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Becoming a Christian
Pat Andres

Table of Contents
* Religious Education
* Doctrinal Confusion
* First Witness
* Second Witness
* Salvation
* Experience
* Conclusion

Becoming a child of God has been the most rewarding experience of my life.

Religious Education
My religious upbringing was of the Catholic faith. I attended Catholic school and was taught by an Order of Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. While in school I was taught Catechism in regular class setting every day of the week.  I attended masses every day except Saturdays. 

So after all the training and head knowledge, I considered Heaven to have its doors wide open for me.


Doctrinal Confusion
In church I always felt so spiritual with its beautiful statues and all the gold ornamentation around the altar. High above was the cross that Jesus hung from.  I knew Jesus had died for all mankind. This was the path which led to the entrance of Heaven.  Yes, I had learned that sins would send me to everlasting damnation and which sins were easily forgiven if confessed to a priest. I never considered myself a bad person., because I knew all I had to do was stay clear of the damning sins and confess my trivial (venial sins) ones. Sometimes my penance for sin, which was assigned by the priest, would be 2 or 3 rosaries (a set regimen of prayers).  I tried, but  by the time I started on the second bead my thoughts were long gone, elsewhere.  I just hoped or assumed God would over look my faults.


First Witness
Later in life, around the age of 28, I began hearing and seeing other people saying things I never knew, such as being saved.  I began by asking - "saved from what?" This was the beginning of the Holy Spirit dealing with the newness and meaning of God's word. I was shocked!  How in the world could this be so different from what I had been taught.  I started with many more questions and even began reading books.  I was seeking for answers about God and eternity. 

My sister-in-law was a Christian who presented Jesus in a way that I never knew Him.  As she held up her hands and with tears in her eyes, said she personally had pierced the hands of Jesus.  He had died for her. I was dumbfounded! She made it so personal between Jesus and her. From that very day a seed was planted in my heart.


Second Witness
While working in an office, another faithful Christian began sharing the Gospel (Good News) with me. He carried a small Bible and often had me read God's own words about getting to Heaven.  I found this very difficult, after all, I never owned a Bible.  Why should I, my church is all that I needed.  Of course, my repetitious reply was, "I am not a bad person."  I had steered clear of the damning sins and ran to the priest for absolution of the smaller ones.

His way was entirely too simple - no working for forgiveness of sin.  No thank you, that wasn't for me.  Once more the Holy Spirit had just planted another seed in my wicked heart.


Our town was having a city-wide crusade (revival). I had been invited to attend with friends at the City Community Center.  The evangelist speaking was driving his message home to me.  I never heard anyone speak of Jesus Christ in such a personal way.  I had thought of my sister-in-law immediately and decided there must be truth in this preaching. They gave an invitation (a call to personally accept Jesus as Saviour from sin) after the message and I knew I wanted to know Jesus in this special way.  When they asked, I went down front and gave my heart to Jesus. 

I had such a tremendous weight lifted off my shoulders and I saw and heard things concerning Jesus in a way I never had before.  It was just as a light bulb had been turned on.  That night I met Jesus for the very first time, as my very own personal Saviour.


For years I had all the head knowledge, but never the heart knowledge.  I thank God for my salvation, which is only through Jesus, and for giving me three chances to receive His Son.  Otherwise, my head knowledge would have taken me to the gates of Heaven only to find them closed to the lost sinner that I was.


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G. Steven Andres
Psalms 45:17
Missionary Evangelist
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