THE COMING OF CHRIST: BY PATRICK RUSSELL
I grew in a family of 14. I had 9 brothers and two sisters. My mother was my fatherís second wife, his first one dying in childbirth, leaving him with three young sons and a daughter who was the eldest. They married about 1934 and had eight more children together. My mother was of German extraction and was a staunch Catholic, taking us to church each Sunday. I learned to fear God, and most especially to fear the nuns and priests of this church who were my teachers. My parents sacrificed to put us through the catholic school system.
I grew up, tried to avoid sin, but always seemed to "miss the mark." I eventually joined the Marine Corps, and was on active duty during the Vietnam War era. Many of my buddies were killed or wounded. Two of my brothers also entered the service and found themselves in Vietnam. They were both wounded and found themselves bound with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
During my last three months of duty, I met, and fell in love with a lovely young woman from Chicago. We were married. I got out of the Marines, and immediately enrolled in college on the GI Bill. I also worked to help support us. During my senior year, my wife gave birth. We soon had two children. I took a job and was promoted and transferred to St. Louis where I served as a territory manager for three states. My job required me to be away from home extensively. I started drinking on the road, and messed up.
I would always repent, ask God to forgive me, but I had started a cycle of unfaithfulness and was involved in watching pornography. I loathed this, but was hooked. It was addicting. It cost me my marriage.
During this time also, I became involved in an occult group called the "The Rosicrucians ". Since rosicrucian meant Red Cross, I was deceived into thinking this was a Christian group. These dudes were from all religions, including Baptist. There was a black pastor who played the organ during rituals. One day, I checked a book out of the library, which had been written by one of the upper leaders. In it, he claimed that Jesus Christ was merely an "ascended master", and on a par with Buddha, Krishna, etc. Also during this time, there was much strife in my marriage. The problems were all in my heart, and I prayed, trying to find some kind of answer from God.
I was amazed to discover Christian radio, and during my drive times listened to Kathryn Kuhlman. She blew my mind because she talked as if she actually knew God and that He would say things back to her. I had never experienced this.
I was making sales calls and drove to Decatur, Illinois. Entering the town, I noticed the adult movie house and made a mental note. I checked into a motel, and decided to go to the movies.
As I was parking the car outside the theater, I glanced across the street at a huge brick church and saw a banner waving. It was the banner that caught my attention. I thought to myself, "What is a revival?" I didnít really know, and decided to investigate.
I entered the church and saw only two people sitting down on the front pew. I greeted them and was about to leave. The evangelist called out to me and asked me to come on down. I felt very awkward, but relented, and went down to chat. He said that he was going to speak and asked me if I would stay. I thought, "Why not?"
He preached his heart out on gospel of Jesus Christ, who He was, and why He had died on the cross. He explained that God would forgive all my sins if I would repent, accept Jesusí sacrifice on the cross as the atonement for my sins. I knew he was speaking the truth, and when he invited me to receive Jesus into my heart, I accepted. I went forward, knelt down, and asked God to forgive me for my sins. I also asked Jesus to come into my life and become my Savior. God had put on a revival meeting just for me.
I never went to another porno movie. I had finally met the Saviour of my soul. The LORD had given me the faith to believe that what that Evangelist had spoken was the Truth, and I was set free!