Testimony of Salvation – Graham D
My name is Graham D and my life can be summarized into two unique and different parts. The first part which represents the first 22 years of my life from when I was born in 1987 until 2009 and the second part, which began at 6.30 pm on Wednesday the 29th of April 2009 when I was born again through the blood of the lamb and is continuing with every new day!
The Early Years:
For the first 22 years of my life I was living the typical life in Ireland. I was born into a loving Irish family who they themselves were raised under the standard Roman Catholic religion that controlled Ireland. As such, I grew up like most other Irish born people in this Country. I was baptized (Christened) as a baby, I made my “First Communion” and I was “Confirmed” via the Catholic tradition of “Confirmation”. Even though I was attending Religion classes in school and although I was partaking in these several Catholic Church sacraments, I can honestly say that I did not know who God was. I remember hearing about Heaven and Hell, but I never really was informed of why someone would go to Heaven and what someone had to do to get there. All I knew about Hell was that it is was where the “bad people” went.
As I started to grow older and entered into my teenage years, I started to get really bored of the whole Catholic Church routine of going to Mass on a Sunday so I stopped going. I did not see the point in it. I was not getting anything from the Mass. All throughout my childhood I was exposed to the Catholic religion both in school and in the Catholic Church every Sunday morning for the Mass, but not once was I ever really told who God was and what his plan for this world was.
With every passing year as a teenager I started to drift further and further away from anything that related to religion. I viewed religions as the source of all of the world’s problems. By the time I was fourteen years old I wanted nothing more to do with religion or religious belief systems.
I can honestly say that my life without religion was great! I spent my teenage years as most other normal teenagers in Ireland. I enjoyed watching and playing soccer, I enjoyed hanging out with my friends, I enjoyed playing computer games and I liked watching movies in the cinema. It was a pretty normal childhood really.
As I started to head into college at the age of seventeen years old, things were going pretty good for me. I had a great part time job in selling computer equipment during my college years that allowed me to have a sufficient amount of spending money every week.
With the entrance of college into my life, there with it came the typical college lifestyle. Waste your time in college for the week, waste some of your money on alcohol on a night out with the college buddies on a Thursday and Friday night and then work on the weekend to get some more money.
I considered myself to be a good person in as far as how the world defined “good”. Sure, I consumed a bit of alcohol during the week with my college buddies, but I never did any drugs and I never murdered anyone. I was nice to people and I respected people. I was a good person in my eyes and in the eyes of this world.
Throughout my life I was never really looking for God. I did not know who he was, but I was not exactly looking to find out either. Even though I had no time for the world’s religious belief systems, I never really believed that the human race came to exist through a random act of continuous “Evolution”, mutation and change. To me the prospect of my ancestor being an “Ape” was just as silly and even more ridiculous than most of the other religious belief systems. At least the majority of the religions of the world taught that humans were created by a higher power, by a “God”.
I did not believe in chance. I believed everything that happened, happened for a reason and although I may not always understand or even know the reason for something happening the way that it did, I always accepted that there was a reason for everything. I knew there had to be more to life than just being born, working for 70 years and then dying, then what? The question of “what will happen when I die” remained at the back of my mind for the next few years.
Initial years following college:
After college I got a “lucky” break by being employed by a growing software company who is now a major player in the virtualization and Cloud-Computing industry. VMware is the name of the company. I loved working in VMware and still do. It is a great place to work. It was here at VMware where I met a Christian lady named Gina, who is now my wife.
Over the course of 2007 and 2008 I started to get to know Gina really well. We became close friends. I could tell that Gina was not the typical “Irish girl”. Whenever I would go out with the work colleagues for “a night on the town” (drinking alcohol in some Pub!), Gina would never be there. No matter what the work occasion, if it involved alcohol or partying, Gina would never come along.
Gina also used to take a whole week off from work during the summer so that she could attend the “Youth Camp” that the Bible Baptist Church of Ballincollig held every year. I could not understand that why someone would sacrifice a week of his or her allocated “holiday” days from work just to spend it volunteering down in some camp. This intrigued me and I was curious to find out why Gina was so different from everyone else in my workplace.
Several months and detailed conversations later, I was able to learn from Gina that she was attending a Bible-believing Church, that she was a born-again Christian and that she was living her life for Jesus Christ. I did not know what a born-again Christian was. I also did not understand why or how someone could or would live for Jesus Christ. I had many questions during the latter part of 2008 and early 2009 relating to God and spiritual related matters. I did not know exactly what I was looking for at the time, but I know I was looking for the truth.
