I was born in Northern Ireland in the 1920s. I attended Sunday School from a very early age and went to many Gospel Meetings where I learned that if ever I was to be in heaven, I must be born again. “Ye must be born again” John Chapter 3 verse 3 and 7. I like many other others, wanted to enjoy the things of this life and later on in life get saved. That was a dangerous path to go as we read in Proverbs Chapter 27 verse 1 “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth”.
As I grew older, I saw much of this world and tried its ways and its pleasures … but only for a season. It didn’t last.
I tried the broken cisterns, Lord,
But, ah, the waters failed!
E’en as I stooped to drink they fled,
And mocked me as I wailed.
For a time, I worked as a bus conductor in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, and the driver with me was saved. He often spoke about salvation but I was not interested, as I had just been married a few months and had other plans. But as the months went by, I began to think about Eternity.
My parents were saved, and they lived in the country side in Northern Ireland. Late one November night, I went to collect my bible from my childhood home. I looked, but could not find it, so I opened the door to go home. It was a dark night and I heard those words, “the blackness of darkness forever” from Jude verse 13. I turned, went back in and asked my father where my bible was, and he told me where it was.
The next day on the bus, the driver and I had some time to wait. The driver quoted many scriptures, many of which I had learned in Sunday School, such as Acts Chapter 16 verse 31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”. I replied, “I believe all these verses, but I am not saved”. The driver tried hard to see me saved. My own thought was, “I’ve missed God’s salvation”. I believed and believed, but could not see how I could get saved. I felt like the words of the hymn,
I wandered alone in the darkness,
Not a ray of light could I see,
And the thought filled my heart with sadness,
There’s no hope for a sinner like me.
As bus came around to where the driver and I stood, the bus driver was talking much, but I didn’t hear much of what he said. Except two words … “Only Believe” (Mark Chapter 5 verse 36). It just came to me this way, “If Christ died for me, then I won’t have to die for my sins”.
Soon as my all I ventured
On the atoning blood,
His Holy Spirit entered,
And I was born of God.
All those verses immediately became clear to me.
- Where? … In a bus in Northern Ireland.
- When? … On 28 November 1950.
- How? … I “only believed” that He died for me.