Sarah Ann Kirksey Ridings

Born Again: March 1946
Place: At a friend's home
during a bible school
Age: 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her Testimony

I was born into a Christian home where both parents were active in a Baptist church and taught me Christian principles. I had also been taught that there was more to being born again than just deciding to accept Christ, but I had never felt condemned of my sins until the Summer of 1945 when I was eleven years old. My parents were members of Caledonia Baptist Church at that time. One Sunday after church service ended and everyone was leaving, I missed my mother. I went back into the church building and saw her talking to the pastor, Brother Clarence Carter. She didn't see me. She was crying and I overheard her asking Brother Carter to pray that when I reached the age of accountability I would be saved. The Holy Spirit used those words to fling an arrow straight into my heart. I knew immedicately that I was lost. I turned and left the building and I didn't let anyone know that I had overheard the conversation. For the next few months I was deeply concerned about my situation, but I didn't mention it to anyhone. I didn't really know what to do, but I knew I had to do something because if I were to die in my condition, I would be lost. In March of 1946, a family in our neighborhood held a Bible school in their home and I attended. One day after class, the teacher asked if anyone felt like they were lost. I held up my hand. My burden had gotten so heavy that I was not ashamed to let her know I was lost. She came and sat beside me and begin to read from the Bible about Christ's crucifixion. In my mind, I seemed to be there at the foot of the cross looking up at the man, Jesus. I could see the blood flowing from his body down the cross and I realized that He endured this horrible death for me. There, at the cross, I realized my own unworthiness and God's love for me in spite of it. I don't know how it happened, but suddenly, all my burdens were gone. I felt light and happy and the whole world seemed filled with light. I felt unspeakable joy and peace in my heart. Thank God for Christian teachers like Mrs. Snodgdrass. I couldn't wait to get home and tell my mother that I had been saved. Mrs. Snodgrass went home with me and I told mother the news. She was doubtful, but I understood. She didn't want me to be deceived. She wanted to know that my salvation was real. Thank God for a mother who cared and thank God we can know we've been saved.

We can never really know about someone else's relationship with God. We can only be sure of our own. We can be sure because "The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." [Romans :16]. Others can only believe and have confidence in our salvation by observing the fruits we bear. My prayer is that I will always bear good fruit as a tribute to my Lord, Jesus Christ.

"Therefore, breathren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
[2 Thessalonians 2:15]

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