I grew up in a Christian family that attended church every Sunday morning and evening. I happily accepted the things I was told, as fact.
But, towards the end of primary school, it was becoming obvious that living in a Christian family was not ‘normal’. I had problems at school and was unhappy, yet very much wanted to ‘fit in’. It was at this point that I started to resent Christianity.
At the age of 12, I was bored stiff with church. My priorities were definitely not there. My resentment against church and Christianity grew hugely, as I began to blame my ‘weird’ upbringing. My attitude developed into one of cynicism and resentment. Christians, I believed, were all hypocrites!
I saw them as too weak to face the harsh ride of ‘real life’ and despised their apparent cowardice. I stopped coming to church, aged around 16, and resolved it was my absolute right from that point forward to get as ‘wasted’ as I possibly could and pursue as many women as I could possibly find.
Eventually I went to University College London and started getting drunk and having ‘fun’ on a more full-time basis. Actually, I met a group of astonishingly good people and I am still proud to call some of them my friends. But meeting them further confirmed that Christianity was a load of rubbish — look how nice my friends were, and they certainly didn’t follow a set of ancient rules! I only thought about the Christian God in my darkest moments.
I went to Bristol University for my final year, and it was then that the Lord started to call me to himself. With exams looming, I went to counselling at uni to rid myself of the religious hangover from my upbringing.
The sessions ran for 10 weeks, but I believe that, by the end of that period, I had been saved!
I began by speaking to my counsellor about what I had been taught as a child. I invariably focused on negative truths, including the danger of an eternity in hell. Speaking openly about these long repressed issues caused them to get even worse. So I resolved to review the evidence for Christianity, in order to discount it and lay the matter to rest.
Things obviously didn’t go quite to plan. I consulted many pieces of evidence, drawing from the excellent book, The case for Christ. It became obvious to me that, despite some gross perversions it has endured since its birth, Christianity is a record of the most important and fantastic event the world has ever seen, the atoning death of Jesus Christ.
I saw that suffering in the world is a direct consequence of people rejecting and denying God, that I had been scornful of the truth for my entire life, and that I had broken God’s laws hundreds of thousands of times.
Far from being some obscure moral relic, the Christian teaching I had consistently rejected was about how, although sinners deserve an eternity in hell, God has given us a way out. I started praying that God would change me and give me forgiveness. Through reading the Word of God online and praying for forgiveness, I was saved.
On several occasions, while pouring out my heart to the Lord, I felt what can only be described as a divine sense of peace. I had never felt this before and I clung to it. I think it is more than possible that I was saved the very first time I prayed, but it took me months to find assurance.
These things are more real than many people would like to believe. They are, however, the most important, logical and certain facts, relevant for everyone’s life.