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Decide to be a Christian

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  • Decide to be a Christian

    I would like to "hear" others experiences in this area.

    I never did decide to be a Christian. For most of my early life - post childhood and even late teen years - I sought the truth. I never understood the gospel in the church I was raised in, and when I could I stopped going. There was no discernible. to me, truth and when I left that I gave up God. I perhaps should say I gave up god, since I never knew the real God. I searched hard, that is I tried to come up with a truth myself. To make a long story short . . . at about 33 or 34 years of age the Spirit suddenly enlightened me. As soon as I understood what was going on I was a believer. I prayed the believers prayer because I thought it was important, but it was in some ways more harmful then helpful "to me." I figured that because I was saved I was finished with all that old sin stuff. I came back often and prayed that prayer again. I wanted to really be saved. It was not until someone pointed out (something I already knew, but . . .) that it was not me that brought about salvation, but the grace of God through the love of Christ that I finally recognized my state.

    Well the point is I do not think I decided for Christ at that moment of enlightenment. I decided some years earlier when I decided, if that word even fits there, that what I wanted was the truth. Of course in seeking the truth, I never imagined finding the Truth.

    This thread was born in the Christian cliches thread.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

  • #2
    I don't even remember exactly when(about 8 years old) I became a Christian. I became interested in apologetics in my teens, because I wanted to know for sure that I was believing in the Truth. I don't remember not being a Christian or a young child. I do have an active imagination, so I can imagine what it would be like to not be a Christian, but I often end up with an evil twin exaggeration.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    • #3
      I was seven and at Bible Camp.

      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

      My Personal Blog

      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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      • #4
        This is the testimony I wrote a couple of decades ago when I needed to become a member of a church in order to take a job as the secretary.

        It is full of cliches and buzzwords, but, you know, it says what I want it to say.
        I grew up in a home that gave me the opportunity and privilege of attending and being part of an evangelical Protestant church. I attended church regularly, learned all the Bible stories at a young age, even taught Sunday School to little kids from the time I was about 12 years old. I knew what the Bible says. I knew who Jesus is. I knew how to be saved. But I guess I thought that my life was fine. I wasn’t a bad person. I didn’t smoke or drink or even go to movies, or wear makeup. I thought I was a believer.

        But, after getting married and moving away from my hometown and having the kids, I felt a deep fear inside me -- that if I were to die right now, where would I be? Heaven or hell. There was nothing inside me that gave me any peace or assurance of where I would spend eternity. I had continued to attend and be involved in church, and continued to teach Sunday School, and I made some really good friends in the church, young moms like me. One of them, a very dear friend to this day, encouraged me (well, prodded and poked me until I agreed), to attend the weekly ladies’ Bible study that she was going to.

        I didn’t think I needed to study the Bible any more than I already had over the years. I knew the Scriptures pretty well, and by that time had been teaching Sunday School for about 13 years. Besides, I had a 4 year old and a 6 month old at home, and didn’t have time. But, she persevered, even offered to pick the kids and me up every week. I finally gave in.

        It became very clear to me during those in-depth studies of God’s Word that I had never really asked God to forgive my sins, never really invited Jesus into my life. I had thought I was fine because I had grown up in a Christian home, and had never really done anything “bad”. My inner fear of death and where I would spend eternity, I believe, was God’s Spirit urging me to accept Jesus Christ as my Saviour and turn my life over to Him. I did so, through an act of my will, asking for and accepting the free gift of salvation and forgiveness of my sins, and immediately the fear and anxiety were gone, and I was certain that I had received eternal life in that moment, instead of eternal separation from God.

        The change in my life was not a drastic, visible, life-altering transformation. You might not have noticed an outward change. But the change inside of me was so great that I can’t even describe it. And I knew that anything good that I had done, even with the best of intentions, and all the bad things I had or hadn’t done, didn’t make any difference to God. I was completely incapable of improving myself, let alone saving myself. But God, in His love for me, sent His only Son from heaven to earth to die in my place. All I had to do, all I could do, was accept Him as my Saviour.

