The Testimony of Britt Williams
Lost And Self-Deceived
"But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." -James 1:22
Like most Americans, I assumed that I was a Christian simply because I was raised in a nominal Christian home. Unfortunately, I was woefully ignorant of the Bible's definition of true Christianity. When I was younger I attended church with my parents and even made a 'profession' of the Christian faith, however, as a teenager I became rebellious and contentious against God's standard of holiness. By my early twenties I was living a life of drunkenness, drug abuse, fornication, and hatred. After attending college and a stint in the Army I was at rock-bottom. In 1986 an acquaintance of mine was dramatically converted to Christianity and this provoked me to examine my life in light of God's Word.
For the next year I was under terrible, haunting conviction for my sinful and God-rejecting lifestyle. For the first time in my life I saw my religious profession for what it was in reality: an empty and superficial lip-service to a God I did not know. I began to realize that I had not met the most basic Biblical conditions for salvation, nor was I truly submitted to Jesus Christ as Lord. Gradually, I was forced to acknowledge that even though I insisted that I was a Christian, I was nothing more than a sin-loving, religious hypocrite.
"This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their
heart is far from me." -Matthew 15:8
"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." -Titus 1:16
"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." -1 John 2:4
God’s Drawing Of A Wicked Sinner
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him..." -John 6:44
I will never forget the gut-wrenching horror that seized me as the Holy Ghost methodically exposed the depth of my sinful state. I saw that I alone ran my life. I alone made every decision. I chose my own path. Moreover, my spiritual life was dismal: I neglected the house of God. I seldom read the Bible. I carelessly and unashamedly committed sin. Thus, I could not deny the obvious: though I professed to be a Christian, I rarely considered Jesus in my day-to-day activities. How humbling it was to finally acknowledge that I had utterly rejected the Lordship of Christ.
"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" -Luke 6:46
Likewise, I realized that I lacked the consciousness of a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. In essence, I had made myself a god. I was my own master and my own lord. I answered to no one, sought to please no one, and catered to no one, but myself. There was no doubt; I lived a life independent of the tangible power, presence, and authority of my Creator. Slowly, I began to understand that this one sin alone constituted high treason against my holy Maker. The terror of this new understanding came over me as I began to fully comprehend Biblical discipleship: if I were to truly be a Christian, Jesus must be Lord; not merely the generic Lord of some distant, future, cosmic heaven, but He must become my personal Lord (Luke 17:21). This, I’d never grasped before.
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
As I began to honestly face the fact of my impending damnation I could not shake the dark thoughts of doom and hopelessness. “If I die, I will surely go to hell,” I inwardly despaired. After much self-examination I was utterly convinced that I was undone, lost, and hell-bound. Nevertheless, in my utter bondage and slavery to sin I wrangled with God’s Spirit as He urged me to forsake all wickedness and follow Christ (John 16:8). Furthermore, I wrestled with the cost of being a disciple. I now saw Christianity as a sober covenant with a holy God, rather than a casual affiliation with a religious creed. I knew to obtain the life of Jesus meant I must forfeit my own.
"And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?" -Luke 14:27-28
Conversion And Deliverance
For a period of time I foolishly tried to evade the correction of God’s Spirit. I spent many sleepless nights desperately seeking to shake the terrible guilt and shame of sin. Time and time again I hardened my heart to God’s gracious dealings. Thankfully, God was long-suffering and merciful, again and again bringing me face to face with my lost condition. One February night in 1987, while alone at home and tormented with conviction, I became keenly aware of my awful sinfulness and brazen rebellion against a loving and holy God. Desperate in spirit, I knelt in my bedroom and cried out to God. I sensed God's presence and knew He demanded a full surrender of my life. For many months I had "counted the cost" of discipleship but it was at this defining moment that I was brought to my spiritual break-point. I perceived that God was confronting me with an ultimatum - it was now, or perhaps never.
"And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him." -Mark 2:14
Like every true disciple before me, I am glad to report that by God’s divine grace, I was able to lay down my life that night and follow the Master. After repenting of my sin and exercising faith in the finished work of Christ I was gloriously born-again, filled with the Holy Ghost, and instantly delivered of drunkenness, five different drug habits, perversion, and a myriad of other sins. I also knew that God had called me to preach. Immediately, I was led by God’s Spirit to a local church and shortly thereafter God began to impress upon my heart to go into the streets with the gospel.
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." -Mark 16:15
"And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in,
that my house may be filled." -Luke 14:23
I began preaching in front of the barrooms near LSU then later at the free speech area of campus. Since that time, God has allowed me the privilege of preaching the gospel all over America as well as on the foreign mission field (Russia, India, England, Wales, Ireland, Mexico, etc.). In 1995 I planted a church in southwest Mississippi, Consuming Fire Fellowship. I am thankful that God, by His Spirit, graciously convicted me of my sin, drew me to the cross, washed me in the blood of Jesus, filled me with His Holy Ghost, and called me to live my life for His glory.
How Is It With Your Soul?
Friend, if you have not been born-again and delivered from your wickedness you are yet in your sins (John 8:24). Tragically, if you commit sin, then sin has become your master (John 8:34). Hence, you are not only under the penalty of sin you are likewise under its spellbinding power. Dear sinner, the problem with man is not merely one of behavior but one of nature. Therefore, the Bible declares you must be utterly changed (John 3:3). However, it is impossible for you to deliver yourself (Jeremiah 13:23) as sin has rendered you helpless, shattered, and lost. You are not only in need of forgiveness but you are also in need of cleansing. What will you do? Is there any hope? Is there anyone who can help? The Bible alone offers you this good news…
Jesus Is The Savior From All Sin!
If you will be saved from the power and penalty of your sin, you must repent (turn from all sin to serve and follow Jesus) and put your complete faith in Jesus Christ, God's Son. When Jesus died on the cross, He became your sin-offering, dying to free you from the bondage of sin. He, once and for all, stepped into the courtroom of your judgment and pleaded your case before God. Then He rose from the dead, defeating death. If you want to be saved from sin and hell, confess and forsake your sin (Proverbs 28:13) and put your faith in Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation. When you make Jesus your Lord (Romans 10:9) you will pass from death to life. Now, go and sin no more, read the Bible daily and obey what you read (see John 14:21). God will never fail you.
-Pastor Britt Williams