Through spending time with Gina, I was made aware of the Gospel through both Gina’s vocal testimony and her living testimony. Gina’s Christianity was different from what I previously associated with my view of “Christianity”, because Gina was actually living a Christ-like life. I could tell from her honest and emotional words that she truly had a real faith in God and Jesus Christ.
First time in a Bible Believing Church:
The more time I spent around Gina, the more time God was brought into the equation. Gina shared the Gospel with me anytime she had an opportunity. As we were getting closer to each other with every week, eventually she invited me out to her Church. I was hesitant about going because I did not really know what to expect. Looking back on that time now, the truth was that I was really afraid that this “Church” thing would not be for me and that as a result my growing relationship with Gina would fall apart. After much internal struggling and fighting, I decided to visit the Church for the Sunday evening service.
I really was nervous and frightened about the whole thing but at the same time I was made to feel very welcome by the people. Everyone was so nice and it was nothing like I was expecting. My idea of “Church” was everyone attending some building for 40 minutes on a Sunday morning, listening to some priest that never really directly communicated with you and leaving again without even talking to one person during the entire service!
This Church experience was completely different. It felt real and alive. It was not cold and dead like all of the other Catholic Masses that I had attended. Everybody in the Church was really nice and welcoming. Within moments, I knew that this Church was different!
As soon as the preacher started preaching, I was gripped. I had never heard anything like it before. This man who was not dressed like a Catholic priest and whose wife and children were sitting up in the front row was just delivering a sermon straight from the Bible. He was not giving his own opinion or talking about some useless and uninteresting story. He was talking about Heaven and Hell and why sin was the cause for everything that was wrong in this world. The truths that he was sharing from the Bible overwhelmed me.
The following week I spent many hours searching the Internet for everything and anything concerning Heaven and Hell. The more answers I found, the more questions that stirred up inside me. I could not stop thinking about Heaven and hell and which one of them I would end up in if they existed.
The day of Salvation – When I accepted Jesus Christ:
I attended a few more Church services and a few of their mid-week Bible studies. With every service and every study my sinful state was becoming more and more evident to me. After a few weeks I was invited to dinner by one of the families attending the Church. Gina and myself were both invited.
After dinner the man who invited me to his house, Dan Eberly talked with me on my own for a while. He gave me his testimony of salvation and how he was a sinner and how he knew for 100% sure that he was going to go to Heaven when he died.
He shared the Gospel of Christ with me and I was convicted of my sins and I just knew at the moment in time that Heaven and Hell were real and that I was going to go to Hell when I die, because of my sins against a Holy God who had created me and given me life.
He showed me straight from God’s Word, the Bible, that:
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)”
the wages of sin is death; but
the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23)”
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27)”
This faithful man of God gave me the bad news. The bad news was that I was a sinner who needed to be saved from an eternity in Hell. According to Romans 6:23 I owed a debt to God for my sins and that the payment was my soul spending an eternity in Hell.
But then he gave me the good news, The Gospel. The good news that God loved this world and every soul in it, including me, so much that have gave his only begotten son Jesus Christ to pay for my sin, to be the payment for the debt which I could not pay.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16)”
At this point in time I knew I was a sinner who deserved to go to Hell. This was probably the most humbling moment in my life. At 6.30 pm on Wednesday the 29th of April 2009 I called out to Jesus who had died for me and I asked him to forgive me and to save me from Hell. I was saved right at that very moment!!
Thank God that he is faithful to his Word. For the Bible says in Romans 10:13 – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”
Life after the day of Salvation – The beginning of my new Christian Life:
I was never the same after that day when I accepted Jesus Christ in my life. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”
After I was born again on the 29th of April 2009 I began to see things in a whole new light. I started looking at things as God looked at them. From that day on I could see that my definition of “good” and God’s were two completely different things. I realized that God’s standards are a lot higher than mine were.
I no longer listen to the worldly rock and metal music that I used to listen to. I no longer wear the same anti-Christ clothing that I used to wear. I know longer drink alcohol and I no longer take the name of my LORD Jesus Christ in vain.
Truly I am a new creature in Christ created unto his good works!
Since that great day, I have many more great days. I married the woman who God introduced into my life to draw me closer to Him. I am apart of a wonderful, caring and growing Church family.
I am now living each day that God gives me to serve him and to follow his direction for my life. God has called me to preach his Word and to teach all nations of his amazing grace, mercy and love toward mankind.
I was never looking for God but God was looking for me. God was not the one who was lost, it was me who was lost and all thanks be given to God who loved me so much that he came after me!
Because of God’s word, the Bible, I know for a 100% sure that I am going to be in Heaven when I die.
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.