Saved from Hell
Saved from Hell on Earth
I have been saved from hell—hell on earth and from burning in hell for all eternity. God has rescued me. This did not happen all at once, but started with childhood influences that ran deep. As a child, I would look up at the sky and contemplate how incredibly high and beautiful it was. There had to be a God, right? My parents never really went to church, but my grandmother planted some seeds and told me about the Bible. She told me how Jesus died on the cross for my sins. However, these seeds were forgotten as I grew into my teen years. My father had a heroin addiction and abandoned his family, leaving us stranded.
Life was dark. Depression runs in my family and I was already experiencing its impact -- sleeping all the time, feeling gloomy. I had clinical depression. I spent hours playing dark video games on the computer. Life was dark, and the darkness grew deeper and deeper.
During my college years, I went into full rebellion mode against God. Living the college life meant "expanding my mind" and serving the flesh. Living for the flesh means living "for everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16). Smoking marijuana and partying became the normal thing to do. Occasionally I would flip open my Bible, but I was very scared of God. I was scared of His judgment against me.
After moving to a different city to finish college, the drugs and rock lifestyle became more intense. Cocaine was available and I found it enjoyable. Through a popular industrial band, my guitar, and alcohol, I found a way to vent the anger, confusion, and loneliness of a life without God. Around this time, I started having delusions, becoming suspicious of people, and thinking that there were plots against me by trained killers. I was terrified and had entered schizophrenia psychosis.
Saved from Mental Hell
During this time, a Christian family somehow befriended me and said they had a verse from the Lord for me. I was very skeptical, but there was something different about these people. They trusted God for everything, and God always came through. Even when they literally had no money for groceries, someone would always stop by and help meet their needs. The verse they gave me was Isaiah 43:2, which reads:
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze."
Soon I found out what this verse meant and why God had sent it to me. The biological part of schizophrenia causes hallucinations and delusions. My life felt like I was living in hell. I started to literally feel the flames of hell. I would see people bursting into ashes around me and demonic forces plagued my mind.
Saved from Hell for Eternity
In the end, God was faithful and literally brought me safely through the flames of a complete psychosis hell. I realized I need to be saved from hell for eternity.
I began to think of Jesus, the Man my grandmother had taught me about. Was this God thing real? If Jesus did die on the cross, He must really love me a lot. I realized I was a sinner and I committed my life and my mess to God. He met me exactly where I was. He removed the need to use cocaine and He set me free!
John 8:36 says "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." He brought joy and peace to me. He sent me to a doctor who helped me recover. The flames disappeared and life became much more normal. God gave me a great verse from 2 Timothy 1:7, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."
Life has not been perfect since then, but God has brought me from darkness to light. He rescued me from a literal hell and has "a hope and a future for me" (Jeremiah 29:11). I still enjoy playing music, but now I play in worship to God. Glorifying God in music is better than any drug out there!
"Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back" (Isaiah 38:17).
God rescued me and He wants to rescue you too. Will you let Him? He died for your sins (1 Peter 2:24) and promises eternal life, hope, and joy for everyone who believes on Him (Acts 16:31).
This is a real life story.
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