Personal Testimony of Steven Goss
In my youth I was the type of person who would try anything once,
especially if I thought it would get me into the "in" crowd. Those
days were characterized by experiments with alcohol and drugs, dabbling
in philosophy, and wondering whether I would find real meaning in
anything. After high school I was anxious to get out from under my
parents' authority so instead of going to college, on their money, I
joined the Navy. It turned out to be a rude awakening in some ways;
there were some hard lessons including an evening in jail, and my try
anything once lifestyle more than once got me into real trouble.
By the time I had completed four years of my six year enlistment I was
getting tired of life in what I thought was the "fast lane". The
drunken carousings and weekends of "thrill sports" left me feeling more
empty than before. I was curious about the true meaning of life and
had talked to people involved in transcendental meditation and a cult
group, but never fully committed to either. Several people had even
shared the Gospel of Christ with me, and because of my parents
influence I always thought in the back of my mind that Christ was the
Finally, at the end of December in l978 I met a guy on my ship who
asked me if I was a Christian ... to which I responded "No, I joined
the Navy to get away from all that church stuff." He told me that
Christ didn't come to start a religion, and I was surprised that this
guy knew where I was coming from and had a past much like mine. He
told me of how he had accepted Christ and been changed, while I
recalled the changed lives I had seen in other friends. When I asked
tough questions about things I didn't understand or bothered me, he was
able to show me verses in his Bible that clearly explained God's truth.
I remember in particular Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth His love
toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." My
new friend, Jack, said, "Since He died for you, in your place, you
don't have to die!"
I was thinking real hard of the things he had said and of the words we
had read together from his Bible. He didn't have to convince me that I
was a sinner. I kept thinking of the "newness" of 2 Corinthians 5:l7
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things
are passed away; behold, all things are become new." I wondered what
it would be like to trade that empty feeling for a new life; and
instead of wondering what truth was, to know that I had the truth.
When Jack asked me if I wanted to pray and recieve Christ I said
"Yes!" and we prayed right there. He had warned me that becoming a
Christian was an act of faith and wouldn't necessarily produce a
feeling, but I felt a calm assurance that I had done the right thing
and that the rest of my life would be different ... new.
Jack loaned me a Bible and as I began reading it I was amazed at the
promises and truths available to those who are properly related to God.
I began to change from the way I had been before ... I was surprised
at the language the saliors around me used, even though I had cursed
with the worst of them; I began to dislike rock music and got rid of
many of the record albums I had; and I lost my interest in TV and
At my next duty station I met other Christians that were learning about
Jesus Christ from the Bible, and during that time I also met a
Christian girl that I dated and later married. After several years of
marriage, my wife and I are glad that we have Christ in our marriage,
and as we observe the world around us we are glad that God gave us a
clear plan in the Bible for our life together, and glad that He has
promised to provide for our needs. We have been encouraged to see God
come through when we prayed according to His will during times where we
otherwise could not see an answer.
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