They said of me, "He wouldn't go to church for his own funeral," they were right, after all I had graduated from church after having been baptized and confirmed. I was a confirmed sinner. The people in the church that I knew were no better than me so what could I find there.
I came home that evening to be informed by my darling wife, "We are going to a home Bible group tonight."
"That's good darling, I hope you enjoy yourself." I replied.
"No! I said we," she responded.
"You know that will be the day Hell freezes over; if I go to church the roof will cave in," I answered, after all I had heard about Hell and I had no intention of going to any church function.
Our arguing continued through supper on right up until we closed our door heading to the next door house for the Bible group. I was dressed for a church service complete with dreaded tie. I have always preferred to dress for comfort but my religious background told me, ' you must dress up to go to a church service.
When we arrived we were warmly greeted by the home group. (What a motley crew.) What's more they weren't even properly dressed no ties! Right on time the group leader started by welcoming us as visitors and said, " I am glad you have all come but in view of the fact that we have visitors I think we should have a question and answer time and not continue with our study of prophecy tonight."
What followed sure was an eye opener to me. They fired their questions at him, which he answered directly referring them to the Bible. Someone would ask something like, "Why do you say we are all sinners? Aren't some worse than others?"
He would answer, " Turn to Romans chapter 3." And then point out the verses that confirmed, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God," and those that say, "There is none righteous not even one." Demonstrating clearly that God has judged us all equally as sinners.
I sat there that night thinking, "At Sunday School I won the Bible prize for the best student every year but never knew that the Bible could give such practical answers to every question.
After some time the leader asked us to bow our heads in prayer and made an appeal for those who had never accepted Christ into their lives to do so that night,
In hindsight I know that God the Holy Spirit was at work in that meeting, but at the time I began to struggle in my mind with whether or not I should respond. I made excuses of what I thought the outcome would be and why I never needed it.
I argued that if I did this thing my wife would leave me once and forever. I tried to tell myself I was all right, hadn't I been baptized and was I not confirmed; surely I would be O. K. All this was to no avail so I surrendered and gave my life to Christ. My wife did so at the same moment. The leader took us to another room in the house and explained what we were doing.
Being 'Born Again' is not just making a decision or a commitment but a supernatural experience in which God gives us the ability and authority to become children of God. He gives us a new heart and makes us new people and so more than fifty years later my wife and I are still enjoying the privilege of being God's children.
"What value is a Home Group?" You ask.
I reply, "Much in every way for there God often works among His people to bring others home to himself through the reconciliation He accomplished on the cross."
Even if you hate religion and shun church, do visit a home group of Christians it could change your life. I could tell of many more lives that have been changed and of bodies that have been healed in answer to the prayers of a home group, but those are other stories.
Bill Stevenson is a volunteer Pastor with 50 years + experience in missions and ministry. He has witnessed God save and heal many miraculously during this time and often been supported by faith alone.