Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines “radical” as “drastic or sweeping, resulting in extreme revolutionary change” and “saved” as “delivered from sin: redeemed.” A radically saved person has been delivered from sin to live a counter-cultural lifestyle—a revolutionary change has taken place.
There has never been such a thing as a little bit saved, but when you observe salvation in a changed life from one extreme of living like the world to a life lived fully for Christ, it’s a wonder to behold. One writer would call this “normal” Christianity (Watchman Nee), but our culture calls such a person radically saved.
Church planter Jefferson Hernandez and his wife give testimony to radically changed lives. Jefferson says, “From the day God saved me, there was a great yearning to share the Gospel with others, make disciples, and minister to them.” Jefferson believed growing up that “only good people would go to heaven,” and he knew that he didn’t qualify. He was involved with his girlfriend, Carol. He knew that his relationship with her was not honoring God. Although Carol was not a believer, she invited him to church after her mother was miraculously healed of cancer. He went to church out of obligation, but the message was very convicting. Jefferson wrestled with the truth after the pastor said, “there is still hope for a sinner.”
Late one night, he fell on his knees in desperation and asked God to forgive him of his sins and change his life. He had come to understand that he could change his lifestyle but only God could change his life.
Jefferson was convicted about his relationship with Carol, whom he loved, so they stopped dating. He continued to go to church and grow in Christ. After months, Carol was miserable and returned to church. She saw a changed Jefferson but thought he had found another girlfriend. She asked Jefferson why he was so happy, and he said, “Only Jesus can change you.”
She said she wanted the same happiness, so Jefferson told her how to be saved. She eventually understood her need for salvation and surrendered her life to Christ.
Jefferson loved Carol but feared his flesh, so he would not date her. After weeks of seeing each other at church, Jefferson asked Carol to marry him. However, they did not date until they married two months later.
“There are no words to describe how I feel when I see another sinner near repentance and faith to God,” says Jefferson. He and Carol are acting on the “passion that God gave [them] for the well-being of souls,” equipping them to become like Jesus. “Now that I see the fruits, Carol and I can no longer resist the desire to plant a church and dedicate the rest of our lives to shepherd those whom God will bring for salvation.”
Jefferson and Carol are now planting Iglesia Bíblica Campo Blanco in Sterling, VA with the SBC of Virginia. They were sent out from their church, Iglesia Bíblica Bautista Emanuel (IBBE) in Ashburn, VA. Jefferson has served with Carol at IBBE as an intern over the past two years in various capacities, discipling others to become like Jesus.
This young couple is a vibrant example of the power of the Gospel to change lives. No one is beyond God’s love, grace, and forgiveness.