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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 7/26/2005 5:31:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2005 8:11:03 AM EDT by BeetleBailey]

As a Believer, I think that we are commissioned to give testiments of our salvation. Christians please chime in. Lets see how this goes...

I grew up in a Baptist church so I made my decision as a child like many others. Obviously children do not and cannot fully understand salvation until they have seen and experienced more things in life. So, although I did make the decision to follow Christ way back then, the Lord has been steadily working with my soul for some twenty somthing years now. I have fallen away pitifully, and returned for renewal on a handful of occasions. My wife and I have been attending a local Nazarene church for a couple of years now, of which the work of the Spirit is VERY evident. I am blessed to be involved with such a congregation of inidividuals who are on fire for His work and His will in their lives, it has really helped me to mature spiritually. And although I realize that I am still a work in progress, I know that my yearning for spiritual sanctification is a sobering reality of which I will soon be able to ascertain when I can finally give up all of my little internal vices and struggles to Jesus, who can ultimately wipe any sinner's slate clean and fresh, by the washing of his blood shed for each of us.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 6:24:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2005 6:24:56 AM EDT by Brohawk]
I was raised secular with no religious component in my home life.

God (Yahweh) loved me enough to accept me as I was, but He also loved me too much to leave me in that condition.

I spent my first 26 years in rebellion against Him and running from Him. One thing Mike Warnke noted was that when you run from God, you end up running into Him.

I'll be back later to fill in some detail...
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 7:22:28 AM EDT
I was raised in a pentecostal, holy roller, charismatic church that was later branded a cult. It was legalism to the extreme and I hated it. I rebelled against the church, the beliefs, my parents, and foolishly blamed God for everything that man had done. I spent the better part of my young adult life as an agnostic. I was always interested in theology and religon, but I hated denominations and legalism with an undying passion (still do to a certain degree). I still read the Bible at times, but it was from a far different vantage point. Even here on AR15.com, I spent time decrying Christianity, proclaiming my agnosticism and rational skepticism to the whole world.

This past year, a lot of past events started coming full circle in our lives. Events that happened in the past, people that I had met, and other connections that were far too outlandish to explain away the odds as circumstance. Then a series of events started happening that culminated in a direct experience with the Holy Spirit that my wife and I both shared at the same time (which pretty much leaves out the possibility of mental illness or hallucinations...). I had no choice but to accept the fact that as much as I thought I had a handle on the physical world around me, I knew absolutely nothing. I am a data/software analyst by trade. I live and breathe logic in a world of black and white, binary 1's & 0's. I had no explanation for the things that were taking place around me, and I had no way to calculate the odds of the events and connections.

After talking extensively with my wife one evening, she asked me how all of these things could be happening and if this was real. I finally proclaimed, "Because it's GOD, that's why... there's no other explanation." Maybe someday I will share the events of that evening, but I have always refrained because I'd rather not put things in front of people which sound fantastic and crazy. I'd rather simply allow my testimony to be reflected by the pronounced changes that have taken place in my life. During that experience though, my wife and I both accepted God, prayed and asked for forgiveness, and have since walked with Him on a daily basis. Our experiences have been further confirmed by answers to prayers that we pray, and the undoubtable ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.

You can never blame God for the disgusting things that men do to each other. Even if we don't believe in Him, He's still there and He still loves us. Being a Christian is extremely difficult because it is ultimately so simple in concept. Man has taken that which was simple, and turned it onto all sorts of complex, ritual-laden games.

Seeking to develop a relationship with God on a one-on-one basis through earnest prayer and obedient willingness to follow His Will is pretty much all that it takes -- despite what the local denomination will preach to you.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 7:34:06 AM EDT
I grew up and am Catholic. I attended private catholic schools as an elementary student and public school with Catholic CCD in High School. I had a brief period in which I fell away from the church when I was about 28. I was in an abusive marriage, my priest was advising me to leave my husband but there was no support for me what so ever. I also got into an arguement about abortion activism in the church with this same priest. I got so mad at him I stopped going to church for about two years.

When I went through my divorce from my first husband I hit rock bottom and decided I hadn't given Christ a fair chance. I reaffirmed my faith in him and asked him for his help and salvation. I was instantly flooded with the gift of the Holy Spirit and have been blessed by his spirit every since.