        Since then, with His help, I have tried to live a life pleasing to Him, tried to learn more every day from his Word what His will for my life is. I often fail. I am not perfect, and will not be until I reach heaven and God’s Presence. But from that day to this, I have never doubted His love for me, never doubted my salvation, never felt that fear of death that I had felt all the time before. I am His, and He is mine, and I will be with Him when I die.


        Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
          I don't even remember exactly when(about 8 years old) I became a Christian.

          I remember quite well (with horror) the years I lived without Christ. That is probably why "I'd rather have Jesus" is right up at the top of my favorite hymns.



          And why George Beverly Shea is my favorite vocalist.
          Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
            I would like to "hear" others experiences in this area.

            I never did decide to be a Christian. For most of my early life - post childhood and even late teen years - I sought the truth. I never understood the gospel in the church I was raised in, and when I could I stopped going. There was no discernible. to me, truth and when I left that I gave up God. I perhaps should say I gave up god, since I never knew the real God. I searched hard, that is I tried to come up with a truth myself. To make a long story short . . . at about 33 or 34 years of age the Spirit suddenly enlightened me. As soon as I understood what was going on I was a believer. I prayed the believers prayer because I thought it was important, but it was in some ways more harmful then helpful "to me." I figured that because I was saved I was finished with all that old sin stuff. I came back often and prayed that prayer again. I wanted to really be saved. It was not until someone pointed out (something I already knew, but . . .) that it was not me that brought about salvation, but the grace of God through the love of Christ that I finally recognized my state.

            Well the point is I do not think I decided for Christ at that moment of enlightenment. I decided some years earlier when I decided, if that word even fits there, that what I wanted was the truth. Of course in seeking the truth, I never imagined finding the Truth.

            This thread was born in the Christian cliches thread.
            Some people have a dramatic "come to Jesus" moment; others don't.

            I didn't, really. I grew up in church, but I'm not sure how much of that I was seeking after God or just dutifully attending. I quit attending church after boot camp, though I don't recall making a conscious decision to do so. Throughout my six years in the Navy, I bought a bible and read it sporadically, and got dragged to church a few times (glad, in hindsight, I didn't get sucked into the CoC). As my time in the Navy grew short, I came to the realization that I needed to get back to God, and did. I even sought out a Christian fellowship to attend when I went off to college.

            I do like the Orthodox emphasis on salvation as a process rather than a 'once and done' event, though I don't think that had any bearing on my conversion.
            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
            sigpic
            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

            Comment


            • #7
              I was raised in a mainline church and I was reasonably devout growing up for a teenager, though I had my struggles. I stopped attending church once I went to college. At 20, I had a major crisis of faith and in so doing, I came to a realization that I never truly understood what it was to be a Christian in the first place; all those years I had thought that belief in Christ was mental assent. It was still difficult for me to attend church regularly because I was working overnight shifts, but I was beginning to actually work out my salvation with fear and trembling for the first time. I then found a fellowship that met on Sunday evenings, which I think was spiritually key for me.
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a rather emotional, dramatic conversion in a time of great despair. Looking back I still interpret that experience to be the point at which the Holy Spirit regenerated me and wrought about the new birth. Since then I have gone through ups and downs and though the flesh, the world, and the devil, and doubt will remain a constant battle I am more or less "settled" in my faith as I believe I have reached a point of maturity - though it certainly didn't come easily!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I was raised in a Mormon home, with two loving parents and 5 older siblings. My mom would read to us at night before bed. Sometimes the Bible, sometimes the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, or Pearl of Great price. Romans 1:18-22 says that all men know God in their heart of hearts, and suppress that truth in unrighteousness, and looking back I can see how the effect on my early life. I would play outside as a kid and God would be there. I'm not saying I felt Him there with me as I played (though I could feel His presence as well), but I could sense Him, as familiar as the back of my hand, yet I didn't know as much about Him as I wanted to at the time. But I knew enough. When my family went to "church", between classes I would walk the halls of the LDS building and read their evangelistic pamphlets. Every second of it felt empty, like it was imitating real life. Then I would go outside and play, and God would be there again. The same was true when I read the Bible as opposed to when I read the LDS "scriptures". There was always a gripping power to God's Word, and subtle wickedness and evil in the LDS literature, and no life whatsoever. They left me spiritually hungry every time. Fast forward several years to when I was 15m almost 16. My dad had just passed away a few weeks earlier when a friend of mine, who was in college at the time, was doing a study on comparative religions. Since he knew my family was Mormon he chose Mormonism as one of the religions he would study, and figured if he hit a roadblock he could ask my mom. One day he stopped by and mentioned Mormons' past history with polygamy, as well as their teaching that it'll take place in heaven. Being young and uninformed I was shocked and didn't believe him. Eventually I asked my mom, and she confirmed it. I felt a strong conviction that it was wrong, so I requested excommunication. After that I became increasingly angry and hateful. I felt betrayed, like I had been lied to my whole life (and I had). I spent a good 8 or so years living unto myself, as though I were God. I always acknowledged God, and regarded the Bible as His Word, but I would avoid reading, as I still harbored hatred in my heart, first toward Mormons, but eventually toward everyone, and reading the words of Christ would sing me with guilt for my continual sin.

