You know, for me it was
I had a deep, deep conviction of being a sinner.
I grew up in a Methodist church.
We went to church every Sunday.
I had all the pins, you know, for going a year
without missing a Sunday.
And I came away
with only one understanding, but it was a good one
because it was part of the building blocks
that led me to faith,
and that was “sinners go to hell.”
Of course, I thought good people
go to heaven. Sinners go to hell.
And I knew which I was.
There was no question in my mind.
The part I was wrong about was
there aren’t any good people who go to heaven.
that deep conviction lasted with me
from the age of five to the age of fifteen.
I was terrified of death.
Whenever I heard of a person dying or a funeral,
I was terrified
because I knew one day I’m going to die.
To give you an idea,
I remember at the age of seven we went camping
and my dad had built a bonfire
and I stood looking at the bonfire at the sticks
that were burning.
And the thought that went through my mind was,
I wish that I could have just been made a stick
instead of a human because that stick is
going to burn up, and it’ll be over.
But I’m going to burn forever in hell.
I had very strong conviction of that.
Well, that worked on me for ten years.
In those ten years I just proved it
more and more every year.
No hope for me. I know where I’m going.
And then finally a guy came to me
and we met and shared with me John 3:16.
And to be honest, I didn’t understand it at all.
But he said, “Memorize this verse.” And I did.
And I met up with him two or three weeks later
and he said, “Did you memorize verse?”
I said, “Yeah, I could quote it. John. John 3:16
“God so loved the world
that He gave his only begotten Son,
so that whoever believes in him
should not perish but have everlasting life.”
I went through it didn’t mean anything to me.
Well, he thought I had become a believer.
I didn’t understand what the verse meant.