Video at the bottom
Brooke Churchill’s Testimony:
Before God saved me through Jesus Christ, I tried so hard to be good on my own merit by following the rules I learned growing up in church. I thought if I looked and acted in a certain way, it would make me good and acceptable to God. I felt like my good behavior would cover my sins, and the rules that I lived by would keep me secure for heaven.
The problem with relying on my good behavior to keep me saved, is that inevitably and every single time, I failed. I did not measure up. The rules I kept not only prevented me from fully knowing the truth of the Gospel and the grace of Jesus, but also kept me thinking I was still “okay” because I …”attended church every week”…”abstained from sex, drugs, alcohol, dancing, and other worldliness”….and “dressed holy and modestly”….and “spoke in tongues.” These behaviors made me believe I was saved. I actually felt superior at times by following these rules.
The problem was not with following rules, the problem was with my heart. The problem was that I still felt like I could never be good enough, that I would never measure up to the standard of holiness that I believed I had to achieve—and there was not much hope in living like that. This cycle of not being able to measure up would both cause my faith to be complacent (because I was just too tired of working so hard), and at times convinced me I just had to try harder and harder by speaking tongues more, isolating myself from the world more, and worshiping in church harder. Even worse, I judged Christians who did not follow my rules as “easy-believers,” and I held others up that same measuring stick I held myself—even in knowing I constantly came up short. I needed so badly to prove my salvation, the only way I could reconcile that I knew truth, was to dismiss other Christians that did not live by my truth. The Truth is: no one will ever measure up to that measuring stick of holiness. The Truth is: Jesus died on a the cross –obliterating the measuring stick when He died, was buried, and rose out of the grave. I weep now in repentance of all of the times I measured myself, I measured others, and taught my children those same rules and measuring sticks.
I grew up in church, but always believed the Gospel was only applied when I followed the rules of holiness—the Gospel was tied directly to my performance, not Jesus.’ When I first heard the true Gospel, it was an answer to a long prayer I had been praying while we were in lockdown during COVID. I just knew that there had to be more to Jesus than what I knew and lived. It just felt so hard—and being outside of the walls of the church building, I began to question what I was taught my entire lift. I first heard the Gospel and had a true revelation of Christ while at home watching a documentary called “American Gospel.”
The Gospel was taught to me in in that movie in a powerful way, and I realized that the way I had been living was putting “works” at the root of salvation…”works + faith = salvation.” But the true Gospel is “faith= salvation + works” and the “works are the fruit.” We are saved by grace from God through faith in Christ and not by our own works.
When I first heard the Gospel, I wept and repented. I repented of the false doctrine I lived by and what I taught to others (my own children). I repented for trying to measure up. I repented for shaming the cross with my good works. When I first heard the true Gospel, I struggled with reconciling in my heart and mind the amount of time in my life I spent in false doctrine. I struggled to let go of my old life because of how I knew I would be severed from certain people. But hearing the Gospel, believing the Truth, I felt a renewed, resurrected passion in my faith …I felt alive, curious, and hungry for more of His Word. I felt lighter, freer, and more hopeful. I could not turn back. Even more, I wanted everyone to know the Truth! Everyone needs to hear the Gospel!
Since I have come to know the true Gospel, and now that I have a saving faith, I see folks now in light of the cross—and not with my measuring stick. I see folks now with more mercy, love and empathy toward them-- I feel excited that I can now share a Gospel that is not “too much work” for folks to accept, believe, and live. Since Christ has given me a new heart, I see
the Gospel everywhere now in the Word, and I stop trying to fit the Word into a mold to prove my old rules, but now I can see Truth and live it. I praise Jesus for what He did so that I could be saved. I give Him all of the glory for setting me free and rescuing me so that I can truly know Him. I am now unashamed of the Gospel—and rejoice in this Truth.
“Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our
acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God
through faith and not by obeying the law.” Romans 3:27-28
Joseph Churchill Testimony
Before Jesus, I was searching for anything to belong too. I was doing and trying everything under the sun to see what would make me happy. I found myself on drugs and not happy. I knew I was not where I should be, but I had nothing in life to anchor myself too. I befriended someone who's mom was a youth pastor. I started spending time at church and eventually was saved by the Lord Jesus and baptized. It took some years in and out of church to fully and truly repent about my sins but once I finally allowed myself to apologize and be forgiven, I felt the peace of Jesus. Jesus has provided peace, unconditional love, compassion, and an example to live a meaningful life with purpose. Jesus has shown me that no matter how bad I think I am he accepts me and loves me no matter what. He reminds me to try and be the good in the world and that there is hope for everyone. Jesus has blessed me with 3 beautiful children and one in heaven. I want to live a life pleasing to Jesus to be able to see my son Julian in heaven again one day. My wife is a wonderful example of how to live a life like Jesus and is my spiritual role model. I am happy my family knows and loves Jesus.