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The Good Fight
By Thomas Irvin
For when we were yet without strength
(Romans 5:6).

come to a place where I personally called upon
the Lord.

I grew up in and around Memphis, Tennessee.

I was consistently inconsistent concerning
church attendance and spiritual
matters. Fortunately, when our
family did attend church, we
visited Gospel-preaching Baptist
churches. Therefore, I grew up
knowing the Gospel, though I did
not trust Christ until I was 29.

Allow me to take you through 37
years of personal history.

My curiosity was peaked, my heart was
convicted, and I needed answers. Yet, I was still
in Saudi Arabia. There was no pastor
or church available, so I did what
any sensible American would do in
2010. I turned to YouTube. The only
pastor I knew of was Adrian Rogers.

He had a sermon online called The
Simplicity of Salvation. He made
salvation so clear to me.

Man that is born of a woman is of
few days, and full of trouble (Job
14:1). I was stillborn to a 16-year-old homeless
mother on September 24, 1981, in Memphis,
Tennessee. After I was resuscitated, the Lord
saw fit to restore my life. Even though the
Lord blessed me with a wonderful mother who
was not slack concerning her responsibilities,
starting a family in an unbiblical fashion
produces a troublesome life.

In January 2000, I joined the U.S. Air Force. I
became a defense contractor in Saudi Arabia in
2006. While there, I met an American Muslim
family who gave up United States citizenship
to live in an Islamic country. They were finding
that to be a bad decision. A member of the
family asked me a question I could not shake:
“How does a person become a Christian?”
Until then, I assumed I was a Christian. I was
from the South and surrounded by churches,
but it never occurred to me that we must
become Christians. This burst of light shone
on my empty existence. I knew the answer to
their question. I explained that all are required
to trust in the death, burial, and resurrection
of Jesus. The trouble is that I had never actually
20 I struggled with the decision to
call upon the Lord for nearly two
weeks. I understood my 29 years
of baggage could not come with
me into the Christian life. Considering what
Christ suffered for me brought me to a final
conclusion. I happily bowed my head and came
to be identified with the whosoevers who have
called upon the name of the Lord. Our Savior
is so wonderful! He reached down into Islamic
darkness and saved a wretch like me.

And all men shall fear, and shall declare the
work of God (Psalm 64:9).

I left Saudi Arabia a saved man. During my
time in Saudi, I came to be involved in Mixed
Martial Arts (MMA). From Saudi Arabia I
moved to Long Island, New York, for my next
training camp. While there, I attended a Bible-
believing church. The Lord made clear to me
that MMA fighting was not for Christians.

My MMA training sessions subjected me to
certain lewd fellows of the baser sort as well as
colorful music and language. It became clear
as a follower of Christ, I would have to put
childish and spiritually unprofitable activities
away. My replacement for MMA training was
standing on busy shopping corners to pass out
Gospel tracts. The weapons of my new warfare