Ready for eternity
I was brought up in a Christian home by Christian parents who regularly went to church – and I went along to Sunday school.
Here I learnt such Bible stories as Noah and the Flood, Samson and Delilah, Moses and crossing the Red Sea. These gave me a general knowledge of the Bible, of sin and the need to be right before God.
Throughout my life I’ve always known that I had to become a Christian before I died. I believed in hell and judgement and feared not being able to ever change my destiny once death had passed.
Even though I knew all this, I wasn’t interested in standing out from the crowd. This reaction was probably magnified by my experiences at secondary school. After moving house from Nottingham to Southampton in the late 1980s, I found that life down south was very different to what I had been used to.
I started to experience everyday bullying at school, name calling and mickey taking. This continued throughout much of my secondary school. I was known for our family not having a TV, having an old car, not wearing fashionable clothes, but most of all for going to church.
It was a time when all I wanted to do was slink into the background and not be noticed. When preachers at church talked about standing up for Jesus, this was the last thing I wanted to do. As I left school behind and went to college, I didn’t want to go to church anymore. Instead I was taken with going to the pub.
This then branched out into smoking cannabis. During my time at university, things started to slip further. I had no thought for God. With my newfound freedom I enjoyed living the high life: going out to clubs and parties, drinking and taking drugs.
This lifestyle continued after I left university. I joined the BBC and in my spare time I was taken with making electronic music, and money was spent on the latest equipment with which to do this.
I left home and moved in with three friends who shared this interest. The idea was to concentrate our efforts into producing records and making easy extra money. However it wasn’t long before things turned sour and I couldn’t bear living there.
I started to read the Bible a bit and prayed that God would help me out of this mess. It was a short space of time before I left there and started seeing a girl from work – Michelle.
We quickly moved to Hull with work and bought a house. I had told Michelle about Christianity. I still knew that I had to become a Christian before I died and I wanted her to know this before we were married.
It was only after the news during a holiday that one of her friends was suddenly taken critically ill that I started to think about church again. Tragically, her friend died within a few days but it drove us to seek out a church and start attending.
We started going to Kingston Evangelical Church in Hull and heard the pastor explain the gospel and the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. God was calling us to respond to him and, shortly after attending, we both committed our lives to the Lord.
I noticed straightaway that my bad language was gone. I didn’t want to partake in dirty jokes and I had a fresh awareness of people blaspheming around me. I now know that my sins are forgiven and I have a home in heaven.
I want to live for God and do his will, however that may play out in my life. I’m aware of my shortcomings as a sinful person, but I also know that God is changing me and my thoughts and attitudes.