“Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness [is] unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:3)

Testimony of salvation from sin by
The Lord Jesus Christ
on 14th May 2004

C A R L . H.

I instinctively believed in the existence of God, from my earliest memories. I was taken to church as a child, baptised aged 7, and compelled to attend weekly. As soon as I was able however, I stopped going. Whilst I did get some strange comfort in attending, with a certain amount of pride in doing so, I mostly found it boring and irrelevant. I remember finding it strange and confusing that the things of God were not spoken of once out of the worship service. I’d also attended various Christian youth groups, and, on a camping trip had made a commitment to Christ at a young age, but it was quickly forgotten about. Likewise, aged about 13 at a local evangelistic event in the 1980s where Billy Graham was preaching, I was emotionally impacted, stood up, went forward to the front of the large packed church, making a commitment to Christ in prayer, but my profession was, I regret to say, soon abandoned.

Years drifted by throughout my teenage years and progressively disillusioned twenties, trying to seek happiness(1), fulfilment and meaning through work, relationships, music, hobbies—but always ending up back to square one, empty. I became a regular binge-drinker and drunkard. I got into the rave scene and took various illegal drugs.

After studying at college I had some surprising career success as an advertising art director and graphic designer in the video game industry. Once I was sent on an international work-exchange to America for three months in a cutting-edge advertising agency. Reaching such unexpected heights of worldly success, however, only heightened my sense of disillusionment and disappointment with life. I remember going out on my lunch break in San Francisco, sitting with my head in my hands, in despair thinking, ‘Is this it? Is this all there is?’. My drinking was out of control, and so was I. At the turn of the millennium I began to realise that I was powerfully enslaved to my sins.

Losing the lucrative advertising job on return to the London office was the last straw for me. How could I remain living in England? I dreamt of foreign adventures, and became convinced that living in grey, dark, England, and the materialistic ‘West’ was an underlying cause of all my problems.

So, with a redundancy payment I flew off travelling, determined to explore foreign cultures and see if I could find fulfilment and meaning in life abroad. I was away for twenty months backpacking around Asia and Australia/NZ.

I saw some fantastic and fascinating sights, but I found there’s only so much sight-seeing one can do. Always chasing the next horizon, the next sight to see, which, even if it does live up to its reputation, no matter how pretty the scenery, life is still life, and therefore can never lastingly fulfil, if at all (see John 4:13-14 in the Holy Bible). I witnessed shocking poverty and suffering in third-world nations. I hit rock bottom in Malaysia. Alone in my room, I read a John Grisham novel which impacted me greatly, telling of a drunken character that found salvation in Christ. I cried out to God.

Seeking peace from a troubled conscience, I flew up to Nepal and took part in an intensive ten-day Buddhist meditation retreat. My interest in religion being greatly stirred, I picked up a second-hand book in the sunny mountains of Dharamsala, northern India. I began to avidly read this book about world religions. I devoured the book, but found myself increasingly fascinated by the very last section, on Christianity, being particularly fascinated to know more about Jesus Christ.

After arriving back in England, I became progressively unhappy and stressed. I got another job as a graphic designer in the video game industry which (unlike my former job in the industry) was incredibly pressured and stressful. I thought I’d found many answers in Buddhism, but my mental state indicated otherwise. I found that Buddhism raised more questions than it answered, and in the cold, hard reality of everyday life it made no real change to me as a person at all. I couldn’t keep up the meditations required, and, chiefly it did nothing to satisfy my guilty conscience or to provide assurance about the future. Ultimately, I discovered its claims of spiritual truth to be founded upon things absolutely untrue.

Despite meeting a woman in Australia, our two-year relationship living in sin together back in England failed. I became increasingly unsettled and stressed, and then, when it felt like my head was about to explode with questions, but getting nowhere, going round and round in circles (despite every spare moment on the internet avidly searching and reading up) I was powerfully compelled to look into Christianity again. I thought I knew all about Christianity. After my years of exposure as a child and teenager I dismissively thought that I had, ‘tried Jesus’, ‘seen that, done that, got the T-shirt’, and that Jesus actually wasn’t real, despite all the claims. How totally, astonishingly, gloriously and dreadfully wrong I was.

