Al MoakI was an atheist - an out-and-out atheist who wanted others to be atheists also. Christianity, in my view, was a crutch and an hallucination. It was imaginary and foolish, and no human being should be so unrealistic.

This lasted until I was about 19. At that time, freshly entered into college as an engineering major, I began to notice the girl that lived next door. I gave her rides to school quite often. Finally, though, I gave her a ride to her church. I heard the usual "salvation message" quite often for the next few weeks, and, trying to make an impression, "went forward" a time or two. I got involved in the youth group and even became its president! Everyone thought I was a Christian by that time (including me).

Then I met a couple of fellows who were attempting to deepen their Christian lives. I began meeting with them. I'll never forget the night when, after kneeling to pray, I realized how selfish I was and that every word I "prayed" was for me, not for God's glory. I couldn't even pray a word. I became desperate, because by now I believed that there was indeed an Almighty God and that He had claims on every minute of my life.

About this time also, I began attending a certain church, and two of its members began lending me books, mostly by puritan authors. The books emphasised the absolute sovereignty of God and made it very, very clear that God is not obligated to us, but that we are obligated to Him.

Finally, I could stand it no longer, went to my pastor, and "spilled the beans" - told him where I really was spiritually. He told me the same thing I'd been learning - that God wasn't obligated to seek me, but that I was obligated to seek Him. He told me to begin seriously studying God's Word. I was desperate enough. I did it!

One morning, as I was studying Phil. 2:5-11, the passage that tells us about our Lord's self emptying love and how greatly God valued it, I saw a new picture of Who God was - He was One Who could be glorified, not only in what His Son did, but in every person who believed in that love and came to Him. I saw that He never cast out any who came to Him. I came! What a blessed Lord Jesus!

A little later, having been called to serve the Lord in the Ministry I took up my studies at Westminster Theological Seminary. I was privileged indeed to have been taught by some eminent and godly men, including Prof John Murray.

Dr. Gaffin, another of my teachers, is currently professor of Systematic Theology, the same chair once occupied by Prof Murray. I highly esteem Dick Gaffin as one of the most thorough exegetes ever to have tried to understand our Lord's Word.

E. J. Young went to be with his Lord during the year that he was my professor of Old Testament. Such a humble and godly man! He also became my advisor, along with Cecil John Miller. I also feasted upon Dr. Jay Adams and Dr. Cornelius Van Til. What a privilege to have these men as teachers!

I thank my God for them.

I would like to close with this short message to you………..

Don't hide, as I did, behind the wall of reputation in the eyes of others. Come directly to the Lord Jesus Christ. Talk to Him. He hears you! Tell Him you've been a rebel and unbelieving, but that now you want to submit to His Lordship. He will accept you!

Pastor Al Moak

Bay Harbor on the west coast near to where Al Moak lives.  Photo taken by Al.

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