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"What Does it Take to Enter the Kingdom of God?"
Hi, my name is Stuart. I have had the holy Ghost for nine years. My family and I have been part of the family of God for a long time. As a child growing up, I always knew that there was a God. I always felt He was watching over me. I had a pretty good life as a young boy and my father and mother taught us good morals. While growing up, I went to a lot of different churches. I went to a Baptist Church for a while and learned some things about the Bible there. And when I was about 10 years old, we started attending a Jehovah’s Witness Church. I learned some more about the Bible there too, and I really enjoyed learning about God.
As I grew older, I started seeing things that were not right. For example, some were telling me how I should live, but they were not doing it themselves. That was not right. I liked the things they were saying about living right, and I wanted to, but I could not do it. At age 15, my family and I stopped going to the Jehovah’s Witness Church, and a year later, I got my first job. I did well. I made good money, and I moved right up the ladder. I met my spouse at this job and we both volunteered to move to Nashville, Tennessee with the company.
After about two years in Nashville, I came home one day from work. My wife, Anna, said, “Stuart, we need to talk.” I thought, “Oh Man! What now?” I thought maybe she wanted a divorce.
She told me that we needed to start serving God. “Is that all?” I said. I thought something was wrong! She told me that she was serious. She had read an article in the newspaper that said the world was going to end in 1988. She further said that we were both going to HELL! I laughed at her and said, “No one knows the day or hour that this event is going to happen!” I told her that if she wanted to go to church it would be okay with me, but I was not going. I told her that I did not want to be a HYPOCRITE. I could not pretend to be something I was not. I felt we lived and acted just as good as “church people”, and we did not need to sit through a boring service for an hour every week!
Anna began asking me questions about the Bible. I read some with her, and even went to a Baptist Church with her a few times. Finally, she asked me to go with her to her sister’s prayer meeting in Louisville, KY. And, I agreed to go.
The following Friday night we went to the prayer meeting. Many people were praying, shouting, and speaking in tongues. This was far different from anything I had experienced before. The whole time I was there, I was sitting on the edge of my chair, wringing my hands, and ready to leave! When the prayer line started, I grabbed the kids (while my wife was out of the room), and headed for the car! After a while, she came out to find me. I told her, “I don’t care what you do, but don’t ever ask me to go in that place again!”
My wife continued to attend the prayer meetings as often as she could, and eventually, received the holy Ghost baptism. I began to see something in her that I had not seen before. She was changing, and for the better. I realized that this was not the same woman that I had married. I knew something had to be real to change her because she was not saying one thing and then doing something else.
Meanwhile, the Lord started to draw me closer to Him, although at the time I had no idea what was happening. My sister-in law, Tammy, and her husband, Jimmy, made several trips to our house on weekends to visit. They encouraged my wife, talking about the Lord and singing songs.
During one of their visits, I was asked what I thought it took to get in to the kingdom of God. I replied that I felt that God sees the hearts of people and knows which ones are good and which ones are bad. I believed that we lived a good life, not stealing or cheating anyone, and I worked hard providing for my family. I felt that God saw that my heart was intentionally good. Tammy said, “You think that you’re just a ‘good old boy’ don’t you?” I replied, “Yeah.” She then, replied back, “It takes more than just being a ‘good old boy’ to get in the kingdom of God. You must have the holy Ghost!” This really struck my heart, and I began to seriously ask God what it would take for me to get into the Kingdom of God. I started reading the Bible and looking up Scriptures on the holy Ghost. I read in John 3:1-22 that one must be born again to enter into the kingdom of God. I knew that I had not been born again! I had been baptized in water several times, but that had not changed me.
One day I got down on the floor in my bathroom and started pouring out my heart to God. I asked Him to teach me the TRUTH! I wanted to know who was right. There are so many different religions and denominations. Then the answer came. God spoke to my heart and said, “I am right!”
I started seeking God with all my heart. Six weeks later, I received the baptism of the holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. I was overwhelmed with joy, peace, and the love of God. It felt as if hot wax was being poured over my head. I knew that I would never be the same. I had been “BORN AGAIN”!
I am so thankful for what God has done for me in my life, changing me from the inside out. If you have never had this experience, seek God today. He will answer you too!
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