When I was very young as a boy I remember going to Sunday school at a Church and one day my parents got me a bible and I remembered thinking wow this is "the Words of God". I treasured that first bible and was in awe of it thinking how lucky I was and from time to time I read some of it. After some time we stopped going to Church and as I started growing older I forgot about God and lost my first bible and started exploring all that the world had to offer which led me further and further away from God and His Word into the snares of all that the world had to offer until I had become a slave to sin.
After some more time I remember being on a bus in Sydney, Australia with some friends thinking that there must be more to our short life than eating, drinking, partying, sleeping and working and dying but at this stage I had become an atheist thinking that to believe in God meant that I had to have a blind faith and that there was no proof of God and use to argue with Christians telling them they believed in something that did not exist. Time for me continued to pass and as I began to grow older I tried to seek the meaning of life through other religions but was never happy with the answers that any of them offered, By this time I moved away from Sydney, Australia, tired of all the hustle and bustle of city living to Northern New South Wales. I found myself making friends with those who lived a hippy lifestyle curious about what they had to offer on the meanings of life.
After some time I began to realize that all the world had to offer was emptiness, and loneliness. I remembered hearing about some of my school friends dying in drunken car accidents or drug overdoses and being very sad for them. For me at this time I remember thinking that in my life there was only happiness in the moment of the sins I practiced but this happiness never lasted and I had become a slave to me sins in order to find happiness. There was no peace and a feeling of separation that I could never understand or explain. I remember one day after some time, finding a bible and began reading it, although at this time in my life I never went to any Church to seek or find God. I was curious as to the feeling and happiness I once found as a little boy and had since lost.
As I continued reading Gods' Word prayerfully asking for God's guidance, for the very first time I began to find meaning to the purpose of life and that there was much more to what I thought life was all about and my life began to change forever. As I continued reading the scriptures, I remember reading that sin is described in the bible as breaking God's law and anything of His commandments and not believing and following what God's Word says and that all of us have sinned and fall short of God's glory *Romans 3:9-23; 1 John 3:4; James 2:10-11; Romans 14:23 and that the wages of my sins was death *Romans 6:23. At this stage I had a knowledge of what sin was from the scriptures and that according to the scriptures breaking God's law was sin and all of us had sinned therefore I was a sinner. I prayed and asked God to forgive me and repented from my sins in my heart and decided to follow God through His Word.
I think for me at this time in my life, reading my bible from home, God was teaching me that the more I tried to follow His Word the more he was showing me that I could not obey His Words and the more I saw myself as a sinner unable to do what God wanted me to do. It was through Gods' law that I saw that I was a sinner under God's condemnation and death there was nothing that I could ever hope to do to save myself. The more I tried to keep Gods law the more I saw myself condemned by the law (Romans 7) until one day this experience as painful as it was brought me to the foot of the cross crying out "Oh wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:24). It was here looking up at the cross where I saw Jesus in my mind and heard His Word to me "the just shall live by faith." Faith in what? I saw for the first time Jesus shedding His blood for my sins so that I could receive God's forgiveness. He gave me His life when all I had was death and by His stripes I saw for the first time I was healed. Not because of anything I had done but because He loved me and gave himself for me. This is where Gods' Law brought me. It brought me to Christ so that all I could so is call out "Lord have mercy on me a sinner". Then I looked up and could see, and my eyes were opened for the first time see Jesus dying for my sins even me, so that I could be reconciled to God. This is where my whole life changed and that change took place as I was seeking Him through his Words and believed them. This is where Gods' law brought me so that I could understand the words of Jesus in Matthew 9:12-13 for the first time.
I was not brought up in any Church and did not start going to any Church for some time but after some time reading my bible I was thinking to go out and join a Church. During this time as I continued prayerfully reading my bible I came across some scripture that troubled me that I could not get out of my mind. The scriptures were talking about the last days just before Jesus returned and said that in these last days there will be many false prophets and false Christs that if it was possible they shall deceive Gods' very elect (Matthew 24:24). At the time I read these scriptures I was not going to any Church. I was just reading my bible at home but they troubled me very much because I was thinking of going out to join a Church somewhere but I did not know which one God wanted me to join.
When I read these scriptures in Matthew 24:24 I believe God showed me their interpretation at that time as in the last days before He returns there would be many false prophets being messengers or teachers claiming they were from God that have false teachings and that these false Christs represented false Christian Churches (e.g. Christ being the head of the body which is the church - Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18) and that many would be lost by following what these Churches were teachings.
Then as I was considering these scriptures one day, I remember thinking that all the Churches of the world all are all professing to be the chosen ones of God. In a recent Christian religion consensus I remember reading that there is today somewhere around 40,000 different Churches all professing to be Gods true Church that have the truth of Gods' Word! Now I do no know how true those figures are but to me even if there was 20 churches all professing to be Gods' true Church that is 19 too many right?
So I was very troubled in my mind because I did not want to follow false teachings and be lost to God. I prayed to God saying dear God help me. How am I going to know who your true Church is? I barely know your word and how am I ever going to find who your true Church is? I wanted to follow God but I knew I was never going to find Him if he did not help me and if he did not help me it would be impossible for me to find the truth of His Word. Looking back now with tears in my eyes I see how God answered my prayers and was with me, hearing and answering my prayers guiding me and teaching me through His Word.
Not long after I prayed to God, as I was continuing reading His Word I came across some promises from God's Word that really helped encourage me to have believe God was leading and guiding me. These promises seemed to speak to me again just like the scripture from Matthew 24:24 that troubled me into thinking how am I ever going to know the truth of God's Word?
These scriptures that really spoke to me next were...
John 14:26 , But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
John 16:13 , However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.