After returning from a holiday in Rome the whole thing came crashing down around me. I could see clearly that, far from being a Christian, I was a lost sinner who was no use to myself and certainly of no use to my fiancée.
I prayed to God on a Wednesday night. This time I was very serious. I knew that I had fooled myself for many years. I knew that I had to get right with God, and soon. My prayer was very simple. “God, please show me where I can hear the true Gospel and where you have a true Church”. I could recall two things I had read in the Bible, both of them from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Himself. He had said that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church and that whoever wanted to be His disciple would have to forsake everything, Matthew 16:18 and Luke 14:33.
Again I don’t claim to be very clever or scholarly but I had figured out some things. I couldn’t trust the Catholic or Protestant churches or any other group which was based on the teachings of men or had a human head. I knew that a true church of Christ would be based on the Bible and nothing else. But I knew very little else. Also, when I thought about ‘forsaking all’ to follow Christ I decided to break off my engagement. I felt sure that unless I did this I would never seriously seek God.
At that time in Dundalk there was a Christian bookshop in Dublin St., called ‘My Word’. It was managed by an elderly gentleman, Bob McAlister, whom I had met at Bible studies several years previously. I called to see him in the shop and asked him where I might find a good Bible study in this town. My reasoning was straightforward. Bob was too old to be involved in any of the new cults I had heard about, especially the crazy variety coming out of the U.S. Now I know this is not exactly high reasoning but I believe that the Lord used it to guide me just where He wanted to put me, in answer to my prayer.
Bob directed me to a study being held in a house on the Long Avenue. So the next night, Friday, I went along to this house. My ex-fiancée had insisted on coming along. To be honest, I was delighted. I did hope that both of us might find the truth together but I knew that it was something we couldn’t do for one another.