On August 10, 1993, I was born. On October 21, 2008, I was born again. This is my story about how God radically changed my life.
From the beginning of my life, I lived a relatively moral life: no drinking, no drugs, no sex. However, inwardly, I was wicked beyond all comprehension. I remember the thoughts I had when I was younger and how they were formulated around two things: my pride and sexual lust. It appeared that everything I did was motivated by sin. Yet, I would still go to church (mainly because there were attractive girls there), went on missions trips (because that would be the right thing to do and a guy like me would obviously do the right thing to do), and knew a couple bible verses. I claimed Christ while at the same time doubting his existence, the truth of the Word, and holding fast to sin and the approval of sin (e.g. same-sex marriage, abortion, etc.).
It was not till, my sophomore year, until my heart was softened. My brother Daniel started to go to this church in Aliso Viejo called Compass Bible Church. Also, a player on my football team, Mike Lasutschinkow, his dad was a pastor there. Therefore, when my mom started to go she would invite me. I went and heard the pastor, and for the first time thought that a pastor sounded intelligent and was clearly explaining what the Bible said. God’s work in me had begun. Ultimately, it was not till Mike invited me, more than just once, to small groups. After exhausting all my excuses, I decided to go. The small group leader was the high school pastor, Pastor Bobby Blakey. He was speaking to us about Matthew 7:13-14. He explained that this passage (alongside v. 21ff.) speaks about those who think they are saved, but are walking on the wide path that leads to destruction. Then, Pastor Bobby explained the one word that had been missing in my life: repentance. All my life, I was explained the love of God in a cheesy, “Jesus loves everyone”, way. I never understood that I was faced with hell ever since I was born, and that God had wrath towards me, but in His love sent Christ down to live the perfect life I couldn’t, die the death I deserved, and raise from the dead so that all who repent and turn to him shall have eternal life. I knew that I had not repented for I was walking down the same course of life ever since I was born. I was destined for hell, and it scared me.
After small groups, Pastor Bobby talked to me, for I had raised my hand when he asked who had not yet repented. In tears, I realized that I needed to repent and turn to the love and grace of God given to us through Jesus Christ. That night I repented, and later that week (Saturday to be exact) I was doing chores when I felt a great need to pray. Being alone, I prayed out loud in anguish saying, “God, I hate my life…I don’t want to be in control anymore. You, You be the captain of my ship.” It was clear that my whole life was given over to God for ever since then my life has never been the same.
Each day afterward, I would come home from school to open the Bible to a random page and start reading. I loved reading the Bible and would soon bring it to school with me so that I could read it more. Also, my heart was passionate to speak praises of God and the truth of His Word to all at my school. Because of this, I was persecuted, but I did not feel loss. I rejoiced knowing that I was counted worthy to suffer for the Name.
Now, I am a sophomore at The Master’s College majoring in Biblical Studies with a double major in Bible Exposition and Biblical Languages to be a pastor. God has been gracious to save me out of the darkness and into His glorious light. Every day, I grow in my love for and obedience to Him.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14)
– Jonathan Wright