                  Through the years I could see more and more plainly how wretched a person I was, and eventually started hating myself as well, and subsequently having suicidal thoughts. One night, very late, I was feeling particularly lousy, and as I was on MySpace, a Christian friend of mine messaged me and asked how I was doing. I told her it felt like God couldn't be further away. She replied with something to the effect of, "Why's that? God would never completely withdraw from someone unless you reached the point where you weren't even trying to resist sin anymore."
                  That statement may or may not be completely biblical, but it cut through me like a knife, because as I sat and thought about it I was confronted with what I always knew: I was a disgusting disgrace to a Holy God. I remember walking away from the computer screen in tears, a broken wreck. I fell on both knees and apologized to God, begged Him for forgiveness. I asked Christ to save me, thanked Him for dying for me, and pledged to do things His way from then on. I know people always talk about conversion experiences, and that can be cliche, but it really was incredible. I felt the Holy Spirit enter me and change me. I felt like I had lived in a pig stye my whole life, and for the first time ever I was taken out, washed off, given a clean pair of clothes, and was now aloud to freely roam the halls of the King's palace. That feeling lasted for weeks. I'll never forget it.
                  That was in November of 2007.

                  And the rest, as they say, is history.

                  [P.S. My only regret is that I didn't convert sooner. I wasted the first 24 years of my life, when I could have spent it glorifying God and preaching His Gospel. What a shame.]
                  Last edited by Mr. Black; 09-17-2014, 03:55 AM.
                  Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:20)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mr. Black View Post
                    I was raised in a Mormon home, with two loving parents and 5 older siblings. My mom would read to us at night before bed. Sometimes the Bible, sometimes the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, or Pearl of Great price. Romans 1:18-22 says that all men know God in their heart of hearts, and suppress that truth in unrighteousness, and looking back I can see how the effect on my early life. I would play outside as a kid and God would be there. I'm not saying I felt Him there with me as I played (though I could feel His presence as well), but I could sense Him, as familiar as the back of my hand, yet I didn't know as much about Him as I wanted to at the time. But I knew enough. When my family went to "church", between classes I would walk the halls of the LDS building and read their evangelistic pamphlets. Every second of it felt empty, like it was imitating real life. Then I would go outside and play, and God would be there again. The same was true when I read the Bible as opposed to when I read the LDS "scriptures". There was always a gripping power to God's Word, and subtle wickedness and evil in the LDS literature, and no life whatsoever. They left me spiritually hungry every time. Fast forward several years to when I was 15m almost 16. My dad had just passed away a few weeks earlier when a friend of mine, who was in college at the time, was doing a study on comparative religions. Since he knew my family was Mormon he chose Mormonism as one of the religions he would study, and figured if he hit a roadblock he could ask my mom. One day he stopped by and mentioned Mormons' past history with polygamy, as well as their teaching that it'll take place in heaven. Being young and uninformed I was shocked and didn't believe him. Eventually I asked my mom, and she confirmed it. I felt a strong conviction that it was wrong, so I requested excommunication. After that I became increasingly angry and hateful. I felt betrayed, like I had been lied to my whole life (and I had). I spent a good 8 or so years living unto myself, as though I were God. I always acknowledged God, and regarded the Bible as His Word, but I would avoid reading, as I still harbored hatred in my heart, first toward Mormons, but eventually toward everyone, and reading the words of Christ would sing me with guilt for my continual sin.

