Bethel Baptist Church

    Testimony by Ravi Prasad

    I was raised in a middle-class family in Bangalore with strong traditions that included church attendance and practicing good deeds. Christianity for us was like any other religion and reading the Bible and praying was a ritual.

    Things drastically changed in our family when my mother was paralysed at a young age with 3 of us kids and my little sister dying due to a scorpion bite, a few years later. Amidst all our family struggles, I knew that there was a sovereign power somewhere out there who is able to help us. However, the way our family viewed this power, did not add up to me.

    A friend introduced me to the Bible hour facilitated by 2 missionary aunties every Sunday afternoon. It did not take long before I began to look forward to the Bible hour. For the first time in my life, I heard about sin, eternal death and salvation.

    The aunties taught the Bible so differently from what I had heard before. I knew I had to receive the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart to enjoy eternal life in heaven. I learnt many memory verses that alluded to a person’s salvation but never tried to ask the Lord to come into my life.

    On one occasion when I was 16, one of the missionaries, aunty Olive Brittain asked me if I was saved. She showed me some verses from the Bible which I anyway knew by heart. For the first time I understood the real meaning of those verses:

    God created me to have fellowship with him, but I had broken that close relationship with God and chose to go my own way. Fellowship with God was broken, but he continued to love me. He says that “I am a sinner, falling short of God’s glory [Romans 3:23]; “the wages of sin is death [Romans 6:23],” and either I had to die for my sins or someone else had to pay the penalty for me.

    God sent his son, Jesus, to die and pay the penalty of my sin [John 3:16]. God had said, “without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness” [Hebrews 9:22] so he loved me and sent his son, Jesus, to die for me. I had to confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord to be saved [Rom 10:9-10].

    I needed no more convincing as I knelt before the Lord that afternoon and invited Jesus into my heart. That was the most important decision of my life.

    In the last 37 years, I have been growing in the Lord. There are times when I wander away from him but He is always faithful and readily accepts me back into His fold. His love is all abounding and His grace is sufficient for this life.

    To me Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with the one true living God. My desire and prayer is that everyone experiences this beautiful love of God. There is nothing compared to it. I want to use my energy to serve Him all my life. When I die, I am confident that I will spend eternity in His presence.