How I Came to Know Jesus

John A. MarshChurch background

I was raised in a church that did not believe in the Bible. When asked, and elder once told me, "Here, you can believe whatever you want." They believe that "all" religions are acceptable to God, He does not really care what we do or think, and our only hope is to find the "good within ourselves." The pastor often criticized the Bible from the pulpit, and many of his "interpretations" twisted the meaning of verses to the opposite of what the words appeared to say. Coming from this environment, I did not believe the Bible. I accepted that church's idea that the Bible was just a storybook that had had some good moral themes.

Scientific background

Ever since I was five years old I wanted to be a scientist. I studied hard and did well in math, biology, and many other fields. The idea that God created the world was usually given only a passing remark at the beginning of biology classes. From what I knew of Genesis, it was clear that it did not describe the theory of evolution being taught in my classes. Thus, God did not have much time in my thoughts.

It was not until my sophomore year in Molecular Biology that I began to see things in a different light. My Biochemistry class was studying blood clotting. In short, blood clots when a large number of proteins interact chemically in response to an injury. The result is a network of fibers that seal the wound and allow it to heal. The system is carefully balanced so that the clot can form quickly, but the reaction is controlled so that the clot does not overtake the entire circulatory system.

Following this we studied blood-clotting disorders. Those familiar with hemophilia know that a single change in a person's DNA makes a single amino acid change in one of the enzymes involved in blood clotting. Just one little change causes the whole system to fail. I immediately realized that blood without a functioning blood clotting system would be useless, as would the presence of the blood clotting mechanism without blood. Both are necessary at the same time, which is impossible for evolution to accomplish.

I began studying several different fields of science and found that the evolutionary and "old-earth" interpretations of scientific data were inadequate and/or inaccurate. While evolution might seem believable on the surface, deeper study reveals need for "Divine intervention" to explain how and why things exist and when they came into being.

Spiritual search

I did not want to accept Christianity just because I was raised in a culture that gives credence to this religion. Instead, I studied many branches of religion and found that Christianity is the only one that has a realistic view of the world and the human condition. It is also the only religion that gives a real hope for overcoming this condition and gives purpose and meaning to life.

When I decided to become a Christian, I asked Jesus to come into my life. I began to study the Bible intently. Reading the Bible through for the first time was a thrilling experience. I had not previously realized that the Bible is a history book that tells how God wants to have personal relationships with people He has made.

I realized that I had offended God by trying to live life without Him. The Bible says that people who refuse to depend on Him will be forever separated from Him when they die. However, the Bible says that God forgives people for these offenses when they believe in His Son, Jesus. Jesus took the death penalty for our offenses and later came back to life again. Anyone who accepts the forgiveness that Jesus offers will never be separated from God.

In fact, God establishes a relationship with us in our hearts by giving us the Holy Spirit. The Spirit helps us to learn about God and teaches us to dislike sin (that is, things that offend God). My relationship with Him is growing, but it will not be perfected until my earthy body dies and Jesus comes back.

Life in the "real" world

Even though I was joyful on the inside, I soon found that those who don't know God can become hostile to His followers. Even so, I would not trade Jesus for anything. Life is often difficult and filled with struggles, but I have a hope that will last beyond my years here.