I am now back to going to church, studying Gods word and educating my kids and others. Right now I am going through a rather dark period in my life with marital problems, financial problems, problems with my kids as well as a recent bout with breast cancer. I can't say I'm happy go lucky 100% of the time BUT I have my faith that God will take care of me and my kids. Might not be on my time or how I would have planned things but it will happen. I am very grateful for that faith and screnity if you will.

Patty
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 7:56:54 AM EDT
Mom was Catholic, Dad was raised strict Baptist (with hangups). I was thus raised in a fairly non-religious household until my parents were divorced. Then we never went at all. I had a very bad impression of religion for years after... Until I met my wife at of all places, a party! She was there on a "friend of a friend" type basis and so was I. She'd just broken up with a guy, and after talking to her for a bit I was completely smitten with her. I tried to get her phone # then but she said no. So I kept at it. Eventually I got it to her and we spent hours on the phone together before our first date. Turns out her mom is a very active Christian at a large church by us. I started going with her and rebuilding the faith that had been neglected so long, with Jesus as the foundation. When I proposed to her we took their Catechism class (different from Catholic Catechism) so we could marry in the church. That was almost 12 years ago. In that time we've been tested and always manage to come out of it in pretty good shape, and I give Him all the glory for seeing us through those times. He's blessed us in many ways and continues to do so. The future's bright ahead.

I have no idea what pseudo-legal, quasi-moral stuff I'd be in to if I hadn't met my wife and begun my walk with Him. I was at a pivotal point in my life (19 years old, working my way through college at a crappy job, no direction...) and needed something solid to cling to. I'm absolutely convinced that God put us together when I needed her most.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 8:07:02 AM EDT
Born Catholic, baptized Catholic, went to Catholic schools taught by Jesuit Priests (the smartest, married a Catrholic woman (also the best) in a Catholic Church.

I have swayed many times, but God never has.

Sgatr15
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 8:08:54 AM EDT
Amen! Great posts, guys and gals. Keep them coming.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 10:17:24 AM EDT
More of a history than a testimony:

Born and raised with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (nicknamed the "Mormons") in a devout LDS family. Started reading the scriptures seriously at age 7. As a boy I decided that I wanted to be a missionary someday and started saving up for my missionary expenses. Became a Deacon at age 12, a Teacher at age 14, a Priest at age 16, and an Elder at age 19 (none of this is uncommon). I'd read the scriptures, including both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, prayed and asked the Lord about them, and had a strong testimony of their truthfulness.

By age 19 I'd saved over $7,000 for my mission expenses. In those days a mission cost roughly $9,000 - $10,000 dollars. My dad asked me how much I'd saved. He then said I was to take $1,000 for clothes and other missionary needs, and to invest the rest in a .gov cd account to earn interest while I was gone. Dad insisted on paying my expenses for me.

Entered the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, UT the summer of 1994. Spent two months there learning the Spanish language, mission rules, and reviewing proper doctrinal teachings. While I was in the MTC, my dad accidently won a brand new Ford Mustang convertable. He sold the car and that more than paid for my expenses while serving the Lord.

Spent the next 23 months in the Venezuela, Maracaibo Mission (Western Venezuela mission) preaching the gospel. In late 1995 I was sent to Betijoque, where they made me Branch President (like a Bishop, only for a smaller congregation) because some internal personal struggles in the local congregation had caused so many problems. After spending five months stabilizing Betijoque I was transferred to Maracaibo to finish my last five months as a zone leader responsible for about 16 other missionaries.

Finished my mission and arrived home one day before the wedding of one of my sisters.

Met my wife about a year and a half later. We courted for about 6 & 1/2 months before getting married in the Salt Lake City Temple. Four months after getting married I was called to serve as a bishop's counselor in one of the approx. 200+ BYU congregations.

Served in several church callings since then ranging from membership clerk to nursery teacher.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 5:40:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2005 5:41:38 PM EDT by garandman]
I was saved at age six.

One Sunday evening all the preaching I heard to that point just finally made sense re: Jesus death on the cross, His resurrection, and His atonement for my sin. I went home that evening and asked my parents how I could be saved. They led me to the Lord in the front room (that's what we called it) of the house.

Later in life, they let me replace the floor in that room, all the way down to the floor joists. It kinda symbolized what happenned to me in that room - I became a "new creation" in Christ.

