Everybody has a day or time that speaks out to them the most. Maybe for some its a grand vacation. Or for another graduating college. I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to share my special day that changed my whole life.
I was laying in my bed last night, thinking about this special night. Remembering all the details of what happened on this night. Little things that you wouldn't normally remember about something...unless it mean that much to you.
We were in the church bus. I remember all who was there. Scott Pevehouse, our youth pastor. Rachel Muller, Rebekah MIlcroy, Michael Bowman, my brother, Reese Lovell, Craig Spencer, and another guy that I don't know his name. I never knew his name and never saw him again after this night.
Scott was taking us to see a Heaven and Hell house drama at a church in Benton. He said he wanted us as a youth group to have our own, and wanted to see if we would be inspired to come up with one by seeing this particular drama.
I remember what I was wearing that night. I had a plain orange long sleeve shirt, black pants and play shoes. The necklace I wore was my great grandmothers that was a golden circle and had a red bird in the center. I didn't have contacts back then.
And my hair was parted down the middle.
We took a break at a truck stop where Rachel got me to try my first Cappachino, which burnt my tongue very badly. I even remember the floor of the van was so hott that the souls of my shoes started to melt.
I remember waiting in line at the church for nearly an hour. I'm guessing it was about 7ish something in the evening. We all had to sign a visitors card and only had one pencil. So it took time for us to fill out all the information. And when we finally got in the place, we still had to wait in line for almost another hour. Then they took us to a sitting area where we were told that in a few moments we would be entering the drama with another group of young teenagers. I remember the man telling us about what we were about to enter, and reminding us that the drama all the way through was about 45 minutes if everything were to run smoothly.
Our turn finally came. We walked up some stairs before entering the first room. The halls were dark. And we were walking on something like black trash bags. The whole purpose was for us not to be able to see anything. The first room we stood on an incline. And we were looking down at a car crash scene. There were three bodies laying around this car. Smoke was everywhere. The drama before us was about seeing these lives are no longer. They are dead. The parametics were looking over the young students and discussing what happened to each other. We were then led out of the room.
Back in the hall, we still couldn't see anything. I didn't know where we were going. It would all be quite, then we would hear a man scream and jump on somebody and then everybody would start screaming! When we could see a little light, I saw tall men in black clokes, with painted faces. They had yellow eyes and didn't say a word to nobody. They didn't even look at you. But every once in a while, they would jump at you. Everybody knew who they were supose to be; demons.
The next several rooms held almost the same scenes. Each room representing hell. You could hear people crying for help, piercing in flaming pain. The rooms were always dark, and you couldn't see much. The drama before us constist of two demons with high voices. There were several people in this room, representing dead souls. Each one had their story as to why they thought they would be in Heaven. One admitted to being a drinker, a gambler, and a murderer. One admitted to being in prison. One woman admitted to being addicted to drugs and ended up abanonding her children for her adiction. One mother was watching a television screen. She was watching her family living on earth. All her life she knew who God was. She knew that the only way to heaven is through Jesus. But she never made that commitment. Instead she chose to live her life. So as she watched this tv screen, she prayed hoping that God would send somebody to her family to warn them about hell. But it did nothing. She suddenly saw that her daughter was out of the picture. She cried and yelled, "Where is my daughter!?" And a few seconds later she heard her daughters screams. She looked up and saw that her daughter was being thrown into flames. She yelled to her mother, "Mom why didn't you tell me about Jesus!?" And they both cried.
There was one more scene. It was about a woman. She claimed to have been raised in church her whole life. She was in church everytime the doors were opened. She taught Sunday School. She taught VBS. She did nursery duty. She sang in the choir service. She read her Bible every single day and prayed to God. But not once did she recieve Jesus as her personal Savior. And she asked the demons, "Why am I here? I was a Christian!"
The demons said the same thing to every person in that room. They spoke the truth. They spoke of what the Bible said. " There is nothing you can do to get yourself into Heaven. Because you never repented of your sins and asked Jesus into your heart, you have been cast into the never ending flames." These demons quoted Scripture. They mocked them and admitted how many lies they have thrown at these souls when they were still alive. And they told all of us the same thing.
I knew what hell was. But now I really knew God meant business.
There were a few more rooms like this that we were led into. To us girls it was getting scary. I remember Rachel grabing my hand because she was scared too. I remember later all three of us held hands for a while, afraid we might loose each other in the darkness.
At the end of the walkway stood an angel, who was holding a candle. She was an older lady with blonde hair, and of course she was short like most women (no offense). She told us that she would take us through a journey back to earth. She then led us to a room, where we recognized the three teens we saw at the car crash, meaning this story must have happened before the crash. The three teens were talking. One boy claimed to not care about God. One was in question, and trying to earn his way to heaven. And a young boy, who admitted he knew where he was going when he died. And was sharing with these two teens about Christ, but they rejected it.
We were then led into a second room, where a girl who was a Christian was friends with another girl who wasn't. The girl was telling her friend that she was going to a party. And the Christian girl told her to have a good time. A guy walked up to her and asked her why she let her friend go to the party. The girl said, "I don't want her to think I'm a moron. I mean, she's my friend. I don't want to loose her. Besides, I don't know how I can talk about Jesus to her."
