Chris - Central Coast, Australia - cai.org
Hello. As a boy I grew up with my family on the Central Coast. We went to church and I read my bible on some days. My parents made it possible for me to attend a private Christian school, and I had a fairly sheltered upbringing, not having to be exposed to many illicit drugs or excessive drinking. Later in life they helped me to go to University and get a job. Eventually they also helped me move to Canberra to begin working there.
Later in life violent horror films, including Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and Saw films, became a part of my interests, along with music by a band named ‘Matchbox Twenty' who had songs written about illness and psychological abuse. After watching these movies and listening to such music, problems occurred, including my mind being occupied heavily about what people might have thought of me and songs by Matchbox Twenty seeming to be played inside me or in my mind.
Eventually, there was severe anxiety in my chest and my heart did not beat in a relaxed way for months. In October 2012, I was admitted to hospital, diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and put on medication. My mind was in a bad state and I remained in hospital for some weeks before being released. After being released from hospital I remained on medication for about 12 months. The medication seemed to dampen or lessen the severity of the anxiety, but it never cured my illness. No matter where I went or what I did, I did not find a cure for the anxiety. Eventually there was resentment and bitterness in me regarding people who had said or done certain things in the past, and I did not really forgive them. I believe that my heart hardened and at times I had a strong dislike towards God for what had happened to me and my circumstances.
Later one day two people walked towards me in Canberra City and one gave me a Christian leaflet. One of them asked me if I believe in baptism by the Holy Ghost. Later I read what was on the leaflet, and I noticed two scriptures. One was from John 3 and the other from Revelation 20.
JOHN 3:3,5 – "“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again… he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”"
REVELATION 20:12,15 - "“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works... And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (everlasting hell).”"
The Assembly's website had testimonies of people saved in the church and how the Lord had healed them of addictions or other problems. I felt convicted that what was written in those testimonies was the truth, and I knew that the pattern of salvation: of repentance, water baptism by full immersion under water, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the sign of speaking in tongues, was the truth.
After being undecided about whether to send an email to someone and go to meetings, I sent an email to the Assembly’s email address, and someone wrote back to me. We then established mobile phone contact with each other and eventually we met at a Wednesday night meeting. Soon after the meeting had finished someone sat with me and talked to me about baptism and that it’s actually important. During meal time after the meeting, the people in the Assembly Group clearly had something that most other people didn't. There was joy in their faces.
The next meeting was on Sunday, and during the meeting we listened to part of a sermon, and after listening to the sermon, I knew that sin was not just something that I did, but it could be inside me too. I knew that I had sin and I had to repent. After the talk the saved people in the meeting sang the chorus: It's Your Blood That Cleanses Me, and while they were singing I knew I wasn't saved, and I knew I wasn't one of them. They also took communion and praised God in tongues. It was the first time I had ever heard anyone speak in tongues according to scripture.
After the meeting two men sat with me and we talked about sin in my life. Later after the meeting they laid hands on me and prayed for me to receive the Holy Spirit. After that they gave me time to decide if I wanted to be baptised. I decided to be baptised, and later in the evening some of us travelled south to Tuggeranong and I was baptised there in a swimming pool.
When I was baptised, the Lord healed me of all of my thoughts, worrying about what people thought of me, anxiety and depression, and when I came out of the water, my mind was perfectly clear. He had also healed me of my resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness towards others.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17 - "“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”"
I also had peace and joy that I did not have before. It was as if the Lord had literally washed me clean from sin in the baptism, and given me a clean heart and mind, and a new life.
HEBREWS 8:10 - "“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people”."
If you are suffering from any illness or sin in your life, God can heal you and set you free, and offer you salvation, including peace and joy, and a new life. He is an awesome saviour. If you feel convicted reading this testimony, or any others on this website, please don’t hesitate to contact the Assembly by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. May the Lord bless you mightily.
Love in Christ, Chris