It is written in the Scriptures that the gospel of Jesus Christ “…is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom 1:16) Likewise, it is written that if anyone one “…be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Cor 5:17)
Today, countless people have religion that purports itself as Christianity. Yet this religion has no power to save and no power to transform their lives. Rather, it is dead religion not unlike what one would have found with the Pharisees and their disciples during the days when Jesus walked the earth. Rote, ritualistic and repetitious; this religion is found across our land. Here, countless people are raised in such faiths from babes upward and have been taught the traditions of men from their religion’s hierarchy as to what they must do and must not do in order to be “right” with God and rewarded with eternal life.
Or, we have so-called pastors instructing millions that salvation is simply raising their hand to ”ask Jesus into their heart” or the repeating of the “sinner’s prayer.” Scant mention is ever given to the gospel, repentance and what salvation truly is; rather the bulk of their appeal is made to the flesh. This done through various mediums with the most popular being music where skilled musicians take the congregants on an emotional roller coaster ride so as to get as many as possible to raise their hand or come forward to the “altar.”
Yet I ask how many of these persons are ever changed by the power of God through the gospel? How many can truly testify that they are new creatures in Christ where they have put to death the old man and are now walking in newness of life? How many can say that the darkness they use to love and run to, they now hate and flee from? How many can profess that the light they use to hide from and scorn, they now seek out and proclaim from the rooftops? Truly some can and to God we give all the glory for this, but many cannot because sadly for these once the music dies down, the lights dim and the crocodile tears dry, they are the same person they were before every praying that prayer or making their purported profession of faith.
The conversion of Pasha, a Russian immigrant in the 1800′s, is no such empty profession or example of impotent religion. Rather, it is an amazing testimony of the power of God through the gospel to totally transform a wretched sinner. A story that will surely bring tears to your eyes not only as you see how great the gospel is and the God who has given it unto this world, but also for his tender mercies to shower rich blessings on his children. Please take the time to read it as you will be greatly blessed therein.
My hope for the true Christian is that reading it may give you great joy as your love is increased for the God who hath graciously saved you even if your testimony or mine is not as stunning as Pasha’s. For the Christian in name only, I pray your reading it may give you a longing in your heart to be set free from your sin and changed by the power of the God through the gospel even as Pasha was.
The full text can be found here.