I want you to get to know me a little bit. My name is Jeff, and I was born into a Christian family. As a child, I grew up going to John MacArthur’s church. Growing up, even after my family moved away from Southern California, my family always listen to John MacArthur’s sermons, always watched all of his videos, and always got all of his books. I grew up with this pastor framing my theological belief system. On most theological points, I agree with John MacArthur. There’s a lot of practical things that I disagree with him on, and there’s a few minor theological things, but for the most part if you say that John MacArthur believes that, more than likely I believe it. Again, there’s a few minor variances, but for the most part, that would be accurate.
Growing up, I had a kind of a legalistic, fundamentalist view of Christianity, shall we say. That was hard for me. It was hard for me to really understand the grace of God when I was basically having to earn my salvation.
I was nine years old when I “said the prayer.” I don’t know if that’s necessarily when I became a Christian or not, but for some reason, at that time, that’s when it clicked with me. I remember we were visiting churches after we had just moved to Arizona, and the pastor was talking about the crucifixion of Jesus and our need for repentance and to turn and place our faith in Christ. Now remember, I’m nine years old, and for some reason it clicked! I thought to myself, “If I die today, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me.” So I placed my faith in Jesus Christ.
Moving forward, nothing really changed in my life. I was still the same Jeff that I had always been. So I don’t know if I would have died at that point, whether I would go to heaven or not. I don’t know. That’s something that I’ve wrestled with. At what point do you become a Christian?
Then, when I was 13 or 14 years old, I went on a missions trip to Tepic, Mexico, and I saw missionary work first-hand. We were down there for about 10 days or so, and we saw these missionaries that were ministering to the very strong Catholic community down there in Tepic. I realized how important this work is that they were doing. That’s really when I began to see the need for an actual relationship with Jesus. It wasn’t just the legalism that the Catholics do, it’s living for Christ! It’s obeying him because you want to, not because you have to. At that point was really when things began to turn around for me. That’s when I would say is when I repented. That’s when I know for sure that I became a Christian. I actually repented of my sins, and I began actively following after Christ.
This is a partial transcript from The GateKeepers Radio Show.
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