I was born in the 60's and raised in the 70's when well over 90% of people in North America identified as Christians (meaning that 80% of them were deceived). I mean if you have a pagan decorated tree in your house in December and pagan eggs and bunnies in your house in the spring, can you be more Christian?
My family and I were among the deceived.
When I was in my early 20's I had someone who I loved die the day after we discussed getting married.
We had just had the most incredible evening together with a beach-side dinner overlooking Lake Superior, a beautiful walk in a park watching the sunset and then a beautiful time sitting together in an over-sized chair in the living room of her parents' home.
She had beautiful brown eyes and her best friend called her "Nadi Brown Eyes". She walked me to my truck and kissed me good night. Then she said "Good night Scotty Brown Eyes," I have very blue/gray eyes. I said to her, "We can't have the same last name unless we are married. She said, "I know", with a very coy smiled and walked away back into her parents house.
Less than 40 hours later I watched life support being removed from her body after an outpatient surgery that had gone bad.
I then spent the next 12 years as a quite angry atheist. During that time I often raged against Christians and I did live quite a self-centered life. It never dawned on me that believing there was no God would mean that I couldn't be angry at something that didn't exist. Clearly I had maintained a belief in God, I just could not believe that He was good and allow the death of such a beautiful person.
In my mid 30's I married and my wife wanted me to start attending church with her. We wanted to start a family and she did not like the idea of children being raised in an atheist home.
My reply was that I would get a Bible (stole one from a hotel room) and some colored highlighters and read cover to cover and show her in highlighted sections how ridiculous it was and she could stop believing and be like me. I wasn't half way through the Bible and I knew that it was filled with incredible wisdom, and it was a love letter to me. I had to admit that I was the foolish one, not the God of the Bible. I knelt in an apartment living room in Chicago and asked Yeshua (yes I called him Jesus back then) to be my Savior.
Once I did that I had a hunger to read His Word, to hear His Word preached, and be around other believers. Unfortunately, my pride was unchecked and I developed pride in my "Christianity" and how good I was at it.
I consider my actual born again event to be a late morning (one way) conversation with God.
On that morning I was visiting customers and was in my work van. I always listened to either the Christian radio station or CDs of sermons. That day there was a news story about Robert Downey Jr. He had been a star, lost his way because of drugs and had just had a big movie hit and was a star again. The story was how he was found intoxicated in someone's yard and had been arrested again.
"What a fooled!" I said confidently self-righteously. I didn't hear a voice, but in my spirit I heard God sternly say to me, "You are the fool! If it wasn't for my grace that would have been you! You do not know the path that he has walked. He is my child, and if you are my child you will love and pray for him and not deride him and curse him."
Since that moment I have had a heart to know that we were all broken from the time we were born until we could start fending for ourselves. Some, like me, were blessed to be in a protective and supportive family, and our brokenness is largely socially acceptable. Others have suffered with trauma that causes behaviors that are easy for people to deride and shun and not run toward to minister.
As Yeshua said, all of the law of Moses and the prophets rest on these two things:
I fail daily but that is what I strive for now in my life. I hope the book reflects that.