Jean Stepnoski (27 Jan 2011)
"MY TESTIMONY by Mary Belle Habeger"

   My parents were "moral" people who I'm sure would proclaim themselves "Christian". But there was no family Bible, prayer, or instruction. When I was four years old an aunt took me, with her children, to Sunday School. I was there nineteen years. I was taught the books of the Bible in order and about Jesus and all the other Bible characters. Not once in any of those years did anyone explain I was a sinner, in need of personal acceptance of, and faith in, the person of Jesus Christ as my Savior. I proclaimed myself a Christian and believed if I lived the best life I could I would be acceptable to God. I prayed for a Christian suitor and God granted my prayer. He sent "Elias" into my life. Eli took me to an evangelical church. A teacher there, Elsie, a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute, wanted to start a Bible study in her home with a few intimate friends. They invited Eli and myself, (who were then married). But Eli when with these friends talked a language I didn't understand (salvation, regeneration, justification, righteousness, sanctification, etc.). I panicked. What if they found out how ignorant I was; that I didn't know how to pray in the presence of others? But I went every week. I learned that no one was righteous in the sight of God, and my righteousness was as "filthy rags" in His sight. I was troubled and painfully aware the members of the study group all seemed to know they were going to heaven. How could they know? I had invited two friends to dinner Sunday. Saturday there was a bad snowstorm and my out of town guests canceled Sunday morning. Since I was "match making" I was disappointed and Eli voiced his disapproval of what I intended to arrange. The meal was in the oven, so I took a walk. When I returned Eli said "It shouldn't be like this, let us pray about it". I don't remember what his prayer was but I asked God to give me the assurance of my salvation. We had just finished out meal when a rap came on the kitchen door. A stranger stood there and said "I'm Mr. Jamison. I'm an evangelist at the Gospel Hall, and for some strange reason the Lord has led me to your door". (The Gospel Hall was a one room building 1/2 block away and visible from our home.) In a very brief discussion in which I told of my prayer for assurance, Mr. Jamison pointed at Eli and said "I believe you are saved" and then at me "but I don't believe you are". With that he took his leave and I was devastated. Tuesday evening Mr. Jamison returned saying he didn't know what else to say but the Lord would give him no rest until he did return. There was "small talk" while we finished our evening meal. I cleared the table and took our 18 month son into the next room to rock him. Mr. Jamison had his Bible and he shoved it across the table at Eli and said "Read this". Eli read Isaiah 53:6 "All we like sheep have gone astray: we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity (sins) of us all". Mr. Jamison then asked "Where are your sins, Eli?" My husband was disgusted, this man upset his wife on Sunday, here he is again. I heard my husband in a very indifferent tone of voice say "On the Lord I guess". I know the Lord had Eli speak those words because Mr. Jamison spoke very sharply and said "You don't guess, either you believe it or you call God a Liar. Read it again". I believed the Bible was God's Word and I believed Jesus died for all sin for all time but right at that moment I personally knew I was a sinner and Jesus put my sins upon Himself. II John 5: 9-11 " He that believeth on the Sun of God hath a witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His son". I had the witness in myself and I never doubted my eternity in heaven.
Do not depend upon church attendance, baptism, confirmation, charitable contributions, etc... all works of mankind. Salvation is a gift from God, not of mankind's works, lest we should boast (Ephesians 2: 8,9)
                                                        WILL WE MEET IN HEAVEN?