A long story

Share how you became a Christian, or experiences from your Christian life.
NobodySpecial
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A long story

Postby NobodySpecial » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:17 am

There are two bottles. Bottle A and Bottle B. For my entire life I had been drinking from Bottle A, until one day someone came along and removed the label to reveal that I was drinking poison. At this point I still have the free will to choose which bottle I'm going to drink but reason and logic dictate that if I want to live I will drink from Bottle B.

To me that perfectly describes how I became a Christian and represents part of the perceived disconnect between the doctrines of free will and election. That being said, let me get into specifics.

I was born into a Christian family and as such went to church every Sunday, sang all the songs, participated in vacation Bible school, memorized verses, etc. I also went to private Christian elementary/high school so every Thursday we would go to chapel (which was essentially the same thing as church). So from a young age the existence of God was never anything that I questioned and even as I grew older that aspect of the Bible wasn't ever a hindrance for me.

When I was eight my parents divorced and that profoundly impacted both how I viewed myself and how I viewed the world. Firstly, it planted the idea in my head that love was not unconditional and certainly wasn't eternal. This idea was also reinforced by the fact that I would read stories of Cain/Abel, Jacob/Esau, Joseph and his brothers, Moses and the Pharaoh along with multiple places in the NT that talked about election/pre-destination and it seemed like in all of those stories I mentioned that it was the younger brother that God favored and the older one who He cursed. I was the older brother in my family and so I saw myself in those stories. I started to wonder, "What if God hates me like He hated Esau from before I was born? What if I'm not one of the elect?" (I was nine when I was trying to figure this out by the way) If God hates me, and it is by grace that we're saved and not by works then there was nothing I could do to change that. When you're that young and you believe in God, but you also believe that He hates you and there's nothing you can do to change that, it leads to some dangerous places.

Despite all of that I still prayed that my parents would come back together until I was 12 (so around 3 -4 years of the essentially the same prayer request). One that went unanswered and I started to wonder if God was really listening to me. When I found out why my parents got divorced ( my mom was convinced my dad didn't love her anymore) my prayer request changed. I decided that what happened to him wouldn't happen to me so I started praying for a wife who I could love and succeed where he had failed. So from the time I was 12 to the time I was 17 that was my primary prayer request. Once again it went unanswered and I was really started to believe that God just didn't want anything to do with me.

My senior year of high school, when I was 17, I had a bible teacher tell me something along the lines of "you'll never know how beautiful you are in Christ until you realize how ugly you are without Him." Which makes sense, because as the Great Physician, you won't go to Him until you know you're sick or as a redeemer you won't go to Him unless you know you need a savior. But I interpreted that to mean that if God really wanted me in His family then I could go out and do whatever I wanted and eventually He would bring me back if it was predestined.

So from my senior year of high school and then all through college I did nothing but party (drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.) I was incredibly selfish, apathetic, condescending, prideful, arrogant - living only for the next moment. I ended up majoring in Philosophy (after starting out as electrical engineering) and through that I was exposed to many different philosophies on life and what it means. Most Philosophy majors are atheist and so most of my friends were atheist. Personally, there was no argument that would convince me that God didn't exist so I identified more with the beliefs of a deist (the clock-maker theory - God created the universe and then sat back and doesn't intervene).

I didn't think anything of it until one of my friends showed me a video of an executive order that was signed into law in 2011 which grants the government the right to kidnap and detain American citizens on American soil if they are deemed a "domestic threat" (which was defined much to generally for my liking). That led me to start investigating the political arena more closely and eventually down a rabbit hole that led to information on the New World Order, the Illuminati, Freemasons, etc. The more I started to dig the more I started to see evidences of their tampering everywhere and then I found out about an annual ceremony that is held during which the attendees worship a big wooden owl and perform ritual sacrifices. It is very apparent from the video that the being they are worshiping is Lucifer and that he has a very real hold over the people who are in charge of large industries in the world.

