DIRECTOR OF TEAR-DOWN TEAM

Email: toni.stoyanov@gmail.com

TESTIMONY

I was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and at the age of 9, my family relocated to Montreal, Quebec. I grew up in a non-Christian family, and from a child, I learned about the occult and the new age movement. During most of my teenage and adult life, I lived in sin and vocally disliked Christianity. At age 23, I met my beautiful wife, Becky, who professed to be a Christian and consequently introduced me to the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel teachings. I came to embrace these teachings and believed that God wanted me to have my best life now and wanted to fulfill all my wishes, from the simplest to the richest ones. I convinced myself that I was a Christian and that I was living a life pleasing to God.

The Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel teachings failed to call me to examine my heart and to teach me that I was a sinner who was dead in his sins and trespasses. Within two years of being married, the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel teachings failed to deliver on their lavish promises. I did not experience the miracles, healings and riches that the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel promised. I began to question the legitimacy of that movement and decided to go back to my old ways and made the decision not to believe in God anymore.

Consequently, I became interested in atheism, and I made it my mission to disprove Christianity as nothing more than an emotional coping mechanism for the weakest of society. At age 26, I continued to indulge in my sins and did not care for repentance. However, atheism made me cynical and hopeless toward life. During that same period, I “accidentally” came across a YouTube video of Dr. John MacArthur who was teaching against the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel movement. Following that video, I was confused as I’d never heard anyone confront this movement, and so I prayed and pleaded with God to show me the truth. I promised God that I would not deny him again nor turn away from him. I begged him to help me to believe in him because I did not.

My curiosity at the time led me to Charismatic Chaos by Dr. MacArthur, where I learned that the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel teachings were unbiblical and destructive to the Church. God answered my prayers and opened my eyes to the Gospel. Over the next five months, I realized that I needed salvation. I learned that the false teachers and their teachings blinded me to the truth and that I still lived in sin. Because I loved my sin and did not care for the holiness of God, his wrath abided on me. I prayed to God that he may grant me repentance and that the Holy Spirit may convict me of my sins. By reading the Bible, God answered my prayers, the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sins, and I realized that my whole being was disobedient to God, I had broken all of God’s laws. There was nothing I could do on my own to change my sinful nature and to satisfy God’s wrath. To be forgiven of my sins, God’s wrath needed to be satisfied. I learned that the only way to satisfy God’s wrath was to believe and accept that Jesus Christ was the son of God, and was God incarnate in the flesh, who died for my sins and bore the wrath of God on the cross. However, even my acceptance had to be given to me by God. So, I pleaded with God that he might help me to believe.

He gave me faith to believe, and I had no choice but to bow down before Jesus Christ and confess him as God and Lord over my life. My life changed, and I obeyed God’s word and applied it to all areas of my life. I turned away from my sins and became a slave of Jesus Christ. I desired to live my life for the glory of God in all things and for my will to be conformed to God’s will. My life was not mine anymore but belonged to God and his glory.

Following my conversion, my life took an about-turn. It has been six years since God saved me, and to this day, I am intensely aware of my sins and strive to pursue righteousness by the power of the risen Jesus Christ. I hunger and thirst for God’s word and fight daily against the devil, the flesh, and the world.

I know that God is accomplishing the work he started in me for his glory and my enjoyment of him. I have the utmost desire to live for the glory of God alone, in Christ alone, by grace and faith alone and by scripture alone.

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10