Testimony for Jesus Christ by Richard L. Deem
This is the testimony of Richard Deem, a sinner saved by the grace of God. Even though I was unworthy, God loved me and called me to be His child. This is my story of discovery.
I was raised in a moral, but non-Christian home, by loving, but agnostic parents. From my earliest memories, I have had a profound interest in science and nature. I pursued studies in the sciences in my classes and on my own, primarily in the old "playhouse" room adjacent to the garage in the backyard of my parents' home. During these early years I came across several religious people, all of whom seemed to believe theirs was the only true religion. The need for God seemed remote, since I was very capable and self-sufficient.
I pursued a bachelor of science degree in biological sciences at the University of Southern California, which included several classes which discussed the theory of evolution. Studies on the possible naturalistic origin of life were unconvincing and led me to the conclusion there must have been a Creator God who at least created the earliest life forms (and the universe itself). I became a deist, but was skeptical of being able to sort out which of the religions of the world, if any, represented the true God.
After graduating, I began a master of science program in microbiology at California State University Los Angeles and worked part time counting inventory at night for an inventory service. One of these night jobs involved doing an inventory at a Christian bookstore. The store's owner was very friendly and helpful, but halfway through the job he announced to our crew that he was going home. He told us to finish counting and leave the totals on his desk, lock the door, and drop the keys in the mail slot. We were all amazed that he would trust total strangers with his store. There was obviously something very different about this Christian man.
I graduated with a master degree and began my career doing research in the field of immunology. Things went very well and within six years I had published eight articles (five of which I was primary author) in prestigious scientific journals. I was running my own life and ignoring God until I got very sick. The tests revealed I had Crohn's disease, a serious, incurable inflammatory disease of the intestines. I found myself unable to do things using my own abilities and strength. After two months of being bedridden in severe pain, I cried out to God and promised to try to follow Him and do what He wanted me to do (although I had no idea what that was at the time). Within three months all symptoms of Crohn's disease had disappeared.
Three years later I was "set up" for a blind date with a Christian woman. We got along fine, except when it came to the issue of God. I was given many things to read, including the gospel of Luke (which she thought would be of interest, since Luke was a physician). None of this reading was convincing, so I decided to read the entire New Testament, beginning with the gospel of Matthew. Things seemed rather bland until I got to Matthew's sermon on the Mount (chapter 5). What Jesus had to say was unlike any of the messages of the world, but was what I would expect to be God's message. I was suddenly aware that I was guilty in the eyes of God, even though I had led a "good, moral life." The Holy Spirit convicted me that Jesus was the Son of God and that He was only way to have peace and communion with a Holy God.
Since that time, I have grown in faith as I have followed the course laid out by the Holy Spirit. The joy and peace found by following Jesus is unlike anything the world has to offer. It is something that I could not have understood as a non-believer. If you are a non-believer, I'm sure you have doubts about the peace Jesus promises. However, through simple faith and a prayer to God, you can experience this peace yourself. You have nothing to lose and eternity to gain. If you still have some doubts or questions about the Bible, trust that the Lord will answer those questions. The Lord has been faithful in answering my doubts regarding the harmony between science and the Bible through the ministry of Reasons to Believe. One of my favorite verses is from Isaiah:
"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the Lord, "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
You may contact Richard Deem at the contact page.
Last Modified June 9, 2010