It wasn’t a normal, vertical door but a trapdoor – and it was about to be sprung with yours truly standing on it!
In terror, moments beforehand I’d thought “My number’s up!” because I was suddenly at the end of my life AND shocked to realise hell’s below – AND, I’d be heading there – even though I used to think hell didn’t exist! I was wrong – oh so badly wrong!!
Being anti-Christian had been a serious mistake – but it was now far too late! Yet I’m now able to tell this true story; it is told purely for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
How did I get there? you may ask. And, how on earth did I get out of it
We need to go back in time to the evening of 13th September 1989.
SEARCHING FOR ‘TRUTH’ BUT HEADING FOR DEVIL’S DOOR!
Since my teens I’d wholeheartedly embraced esoteric spiritual doctrines and practices such as the Eastern and Theosophical belief of reincarnation and ascended masters, as well as those of Western occultism plus concepts generally known as deism.
I thought that as all religions are equal there are many paths to a supreme being – but which is not the same as the anthropomorphic deity of the Abrahamic religions. That is, it’s different to and far superior to human beings – a ‘cosmic mind’ with which we can be attuned and attain ‘cosmic consciousness’, as experienced by many and practised in the associations of which I was an active member.
I appreciated the linkage with mystical Islam of Sufism as well as having read its Book. It was only after becoming a born-again Christian that I studied its early history and came to understand its fundamental, doctrinal differences with Judaism and Christianity.
Thus, two decades of an occultic practicum made me disdainful of churches and Christian clergy and laity. They were all so very behind the times – even archaic! In my intellectual and spiritual pride I thought their preaching just couldn’t compare with the more profound philosophy found within ‘New Age’ movements. Such arrogance, of which I’m ashamed!
AN EARTHLY VISITOR
Sometime in July/August 1989, a young man named Peter knocked at the front door with an invitation to hear the world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham at Earls Court in London. We could be taken in a coach trip from outside our house west of Reading. How much? Nada, entirely free!
Naturally, I rejected the offer outright but my almost-teenage son piped up he’d like to go because a classmate had told him about it. So I said I’d take him.
As can be gathered from the story of my journey thus far into spiritual captivity, personal experiences had made me very wary of churchgoers. Never did I suspect my own well-being hung on the moment of that request.
Can you imagine my bewilderment, therefore, upon sitting ‘up in the gods’ in the Earls Court auditorium and finding myself agreeing with what Billy Graham said as he spoke from the rostrum? I was flummoxed! Utterly bewildered! Who’s thinking that? Can that be me? Never!… Really?
As a follow-up, those who’d been on that trip were invited to an informal meeting at a local ‘free’ church. The leader explained similar chats could be held at our own homes, should we so wish. I agreed to be on-hand for my son, but I was definitely NOT interested. A youth worker, Peter, was assigned to help him but, in practice, he ended up discussing the material with me.
The evening of Wednesday 13th September 1989, is his third visit to discuss the follow-up material to Billy Graham’s campaign. I haven’t divulged any of my firmly held opinions – but this time he goes too far!
WHAT WENT WRONG?
This session is entitled, ‘Yoga, Eastern Religions and The Occult’ – in all of which I’d been involved long before Peter was born!
He shows a diagram of two cliff-like objects facing one another. One represents heaven and the other, earth, with a large, deep gap separating them from one another. Over this Peter then places an overlay depicting a large plus sign over the gap and the ends of its horizontal arms touch each ‘cliff’, thereby bridging heaven and earth. He explains that the cross of Christ is the bridge between both realms.
He then says the only way to God is through Jesus Christ. This statement implies my ideas are incorrect. Without giving the game away I gently question him on this. But he insists not many paths lead to the same, supreme God – there’s only one way to one almighty God and it’s through his Son Jesus Christ.
What’s to be done with a young man half my age who unwittingly points out the error of my ways?
I’m thinking, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. How can he, who’s not done anything I know far, far more about…just how can he tell me it’s wrong? He’s wasting my time!” Peter’s ideas are not only mistaken but also intolerant. Before the end of the evening I’ve had enough!
So I bring our discussion to an early close, politely bid him farewell and excuse myself from any future meeting. Peter is most gracious about it – as ever, he smiles politely and goes on his way.
Little did I know that I may not survive that night!
That night’s second visitor was far more challenging – this time it’s life or death – MINE!
The account is now republished overnight – when else?….