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How Did Stephen Come To Faith In Christ?

by Stephen Davey

Aiden wrote to our ministry and asked:

How did Stephen come to Christ?

Aiden, Thanks for asking this. As far as I can remember, this is the first time a Wisdom listener asked me this. Here's my story:

I grew up as the child of missionaries who loved the Lord and faithfully served Him for decades. My brothers and I were all taught the gospel of Christ. Our parents' lives in their missionary endeavors gave us an excellent example of self-sacrifice. But even though I was the son of faithful missionaries, I was not a true follower of Christ – and I knew it.

While I wasn’t addicted to drugs or alcohol, and I kept on the safe side of the law, I had no interest in the Lord. And I certainly had no interest in serving Him with my life.

All the while, God’s Spirit was convicting me of my lost condition. Eventually, into my later teen years, I began to fear being left behind following the rapture of the church. That fear grew, and by the time I was 17, I thought about it nearly every day.

On one occasion, I even got my Uncle Lowell out of bed because I was so afraid of the rapture taking place without me included. I was on a date, and it was growing late as we drove to some friend's beach-side home for a cookout. We pulled up at a stoplight, and the stoplight flickered. The momentary flicker of that stoplight caused me to panic – perhaps the rapture had just occurred and some cosmic disturbance caused the lights to flicker?!

I pulled over at a phone booth – one of those tall rectangular structures with a telephone inside it! I searched the phone book and found my uncle Lowell’s home phone number.  I dialed the number, and it rang and rang. Finally, a very sleepy Lowell answered, “Hello?” and I quickly hung up . . . he was still here!

I didn’t want to call my parents out of fear they might be suspicious. And I knew my Uncle was saved. I knew that the rapture hadn't occurred if he was still on the planet, and I was safe for yet another day.

The truth is, as a 17-year-old, I wasn’t ready to live simply because I wasn’t ready to die.  And I certainly wasn’t ready for the rapture. All of this deeply troubled me. I didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ that many family members enjoyed. I was a self-centered, rebellious young man, running from God, living the life of a hypocrite even though I was in a Christian school and in church every Sunday. 

I wrestled with the demands of following Christ. I knew what it meant to give my life to Christ genuinely – there was no percentage held back from Him – true Christianity meant that I was entirely His! 

Sometime before my senior year of High School, I dreamed that I was in hell. It was a vivid dream, and I woke up covered in sweat. Trembling as I lay there, wide awake, it became clear to me that I was battling a sovereign God, and I was risking my eternal future. The truth of God’s word, implanted in my heart, came to my mind as I lay there considering the claims of Christ and the gospel of salvation. 

A few minutes later that night, I got out of bed, knelt on the floor next to my bed, and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. It was more than “fire insurance” – it was a genuine desire to live for Him, repent of my sins, and follow Him from then on.

Even though I didn’t make any public announcement to family or friends, the change in my actions and attitudes soon revealed to everyone that I had become a true follower of Christ. Of course, it wasn’t long before I lost some friends, including my girlfriend, as I began walking a different path.

Soon after I began my senior year, I was voted senior class Chaplain by my classmates. They knew something was dramatically different. To God be the glory.

And one more thing . . . I never caused my uncle to lose another night’s sleep!

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Hugh says:
This article captivated me when I saw that you were saved for fear of missing the rapture. In that regard, my salvation came the same way. My wife and I were bored with our church and at the last moment decided to attend a new Baptist church in the area. There was a guest speaker that day and the Sunday sermon was a prelude to a week-long study on the book of Revelation. Of course most of what he said was new to me, explaining about the rapture and then the tribulation to follow. At the end of the sermon, he made the statement “If you leave here today without Jesus Christ as your savior and the rapture occurs tonight or even in the next several days you will have to look back on this day for eternity and say on that day I had my opportunity to be saved.” (as best remembered) We were both saved that day in 1971. You can imagine a week-long study as a new believer. It gave me a great interest in eschatology. I admit I was scared into Heaven.
Alice says:
Reading your testimony made me smile because I can relate. While my Mom was still alive and I visited her, I would hold me breath when I didn't find her indoors. I would call out to her and when I found her in the garden I felt a sigh of relief. I still thank the Lord for the greatest God fearing Mom He gifted me. I thoroughly enjoy your ministry and set my alarm every morning and/or read the emails so I don't miss your messages. Thank you so much!