" Aren't you concerned about her soul, where she will spend eternity at? She needs to know."
"Yeah, but I can't do that. I'm scared to."
We later saw that girl who went to the party, was also in the car crash scene. She didn't survive and she died.
This was hitting me pretty hard. It was hard to not be effected by the story. To not feel something inside of you trying to give you a message.
The very last room we entered in, was apparently the churches sanctuary where we saw angels and bright lights and a pearly gate. This was Heaven.
Jesus appeared. His hands held the nailed scars. We saw the cross. We saw His blood. We knelt at the alter. And one by one souls were entering Heaven, and Jesus was welcoming each one with a hug. And he spoke of what He had done for our sins. I was crying at this point. We watched as the boy who died in the car crash entered Heaven. He really did know where he was going. And Jesus welcomed him with open arms.
The drama was over. We were then led into a large tent with lots of chairs. There a pastor talked through what we had just seen. He quoted the Scriptures and talked to us about what Jesus did on the cross for our punishment. I remember him leading us in prayer, and asking anybody who would like to recieve Jesus as their Savior to repeat the sinners prayer. I didn't say the prayer he led. Instead I said my own. That night right there in that big tent I accepted Jesus into my heart. Immediantly I felt a huge load lifted off my shoulders. I felt so light and free! I was crying majorly because at first I saw how guilty and ugly I was. But now I was crying with joy, because I knew that I would somebody spend eternity with Jesus.
I put my arm around Rachel as we walked out of the church. We all hanged around the sidewalk and thats when I told her I had just gotten saved. She gave me an enormous hug and didn't let me go for a long time. Living never felt so good before.
It was after midnight when we finally left the church. Come to find out, the guy who I have no clue what his name was, was also saved that night. I remember that we were all starving and there were only two fast food places open. Taco Bell and Wendy's. So we drove back and forth to each drive through window about four times ordering food and then forgetting to order something else, or somebody changing their minds over what they had ordered and decided they wanted to try something else. We became friends with the employee's afterwards.
Rachel gave me her chocolate flurry from Wendy's. "Happy Birthday." She told me.
We didn't get home until three in the morning.
I just wanted to share with everyone what I went through. There was a story that was leading me to this place before hand that I did not share. Simply because thats a whole nothing story thats part of my testimony. But sharing my testimony wasn't the point of this blog. The point of this blog was to show you the night Jesus spoke to me and how He did that. I remember this night more than any other day in my life. The details are little things that I know nobody who went that night remembers today. But I do because it was my night to meet Jesus. It was my day to live.
People are so scared of experiences like these, because they don't know what will happen or what it consist of. But this kind of experience is not something to fear. For if you do, you have allowed Satan to enter in. Because fear is a sin, it is not of God. If we can earn our way to Heaven, then Jesus dying for our sin was done in vain. It counted for nothing. If there are so many roads to Heaven, then Jesus came to earth for nothing. The difference between Religion and Christianity is that Religion is man-made, mans way of getting to heaven. No religion in this country is there a relationship with their god. While with Christians it is not based on what man created, but on God's Word. Its a relationship with no rituals or symbolic principles. Its based on having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Himself. The people in this drama thought the worlds views about their life. "I don't need God. I'm a good person. I never killed anybody. I hope I'm going to Heaven." It doesn't matter if you've never done anything as bad as sexually harrasing somebody. We are all born into sin. That sin is what put Jesus on the cross in the first place. Because we could not pay the cost of it. It should have been us who died that day! Would you want to die for the world? Of course you wouldn't. This world is not worth it. But because Jesus is unconditional love PERIOD, He saw this world was worth it. A lie I told many years ago, put Him on that cross. The glitter ring I stole from Walmart when I was five, put Jesus on that cross. There is none righteous, no not one.
We can't live on our own way of thinking that will get us into Heaven. This is something you do now. Don't just take my word for it. Do the research yourself. Get a Bible and compare it to what other religions teach and preach. You will see a dramatic difference. People also forget that the Bible was the very first book ever written in this world. Inspired by God, which gives us more reason to believe that it speaks the truth. And its truth was not meant to harm us, it was meant to save us. The reason we may feel uncomfortable about it is because Satan doesn't want us to believe it. Conviction sets in and we fight. But fighting doesn't get you closer to Heaven.
There is only one road to Heaven. And again, do your research about the truth. I'm just telling you that what happened to me is real. Because I am not the same person that I use to be. I have been born again, and my life is not my own. From letting Jesus live in me, I have become more like Him. " Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come. " 2 Corinthians 5:17. Thats what it means to be saved. Your old self is being cast away. You are cleansed by Jesus' blood and made pure, white as snow. And you are transformed into a new human being. Your decisions aren't the same. Your desire's and wants change. You began to understand that life in Heaven is worth more than life itself. And you have the peace to know that when you die, you will spend eternity with the Man who died for you.
Jesus is so much more than Bible Stories, church activities, and kiddie songs. Jesus is real. And when my time comes for me to leave, I know where I am going. I hope to see you there.
October 30, 2002, almost near midnight - The day my life was born.