With both my parents being Christians, I have attended church and been taught stories from the Bible for as long as I can remember. However, although I believed what I read in the Bible, none of this really impacted my life. I was a good boy, only young, and Jesus seemed so distant to me; 2000 years distant in fact.
However things changed at around the age of 10. I was in my room and looking at the planes coming in to land at Heathrow, when I thought back to 9/11. That day started normally. People got up and went to work expecting an ordinary day. Unfortunately, many never came home. I realised that the same could happen to me. Death didn’t have to give a warning. I thought at that moment about what would happen to me if I died. I certainly believed in a God and I knew that before him I was a sinner. I didn’t have a right relationship with him and I had not worshipped him as King.
I picked up a Bible and began to read the beginning of Mark’s gospel. In chapter 2 Jesus says to a paralytic man, ‘that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’. I realised at this moment that Jesus wasn’t just a man who lived 2000 years ago and was of little relevance to me, but that he forgives sins and could forgive mine. I realised that although I was a sinner, he came to die on a cross and rise from the dead so that I can have forgiveness. On the cross, he was put to death for my sins and he bore the shame and punishment that I deserved.
Although I can’t place my finger on exactly when I became a Christian, it wasn’t long after this that I knew a peace with God, a desire to serve my Creator and my trust was firmly in him. Since then things have not been faultless. Everything did not suddenly start working out. I did not suddenly become perfect. There have been many struggles and many times where I have not put God first in my life and have not loved my neighbour as myself. However, I know that Christ is with me in everything I do and that when I die, I will have eternal life as he has promised me.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.