Re Posting My Journey to Christ

ldonjohn

"God said it, that settles it!"
I grew up attending a Baptist church. I heard about sinners going to hell if they don't "believe in Jesus" and be "saved" every Sunday. But by the time I was 17-18 years old I wasn't sure if any of it was true. I could not understand how saying a prayer "in Jesus' name" saved anyone. I doubted if the bible was true, or if God was real, or if Jesus was real.

Later I stopped going to church, forgot about God, sin, hell, and Jesus, and got on with my life. But, for some reason, a few years later I began to think about the matter of sin in my life & a lot of the things I had heard about the matter in church began to trouble me. I still wasn't sure if any of it was true, but I began to think that I might be wrong about the matter, and if so, then I could be facing a tragic future. The thought of going to hell was frightening, and that fear led to a life of misery for me that lasted for about 6 years.
During those miserable years I decided that I wanted to know the truth about God & the bible, so I began to go to the same Baptist church that I grew up attending, and pretended to be a Christian. Most everyone there knew me and they probably thought I was a Christian.

I talked to the pastor about "believing" telling him that I had some doubts, but never said anything about doubting the existence of God or the truth of the bible. I purchased some books from the church library; books about salvation. I read them many times trying to find something that would convince me that the bible is true and that God is real. I found that those books mostly just quoted the same scriptures that I had already heard as a kid, and I found nothing there to convince me that any of it was true. I also talked to our Sunday school teacher about the matter, but again he could not convince me that the bible is true.

I really wanted to "believe," and would try to work up a sense of "faith" and then say a prayer asking God to save me "in Jesus' name." But I was praying to a God who I wasn't sure existed, and I still did not understand how saying a prayer "in Jesus' name" saved anyone. I just did not get it.

I would try to make myself believe that the bible is true & that God is real, and that Jesus really "saves," but no matter how much I tried to make myself "believe" I just could not do it. The doubts & fear made my life miserable, but I kept it to myself and did not discuss any of it with my wife. By the way, my wife was not a believer either at that time.

I would say that the fear created by thinking that there was no way I could ever know if God was real or if the bible is true or if God heard my prayers is what drove me to search for the "truth" about the matter. And, one night I finally just "gave up" on myself, and out of a sense of desperation I called out to the God who I wasn't sure existed, asking him to show me how to believe in Him.

The next day I found the family bible, which was never opened or read, opened it to the book of John, and started reading. I need to explain that this was the first time I had ever opened a bible outside of church. In the past I had read in the book of John in Sunday school, but it did not mean anything to me then, but this time was different. As I read from the very first verse of chapter 1 of the book of John, I realized that something inside of me was showing me that I was reading the truth about Jesus. Today, 45 years later, I know that the Holy Spirit was giving me spiritual light that I needed, because I was in the darkness of unbelief, and that light grew brighter & brighter as I continued to read the words that told me about Jesus, about the spirit of truth, about who He is and about what He did for me. By the time I read through the 6th chapter I found my answer. The Holy Spirit turned on the light for me and "I got it." The Holy Spirit convinced me that the bible is the truth, that God is real, and that Jesus paid the penalty for my sin when He went to the cross; paid in full. After seeing that, I didn't have to try to make myself "believe," because God just convinced me of the truth of His way of saving me. Immediately the doubts & fears were gone and my troubled soul was overwhelmed with a sense of relief as the darkness of unbelief vanished under the brightness of the light of the truth I had just discovered. It was no longer about "me," not about anything "I" could do. God's answer was about "Jesus;" about His finished work on the cross for me. It was about Him; not about me. My confidence moved from "myself," from saying prayers, from walking the isle at church, from begging God, or from anything "I" could do to the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

Yes, I did say a prayer thanking Jesus for paying the penalty for my sins and asking Him to change my life. He did change my life that day, and he gave me peace. I still have that peace today; a peace that is impossible to explain to anyone who has never experienced it for themselves.


Regards,

ldonjohn
 

ldonjohn

"God said it, that settles it!"
I
Thank you, what a wonderful testimony! It is interesting that it was not a lack of information, you knew about salvation. But when you read the Word, the Word, Jesus, spoke to you. All praise to God!
I really think it was a matter of misplaced faith. When I gave up on "myself" and turned to God with an attitude of helplessness & hopelessness and looking to Him as my only hope then the Holy Spirit moved in and gave me the light I needed that enabled me to see the truth.