Thanks be to God, in my sorely disturbed state I eventually decided to try and contact an elderly gentleman called Mr. Hackett, an old youth group leader. I had no idea if he was even still alive, but I looked him up, telephoned him, and he answered, sounding exactly as I remembered him. I explained that I had attended his ‘Covenanters’(2) youth group many years ago. He looked me up in his book and found me, greeted me, and invited me round to talk. I later found out that he kept a record of every boy that went through his youth group, which he ran for over fifty years. I wonder if he’d been systematically praying through the names over the years?

He put me in touch with a Christian publisher friend of his, who gave me a book(3) about the saving message of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Having joined a Bible-study course where we had examined the irrefutable historical evidence for Christ—one day, a day of some calamity—I was forced to return home from work early. In despairing turmoil, being sorely convicted by my guilty conscience, I avidly read the book which clearly explained the good news of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Saviour. I cried out to God, casting myself upon Him for mercy and forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ, surrendering my entire life to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

I was born again on May 14th 2004 in my bedroom at home in Northwood Hills, Middlesex, England. My life was radically changed that very day. I was given immediate power and victory over certain besetting sins in my life—they fell off me as great chains smashed in pieces. I felt an incredible power upon me, the Spirit of the LORD—completely outside of myself—like nothing I’ve ever experienced before or since, giving me a strength to stand against temptations. The sins I used to love, I started to hate, and the godly things I used to hate, I started to love.

Being born again by faith in Christ was an indescribable experience. For weeks I was filled with God’s love and power as if walking on air. The Bible became a completely new book to me. Formerly, I had found it a dry, lifeless and confusing book. After I was born again I had a great appetite to read it and study it. I had a great yearning to be with Christians, whom I now sincerely loved (formerly disliking them), and a strong desire to serve God. I also had an urgent desire to share the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ with others.

I have now walked with the LORD for eighteen years. How the time has flown. The LORD has been indescribably merciful, patient and gracious with me; He has also chastened me, as a loving Father. By God’s grace, I have been reading the Holy Bible every day since I was saved. The LORD has answered my prayers in remarkable ways. My eyes have been opened more and more to understand God’s truth over the years. God has been gloriously faithful and merciful to me, bringing me through some very difficult trials and difficulties. I have messed up very badly and fallen many times, but the LORD has patiently and lovingly forgiven me, picked me up and kept me going in the faith, and continues to do so. He is incomparable. I am assured of a glorious future in the New Heavens and Earth by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for my sins and rose from the dead the third day.

I can personally assure you that God, the Holy Bible, the spiritual realm, afterlife, Judgement Day, Heaven, Hell and eternity are real and true. Apart from biblical Christianity, all other religions are deceptive falsehoods which are powerless to reconcile with God and to save the soul. The historical facts of the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ prove it. But don’t just take my word for it. Read the Holy Bible, seek the Lord yourself (John 6:37). Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. I urge all to seek the Lord Jesus Christ without delay.

‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.’ (John 3:36)

Carl. H.

Thank you for reading. Please read footnotes below. My personal webpage promoting faith in The Lord Jesus Christ is:- www.Jesus-Saviour.co.uk

(1) I have found from experience that when I tell non-Christians about my becoming a Christian, they will say things like, ‘Good for you!’, ‘I’m glad you’ve found happiness…’, or, ‘Well, as long it makes you happy!’, etc. But I would have any reading this to understand, the message of Christ is not primarily about happiness. One can be very happy with one’s life in this present world and therefore feel no need for Christ at all. But Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor, asked Jesus Christ, ‘What is truth?’ That is a question that all non-Christians should be asking. Not, ‘What is happiness?’, but, ‘What is truth?’ Without a solid foundation of truth, happiness is just a fleeting illusion.

