Have you ever read an account in a newspaper or book of a thief, a drug addict or a criminal and been in prison, but now has experienced a dramatic change in his life because of a confrontation with Jesus Christ ?
After reading of such a person, have you thought, "That person did need Christ, but I'm all right: I don't steal or take drugs, I don't need Christ ?"
I did not steal or take drugs but Jesus has made a big difference to my life. I needed Christ. So do you.
When I was 18 I went to Sheffield University to study Chemistry. One night two lads knocked at my door and identified themselves as Christians. They asked me about my faith. I could not really answer them because I had no faith. I used to be in a church choir and read a Gideon New testament I had been given, but it did not mean much to me. I could not say like they could, that I was saved, that I was going to heaven. I thought it depended on how good I was.
One Saturday night, about two months later, during tea I got talking to a Christian who lived in my hall. I overheard him telling the person next to me that he was doing a Bible Study after tea. I expressed surprise (Well on a Saturday night ? You have to be keen !) The conversation proceeded from there.
These were ordinary lads, both electrical engineers, both had the same problems as I had, attending lectures, doing tutorial work But they didn't worry like I did. They trusted in Jesus Christ to get them through their tests. They trusted Jesus like a living friend.
They told me why Jesus died. He died for us being punished for our sins so that we could be forgiven and go to heaven. And again I was told that I could not get to heaven by being good, but only by trusting Jesus to save me.
They said that Jesus rose from the dead and through the Holy Spirit could be a friend with us through our daily life-- and it showed with these two as a benefit to them.
The Bible describes becoming a Christian as opening the door of your life to Jesus who is knocking on the ouside and asking to come in.
"Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (Rev 3:20)
Over the next few weeks I heard a lot of his knocking. I had to decide whether or not I wanted to commit my life to Jesus.
I believed then that Jesus had died in the punishment of my sins, to save me, but I still wanted to run my own life. I thought about it more: if I believed Jesus was the Son of God who had died for me, then the object of my life should be to serve Him. It was in February, 1973 that I became a Christian. I had a rough time after, with doubts and the devil tempting me, "What have you let yourself in for ?....and you told those two Christians what you did...you can just forget about it....."
But I didn't forget about it. God did not let me. I've had my ups and downs. I graduated from University--I never thought I would. I was unemployed several months, but God provided me with a job without even having to apply. And he gave me another job too, - teaching a Sunday School class, something I would have been unable to do before I became a Christian. I know He will provide for all my needs (Phil. 4:19) and that when I die I will go to heaven (1 John 5: 11, 12)
Perhaps in reading this you too will hear Someone "knocking". God shows his love for us "in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). "But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God" (John 1:12). Your response should be to receive Him. Just open the door.
A South American missionary, who was murdered by the he went to preach to wrote "He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose" (1.)
All the things of this world you cannot keep. Eternal life you have forever.
(1.) Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot
Article first published by Master's House, London, Ontario, Canada. 1978
Re-edited and americanisms removed 1999
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