It was early 1973.

I had just become a Christian, giving my life to Christ in a way that changed my entire outlook on life. I had only one intention, and this carries on even today. That was to serve Jesus as long as I lived. God released me from my violent past, revolutionized my present and was going to reshape my future! I was excited as to what God had in store for me.

One of the first Christian books that came into my hands was, ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’, by David Wilkerson. That time David was just a country preacher who had a calling to the city of New York and to the violent gangs ruled by warlords like Nicky Cruz, drug pushers and pimps in the city’s ghettoes. Armed only with the simple message of God’s love and the promise of the Holy Spirit’s power, David began his church with gang members, drug addicts, drug pushers and such who were saved on the streets of New York. The ‘Cross and the Switchblade’ is one of the most inspiring and challenging true stories of all time. Later on came the movie, starring Erik Estrada as Nicky Cruz and Pat Boone as David Wilkerson. Christianity Today magazine, in 2006 listed this book in the No. 32 spot on its “Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals.” David was an Assemblies of God pastor in rural Pennsylvania before starting his New York ministries. He also founded Teen Challenge, a ministry to young gang members and drug addicts, in New York in 1959.

Both the book and movie, related to my life. They motivated me to preach the Gospel, and I began to see the power of God work in my friends and other young people on the streets of Colaba and Byculla. Ever since I have had internet connection and email, David Wilkerson’s weekly messages have been part of my reading. From time to time his prophetic words and challenging teachings have also been part of my studies as I led so many congregations in the years gone by.

David Wilkerson was 79 when he crashed in an auto accident and died in East Texas.

Our end will come sometime on earth too. How it will end no one can tell. But when it comes we must leave behind an inheritance. This is not only for our family or for the ones who knew us. I also mean for the unknown whose lives and ministries we have impacted through just the daily living of our lives here on earth. We may never know their names or even know from where they come, but surely their lives have changed somewhat…when we met on the net or elsewhere.

Do you know that every sinner is a walking corpse?

The Bible calls it, “Dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2-1) The Bible also clearly reveals that to be unsaved is to be a stranger and an alien to God. The state of a soul that has not been ‘Born Again’ is lost, so very lost! Much of our world live their lives like death is no big thing, and forget that hell fire is for eternity. But we need to stop to understand that the Christian who has been transformed is alive with eternal life right now. We are not going to have eternal life…we already have eternal life. It abides in us even as we go about our daily activities. This is a joy that bubbles inside of us. We shout and rejoice as we endure our burdens and tough times.

Outside the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus made a powerful statement to Martha, Lazarus’ sister. ‘Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ (John 11: 25-26)

Minutes later Lazarus walked out of the tomb, alive and with a bursting opportunity to live life to the full!

David Wilkerson, lived his life to the full, did what he had to do, and finished his course. Somewhere along the way my own life was impacted and challenged by this man.

Today I live with a similar determination. Like Lazarus, Jesus raised me up from the tomb of the past and like David Wilkerson I must impact the world I live in!

Now, what about you?