                    Through the years I could see more and more plainly how wretched a person I was, and eventually started hating myself as well, and subsequently having suicidal thoughts. One night, very late, I was feeling particularly lousy, and as I was on MySpace, a Christian friend of mine messaged me and asked how I was doing. I told her it felt like God couldn't be further away. She replied with something to the effect of, "Why's that? God would never completely withdraw from someone unless you reached the point where you weren't even trying to resist sin anymore."
                    That statement may or may not be completely biblical, but it cut through me like a knife, because as I sat and thought about it I was confronted with what I always knew: I was a disgusting disgrace to a Holy God. I remember walking away from the computer screen in tears, a broken wreck. I fell on both knees and apologized to God, begged Him for forgiveness. I asked Christ to save me, thanked Him for dying for me, and pledged to do things His way from then on. I know people always talk about conversion experiences, and that can be cliche, but it really was incredible. I felt the Holy Spirit enter me and change me. I felt like I had lived in a pig stye my whole life, and for the first time ever I was taken out, washed off, given a clean pair of clothes, and was now aloud to freely roam the halls of the King's palace. That feeling lasted for weeks. I'll never forget it.
                    That was in November of 2007.

                    And the rest, as they say, is history.

                    [P.S. My only regret is that I didn't convert sooner. I wasted the first 24 years of my life, when I could have spent it glorifying God and preaching His Gospel. What a shame.]
                    What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing it.

                    I would like to encourage you regarding your regret over not converting sooner. I have a dear friend who didn't come until she was in her forties, and has felt the same regret. So I understand your feelings. And maybe we all experience those feelings to a certain degree no matter how soon, or late, we find Him.

                    We don't understand Gods timing, but He does. Look at the untruths you are able to point out to others who were brought up as you were. You have insight that I will never have on growing up in a false religious system. God brought you to Himself at the exact right time for HIS purposes!

                    We may not understand the whys in how He works His will in us, but we can rejoice that He is doing so!



                    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My mom convinced me to start going to church with her. I listened and learned and one day during the altar call, I thought, "Do I believe this stuff? Yes I do. So I guess it is time to step forward and commit myself to Jesus." and I did. A lot went into the part about why I believed, but I ultimately did make a conscious decision to become a Christian. It wasn't a huge emotional moment for me, just me admitting to myself that I did believe and wanted to be saved. As time went on, I found my life changing more and more until now it is hard to even imagine not believing.

                      The next week I got baptized:

                      05-Coming+up.jpg
                      Last edited by Sparko; 09-17-2014, 10:33 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mr. Black View Post
                        [P.S. My only regret is that I didn't convert sooner. I wasted the first 24 years of my life, when I could have spent it glorifying God and preaching His Gospel. What a shame.]
                        I firmly believe (having faced a bit of that same regret) that Christianity needs folks who know what life without Christ is like. I sometimes envy folks who were saved at a very early age, but I always remember that He saved me when He knew the time was right.

