Eric McClures's Christian Testimony
I trusted Jesus Christ as my personal savior on June 20, 2004. I'll never forget it as long as I live for when He came into my heart, my life was changed.
I grew up in Chilhowie, Virginia. My grandparents, Cecil and Norma McClure, loved the Lord with all their heart and served Him everyday. They were at the Chilhowie Baptist Church every time the doors opened. I went to church as a child but, as I got older, I eventually lost interest, only going on Sunday mornings because it was “what you are supposed to do.” Eventually I quit doing that. I figured I was “alright” because I “was a good person” and had based my salvation and eternity on a prior religious experience. But the truth was that I was a sinner. We all are.. and I was destined to an eternity away from God in hell.
I was a bitter and miserable person, especially when Papaw died in 1998. It gave me an excuse to be angry with God. After that, I was always trying to hide from God. I would lash out at anyone and everyone, and got myself involved in things that I would be too ashamed to talk about. I took a worldly view of people who loved God, calling them judgemental, among other things.
In 2000, after college, I started racing at the local level and after a few years moved to the ARCA series and then the higher levels of NASCAR in 2003 & 2004. I was fast and successful. I won a lot of races at the lower levels and had some good showings in my early Nextel Cup and Busch Series starts. I had good material things in my life, but my life was very empty. Although I knew why, I didn’t want to admit it. I was running away from God.
In 2002, I met my wife, Miranda. We are from the same town, and hometown church, but we had never talked much. Her family went to church three times each week, which made me uncomfortable right from the start! My father-in-law is a deacon at Chilhowie Baptist. Soon after we met, I was in church at every service and I was miserable. I would hear the Gospel preached at every service and the Lord would work on me. I knew I needed salvation, but I resisted every time. I was taught at an early age to be proud of yourself, and I wasn’t going to get up in front of people and have them see me humble myself. I always thought that people in my church would think something bad about me, I never thought they would embrace and encourage me. Everytime pastor Chuck extended the Invitation at the end of the service, the Lord would work on me, but I would just sit there, feeling ashamed and guilty. In the meantime, I looked for other ways to fill the void in my life..racing, entertainment, football games..anything else I could find for a distraction. I was constantly resisting God's love and desire for me to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior.
Miranda and I married in May 2004. A few weeks into our marriage, the Lord finally broke me. Many of the teenagers from our church had just gotten back from camp, where a lot of them had been saved. They were baptized and gave testimony that Sunday night. The Lord had a hold on me and I was under extreme conviction. I couldn’t focus on anything else and I could barely breathe. Still I made it out the door and we were on our way home.
I told Miranda I did not know the Lord and wasn’t saved and needed to talk to someone. We turned around and drove back to Chilhowie, to our church’s ministry center, where the teens were having a gathering. Our youth pastor, Matt Herrell, who also is my Sunday school teacher, talked with me for an hour or so, and led me to Christ. The moment He entered my life it felt that a huge burden had been lifted off of me! On Easter Sunday 2005, I followed the Lord in believer's baptism. I'm very thankful that we have a church, a pastor and youth pastor that stands on the truth. I'm thankful for my wife's family and their dedication to the Lord. Without them and their example, I may never have trusted Christ.
When Jesus comes into your life you are spiritually "born again." Your eyes willl be opened. Since then, I’ve been able to grow in the Lord, and He has blessed me greatly. I have peace and joy in knowing that He is always with me and, when my life is over, I will be in His presence in Heaven. My sins have been forgiven. It's amazing to see how God works in the world and in people's lives. I see evidence in my life, and in others as well, and that just further proves that God is real and I am one of his children. I'm thankful today that I trusted Christ. It's the most important decision I have ever made, and the best one as well! I don't know why He waited on me for so long, but I know He is merciful and has a plan for my life, so I am very thankful! Don't wait as long as I did. There's a savior that loves you and you can know that you have an eternal home today!
Things to remember
- God loves you.
God loves you and wants everyone to repent of their sins. Although He is a loving God, He is a just God. He hates sin but, because of Adam and Eve, we are all born into sin. Sin has a payment and that is death (Romans 6:23). However, Jesus paid for our sins through His death on the cross and ovrecame death with His resurrection, and through His grace and our faith, we can live with Him forever in Heaven. (Ephesians 2:8-10) God loves us and commands us to love one another, but that will not be enough. You can only go through Jesus (John 14:6).
-You cannot save yourself.
Good works cannot get you into Heaven. You can only get there if you have salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that our righteousness is of filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). However, good works and fruits will come as a result of your salvation. You can't change to follow God. Follow God, repent and trust in Christ, and He will change you!!
-Salvation does not mean that you will be perfect.
After salvation, we are spiritually "born again." We are new creatures in Christ. So find a church of believers that stand on God's Word. And you will grow and learn in the Lord.
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