When I was 30 years old, well it was in the year of 1995, and I spent time with some Christians who I had become familiar with. I had moved around a lot to different places when I was studying, but this year I moved back to my hometown.
I had just finished four years of studies at the University. On graduation paper it stood bachelor in Humanities. My major topic was Literature, I read also philosophical and cultural topics.
Generally regarded I was so called intellectual. I had read hundreds of books, of course, but never actually the Bible other than the minimum that occurred in the studies.
I was completely finished with the studies spring -95. My life was otherwise nothing special, not very hard, just like most people in this age who do not have their own family. A lot of partying, especially in summer it was very much, actually the last two years it was a bit too much but still not so much that it became a heavy problem, but if I had continued a few more years I would probably got alcoholic. I lived a heathen life with all that comes with it...I was a pretty ordinary heathen sinner with both short-term and long-term hopes for happiness and well-being in different ways, I was egoistic as the most people are. I could treat others selfishly and without regard, slandered as most do, lied when necessity demanded etc., well you know the way it is in a normal life without God.
Well, I had met theese Christians friends. I had moved around a lot so I hadn´t naturally a lot of friends other than studyfriends. In my hometown I had actually very difficult to make friends, I just hung out with a childhood friend who I partied a lot with and his friends. Therefore it was grateful for me to find these Christian friends. They were beneficial for my health because drunkenness and alcohol actually breaks down the health both physically and mentally.
I had always since childhood respect for the Church, even though I came from a working class home with socialist values where God, Jesus and the Gospel never was mentioned. I also thought Christians were strange and perhaps a little crazy, and I could argue against them. But the strange thing was that their words stuck with me. They were radical Christians who testified straight and powerful to me about Jesus, that He died for me, He took my sins on the Cross. They talked about to have peace with God, to enter into a communion with the living God, it was heaven or hell and the whole Gospel. There were moments when I unprofessional become angry and furious, but the words they said continued work in me even when I did not were with them.
I did go to their churches. The visits became remarkable experiences. I became very sleepy to hear the preaching in the Church, but when they began to praise God with praise and worship, it was like I could not breathe inside, it was as painful arrows of fire through my innermost . When I came out of the church it eased right away.
Well, the summer -95 a close relative of mine died. I went to the funeral in northern of Finland. The close relative who died had been a believer and the funeral was very strange; when four men carried the coffin and everyone was in severe mourning (she was very well liked and loved, well, then suddenly a mighty heavenly presence came over the place, which made me happy in some strange way. All this challenged my rational brain, suddenly, I began to realize that there might have to be something bigger than mine or any human brain can understand.
Well, after returning home, I was home alone late one night. I read in a Christian book which described some general things that belong to the Christian life. I was still negative towards the Christian faith, but I noticed that I could not resist to read and hear about it. When I read in the book suddenly the story about Jesus at the Cross appeared. The author described very simply and that Jesus died for my sins and that I was reconciled with God through Jesus' death on the Cross. It said that Jesus literally took my sins upon himself and suffered the penalty for them, in my place. It was this truth that just struck me with full force, I had never before seen or understood this, but now it was like a revelation.
But I was still rational and wanted proof, but with the difference that my heart now was wide open for God. Somehow I felt within me that if I leave my life to God, I'll die, the "Old Peter" dies and something new begins, a new Peter. I bent down there in my little apartment, and looked out throu the window at the night, and then I screamed: "God, if you exist Show it to me now !!!" And immediately God came to me, He really struck me down with full power into my innerbeing, I saw and experienced Jesus very real. My innermost had been a dark, cold, lonely and empty room, but now it was shining bright and warm, I was filled with God's love and presence. Actually the whole apartment was shining bright, God was visiting me. Immediately, I took a Christian tract I had available, it had a salvationprayer. I read loud to God again and again, the tears never stopped flowing. I was from that moment Saved and had accepted Jesus into my life.
The days that followed this spiritual experience was absolutely huge. Everywhere, the nature, the environment and life itself had color. It also affected my spirit, soul and body which gave me an awesome well beeing from God, actually a peace and joy that never seemed to end. I wanted to be alone with JESUS at the very beginning, we had it so wonderful together. It was a spiritual communion with God that was far more than I ever could imagined, it was to live at the highest level, it was to be in the very meaning and purposeof life. This communion with God was Holy, it was filled with Gods Glory. I discovered that in the presence of God I was completely satisfied, the only thing I wanted was more of this and to be more closely to the Lord Jesus, and I felt that I was really loved and accepted by God.
I had a Bible at home, the only place I knew was Psalm 23 and I tried to read, but I did not get further than a few lines before I cried. I was able to experience and kind of "see" in a vision how Jesus hung on the cross, he said to me: "Peter, I died for you, I love you, you are forgiven and free." I cried much much during the first weeks, and the biggest reason was of gratitude to Jesus.
A few weeks later I was baptized and then I also received the Holy Spirit´s baptism. I was born again and saved, but now I got the Spirit´s Baptism so I was able to experience God strongly like in the first weeks or even stronger and deeper really all the time. But what I noticed was, it depended on how much I devoted myself to Jesus, reading the Bible, prayer, Christian meetings, praise and worship. And I notice that if I sin the precense of God drained and dissapeared, like when you tighten a tap, this wonderfull communion with God just was not there anymore! But I repented and confessed the sin and immediately the precense of Jesus came back to me, I learned how to remain in the communion with the Lord.
The most important lesson I learned was to allow myself to be constantly filled with God's presence, the Holy Spirit, and also to be in the living Word of God (the Bible) every day. And on this way with Jesus I am still today. I do not regret a day of my christian life, it was really from death to life, eternal life.
This was how I became such I am now, how I accepted Jesus and salvation, Amen.