I was born into a very dangerous environment. What? Were my parents criminals? No, just the opposite. My parents, Ron and Mary Pendleton, were deeply committed Christians.
There was the ‘dangerous’ environment, because, you see, my parents had come to put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation, and I grew up not realising one vitally important lesson: just because they were Christians, did not mean that I was.
The awful truth was that, even as I attended the services each Sunday with my parents, I was only a breath away from final condemnation because of my sin. John 3:18 makes this crystal clear; being the son or daughter of Christian parents does not make you a Christian.
The change came one Sunday evening when the pastor of our church was preaching. I don’t know exactly what he preached on, but, knowing him, it was about how a man or woman can be right with God through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, repenting of our sin, and giving our lives to him.
During the sermon, I was conscious of the Holy Spirit saying to me in my heart, ‘Roger, you must come to Christ tonight’. That night I became a true Christian, by the mercy of God.
Secure in Christ
Sadly, my Christian life through my teens, twenties, thirties and forties was lived on my feelings, rather than in obedience to the Word of God. I blush to recall how many times I could and should have spoken up for my Saviour, but I kept silent. Silence wasn’t golden in my case, it was plain yellow!
However, God was and is very merciful, and he has done a real work of grace in my heart and brought me to love him and serve him more in the last few years up until this point in my life.
Is it worth being a Christian? Is it a dull excuse for real life? ‘Yes, definitely’, to the first question; and, ‘Not likely!’, to the second question.
Being a Christian does not solve all your problems, far from it. But you do not face your life, with all its joys, sorrows, trials and triumphs alone. Christians have a mighty Saviour to turn to and share life with.
I do not know what the future holds, except that my eternal future is secure in the Lord Jesus. But I do know who holds the future; it is the one who loved me and gave himself for me on the cross.