Dear friend, if you are happy and fulfilled in life, wanting nothing more, may I ask, is your happiness based upon the absolute truth of God’s written word in Scripture? Is your happiness a truly lasting and unshakeable happiness? Experience teaches us that life is full of (sometimes radical) unexpected changes, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. What if everything in your life should change? What if you should lose everything, your job, your family, your friends or your health? What if you should discover you have a terminal illness? Friend, it is my duty to tell you the truth, that if your happiness is not based upon the unshakable truth of God’s word in the Bible then you are deluding yourself and are in for a horrific shock when you die. Without Christ you will most certainly be damned to the eternal furnace and despair of Hell— regardless of whether you were happy on earth or not, and regardless of how good a life you may believe yourself to have lived.

God and His word, the Holy Bible, is the only absolute truth. There cannot, logically, be multiple competing absolute truths. A traditional compass orients to magnetic north, and there is only one magnetic north. To say otherwise is foolishness. Christ is the truth, and the historical facts of His life, death and resurrection prove it. In becoming a true Christian, I have discovered great joys and happiness (although most of that is reserved for the life to come), but I have also discovered a nightmare beyond all description or imagining. Friend, inasmuch as we have been raised in non-Bible homes, communities and nations, we have been systematically lied to all our lives. Yes, our own families, our teachers, our schools, our media, our governments—and even many of our churches (just as Christ warns in Scripture)—have been lying to us. God, speaking in Scripture says that mankind, ‘holds [suppresses] the truth in unrighteousness’ (Romans 1:18). Friends, we have been lied to, and, furthermore, we ourselves are liars too, inasmuch as we do not uphold Bible truth.

In my particular case, I was dissatisfied with life on earth, but I am now rejoicing to have found the truth. But I also find myself to be gutted on an ongoing and regular basis. Gutted because the society which has raised me, my family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, almost everybody I have ever known is living a lie. Gutted because I find myself living in a society and nation that rejects the truth and is on its way to the eternal furnace of Hell without Christ. Nevertheless, Christ is worthy.

The Lord Jesus Christ says, ‘…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.’ (Luke 9:23-24)

My friend, becoming a Christian is not primarily about happiness (although everlasting happiness will ultimately be a glorious by-product). Becoming a true Christian is a call to die. To die to your sitting on the throne of your life—surrendering all to Christ. To die to all sins—cutting off all that would offend God, even those most cherished and loved sins. All that which is contrary to His law must end. To die to one’s own life—yes, possibly losing all worldly family and friends if they take offence (as they often do) at God’s truth when it is presented and lived out before them. Or even actual martyrdom. Christians are daily dying for Christ. Glory be to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. He is worthy. The eternal rewards of God’s free grace through Christ are unspeakable.

(2) ‘Covenanters’, (aka ‘Covies’) was a Christian youth group movement operating in churches throughout Great Britain (now merged with another Christian youth organisation). So far as I know, they did not hold historic Covenanter standards but were a New Evangelical Christian youth organisation. In 2015 I came to embrace historic Covenanter standards and covenants. For more about the historic and present-day Covenanters, please visit my small web page for the Lord, www.Jesus-Saviour.co.uk

(3) “A Fresh Start” by John Chapman. This book was, by the mercy and grace of God instrumental in my salvation back in 2004 for which I shall be forever grateful. Should any want to read the book, it is available at Eden Books in the UK (Polish and French translations available too), plus Abe Books for a second-hand copy. By way of disclaimer, having been so mightily blessed by God over the intervening years to grow in my knowledge, unfortunately now I cannot wholeheartedly recommend the book without reservation because, whilst it does uphold the most basic essentials of the good news of Christ, there are other important issues in the book that very much reflect the “New Evangelical” compromises and errors which sadly became widespread in the church in the twentieth-century, when the church was already heavily compromised in departing from the glorious biblical attainments and standards of the first and second reformations during the 16th and 17th centuries. I pray and long for the day of glorious reformation yet to come when Christ’s Church (and the nations worldwide) shall be thoroughly reformed and triumphant in Christ, promised by God in the Holy Bible.

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