Born in Sin
I didn’t know it at the time, but when I was born into this world there was a verse in the Bible written about me, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51 v.5). This means that “iniquity” and “sin” was part of my childbirth, and according to Romans ch.3 v.23 “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” – we were all born in this same sinful fashion.
As young as three years of age I was taken to Sunday School and gospel meetings at Paramount Gospel Hall in Malaysia. I was taught Bible stories at Sunday School and I usually slept through the gospel meetings. Throughout those years of attendance I had no concern for the sin that was in me whatsoever and perhaps that is the attitude of those reading this right now.
Burdened with Sin
But when my family migrated to Australia I was brought again to the Sunday School and gospel meetings at South Oakleigh Gospel Hall. The Sunday School and gospel meetings were just like the ones in Malaysia and so I continued in the same attitude of disinterest with the meetings.
On 5th October 1986 my older brother got saved through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ after the Sunday night gospel meeting. This got me thinking, because now I knew that my brother was saved, my mother was saved, and my father was saved. But I knew I wasn’t – and that the only place I would be if I died that night in my sin … is hell and I would be forever separated from my family.
I buried the thoughts of this possibility, which was probably a figment of my imagination. A few Sundays later the gospel preacher read from Luke ch. 16 vv.19-31. When he came to the words “and between us and you there is a great gulf fixed” (v.26) I jumped in my seat because it was describing the separation between a man in hell and a man in heaven. It was as if God was saying “Derek, it’s not a figment of your imagination, it is true – there will be a separation for ever”. Because the Bible says it, I believe it!
The Bible is not out to get us. It is not written to condemn us, but to point us in the right direction. So when it says “a great gulf fixed” I have no problem believing that it is true, just like every other part of the Bible. Perhaps you have a skepticism about the Bible – then prove it first by doing what it says and living by its principles before judging it.
Coming home from the gospel meeting that night I couldn’t sleep. For the first time I was affected by the gospel. It was as if I was already in hell. Did I really want to be there today? No! But what could I do? I decided, I would get saved that very night.
I got out of bed and told my mum that I wanted to be saved.
Born again unto Salvation
Together we turned to John ch. 3 v. 16 “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”. Then I was asked “do you believe that Derek?” I said, “Yes. I believe that God loves me, that He sent His Son into the world, and that He died on the cross, and that there is a heaven and a hell” – but I was still not saved.
Then we read from Romans ch. 10 v. 9 “that if thou shalt believe in thine heart the Lord Jesus” – instantly the words “in thine heart” hit me. All this time I had believed the Bible in my head, but this verse says in thine heart, which is not something we can do without sincerity.
So on 26th October 1986 I believed on the Lord Jesus Christ in my heart – not in my head, and I was born again!
When the Saviour said, “Tis finished,”
Everything was fully done,
Done as God Himself would have it –
Christ the victory fully won.
Vain and futile the endeavour
To improve or add thereto;
God’s free grace is thus commended
To “believe” and not to “do”.
All the doing is completed,
Now ‘tis “look, believe, and live;”
None can purchase his salvation,
Life’s a gift that God does give;
Grace through righteousness is reigning,
Not of works lest man should boast;
Man must take the mercy freely,
Or eternally be lost.