Romans 1:16 says the gospel is the power of God for salvation—but that power doesn’t always show up the way we expect.
The apostle Paul experienced this truth when a bright light interrupted his journey to Damascus (see Acts 9). Instead of completing his mission to persecute Christians, he ended up believing in Jesus and accepting God’s call on his life.
Paul’s story, along with many others in the Bible, show us that God doesn’t always move the way we think He will.
The Erwin siblings—Keith, Kody, Kris, and Katie, who together make up the Southern Gospel group The Erwins—learned this lesson when they started their Christmas Tour in 2019.
As ardent lovers of all things Christmas, the Erwins were excited to finally put together a holiday album. The finished project, titled What Christmas Really Means, was nominated for a Grammy.
But that’s not what the Erwins found most amazing about the project. What meant even more to them was the salvations they saw during their tour for the album.
At each of their Christmas concerts, at least one person gave their heart to Christ. Although the Erwins present the gospel at all their concerts, they didn’t expect see salvations during their Christmas tour.
“We never expected it to have a huge evangelistic appeal and be a salvation experience for so many,” says Keith Erwin, oldest of the four siblings. “But it was, and we praise the Lord for it. It was unexpected.”
That impromptu evangelistic tour taught the family an important lesson: “Never put God in a box,” Keith says. “We learned that He can move however He wants to.”
An Unexpected Salvation
Amber Eppinette—founder of the popular Southern Gospel group 11th Hour—is a perfect example of why you can’t put God in a box, especially when it comes to salvation stories.
Perhaps surprisingly, Amber wasn’t saved when she first launched 11th Hour at 16 years old.
As a young preacher’s daughter, she knew the gospel well. She grew up hearing the timeless truths about man’s sin, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, His glorious resurrection, and forgiveness through faith in Him. And with her constant desire to do the right thing, many looked at her life and thought she was a believer.
But that didn’t mean she truly knew Jesus.
“I started struggling badly with anxiety and depression,” she says. “I just started spiraling. I wanted to end my life—and there was actually a time when I tried to do that, but the Lord intervened and saved me, literally.”
A few years later, she started 11th Hour, but it was still a year before she had a genuine salvation experience. Interestingly enough, God revealed Himself to her personally through a song she wrote titled “Adam’s Fall.”
In part, the song says:
As I journeyed through His precious Word I find where Adam fell and lost our souls But as I turned on another page I find His blood shed for the human race And then I saw my own sin My condemnation without Him But then I stood at Calvary’s place And that’s where I found sweet, amazing grace
“I didn’t realize until after I finished the song that the song was for me, for my salvation,” Amber says. “So I dropped the pen. That night, there was a revival service, and my dad was preaching. I remember giving my heart to the Lord that night, and I realized there’s a difference between knowing about God and actually knowing God.”
Amber hopes many who attend the upcoming 40 Days & Nights of Gospel Music at the Ark Encounter have a similar encounter with Jesus.
“I’m praying for a true revival,” she says. “I’m praying people will look beyond the Gospel music and actually get the gospel—a true soul salvation.”
If you want to hear the pure truth of God’s Word and worship the Lord with bands like The Erwins and 11thHour, join us at the 40 Days & Nights of Gospel Music at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky!
You’ll watch live, exciting performances from uplifting Southern Gospel groups and hear powerful, Word-centered preaching from renowned pastors like Robert Jeffress, Javon Ruff, Jentezen Franklin, and more.