Three copies and eight years later, I finally read my brother’s book. It sent me straight to the Word of God where I discovered amazing Bible prophecies.
By John Bradshaw
Raised a Catholic and educated at a Catholic primary school, I was taught to be faithful to God, to love the church, and to accept the words of the priests and nuns to be the words of God Himself, and all this I was more than happy to do. I tried to please God. I was fiercely proud of my faith, and for a time was happy to believe whatever I was told. Besides, I was happy being Catholic, and as they say, “Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.” Right? Wrong.
But there came a time, while I was still quite young, when I began to have questions. Questions demand answers, and while the answers didn’t come very quickly, the questions just didn’t seem to stop.
And then my brother joined a church whose members worshiped on Sabbath and didn’t eat pork, along with a whole lot of other strange rules and ideas. “There is no way I will ever join your church!” I told him. And I meant it. As far as I could see, it was an impossibility. I didn’t really know anything about what his church believed, apart from the very little I had learned from him, but I knew I’d never join. I had always thought God didn’t really mind how you lived, as long as you believed in Him, and as long as you were Catholic. Wrong again. The way I saw it, changing the way I lived my life was out of the question, especially if it meant I couldn’t play rugby on Saturdays anymore.
I had grown up with doctrines that eventually I discovered had no foundation in the Bible, and I believed the Bible to be the Word of God. Doctrines such as purgatory, an eternally burning hell, praying to Mary and the saints, worshiping relics and images and the infallibility of the pope all bothered me, especially when I discovered they were all contrary to the plain Word of God. Confession was another concern of mine; it seemed to me that my only chance of ever making it to heaven was either to never sin—which to a young boy appeared a remote prospect—or to die right after I had done my penance. Some choice! And again, the Bible teaches we should go directly to God for forgiveness. The time would come when I would ask myself how I could ever stay in a church that wasn’t teaching me what the Bible, and God, said. But how could I ever leave? And where would I go?
But all this time God had not let go of me, proving His great love and patience for one who did not deserve it. Intending to return to my career as a DJ for rock and roll radio stations, I left New Zealand for England, and what I thought would be three years in Europe broadening my horizons. I didn’t know God had a plan of His own.
During a trip to find my roots in the Republic of Ireland, I attended mass in Limerick, expecting it to be a special experience in this strongly Catholic country. But my disappointment was overwhelming; I had seen a lot of lethargy and insincerity in church before, but not like this. That morning I came face to face with the fact that my Christian experience was an empty hypocrisy. I walked home deeply depressed, and said to God as I walked, “Lord, I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m NOT going back to church until you show me the truth. If you want me anywhere, show me clearly, otherwise I’m just going to give it all away.” I longed for a true spiritual experience, and realized that an endless round of mechanical traditions and rituals could never lift me out of my sinful existence.
About eight years earlier my brother had given me a book to read called The Great Controversy. I never got around to reading it, so about four years later he gave me another copy, which, again, I never read. But arriving back in London from Ireland I found he had sent me a third copy, and with time on my hands before returning to New Zealand, I decided to read it. What I discovered was the most powerful, revealing book I had ever read: opening up the prophecies of the books of Daniel and Revelation, tracing the history of the Christian church, showing where we are today in the light of Bible prophecy, the future workings of the New World Order, the truth from Scripture about the events that will bring about the end of the world, and all written well over one hundred years ago.
What a shake-up I got! God was telling me that there was no time to waste, and that I had to immediately find the church that would teach life-changing Bible truth unmixed with human traditions. Suddenly there was nothing so important as to keep me from learning, and living, the truth about God.
My brother had told me that the Bible said that the seventh day was the true Sabbath of God, and upon checking for myself I discovered that was exactly what the Bible said! I resolved that Sunday-keeping would have to go, that if I knew what the truth was, and ignored it, God would hold me accountable for not loving Him enough to obey His will. And as for the healthy food; if the body really was “the temple of the living God”, surely it would be better to follow God’s principles when it comes to looking after it! 1 Corinthians 6:19. I decided that come what may, I would do everything in my power to be true to the truth as revealed in the Bible. I searched the directory service for the number of my brother’s church and called the pastor.
Six months later I was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist church. It might seem strange to some that I would give up a career as a successful rock DJ, but there is infinitely more to be gained in knowing the true Rock, Jesus Christ. The Lord has put a new song in my heart, and has given me something new to talk about.
I encourage you to remember these words of the Savior: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall MAKE YOU FREE.” John 8:31, 32. God’s precious truth brought me freedom from a life that was leading me as far from Him as one could get, and great peace in understanding His character and experiencing His presence. To me there was no point in living a lie when God had made His beautiful truth so freely available. And anything we might “sacrifice” is insignificant in comparison to what Jesus went through that we might have everlasting life.
Would you like a copy of the book that changed John’s life? You may obtain one by writing to Last Generation, PO Box 1, Rapidan, VA 22733. Just ask for The Great Controversy.
John Bradshaw is currently the speaker/director for It Is Written, a media evangelism ministry sharing insights from God’s Word with people around the world through satellite and digital television, websites and mobile apps, global evangelistic ministry, and faith-sharing resources. Founded in 1956 by George Vandeman, the theme of this ministry can be found in Matthew 4:4: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
Taken from Last Generation, Vol. 26 No. 3, “Tell of His Power”. Last Generation is a vibrant 32-page soul-winning magazine published six times a year. To subscribe, call (540) 672-1996, ext. 283. https://lastgen.net/