As a Jew I believed that Christians worshipped a pagan God. I was offended by their faith and aggressive towards anyone who tried to share it with me. I used to mock my Christian co-workers, telling them that Christmas was an ugly holiday that celebrated the murder of young Jewish children by King Herod.
Despite my bitterness towards the Christian faith, I considered myself to be a good person. I gave to the poor; I volunteered my time to worthy causes; and worked to advance religious education among Jewish youth. People would probably have said that my life was more ‘Christian’ than most Christians they knew.
My girlfriend Tami was not Jewish and persuaded me to attend a Christian service – where I heard Pastor Robert Dickie deliver a sermon on the book of Job. I was furious.
How dare this man get up in front of all those people, preach on a book that belongs to my faith – and then tell me I had a sin problem!
Nevertheless, Tami encouraged me to attend another Christian group, a large ‘seeker-friendly’ church that used drama and pop music in their services. I went along on Sunday mornings and was quite entertained. I agreed with some of the moral messages. Sometimes I disagreed on an issue of belief, but I never felt uncomfortable as I had during the sermon on Job.
Tami gave me books and booklets to read about the Christian faith. These began to stir my heart and to show me my sin. I began to wonder if Jesus could in fact be the Jews’ Messiah.
Finally, one night, the Lord came in power to my soul. I had a sudden sensation – like being pierced to the heart by an invisible sword. I was crushed and in tears.
I was on the floor on my knees, praying and confessing my sin and pleading with Christ to save me. In one instant, my whole world had changed, such was my grief over my life and my sinful nature.
There was nothing I could do within myself to obtain salvation. I was full of remorse for my behaviour towards Christ and his church and cried out for forgiveness.
I did not talk to anyone straight away, but two days later Tami came over to my home. I just looked at her and told her that I believed in Christ and was coming home to God.
A lifted veil
The weeks that followed were like a dream. One benefit was a new-found excitement in reading the Bible. It was as if I had never read it before.
That was strange, because I had spent years studying the Bible as a Jew and could hardly believe that I had never seen before how it proclaimed Christ. It was as if a veil had been lifted. The New Testament also became meaningful. Before, it had seemed confusing and full of contradictions.
I found myself tested as never before, yet happy and at peace. I realised that the seeker-friendly church I was attending had no gospel and wasn’t helping. But I remembered the sermon on Job and its message of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. I listened to it again on tape, and was delighted at the gospel preached!
Tami and I found a spiritual home at Pastor Dickie’s church, where the Lord continues to lead us and to feed us from God’s precious Word. Today, I know that Jesus is my Messiah and that he has covered me with his own righteousness.
I have been given many more blessings than I have time to list. Tami and I married and will shortly celebrate the first birthday of our youngest daughter. Yes, we have our struggles, but our hope is in the Lord.