My Story

My Story

My Story

This is my story

My early childhood was carefree. We had a nice house, we went to church regularly, my father had a good job, and my mother stayed home. My brother and I did well in school. My parents frequently argued, but I thought that they really loved each other. I felt secure.

But my world began to crumble. My parents divorced. My brother and I lived with my mother who couldn’t control two teenage boys. With no father, my male role models were on TV. I lost interest in school and started to party, smoke and drink; I was grasping for meaning, acceptance and significance. Through the political and cultural turmoil in the 1960s, I began to understand the world. In addition, my church even undermined my confidence in religion; our priest committed suicide and several married couples were immoral.

I never thought too much about God. My church taught us to believe in God and be good; then God would probably let us into heaven. I thought I was pretty good compared to others. I also remember listening to a radio talk show; the topic was religion. One adamant caller had the gall to quote some Bible references that said the majority of humanity was going to Hell not Heaven! That concept haunted me. Would God really condemn so many to Hell and only let a few into Heaven?

When I entered college, I realized that there was something terribly wrong with me not just with the world. It was in college that I met some “real” Christians. I thought I was a Christian, but for me Christianity was a two-hour experience on Sundays. These people were consumed with God! They didn’t party nor were they immoral like most students. They even said grace before meals in public! They said Jesus was the only way to heaven. I discussed God with them and even attended their Bible studies. I realized that God is morally perfect and demands moral perfection granting entrance to Heaven. I knew that I wasn’t a “morally perfect person” and couldn’t enter the Presence of the Holy God.

“Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.”1 “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”2 “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. . . . There is none who does good, no, not one’.”3

My Christians friends told me to “receive Christ into my heart” to be saved. But how could God let me, a sinner, into heaven and still be a holy and just God? That question was my excuse to ignore my problem.

But I couldn’t shake my fear of dying and standing before a holy God. I kept meeting with “real” Christians. Reading the Bible gave me understanding: God alone satisfied the demands of His own justice, by pouring His wrath out on His only Son, Jesus Christ who took the punishment for my sins! I didn’t have to suffer the consequences of my own sin: Jesus Christ was the sinless substitute.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”4“But now the righteousness of God. . . through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation (sacrifice of atonement) by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”5 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”6

But even if I my sins were paid for and forgiven, what if I kept on sinning?

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”7 “But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;”8

The Bible answered all my arguments! I concluded that I wouldn’t submit my life to God for one reason: I wanted to sin and to control my own life.

But God was patient. Running my life resulted in emptiness, frustration and fear. All the pleasure-seeking magnified my meaningless existence. God used the emptiness and nagging fear of death and condemnation to slowly wear me down.

I was working at a donut shop a few years later, and one of my “real” Christian friends, Boris, visited me frequently to talk. In the past, he had been wilder than I, but he had totally transformed; he had joy and meaning in life! I thought, “If God can change him, He can change me!” One afternoon, I promised myself that if Boris dropped by work, that I would turn my life over to God and accept Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for my sins. Boris came, and at midnight on February 4, 1979, I came to Christ without hesitation. I repented of my sin against God and cried out to God to save me based upon the merits of His Son and to keep me and to change me to live a life worthy of Him. “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.”9

Since then I have had victory and failure in my walk with God; but God’s grace has enabled me to repent of my failure and grant me the ability to grow and have fellowship with Him. My heart’s desire now is to serve, honor and have fellowship with Him and to read His Word. God gave me meaning and significance in life, delivered me from the fear of death, but, most of all, He gave me Himself. For that I will be eternally grateful.

These are the life transforming Bible verses I referred to in my story:

  1. Habakkuk 1:13
  2. Ecclesiastes 7:20
  3. Romans 3:10-12
  4. Romans 6:23
  5. Romans 3:21-26
  6. John 3:16
  7. Philippians 2:13
  8. Titus 3:4-6
  9. Acts 3:19a