It was a Smoke Screen

by Bill Rudge

I had 101 excuses for not becoming a Christian. As I talked with Pastor Guy BonGiovanni following a service I attended with Karen, I told him, "Before I accept Christ, I want you to prove God exists. Prove evolution is not true. Explain where dinosaurs came from. Tell me why a supposedly loving God allows suffering and evil. And explain why Jesus Christ is unique in comparison to other religious leaders."

Although he gave me some convincing explanations, I was not ready to accept Christ at that time. My questions were merely excuses –– a smoke screen to conceal my pride and bias –– to absolve me from having to surrender my life to Jesus Christ.

I wanted to continue in my delusion that I was god and continue to live my self-centered and pleasure-oriented lifestyle. But Pastor Guy's words impacted me as the Holy Spirit began dealing in a powerful way.

I had been searching for meaning and purpose in life –– trying everything imaginable to find lasting happiness and peace. I just returned from hitchhiking across the country and knew that what I was looking for would not be found –– no matter where I went or what I did –– except through giving my life to Jesus Christ.

So on May 23, 1971, at the age of 18, I got on my knees and cried out to God, "If You prove Yourself real to me tonight, I will live my life for You." God did, and I have never been the same. I have never looked back, except occasionally to remember what I was, where He brought me from, and what He has done in my life –– so I will never forget His amazing mercy and grace. It was the wisest and most courageous decision I ever made.