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compmend

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My testimony of faith
« on: September 02, 2016, 09:25:56 pm »

As a child my father dragged me to a Baptist church down the road from our home. I didn't protest that much because of the kool-aid, cookies, and other goodies that the Sunday school class passed out, as a reward for being good. At the age of ten I was asked to repeat John 3:16 and say a prayer, then I was Baptized the following Sunday. I was too young to understand what I had done and I believe that I was not truly saved.

I went on to live like the Devil and I were competing for a trophy. That being said the further I got from God, the stronger the innate desire within me to worship something, anything, got. I started studying different religions from around the world, I read books on everything from Satanism to Runemal (The art of Rune casting). I tried to read the Bible but, it all seemed like Old English gibberish to me, and although I really liked the book of Proverbs, because of the simple words of wisdom, the rest of the Bible remained a darkly shrouded mystery to me as a person who at the time felt "spiritual", but, did not identify as a Christian.

One day tragedy struck and a close friend of mine was killed while crossing the street. This experience made me question my own mortality. I remembered that the preacher in Sunday school said that if we died without being saved, we would burn in Hell for eternity, but, I asked myself "What if he was wrong?", "What if I chose Christianity and I burned in eternal flames because the true God was that of another religion?"

I tried asking people "Why Christianity?", and everyone kept telling me, "You just have to have faith." This answer seemed intellectually insufficient and the fear of dying without knowing was overwhelming. I began carrying a Bible with me to work and reading random passages without rhyme or reason, I viewed the Bible like a rune, I would flip it open and were I landed was were I believed God was pointing me to read. I read a lot of the Bible out of context and it was still a mystery. I actually began talking to God and I would pour out all of my problems and fears, afterwards I would feel relieved in the same way as someone who had just lay on the couch in a psychiatrist's office might. I felt close to God, but, I still wasn't saved.

Over the years I switched between God, Ghosts, and the idols of the world, though I always felt a nagging feeling of despair and uncertainty.

Fast forward to a decade ago, the elders in my family began to die, then two young members of my family were taken, and with each tragedy I was pulled more and more towards God. It wasn't until I came across the first Apologist on the radio (Ravi Zacharias), that I began to take this Christian thing seriously. I had never heard anything remotely intellectual in the context of Christianity before that. I had heard many many appeals to the heart (my heart wasn't receptive at the time), but, not a single one to the head. As I listened to his broadcasts, I literally woke up and became hungry for more and when Youtube began to feature different apologists, like John Lennox, Ravi Zacharias, and William Lane Craig, Christianity started to make sense to me. My personal path to God had to travel through my head to my heart. I began to see that God was real, that his Word, was true, and this enabled me to open my heart to Him. The Bible started to make sense, I learned about dispensations, and rightly dividing the Word of Truth. God blessed me with a wife and son and three beautiful daughters, and one day it hit me as I watched my own son, God blessed the whole world with his own Son's life, death, and resurrection. My heart was overwhelmed by the understanding that all of the evil things I had done, had been part of the reason that Christ died. I fell to my knees and asked forgiveness for all of the sins I had committed against God. I invited the Holy Spirit into my heart and since that day truth has been revealed to me exponentially through God's Word. I wake up each day in eager anticipation for the things that God will reveal for my life.

Last year I suffered a mild stroke and for the first time I felt no fear for my mortality. I know where I am going and as I am still recovering, I know that the Holy Spirit is inside me, so I don't have to worry about facing anything alone again.

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Snoochies

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Re: My testimony of faith
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 08:47:22 am »
Wow thanks so much for sharing and you are in my prayers, what a great testimony and I pray you share this far and wide.

Welcome to the RF community!
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear." Psalm 46:1-2

* Forum members please note:- Just because I ask you lots of questions, this does not mean I know something better. I am merely asking to seek clarification and arrive at truth the best I can

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Smurf

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Re: My testimony of faith
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2016, 05:25:38 am »
Great testimony. Thank you for sharing. God bless.
It is not what you look at that matters, it is what you see. - Henry David Thoreau