I first attended Church when I was around 10 years old after the local Vicar visited my school and talked about Easter in our morning assembly. I was intrigued, and after a few weeks of my nagging, my parents agreed to take me to the local Church. As the early teenage years approached I was becoming bored of Church, besides, I was desperate to join a football team which played on Sunday mornings. Initially my parents insisted that I went to Church, but I complained so much that eventually they let me join a football team, and it wasn’t long after that the rest of my family stopped going too. At secondary school however, I held firm to my ‘Christian’ beliefs and would happily argue for Creation vs. Evolution.
In 2004 my wife was going through a hard time suffering from depression, we had tried all kinds of things but nothing seemed to make her feel better. She decided to speak to our neighbours who were Christians, and went to Church with them that week. Not long after that she became a Christian and the turn-around was incredible, I would try to fathom why she was so happy all the time, but the answer was staring me in the face. Initially I became annoyed when she asked me to go to Church with her, as far as I was concerned I didn’t need to go to a building and listen to somebody tell me how to live, besides, I was a Christian anyway because I went to Church all those years ago, surely?!
Eventually I gave in and agreed to go on an Alpha Course, the people were lovely, and they were ‘normal’ people! At the end of the course I said a prayer to ask Jesus into my heart and began attending the Church regularly. Looking back however, I still hadn't understood that I had sinned and offended a Holy God, and therefore needed a Saviour. I enjoyed meeting my new friends on a Sunday morning but I wished the preacher would hurry up and finish so that I could chat about football over a cup of tea, and 3 weeks could easily go by without me picking up the Bible or praying at home.
In 2007 I was sent a link of an American Baptist preacher who spoke on the ‘Shocking Message’. It was almost an hour long and normally I would only watch a video if it was less than 5 minutes but I was transfixed for the whole time. He was talking about how thousands of people think they are saved because they said a ‘sinners prayer’ once in their life, but they have not changed because they have never repented of their sins. As the video went on I realised that he was talking about me! I was not saved! I had never seen myself as a Sinner and repented of those sins, never realised that I had offended God by the things I had thought, said and done. No wonder nothing had changed in the 2 years since I said that prayer! I realised I needed to put my faith in Jesus, the same way you would trust a parachute when jumping from a plane, you wouldn’t just look at it and say ‘Yes I believe in the parachute’ you have to put it on otherwise its no use to you! I had never ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ’ – I had just looked at Jesus and believed the principles.
Since then I have seen a marked change in my life and I know that God has saved me and is slowly conforming me to Christ’s image.
All praise to the name of the Saviour who reigns!