It was like I was blind to the truth, spiritual truth, as though I was in spiritual darkness and could not find my way out, but God gave me the light I needed as I read through the book of John. He showed me the truth that I thought was impossible for me to ever know. I was convinced that there was no way for me to ever know what "believing" really meant; that is until the Holy Spirit convinced me of the simple truth of the gospel message. The Spirit of God literally turned on the light for me and I "got it." I saw that not only is God real & the bible IS true, but I saw that when Jesus died on the cross & shed His blood there that He did everything God required for my sins to be forgiven. I saw that Jesus had already taken care of my sin problem and that He just wanted me to come to Him so He could give me the new heart that I so desperately needed. I did not have to work up a sense of faith or "try" to believe because God had just convinced me to leave the matter of my salvation up to him without question.
 

Belle of Grace

Longing for Home
The Spirit of God literally turned on the light for me and I "got it." I saw that not only is God real & the bible IS true, but I saw that when Jesus died on the cross & shed His blood there that He did everything God required for my sins to be forgiven. I saw that Jesus had already taken care of my sin problem and that He just wanted me to come to Him so He could give me the new heart that I so desperately needed. I did not have to work up a sense of faith or "try" to believe because God had just convinced me to leave the matter of my salvation up to him without question.
Yes, that's what I ultimately did as well. I grew up in Sunday School, church, Vacation Bible School and had some really good teachers who did their best, but I could not fully let go of 'self' thinking that I had to pray a certain prayer using just the right words, etc. What a relief! Jesus did it all. All anyone has to do is trust in Him, and His finished work. I think I was struggling with unbelief and did not realize that was my stumbling block. I was still trying to engineer my own salvation. It doesn't ever come about that way. It's Him, not us. And He's motivated by an unfathomable heart of love for us and does the sacrificing for us paying the debt we owe Himself.
"The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen could ever tell. . ."
(One of my very favorite songs)
 

pixelpusher

Well-Known Member
Great testimony!

Just to try to break it down a little for any seekers or strugglers, this is a little random, but some thoughts.

Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6

Phillipian Jailor: What must I do to be saved? Paul & Silas: Believe on the Lord Jesus... Acts 16:30-31 (When they added "And your household" -- meant the way of belief was open to them as well, not that the household would be saved because of the Jailor's belief...)

Believe = Trust

John is the best book for unbelieving seekers, IMO.

It seems too simple, salvation can't be that simple can it? People want to DO something, some ritual, keep a promise, say the "right" incantation, etc etc, but just like Adam and Eve's "religious act" of making garments of leaves were wholly inadequate to cover their sin, where God slew an animal and clothed A&E, it's all about what He did. Jesus covered the sin debt of the world, there is nothing that can be added. "It is FINISHED", He said. Paid in Full. And trying to add anything spoils it all. There'll be no boasting in Heaven, and ALL of the Glory will go to God.

Repent = Change Your Mind

God doesn't exist --> God does exist.

I'm a good person --> There is sin (missing the mark, it's an archery term if I'm not mistaken) in my life.

Then you believe what God says about this, that "the wages of sin is death", and Jesus paid your sin debt, salvation is offered as a free gift. You accept that, and believe on Him. Can't clean yourself up first, He'll "bother" and bring up to you things that need to change in your life after you believe, as you read the Word and pray. When one believes, they are immediately sanctified (set apart for God) in position, it will eventually be made complete. Position changes from lost to "saved", redeemed, this can never be changed, even when we may lose faith or behave poorly. Being "set apart" or sanctified in daily life is as different as the individual sometimes, but it comes a bit at a time as one walks closer and closer to God, feeding on the Word. There will almost certainly be failings, but when we confess, He is faithful and just to forgive us.
 

welkin

Well-Known Member
I grew up attending a Baptist church. I heard about sinners going to hell if they don't "believe in Jesus" and be "saved" every Sunday. But by the time I was 17-18 years old I wasn't sure if any of it was true. I could not understand how saying a prayer "in Jesus' name" saved anyone. I doubted if the bible was true, or if God was real, or if Jesus was real.

