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60. The end matters

One final request, directly from me to you.


In the preceding chapters I have tried to share with you my own heart understanding of God and the way He saves people through Jesus Christ.


I have also tried to share with you how to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ after you have been born again.


Everything I have shared comes from my personal searching of the Bible and my application of these words of God to my own life. By my calculation, that’s around 2,000 years of the Bible’s history, including 60 years of me seeking to live a life that honours Jesus Christ!


Since being born again in 1962 I have wanted to follow Jesus Christ, His

words and His ways, even when they go against modern thinking and

practice, (which, sadly, can be found at times even inside the Christian

churches).


That’s what I seek to do. What about you?


Some people say, “Why should I become a Christian?” My brief answer is

because if you are not a Christian you will not go to heaven when you die!

I am aware that most funerals in churches give a different impression, but

I believe simply that they are wrong. There is a real division between

those who die as Christians and those who do not. Listen to Jesus’ close

disciple, John:

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in

His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of

God does not have life”, 1 John 5:11-12.


Other people have said to me, “I have too much to change in my life, too

much to give up. Perhaps if I was younger …..”. I answer this way.


It is true I was 13 years old when I was converted, but I don’t think I’ve

missed out on anything of real value in my life. I left a career in banking

to train for and join Christian ministry. I was ordained and commissioned

in 1973 (aged 24 years). I have travelled around Britain and to several

other countries preaching Jesus Christ crucified and teaching Christian

discipleship – that’s more easily understood as Christian living.


I have been privileged to be married to Brenda (for 51 years this year)

and to have two fine grown up children, Sharon and John, with two

grandsons from Sharon & Courtney: Cameron and Ethan. Our small but

sufficient family home is in Redruth, Cornwall, England. We haven’t had

as “many things” as others have, but we have always had enough.


As Paul writes, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and

every situation”, Philippians 4:12.


I know many people who say, “If there is a God why doesn’t he stop all the

suffering in this world?” Again, I can only offer my limited understanding,

as my life has been shaped by the water of personal suffering, especially

in recent years.


After just four years as pastor of Khartoum International Church my

health gave way and Brenda and I were forced to leave Sudan in 2003. My

disappointment was immense because I was sure God had called us to

minister in that needy place, bursting with opportunities that suited my

gifts and skills. I know it is tough when God has plans for us that are not our

own plans!


Three years later I not only lost my place of ministry but also my usual

means of ministering. My voice box was removed in 2006 because of

carcinoma sarcoma, aggressive cancers. Further cancer occurred in my

neck during 2009 necessitating horrific (to me) treatments. I admit to

asking God on many an occasion, “Why don’t you stop all this happening to

me?”


Yet my faith and trust in God remained firm and solid – not because I was

anyone special, nor because God owed me anything for what I had done.

Because I know God personally, and my life has always been a partnership

with Him, I was always able to “rely on Him as my loving Father” whatever

was happening in and around me. God’s word says (of someone else):

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He

said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect

in weakness””, 2 Corinthians 12:9.


But enough about me. What about you?


May I urge you to make a conscious choice to live life God’s way from this

day forward?

You can never do enough to save yourself, nor to make yourself

acceptable to Creator God, so stop trying. Turn away from relying on

yourself and your own abilities to enter heaven when you die. Stop

thinking, “I guess it’ll be alright on the night”. I know that death will not

kill me – it will help me enter eternal life in God’s presence. What about

you? What will death do for you?


Tell God in your own words that you are sincerely sorry for going your own

way for so long. Tell Him how you are from now trusting Jesus Christ to be your

Saviour from the sinfulness that would otherwise condemn you to hell.

God Himself in Jesus Christ has taken the judgement penalty you (and I)

deserve.


He has opened the only doorway into His heaven that we can take. Thank

God in your own words. Promise to live to please Him from now on, using

the strength that God the Holy Spirit living in you, gives to you. And if

you’re not sure how that works, re-read this book, looking up all the Bible

passages it refers to.


Why don’t you sign and date a card (as below) to put in your Bible? It will

always remind you that you mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ.


Today …………………………………………………………(write the date)

I have well and truly decided to turn away from my previous way of life

and to trust God alone to be my Saviour in Jesus Christ.

In the strength and the ability of God the Holy Spirit I will follow Jesus

Christ and His way for the rest of my life.

I want to learn to repent completely of sinfulness in my life and be

renewed daily into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ.


By my signature here, I give testimony that this is true for me.

………………………………………………………………… (your signature).


I think it is a good idea to share how you have chosen to respond to God today with at least one other Christian. Let it be your first step in following the Lord Jesus Christ.

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