What I was Before I met the Lord Jesus Christ
I was born and raised in church. So, I could be called a church boy. But of course salvation is different from being born in the church. However, in a way, my involvement in children activities (bible quizzes and other children church things e.g. choirs, drama etc.) from a tender age were helpful to my salvation journey.
Some of the things I remembered was that I had tendencies to be a bad boy, but each time I wish to do bad things no matter small, there is a huge force that hits me on my mind as if it will kills me or my heart will burst. I will look very troubled and unhappy. Then later on, due to all of these church activities, everyone in my church (young and old) quickly attached a title to me (pastor). This becomes another problem, because anytime I want to do bad things, I keep hearing someone calling pastor. I had tried to steal from my parents but I just would not succeed, because even if I were the only one at home, I would still be caught. I was not good at lying also, even when I tried to lie, I would eventually say the truth. Although I have not at this point given my life to Jesus.
How I met the Lord Jesus Christ
However, on the Easter week in 1999, precisely April 2-4 (Good Friday- Easter Sunday), 7 (Wednesday) and 9 (Friday), three (3) major experiences that transformed my life happened. Firstly, I was convicted of sin at a Youth camp meeting in my church at Olorunda Ketu, Lagos. Secondly, I was baptized by immersion and thirdly I received the Holy Spirit baptism. All these happened to me that same week.
The youth camp (youth convocation of The Apostolic Church Nigeria) is a biannual event, one during Easter and the next one during the long vacation (August). We had left our home as early as possible as usual to the venue in order find a suitable space in the auditorium and play around from the beginning to the end of the program. But, this year as we arrived, we kept our things in the right place and start putting benches together for playing table tennis just behind the church auditorium. We had barely started playing when this sister walked up to us and dropped a bombshell. She said to us, is this how you will pay back Jesus who died for you on a day like this. You are supposed to give your lives to Him. The message was very short and none of us was able to resist it. We thought we’ll recover later, so we could come back and play our table tennis, but I tell you, none of us up till today went back to that table. And that was the beginning of the journey of my salvation.
The Change that Happened to Me
On Wednesday 7 April, we were taken to the river for baptism by immersion. We had before this time been taking baptismal class in my church as it’s more obligatory though not compulsory to come for baptismal class at the age of 15. It was quite a rigorous exercise, learning 27 verses of the church rules of belief, conducts and tenets of the church including 2-3 memory verses attached to them all by heart. We started this exercise about 3 months earlier with different teachings accompanying. Finally on that Wednesday we received baptism by immersion.
The third experience was baptism of the Holy Spirit. The resident Pastor of my church, whom has spent more than 13 years in our assembly had just been transferred to Otukpo in Makurdi Benue state from Lagos. He was a man-of-God par excellence. His spiritual legacy in my assembly, no pastor since he left had broken his records. Of blessed memory, Pastor Gabriel Oladele Ojo, an Ijesha man. I went to the mission-house just like every other church member to help in arranging his things as he prepares to leave and I saw him lying down on a mat in the sitting room. Many of us like to run away from him, especially if you have committed any sins, because he will most-likely find out. Just as I entered the sitting room, he called me while other were watching, he said to me “se o ti gba Emimimo” meaning “Have you received the Holy Spirit?” My heart beat so fast that I was hearing it in my ears. I replied with a “no”. And he said to me, people are calling you pastor and you’re answering them, so you mean you what to go to hell. And of course he preached a short message and he told me by 12 noon that day, I should return to church for a prayer session. I didn’t know he had arranged with some of our big brothers in church (Bro Demola Adewuyi and Pastor Timothy Adegbenro). By 12 noon, I returned to church and this prayer session began, my other friends were there also, Kehinde and Taiwo Ojo (pastor’s sons) and Femi Sokunbi. After some times they started Holy Spirit ministration (songs, prayers, preaching, tongues etc.) and as I was being ministered to, there were droplets of saliva from these brothers’ mouths and really they were as fireballs falling on me and that was the last thing I remembered. I just knew I started speaking in tongues.
These experiences were consolidated as I joined several prayer groups before I gained admission to OAU Ile Ife and of course when I got to school.
A Gentle Call to the Unsaved.
The best of life any human can live is a genuine salvation based life. Any life out of Jesus will be nothing but struggle.
My favorite passage is in 1 Peter 4: 18, I prefer it in the Yoruba version
“Bi o ba sepe agbara kaka la fi gba olododo la, nibo ni alaisododo yo yoju si?”
English version “If the righteous are scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and sinners appear?”