation is really by believing and the Bible says it is (Jn 3:18) then; why did those other people tell me that untrue junk? I was going to HELL and thought it was HEAVEN!'|
|WOW! I don't have to do
anything; like change my life, stop doing something or give my life to
Christ - Except Believe Jesus died as complete payment for my
sins and accept it as a gift without trying to earn or deserve heaven.
Man's way to heaven isn't God's is offered to all, as a free unconditional GIFT only! Understanding this changed my destiny from Hell to Heaven!
|You, too, can change your Eternal Destiny:|
|1. Heaven is perfect (as God is) Rev. 21:27. To go there you must be.|
|2. ALL have sinned. Rom. 3:23|
|3. God's Son, Jesus Christ, died as complete payment for your sin. 1 Pet 3:18; Heb 10:12; 2 Cor 5:21|
|4. Salvation is a free gift.
"For by grace are you saved, through faith (believing it) and that [salvation] not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not of works, lest any man should boast.
|5. You can know you have
eternal life. Now -
1 Jn 5:13: "These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God.. that you may know you have eternal life. [Jesus means Saviour).
NOTE: 'Asking Jesus in your heart' cannot save, it doesn't acknowledge Him as Savior - that He died for your sins and that by trusting in what He did on the cross you will have eternal life like the bible says,
Heb 1:3. REPENT: (Luke 13:3) means 'change of mind' or believe in the Greek original Bible.
ROM 12:1-2: tells believers to serve God since they are saved - not as a way to get to heaven!
|Well, I can't change what they told me.... but I can tell you what the BIBLE REALLY SAYS. Check it out in your own Bible. It does have the answers, God will help you.|
|Please read these verses: Jn 3:15-18 & 36; 6:47; Ro 3:20-24; 4:5; 5:8; 6:23|