A Testimony from Heaven; A Legacy of Hope
Below is a testimony we received in response to my recent suicide article titled, Is Suicide an Unforgivable Sin? that was featured in last week’s Got Questions? column. A mother wrote to tell us of her son’s tragic death, but more importantly of his beautiful conversion to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his wonderful testimony of Jesus saving him. This mother honors her son at every opportunity by sharing her son’s testimony of the grace and goodness of our God.
Please read this article and then give God all the thanks and glory due Him for the salvation of this young man. Take time to thank God for the hope this gives to all of us in our desire to see our friends and family come to saving faith in Jesus.
The Power of Hope Declared
My son attempted [suicide] many times before becoming a Christian and he failed every time until 7/31/13. But God spared him an eternity in hell. God didn’t take my son’s life. Stephen took his life without looking at there being a possibility of hope. But God reached down His loving hand and welcomed my precious son into The Kingdom. In Stephen’s own words, this was his testimony:
So, as only some of you may know, I have been an atheist for almost 10 years now. Well, today, that has changed. I began my journey as an atheist in the worst kind of way. It wasn’t because John Smith or Susie Q preached one thing and did the opposite. It wasn’t because I saw Christians claim to be so, and then do non-Christian things.
I truly felt in my heart that there was no god. God did not exist as far as I was concerned. If I ever claimed to have felt Him before I went atheistic, it was always comparable to feelings I had from watching a movie with a happy ending or because I felt that science could explain mostly everything. What science could not explain…didn’t matter, honestly. As far as I was concerned humans just weren’t advanced enough to be able to explain how we got here. I was always catching flak from family about how I needed to turn my life over to Christ, and that drove me even further away because I didn’t care to hear it, but no one would leave me alone to figure it out on my own.
So, one day about 5 years into my atheism, I began to start questioning God. I did see the things going on in the world and it kind of concerned me. Still…I did not believe. Nor did I want to. As time went on, I started thinking to myself. I know the Bible fairly well. Well enough to know that there was a special place in hell for people like myself. So, I would look up and say, “God, if you are there…give me a sign.” I did this and felt for many years that I received no answer. I wasn’t really listening. As I stated before, I did not really want to believe, so it was about useless.
I believe God has always been with me, though. I say that because…I would often, as an atheist, play “God’s advocate.” Of course…we all know that our Father in Heaven needs no introductions and certainly does not need an “advocate.” But, I say this because there are some really arrogant people out there who claim to be atheists but won’t step foot in a church or even utter God’s name. I hated that as an atheist. Gave me a bad name. Mainly because I felt that I was a true atheist and there were these imposters out there who would cry out to God if they were in danger.
Believe me, if you want to or not…I was not that kind of atheist. I could talk about God all day long and preferred to refer to stories in the Bible. Not as religious fact, but as historical. And I know that I would never have cried out for God’s help if I was facing death. Frankly, I wanted to die! I was only existing for the sole purpose to not hurt my family or friends. Or to leave those who loved me behind. That was a complete failure, however. Because I felt no real reason to exist other than that. I still attempted suicide quite a few times, and I believe I nearly succeeded in two of those occasions. At least two. I spent 3 days in a hospital for one. I was unconscious for those 2 or 3 days. So, it has been pretty serious. I had some real demons beckoning me, and I didn’t even know it.
The demons tried me one last time. For four years, I neglected my marriage and my family. So, my wife and I separated, and for two weeks…even though I was strong…the demons still played on my thoughts, and I almost tried to commit suicide again. Fortunately, by the time I got to where I was going, I had calmed down, and God had his hand in it, I am sure. I did not go through with my plans. As I am here giving my testimony. It wasn’t over yet, however. For the past few weeks, I have been a…devout atheist, if you will. Until today.
I was on the phone with my mom, and the conversation didn’t start like any normal conversation. We were talking about the World Trade Center and some of the conspiracy behind it. Then we went into talking about the Illuminati. Funny conversation to have with your mom, honestly. Well, the conversation went on, and I asked my mom to look out for anything she could link to something I had been noticing for a long time. Well, she pointed out one thing about it, and then as if something dawned on her…God moved in on the conversation. She said, “Have you ever thought that this may be the sign you have been looking for from God?” I didn’t really reply. What was I supposed to say? I had never really talked to her about it.
