My Pre-Salvation Testimony


I’m a Christian. So, when I talk about my testimony, I’m talking about my personal story, not what’s given from the witness stand.

You see, we Christians, particularly we church-going folk, like to talk about what God has done in our lives. We like telling others about where the Lord has brought us from, how he’s changed us, and what He’s currently doing in our lives. We like to “testify.”

But as I say that, it seems to me that more Christians than not are pretty silent about what God has done to transform them. To be honest, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve been to a “testimony service” where there’s no preaching, just people telling their stories – their testimonies.

The “Great” Testimonies

But maybe it’s because so often what gets the most press, so to speak, are the testimonies that wow the audience, the “great” testimonies of how God delivered a horrible sinner and turned him into a saint. …Yeah, I know, that’s what salvation is, but work with me for a moment

What people really want to hear are the salacious details of debauchery and crime, the drugs and alcohol, the millions blown on a life of sin … you know, sort of like Kanye … and THEN how God miraculously saved them from all the excitement.  You don’t draw a crowd with a boring testimony like, “I was saved as a small child and lived a relatively God-honoring life the last 40 years.”

Why would the average Christian want to stand up in front of people and watch them yawn? For the most part, a lot of people who are born again by faith in Jesus Christ think their story isn’t worth telling, at least not worth making a big deal.

That’s why I want to share, for the very first time, my pre-salvation testimony… to encourage the average believer who’s never been a murderer, a drug dealer, a dope addict, a wifebeater, a famous musician, or a politician.

My Story

I’ve written before about my life after God saved my soul, but I’ve never written about what I was like before I gave my heart to Jesus. I didn’t want to give the devil too much credit or make my past life look attractive to those who might be tempted by the depravity to which I was bound.

Honestly, some people talk about their lives before Christ like salvation was only something they resigned to. It’s like: “I had everything money could buy – women, drugs, fast cars, airplanes, houses on the beach, and a modeling contract – but then I got saved, and now I go to church.

But not me… I was a true sinner, lost and on my way to hell, and I’m glad Jesus saved me!

Before I got saved, I was an immature, unpredictable, maladjusted mess. For a few years, I was in such a world of my own that nobody could understand me; my vocabulary was horrible, worse than a sailor’s. My language was so bad I’d even make up words to express the neediness inside.

For at least a year I drank all the time. I rarely ate a bite of food.

I never cared about my own well-being but lived every day without any thought of life or death. I took every risk, broke every rule, and was in trouble with authority on a regular basis, sometimes daily.

Listen, before Jesus saved me, I was self-centered, self-serving, and entitled; I felt everything should be done for me, that I shouldn’t have to do anything for myself. For a couple of years, I didn’t even try. More than a few times I’d wake up in my own urine and feces.

I was like the homeless in San Fransisco; I’d defecate anywhere and anytime I wanted. Once, while attending a party at my parent’s house, I literally walked into the middle of the living room where the church people were sitting and urinated into an ashtray on the coffee table! Needless to say, my mother was mortified.

The face of an unrepentant sinner full of unholy potential.

I took advantage of everyone who loved me, especially my mother. Fortunately, I had good, godly parents who loved me through those unredeemed years, even though it seemed like every penny they earned was meant to keep me alive.

That is why I could never thank God enough for what He did when He saved me on September 26, 1973… when I was only six years old!

God spared the world from what I could have become.


Filed under Christian Living, Christianity, Church, Humor, self-worth, Witnessing, worship

10 responses to “My Pre-Salvation Testimony

  1. Ok, you had me going there.

    I thought I was saved as a child. I “believed” in Jesus and asked him into my heart.

    But at age six, if they had told me Bambi would save me from Hell, I would have walked that aisle and prayed the sinners prayer to receive Bambi as my savior!

  2. Thank you for that part of your testimony. It makes me consider doing an Op about part of my testimony as well. the anger and bitterness is a type of bubble or protection suggesting people just keep their distance etc.. And I know a buddy of mine who did a similar thing at a party while under the influence, behind the TV. He was told the next day what he had done.
    While saved, as we are, and while some of it goes right away, I found things like swearing took a couple of years of personal discipline. Some when it comes to their intent to harm others don’t change because the spirit is shut out early on and they don’t read the bible. To me its one of the ways I can see if that person had a conversion. That level of contempt is zapped and then is reduced more and more as time goes on.

    I go to a coffee house which has bands come in from other churches and groups from other areas who are trying to get better and so they practice live at the coffee house. And at the coffee house usually every few weeks i give a testimony. Others give one but some times fail to understand that it is about giving Jesus Christ praise to testify that he is and what he says comes to pass. Testimony can be what God did just yesterday as well as what he did 40 years ago. It can also not eve be about you. it could be that you had a thought and You realized something about God and you want to pass it on. Thats more like preaching but its still a Testimony. I testified to you just yesterday and you basically said Amen.

    I write a lot because I think to much.
    One of my Ops was on how pastors hog the pulpit as if God gave them the spirit and left the laity out, which is the exact opposite of what Jesus was trying to do at Penticost countering numbers 11. causing a priesthood of all believers handing out gifts like candy. That said, It could be the trend is that Pastors have shut down church and made it a lecture hall.
    That said, you could ask board members to craft a testimony with some of your supervision, so that they would make an event out of it and invite everyone they know for that event. And Your church could have an agreement that when these events happen, (lets say every couple of months.) that you have everyone send out invites. And because of the possible flop it might be, you could have the structure of the meeting to have a sermon-ette. dealing with one conversion or another in the bible and what salvation is in a nutshell. That alone would change the dynamics of the church. People would be examining what their salvation is and if others they know are saved and become more mission minded. That would lead to more participation generally and likely more bible reading.
    So with that, I will now consider putting one of my testimonies on paper for an Op as well.

  3. Hi Anthony, in your picture you look so serious, I thought for sure you’d done some serious time! Just joking! Six years, God love ya. I’m thinking it was the mustache that threw me off! Blessings!

  4. Melissa Zelniker-Presser

    I love this! This is amazing! Hope you are well Pastor. It’s been a long time.

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