Later I stopped going to church, forgot about God, sin, hell, and Jesus, and got on with my life. But, for some reason, a few years later I began to think about the matter of sin in my life & a lot of the things I had heard about the matter in church began to trouble me. I still wasn't sure if any of it was true, but I began to think that I might be wrong about the matter, and if so, then I could be facing a tragic future. The thought of going to hell was frightening, and that fear led to a life of misery for me that lasted for about 6 years.
During those miserable years I decided that I wanted to know the truth about God & the bible, so I began to go to the same Baptist church that I grew up attending, and pretended to be a Christian. Most everyone there knew me and they probably thought I was a Christian.

I talked to the pastor about "believing" telling him that I had some doubts, but never said anything about doubting the existence of God or the truth of the bible. I purchased some books from the church library; books about salvation. I read them many times trying to find something that would convince me that the bible is true and that God is real. I found that those books mostly just quoted the same scriptures that I had already heard as a kid, and I found nothing there to convince me that any of it was true. I also talked to our Sunday school teacher about the matter, but again he could not convince me that the bible is true.

I really wanted to "believe," and would try to work up a sense of "faith" and then say a prayer asking God to save me "in Jesus' name." But I was praying to a God who I wasn't sure existed, and I still did not understand how saying a prayer "in Jesus' name" saved anyone. I just did not get it.

I would try to make myself believe that the bible is true & that God is real, and that Jesus really "saves," but no matter how much I tried to make myself "believe" I just could not do it. The doubts & fear made my life miserable, but I kept it to myself and did not discuss any of it with my wife. By the way, my wife was not a believer either at that time.

I would say that the fear created by thinking that there was no way I could ever know if God was real or if the bible is true or if God heard my prayers is what drove me to search for the "truth" about the matter. And, one night I finally just "gave up" on myself, and out of a sense of desperation I called out to the God who I wasn't sure existed, asking him to show me how to believe in Him.

The next day I found the family bible, which was never opened or read, opened it to the book of John, and started reading. I need to explain that this was the first time I had ever opened a bible outside of church. In the past I had read in the book of John in Sunday school, but it did not mean anything to me then, but this time was different. As I read from the very first verse of chapter 1 of the book of John, I realized that something inside of me was showing me that I was reading the truth about Jesus. Today, 45 years later, I know that the Holy Spirit was giving me spiritual light that I needed, because I was in the darkness of unbelief, and that light grew brighter & brighter as I continued to read the words that told me about Jesus, about the spirit of truth, about who He is and about what He did for me. By the time I read through the 6th chapter I found my answer. The Holy Spirit turned on the light for me and "I got it." The Holy Spirit convinced me that the bible is the truth, that God is real, and that Jesus paid the penalty for my sin when He went to the cross; paid in full. After seeing that, I didn't have to try to make myself "believe," because God just convinced me of the truth of His way of saving me. Immediately the doubts & fears were gone and my troubled soul was overwhelmed with a sense of relief as the darkness of unbelief vanished under the brightness of the light of the truth I had just discovered. It was no longer about "me," not about anything "I" could do. God's answer was about "Jesus;" about His finished work on the cross for me. It was about Him; not about me. My confidence moved from "myself," from saying prayers, from walking the isle at church, from begging God, or from anything "I" could do to the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

Yes, I did say a prayer thanking Jesus for paying the penalty for my sins and asking Him to change my life. He did change my life that day, and he gave me peace. I still have that peace today; a peace that is impossible to explain to anyone who has never experienced it for themselves.


Regards,

ldonjohn
The Holy Spirit convinced me that the bible is the truth, that God is real, and that Jesus paid the penalty for my sin when He went to the cross; paid in full. After seeing that, I didn't have to try to make myself "believe," because God just convinced me of the truth of His way of saving me.

Amen Brother,
Thanks for that testimony.
 

Katie8758

Well-Known Member
That mustard seed of faith was enough to where God removed the blindfold <3 And isn't it amazing to think about how God always knew that was going to happen?
Made me tear up :) Thank you for sharing! I'll see you at the feast (I'll be the one who started the food fight, lolol)
 
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