                        ETA: It takes all kinds and God uses different ways as He sees fit.
                        Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You know the parable about the workers that get hired throughout the day and get paid the same amount? I read somewhere(Charles Spurgeon?) that it refers to people getting saved throughout a human lifespan. Some being saved young, others older.
                          If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mr. Black View Post
                            I was raised in a Mormon home, with two loving parents and 5 older siblings. My mom would read to us at night before bed. Sometimes the Bible, sometimes the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, or Pearl of Great price. Romans 1:18-22 says that all men know God in their heart of hearts, and suppress that truth in unrighteousness, and looking back I can see how the effect on my early life. I would play outside as a kid and God would be there. I'm not saying I felt Him there with me as I played (though I could feel His presence as well), but I could sense Him, as familiar as the back of my hand, yet I didn't know as much about Him as I wanted to at the time. But I knew enough. When my family went to "church", between classes I would walk the halls of the LDS building and read their evangelistic pamphlets. Every second of it felt empty, like it was imitating real life. Then I would go outside and play, and God would be there again. The same was true when I read the Bible as opposed to when I read the LDS "scriptures". There was always a gripping power to God's Word, and subtle wickedness and evil in the LDS literature, and no life whatsoever. They left me spiritually hungry every time. Fast forward several years to when I was 15m almost 16. My dad had just passed away a few weeks earlier when a friend of mine, who was in college at the time, was doing a study on comparative religions. Since he knew my family was Mormon he chose Mormonism as one of the religions he would study, and figured if he hit a roadblock he could ask my mom. One day he stopped by and mentioned Mormons' past history with polygamy, as well as their teaching that it'll take place in heaven. Being young and uninformed I was shocked and didn't believe him. Eventually I asked my mom, and she confirmed it. I felt a strong conviction that it was wrong, so I requested excommunication. After that I became increasingly angry and hateful. I felt betrayed, like I had been lied to my whole life (and I had). I spent a good 8 or so years living unto myself, as though I were God. I always acknowledged God, and regarded the Bible as His Word, but I would avoid reading, as I still harbored hatred in my heart, first toward Mormons, but eventually toward everyone, and reading the words of Christ would sing me with guilt for my continual sin.

                            Through the years I could see more and more plainly how wretched a person I was, and eventually started hating myself as well, and subsequently having suicidal thoughts. One night, very late, I was feeling particularly lousy, and as I was on MySpace, a Christian friend of mine messaged me and asked how I was doing. I told her it felt like God couldn't be further away. She replied with something to the effect of, "Why's that? God would never completely withdraw from someone unless you reached the point where you weren't even trying to resist sin anymore."
                            That statement may or may not be completely biblical, but it cut through me like a knife, because as I sat and thought about it I was confronted with what I always knew: I was a disgusting disgrace to a Holy God. I remember walking away from the computer screen in tears, a broken wreck. I fell on both knees and apologized to God, begged Him for forgiveness. I asked Christ to save me, thanked Him for dying for me, and pledged to do things His way from then on. I know people always talk about conversion experiences, and that can be cliche, but it really was incredible. I felt the Holy Spirit enter me and change me. I felt like I had lived in a pig stye my whole life, and for the first time ever I was taken out, washed off, given a clean pair of clothes, and was now aloud to freely roam the halls of the King's palace. That feeling lasted for weeks. I'll never forget it.
                            That was in November of 2007.

                            And the rest, as they say, is history.

                            [P.S. My only regret is that I didn't convert sooner. I wasted the first 24 years of my life, when I could have spent it glorifying God and preaching His Gospel. What a shame.]
                            Wonderful testament to God's grace in your life! I especially love the bolded - a very similar experience to my own - shown our utter depravity (revelatory knowledge) and then graciously clothed with the righteousness of Christ and accepted into His kingdom.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the encouraging words, guys. I had never thought about it before, but it seems I can relate to people who live like hell without Christ. I need to take it to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to help me use it for His glory.

                              On the plus side, a former coworker once told me about a man she met. He was already in his 60s when he was saved. After that he went to seminary, and is now a pastor of a church. I suppose as long as a person still has breath in their lungs it's not too late. God sure has vision that I sorely lack.
                              Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:20)

                              Comment

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