I’d like to write about the night I became a Christian. Let me start with these verses from the Bible: “Surely you know that the people who do wrong will not inherit God’s kingdom. Do not be fooled. Those who sin sexually, worship idols, take part in adultery, those who are male prostitutes, or men who have sexual relations with other men, those who steal, are greedy, get drunk, lie about others, or rob – these people will not inherit God’s kingdom. In the past, some of you were like that, but you were washed clean. You were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). I love the thought that whatever you’ve done wrong, when you come to Jesus, He can clean you up and make you new – make you fit to follow Him.
That’s what the preacher talked about on 2 October, 1999. He listed various wrongs and one of them was envy. He told us: “Envy rots the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). I wonder what would’ve happened if the preacher had thought: “There are sure to be people here tonight who struggle with envy. Maybe I shouldn’t share that verse. I don’t want to upset anyone.”
As it was, he did share it, and it was a shock because I knew I was envious. My sister was having driving lessons and as a blind person, I was extremely envious of her. I remember thinking if what he said was true, my bones must be well and truly rotting away. For the first time, I knew that hell was real and if nothing changed, I was on my way there. But that uncomfortable feeling? That’s what made me reach out to God in prayer.
At the end of the preach, as everyone else sang a final song, I sat in my seat and told God I didn’t want to come to Him just out of fear of going to hell. That seemed to me a weak thing to do. I had never known God in a personal way or heard His voice in my heart before, but when I said I didn’t want to come to Him out of fear, I felt Him reply: “Come because I love you.” It was totally unexpected and completely life-changing, as that’s when I started following God.
Jesus prayed to God: “Your Word is truth” (John 17:17). The Word of God is true and absolutely authoritative. I want to thank not just preachers, but anyone who shares God’s Word in any way: In songs, school assemblies, hospital or prison ministry … Please, never stop sharing the truth. God loves the people He’s created. His love is available to everyone, and the world needs to hear that.