I was brought up in a stable and happy home, and thought that as I believed in Jesus, God and the Bible, that I was a Christian.
I enjoyed reading my Children’s Bible Stories and left it at that.
When I was about 11, however, I started to wonder about what would happen at the end of my life. I hoped I would go to heaven, however I had no assurance of that, and didn’t want to die and realise I was completely wrong. I became very nervous of the idea of death, and became a hypochondriac as I was terrified of getting ill and dying. Despite this inner turmoil, I moved up to high school and began to spend more time with a different group of friends. These friends went to the school Christian Union once a week, and, thinking I was a Christian, I went too. There I heard about more of the teachings of Jesus – not just the ones in the Children’s Stories – and particularly the prophecies of His return one day. This petrified me further, as I realised Jesus might come back before I was sure where I would be going.
I kept going along, despite hearing things that bothered me, and in the meantime my cousin, a close friend, became a Christian, and invited me to her youth group’s summer camp. The first year I turned down her invitation, but was so jealous at all the fun she had that I went along the second year. Her church was a rather lively one when it came to worship, and although I enjoyed all the singing and teaching, the emotional experiences some of them were having were disconcerting – but this led me to pray that if I was missing the point about God, would He please let me know?
The very next night, in the quiet of a prayer time, the Lord suddenly opened my heart to the fact that I had up to that point missed – I knew the message that Jesus had died for sinners, had died for everyone… but suddenly realised that He died for me, and if I was the only one who had ever sinned, He would still have done so, because of His love for me, and so I could be sure I would be with Him in heaven when I died.
It’s very easy to let all the busyness of life distract you from the biggest questions of all – but everyone should take the time to be sure where they will be spending eternity.