Eric Earhart: 'All Things Have Become New'
By Rod Thomas
The 700 Club
CBN.com- “I ended up psyching myself up one night and said, ‘you know, I’ve just got to kill this man.’ I kicked his door in and-and I rushed him onto his couch, stuck the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.”
You didn’t cross Eric Earhart, especially if you owed this big time drug dealer money.
“You have to build up this reputation as someone who is not to be messed with. And it played right into the rage I already had in me.”
That rage started early in Eric’s life. His father, a self-employed commercial fisherman, injured his back and couldn’t work for two years. His mother went to the government for help, but she was turned down.
“I was mad at my father, ‘why have you checked out of my life here at 10, 11, 12 years old when I need you? Where are you? Where’s my superman?’ I was mad at my mom cause she couldn’t pick up the pieces. She was not emotionally capable of picking those pieces up for our family. And I was angry at the system. I began to steal. I began to do some things, sell some drugs. I was going to fix it myself.”
Eric’s anger spilled out into other areas of his life. At school he started fighting students and even teachers. He ran away for days at a time.
“Somewhere in there I cross the line where it was no longer even trying to be a good boy anymore, I’d embraced this lifestyle.”
Because of his uncontrollable anger, Eric was permanently expelled by the 7th grade. Eventually, he moved to the North Carolina coast, where an old friend gave him an opportunity he could not resist, selling cocaine.
“I thought that I had finally achieved some measure of success. I couldn’t do it in the military. I couldn’t do a legitimate business, but now with a cocaine trade, I’ve achieved some level of success.”
And when customers didn’t on time, he flew into a rage.
“I’ve done everything from taking an alarm clock and bash a man’s face in with it, and beating a man with a baseball bat. At every turn you could feel your soul just hardening.”
But one customer pushed him over the edge.
“He continued to just spread rumors in the community that he was not going to pay me and I wouldn’t do anything about it.”
He broke through the man’s door.
“I Stuck the gun in his mouth pulled the trigger and ‘click’ nothing happened. I told him ‘leave town or I’m going to kill you. It’s Christmas night. I’m going to let you live.’ I went home that night and I got drunk and I cried all night, and I thought to myself, ‘you really are crazy.’ I began to think suicide was probably the right way out. I really didn’t have an answer. I was hopeless. I was a hopeless man.”
The next day, his girlfriend introduced him to her mother, who put it to him straight.
“She said, ‘Has anybody ever told you that you’re going to hell?’ And I was shocked. I mean, no one had ever told me that. No one had confronted me in all my evil with the idea that I was going to hell. Then she said, ‘and has anybody told you that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, come and died so that you could be forgiven of that sin?’ I had zero knowledge of Jesus, God, none of those things. So those were all foreign ideas to me. But I knew that I had to do something. I had to turn my life around. I had to change my life.”
But Eric wanted to make one more drug run before trying to change his ways. He drove to New York and picked up a shipment of cocaine, but on the way back across the North Carolina state line, the police were waiting for him.
“They find the drugs, the firearm, and as I laid there that morning and I was laying on my face on the road and i’s just laying there and I just looked up and I said, ‘thank god it’s over.’”
Eric knew his life was over. When he made bail, he went to a local beach and cried out to God.
“It made me decide that if there’s a God out there, I’d better have a talk with him, because I am a deeply disturbed man. I just start to weep and cry and I start to cry out to uh God and I said, “’if you’re there, you know, show me!’”
Eric was sentenced to seven years. While in prison he started searching the Bible for answers.
“I began to read the bible daily, 5, 6, 7, 8 hours a day sometimes. And, of course, the Lord began to reveal himself to me in that and through that I came to faith in Christ as my Lord.”
Eric only served three and a half years of his sentence. He was moved to a prison camp, and toward the end of his time, was given a six-hour community pass one weekend a month. He used that time to go to church, where he met pastor Wallace Phillips, who helped Eric realize that God had a greater purpose for his life.
“God has been so faithful, He sent me a beautiful wife, has given me a lovely family, has allowed me to start the Upper Room Assembly with six other wonderful people eight years ago and we’ve seen it grow to a tremendous ministry doing great work for the Lord here in this community.”
“I’ve been born again. I’m free. I no longer have to fear being that old man. I don’t have to, he’s dead. And he’s buried with Christ. And I’ve been resurrected to a newness of life and old things are passed away and behold, all things have become new.“
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