I was born in Casablanca, Morocco in a very conservative Jewish family and at a young age was instructed in reading and writing Hebrew and the rudiments of the faith of my fathers. I was educated in a secular French language school. That education exposed me to rationalism and liberalism.
Throughout my childhood, my father taught me about the heroes of the Old Testament and, curiously enough, included also the Lord Jesus. He presented Him as great Jew, rabbi of rabbis and maybe the Messiah Himself!
Since I always believed strongly in the Almighty Lord and was expecting the coming of Messiah, I started to investigate and read all kinds of books about Jesus Christ, but never finding one that would satisfy my thirst. Held in bondage to the blindness my people suffer from, I never thought of reading the New Testament, or the Old Testament for that matter.
In 1984 I married my wife, Marlene, who had been raised in a mainline church. We moved to Ontario from Montreal in 1989. We now realize that God was seeking us and we did not know it. In 1994 I miraculously escaped a bad car crash and knew then that God’s hand had preserved me.
A few months later a colleague told me that she was a “born again” Christian and we had — I can assure you — some heated arguments over the deity of Yeshua (Jesus). I asked her for a New Testament to investigate those claims. She offered me the full Bible and told me that she and her husband wanted me to have it. At the same time I was involved in business with more “born again” believers and went to business meetings on weekends and attended church services on Sunday mornings. Through the music and the preaching, God spoke to my spirit and reached out to that heart of stone.
At the same time, Marlene was also under conviction and we began looking for a Bible believing church to attend. As Marlene was watching a Christian T.V. channel one November evening in 1995, the Holy Spirit convicted her of her sin and she gave herself to Christ.
I had one stronghold: I thought that if I became a Christian I would be a traitor to my race and religion. Yet, Matthew 5:17 says: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them”; and Romans 1:16 says: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew [me] and then for the Gentile.” That did it! That was the confirmation that true Christianity is Christ! After speaking with a pastor, he led me in the sinner’s prayer and I confessed Christ as my Savior and Lord in November of 1995. And so Marlene and I came to the Lord in the same month together as God led us back to Him — totally pardoned, son and daughter of the King!
Our pastor started to disciple us, spend time with us. and involve us in small groups and Sunday School. And now we live according to the Lord’s word in John 15: “I am the vine you are the branches … without me you can do nothing.”
These are the verses that ring in my spirit daily:
“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21).
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:20).
“Since then you have been raised with Christ set your hearts of things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things, for you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you will also appear with Him in glory” (Col 3:1-4).
Our prayer is for continued guidance so that our lives may be used of God to advance His kingdom.
Our friends, Alain and Marlene, serve at Lillooet Gospel Chapel in British Columbia where he is pastor. You can read Al’s blog and hear messages at www.gochapel.ca. For further resources on the Hebrew orientation of the Gospel, visit www.chosenpeople.com.
John and Linda give thanks for God’s blessing on the Exchanged Life Conference that was attended by 70 at Glacierview Baptist Church in Homer, AK last weekend. They are flying back to TN June 17th.