I had a very normal upbringing in Dudley but unusually, coming from an Indian background, I was never taught anything even vaguely linked to religion. I suppose the only religious influence was the little I was taught in RE lessons at school.
Up until the age of about nine I never even considered that God existed or had any concept or belief in Him.
Through various family and friends my mum began attending a church in Birmingham and soon became a Christian, meaning I was brought along each Sunday. Honestly, I liked to meet with the people every week but did not listen to any of the preaching. I did however enjoy Sunday School. I made new friends and learnt many of the Bible stories which I believed were true.
When people would ask me at school, I would tell them I was a Christian but the truth was that I was not.
Going to church, being good and reading the Bible do not make people Christians. I continued doing these things regularly for many years with no real change in my heart, the belief was only in my head.
Then came a realisation one day that I was not heading for heaven and I vividly remember that night being very scared of dying but stubbornly I did nothing about my eternal state. I knew Jesus died for sinners but continued on as I was.
By the time I was twelve I was still not a real Christian and about this time we began attending Sunday school at Dudley because it was closer to home whilst still going to our previous church.
This meant I had a ‘double dose’ of the gospel each Sunday and at this period in my life I really considered my own sin, hearing every week that I was a sinner but the good news that Jesus died for people like me, it all matched with everything I was reading in the Bible and my mum was teaching me.
Even at a young age I knew I had done wrong which included all the ‘little lies’ I had told, they were an offence to God and demanded punishment.
I knew that I needed to turn to Jesus, ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ is what the Bible says. I prayed to God and repented of my sins but my life was still the same, I continued living my own way and trying to live God’s way at the same time which was impossible.
I needed to trust and put my faith in Christ, not just say sorry then carry on as I was before. By the time I was thirteen I knew I was saved, my sins were forgiven and I was a real Christian.
My life changed after this point, I read the Bible with new enthusiasm and tried to live by it, knowing it was what God has said to man and the Lord Jesus was my only example. I had a new and complete assurance that I was heading for heaven.
At times it was and still is difficult, being a Christian at university is challenging but the Lord is with me. Over recent years I have been more involved in sharing this wonderful news with others in Dudley and further afield.
I pray that this short but very real story of mine will make you consider your eternal soul whether young, old or in between. Don’t delay like I did, but turn to Christ right away and you too can know Him as your Saviour and the assurance of heaven. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” Romans 10:13.