That’s when I felt an overwhelming power of a planted seed. Planted over and over again. It took its toll on me when I realized the overwhelming feeling was nothing less than the hand of God being laid upon my heart. I looked over at a cross on the kitchen counter, and on that cross was one word! It was God’s sign if you will. That word was “FAITH.” Written in a beautiful font. Oh my, how the tears flowed. I got off the phone with my mom, and I went and knelt down before God. I humbled myself and began speaking AT God. Not quite to him…that’s when I remembered what my mom (that conversation was irrelevant) had said and it was something about looking in the mirror and facing myself. Not quite, but something to that effect. God was moving in my heart. I went into the bathroom, and I looked in the mirror. Of course, the demons tried at me again to tell me that I was just emotional. But, they were absolutely no match for the power of Christ! They failed where they tried, and I said to myself, “I need to pray!” I closed my eyes, and I spoke directly to God from my heart. I asked Him to cleanse me of my sins and to come into my heart. I then saw an image of me with my back facing me, of course. I saw and felt Jesus standing there with his hand on my shoulder. That was the difference. I witnessed the awesome power of God and didn’t even know to what extent.
Now, while all of this was going on, my mom was on her way to come pick me up to run some errands with her. I didn’t tell her at first, but hinted at it. She asked, and of course, I made her figure it out. Well, it turns out that while I was receiving Christ, she was at a gas station and had been told by God to speak to a Christian woman driving a van. She stopped the woman and asked her if she was a Christian, and of course, the woman confirmed it. God had told Mom to ask that woman to pray for me. That woman prayed for me. A complete stranger that my mom had never met until that point prayed for her son! She prayed for me and didn’t even know who I was. That is the awesome power of God for you. I would be a fool to ignore that! If you want to know what that prayer was, [ask] my beautiful mother. She can tell you what exactly was prayed.
But, the point is that I know the truth now, and God has revealed himself to me. I have been waiting for this day for a very long time. I now feel that I have a greater purpose, and I am almost certain that my calling is to become a preacher.
This is my testimony to any of you who do not believe. Christ is returning, and if your heart is not right with Him, He will say to you when you appear before Him on judgment day, “I never knew you; depart from Me…” (Mathew 7:21-23). And those of you who hear the Lord utter those words will find yourself in Hell.
I hope this testimony will convince those of you who have not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into your hearts [and] that you will search your hearts and souls. The Bible sayss, “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall NOT perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). He died on that cross for your sins so that you can be with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven. I am not trying to convince you or scare you. This is real. God is real, and He wants you to be in Heaven with Him.
My goal here is to be a witness to the true and awesome power and grace of our Lord and Savior. I want you to search your heart and ask yourself where you would rather spend eternity. Don’t take my word for it. Look into it for yourself. GOD IS REAL, AND HE WANTS YOU TO SPEND AN ETERNITY IN HEAVEN WITH HIM. If that’s not enough for you, then…I have done my part to show you the truth. Thank you for reading my testimony, and please, search your heart and soul. He is calling upon you to receive Him into your heart. Knock, knock, knock.
We thank Stephen’s mother for sharing his testimony with us. Isn’t it a beautiful testimony? We can feel the power of God that worked in Stephen’s life…and we can feel it because the same power works in our lives. Stephen’s testimony was a wonderful gift to his mother, who now lives without him and misses him greatly. The beautiful words of his testimony assure her of Stephen’s rest in Heaven and provide a joyful remembrance that she will one day see him again. Although Stephen is now in Heaven, his words are still heard. His mother generously shares his testimony with many, knowing the power of God to use Stephen’s words to move the heart of others.
Thanks be to God that He is faithful to keep us even when we stray from His will and His ways. Testify to the love and saving grace of God and believe in the power of hope in Christ. Trust that God will use your testimony. Share the love of Jesus with someone today.
The Lord is….not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
Read the article, Is Suicide an Unforgivable Sin?
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