Having read Revelation when I was younger, what I saw happening triggered a memory that the Bible predicted that people would be forced to worship a statue and receive a mark. I understood that this wasn't a complete fulfillment of that prophecy but I could see that the direction the world was going was the same direction the Bible predicted it would go. So after that I started to read my Bible again and was introduced to Jesus, who - even though I had been raised in the church- I had never really encountered. Because of my background in philosophy the Jesus I saw was a great philosopher and the world's greatest debater. No matter what argument was brought against Him, He was never fooled and He always got to the heart of the matter. However my interest never went past that and I continued to live a sinful life.

After I graduated I moved out of my home state across the country and took one of the first jobs I could find. I thought that my life was going the direction I wanted it to go (money, fame, women) but then I lost my job and it was like the floor fell out from under me. I decided to start going back to church in order to get back to my roots and maybe get my life back on track. Eventually I landed at a church that showed the Billy Graham, "My Hope" video, which is essentially three people talking about their testimonies. One of those people was a girl who stated that on the day she decided to commit suicide she went to church first and encountered God through an elderly gentleman who had the spiritual gift of special knowledge - and had a details on her life that she hadn't told anyone. When I saw that video I was upset because that's all I had ever wanted was for God to just tell me He loved me and for multiple decades I had gone through life trying to fill that void with other things that ultimately weren't satisfying.

So when I got home that day I decided to test God and put a razor to my wrist and said "God if you want me then you'll have to stop me." I cut 5 times, and I don't know if I really didn't want to or what, but there was no blood (although I still have the remnants of the scars today). I threw the razor against the wall and, since it was Sunday night, I decided I'd go back to church and talk to a pastor or counselor or whoever would listen.

On the way, while I was in my car, I remember that the light from the sun started to get brighter until I couldn't see anything (not sure how I didn't hit anybody while this was happening) and very clearly I could hear in my spirit God's voice telling me "I love you, I sent My son to die for you. I knew everything that you would do before you did it, and even still I sent Him to die for you. That's what love is, and I love you." After that I don't know how I got to the church because I don't remember driving there, parking, walking in or anything. I don't even remember what the pastor said, the only thing I remember was that at the end of the service they played the song "I have decided to follow Jesus" and I made the decision right then that I would follow Him. I didn't love my life so I gave it to Him.

Since then my passion for philosophy has evolved into a passion for theology and apologetics, and that's how I found this board because I was looking for a good place to practice apologetics. I'm a firm believer in the inerrantcy of scripture and knowing that most of the information we receive from the news, media and even some scientific studies are all funded by a patently anti-Christ and demonic source I reject anything that doesn't agree with what the Bible says.

Going back to my bottle analogy, formerly the doctrines of free will and election was something that eluded me. However I now believe that if someone is questioning if they're elected, and they read the Bible with a proper understanding and repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord, believing the God raised Him from the dead - then they are elected. I think that it's not a doctrine that should be emphasized among non-believers and should only be used as a means to encourage those of us who already believe when we stumble or are tempted to backslide. The way it coincides with free will is that I still have/had the option to reject God, His free gift of salvation through His son, and eternal life - but with the knowledge that I have, logic and reason dictate that if I want to live I will drink from bottle B.

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Silvertusk
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Re: A long story

Postby Silvertusk » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:42 am

Great testimony. Thank you for sharing and welcome to the board

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Storyteller
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Re: A long story

Postby Storyteller » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:54 am

And you say you're nobody special!?

That was one of the most moving testimonies I have ever read.
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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1over137
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Re: A long story

Postby 1over137 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:23 am

Thank you. Very much for the testimony and for coming to the forum.
Hope you enjoy it and appreciate it.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold
-- Psalm 18:2

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abelcainsbrother
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Re: A long story

Postby abelcainsbrother » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:01 pm

Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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B. W.
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Re: A long story

Postby B. W. » Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:57 pm

Very moving

Blessings!
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Science is man's invention - creation is God's
(by B. W. Melvin)

Old Polish Proverb:
Not my Circus....not my monkeys

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melanie
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Re: A long story

Postby melanie » Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:27 am

Great to have you here.
Awesome testimony :wave:


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