Behold, All Things Become New!
by Keith Green
It was in the spring of 1973 that I first prayed to Jesus… after searching in everypossible direction. I had sought happiness through drugs, free love (sex), money and fame from music. But after being totally disillusioned by this search, I embarked on another… my search for “enlightenment.”
This took me through the whole gamut of Eastern-mystical thought, including all the commercial Western brands such as astrology, metaphysics, “white” witchcraft, astral projection, and self-hypnosis; a complete “who’s who” (or “what’s what”) of the alternatives to Jesus.
I made a list in my mind of all the great teachers and philosophers who had ever made an impact on the world. On this list, I included even some little known gurus such as Yogananda, Si Baba, Meher Baba, etc. – men who many of my friends assured me had the answer for my life. One by one, I read books on their teachings, listened to lectures on their philosophies, and conversed with their followers. But as I went from one master to another, the search moved more quickly, for they all started to sound alike.
Their philosophies were almost carbon copies of each other ie, “All you have to do is follow ME and you will melt into the cosmic awareness that you are one with God… in fact …you are God.” And then they would always add something about Christ… “Yes, Jesus proved that we are all God by expressing the Christ-consciousness”…or something like that. They all made a point of referring to Jesus as proof that their particular way was a lot like His.
This began to baffle me, for I had put Jesus right down at the bottom of my list. I thought… “Mom, apple pie… and Jesus Christ.” Right? I mean, how could He be the way… with so much hypocrisy among Christians? Besides, I hated all those “Praise-the-Lords,” and “Hallelujahs.” I figured I’d never be a Christian… No, it was the every last thing I wanted to be.
But the Lord has ways of getting you to the bottom of your list.
I figured if all these supposedly wise men gave Jesus spiritual credit, then maybe I’d better look into Him directly and see what He had to say. They all taught that He was one of the ways to God, so I was surprised to read in the bible that He said, “I am the way, the truth, the life, no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). He claimed that He was the only way!
Well, after much consideration I had to decide that the only safe thing to do was to follow Jesus… after all, almost every major religion and guru I had encountered gave Him at least some approval. It soon became clear that I had no choice — they all pointed to Him — and He only pointed to Himself!
Around the same time I first prayed to Jesus, I met a girl named Melody. She too had been burned by the world and had turned to drugs and the occult to try and find an answer to life. We kind of found each other on the same search and then slow but sure, we found the Lord together.
There was so much to put into perspective. We fell deeply in love and got married on Christmas morning 1973. We both started writing music for CBS the next year. There were many people trying to help me make it in the music business… but I knew it wasn’t for me. A part of me really wanted it, but my heart knew better – it just couldn’t make me happy.
So for whole two years after my first simple “please show me if you’re real Jesus” prayer, I struggled with how much the world had to offer versus that gnawing hunger and thirst in my empty soul longing for true peace and fulfillment.
Well it all came together in the spring of 1975—my hungry heart and the Lord Jesus Christ! Oh the total release of joy of that new Christian life! Our friends (not to mention our families) thought we were crazy. We just couldn’t keep it to ourselves. Almost right away, Melody and I started inviting people into our home for fellowship, and then the babies came… the new converts!
We would witness at the beach, at the park, in restaurants, even to wrong numbers on the phone. Then came those who had nowhere to stay, no money, no friends… Well, we had a house and we had some money, and we wanted with all our hearts to be everyone’s friend, so we invited them to just move in.
Those were crazy days! People sleepin’ on the couch, in all the rooms, even on the garage floor! Some Christians even thought we’d gone too far. Well maybe we did, but God blessed both our boldness and our innocence… many got saved and many found hope. Sure we got ripped-off, even robbed… but each soul was worth it!
That was the beginning of the Last Days Community, though we didn’t know it would ever have a name or that we’d eventually put out a newsletter and print thousands of tracts. But within three years our little one-house, 15-people ministry grew to a seven-house ministry with over 70 people in it.
Later, we saw that we had greatly over-extended ourselves; and by the time we moved to our ranch in Lindale, Texas, the Lord had pared our numbers down to an efficient staff of 25.
It hasn’t all been a bunch of roses since 1975. On the contrary, the last two years especially have been an incredible struggle. But I wouldn’t trade it for any education I could get on earth!
Sure the Lord wants us to keep our first love, but He also wants us to grow up, and that involves a lot of hard lessons, some sharp growing pains, and not a few trips out to the woodshed with the Lord, “For whom the Lord loves, He disciplines” (Heb. 12:6). How good it is to know Jesus, and to be growing up into the fullness of His glory!!