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My Testimony - by Resa Bragdon

On October 8, 1995, I was saved by God’s grace. I had said at the age of 10 that I had been saved but it wasn’t so. I had really been bothered as a teenager and even before Mike and I married with many doubts about my salvation experience. Then we got married and went to Japan and it never bothered me much in the 13 years we were there.    Sometimes I would doubt and become afraid but some- how I would continue in my own deception. Since coming home in May, I have been exposed to much preaching and many true Baptist churches and Christian people. My doubts and fears began to surface again.    Then in July our church received a letter from a missionary’ s wife in Mexico, Heather Craft. She told of how she had made a profession of salvation but had had many doubts. She said she had not repented of her sins and truly believed. She said there were many evidences in her life that proved she did not have the Spirit of God living in her. She went on to name them and as I read the list my heart too was very convicted.  

  1. She had fear in her heart and so did I.
  2. She had no peace in her life and I also had no peace.
  3. She did not highly esteem God’ s Word and prayer — neither did I.
  4. She had not experienced the chastening hand of the Lord — neither had I.
  5. She did not have a converted life and I also did not have a changed life.  

After reading this letter in July, two days later we went to Kentucky for six weeks. It was a very miserable time for me because I couldn’t rest or have peace, but I wouldn’t admit my lost condition.    The first of September I came back to Elgin, Illinois with full intentions of speaking to my dad about my condition but I never did. On October 4th our church here at Elgin had revival services until October 8th. Bro. Gordon Silcox from North Dakota was the evangelist. Every night he preached to the saved people about the need of revival in their hearts. On Sunday morning October 8 he preached to the lost people.    The first statement in his messages was, “If you don’ t know you’re saved, then you’ re not!” This statement pierced my soul. I said in my heart, “I must hear every word this preacher preaches today.” At that point, I also threw my 10-year-old experience out the window. Fir the first time in 24 years I was honest with the Lord. Bro. Silcox preached how it takes the Word, the Spirit and belief for salvation. As I listened, my heart became very heavy and sorrowful.  

At invitation time we stood and sang one verse, but I didn’t move. One more verse was sung and at that point I went up front to my dad and told him of my troubled soul. You see, I came to the place that I didn’t care what people thought. I came to the end of my road and I had to have peace once and for all.  Bro. Silcox and his wife both talked to me and read scripture to me but still my heart was heavy with sorrow. He told me to go home and start reading First John and later that night he said he would study the entire book of First John with me.  

After we came home, Mike took the children to eat lunch and I was left all alone —just God and me. I was restless and I wanted salvation so much. I took my Bible and began reading First John chapter one. I then turned to John 3:1-18.  When I came to verse 18 it stood out like a neon sign. I had admitted I was lost, and I knew how I stood in God’s eyes. Verse 18 told me the only reason I was condemned was because I hadn’t believed. Like a little child in faith, I believed!  Oh, what joy and in an instant the Spirit of God be- came alive in my soul. I felt free! Words cannot convey what salvation is. One must experience it to know. My soul was bubbling full and my heart burned. I couldn’t wait until everyone came home to tell them about the salvation God had given me.  For the first time in 24 years I feel alive and not dead. Now I desire the milk of God’s Word for I know it was by the power of God’ s Word that I was saved. (Not by a prayer I or someone else prayed.)  

God’s grace is truly amazing. I thank God every day for His mercy He showed to me all those years that I was an unbeliever. At 10 years old I had become very scared of hell and I didn’t want to go there, but I didn’t repent and believe. I was only reformed and not regenerated. Now, I want to tell everyone about the difference God has made in my life. Now I have no fear or worry. The Bible says that perfect love casteth out fear.  It is a strange thing for a person to spend 13 years as a missionary in Japan and do many works in Jesus’ name, but we are not saved by our deeds or good works. God looks on the heart. I now know one reason why God brought us back to America that I may know His salvation.  For years I would hear preachers and other Christians make the statement: “I know that I know I’m saved.” I used to cringe whenever I heard this. But I too now can say as they, I know that I know I’m saved.

By His Grace We Are Saved,  
Resa Bragdon