For many years after my salvation, I questioned my decision. Was I sincere enuf? Was I sorry enuf for my sin? Finally, at age 13-14, I came to realize I could NEVER be sorry enuf, but that my sorrow was God given and genuine, and that the "work" of my salvation was God's doing, not mine.

A recent song by Casting Crowns sums up my testimony now:

Who am I?

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours

I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours



Link Posted: 7/28/2005 12:34:03 PM EDT
Born Catholic.

Raised Catholic.

Went to Catholic private school.

Once I started to actually read and study scripture, I could not reconcile myself to the Catholic works/righteousness doctrine.

Now I am a WELS Lutheran.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 12:44:16 PM EDT
Born into a Catholic family.

Raised Catholic.

Attended a Catholic University.

Had questions.

Met a Jew. Married a Jew. Attended Synogogue for several years.

Made a decision to become a Jew. Studied with a rabbi for two years.

Converted 12-yrs. ago.

Had to give-up that whole "saved" thing (Other than Jews were forever saved from their freedom from slavery...to the Egyptians...or, perhaps to false gds.)

Realize that my salvation, whatever it is, is based upon my actions, in the very real sense that each of us can make our corporal lives a litteral paradise or a hell on earth.

Am quite comfortable knowing that, and living my life so.

Link Posted: 7/28/2005 2:14:20 PM EDT
not to hijack, but the title of this thread intrigues me:

"Ok, lets see who is really serious in here... your testimony"

Do some people have better testimonies than others?

What if you don't have a testimony?

I'm a pretty serious dude, but I don't have a testimony. Is that possible????
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 2:41:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
not to hijack, but the title of this thread intrigues me:

"Ok, lets see who is really serious in here... your testimony"

Do some people have better testimonies than others?

What if you don't have a testimony?

I'm a pretty serious dude, but I don't have a testimony. Is that possible????



Let's not split hairs. I think he just meant "serious" to mean "those who aren't in the Religion forum just to troll".
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 9:04:26 PM EDT
At times I find myself in awe over my conversion. Most of my life I
hated God. Every sin I dedicated to Him. I even remember when I was
around nine, I flipped my middle finger up and pointed it to the sky
and cursed Him daily for my life. Every thing was blamed on Him. I
hated everything about Him, and I hated His silly followers to the
utmost.

Freaky wild eyes zombies I considered them. My freinds and I enjoyed
driving through the parking lots of local churches on Sunday's, leaning
out the windows spitting at the people. Often we made crude remarks
about God and Jesus.

I was blind to the things of God, I hated Him truly and deeply, even
when I was younger and still believed in Him, I rather wanted to spend
eternity in Hell than with a god that I hated more than anything.


As time grew on I made the "scientific" decision that God does not
exist. Hence I became an atheist. If all came about just by chance,
then who cares about anything, good and bad were indifferent to me.

I honestly cannot pinpoint when God gave me life but when He did
there was no doubt. All of a sudden I just knew God was there. The
enemy tried to get credit for it as usual.

Many times today, mainly from my secular and humanist family and
friends, I hear, "YOU did it, the choice was YOURS, its all about YOU."
Often I was told, that it was "ME" who made the difference. It was "ME"
who caused the effect. If it werent for "ME" I would not have the
things I have or accomplished the things I have. Just like the enemy
(thats where the advice was comming from) man was glorified. Self
worship, one of the oldest forms of worship around. Satan being the
first.

This is what the enemy tries to preach to me.It was all "ME" who
chose God. It was "ME" who caused Gods election. MY foreseen merit.
(well they dont put it exactly like that, but that is its essence). It was "
ME' who was the turning point. It was "ME" that came to Christ. Its all
about my work. Thats what the enemy wants me to believe.

I am sorry if this offends any. But that advice sounds alot like the
advice of the enemy. The man glorifying self pat on the back.

I can only see now thanks entirely to God. Absolutely nothing out of
my sinful and rebellious heart caused me to choose Christ. Nothing. It
was all GOD. GOd did it all. God opened my eyes, GOD brought me life.
GOD changed my heart. GOD turned me to HIM. IT was all in its entirety
GODS work. I caused none of it in any way. I deserved none of it on any
way. All I can do is fall on my face and thank HIM for HIS choice. For
HIS will. HIS work. Everything I have, had, or will have , I owe to our
Great and Glorious God through Jesus Christ.

All the Glory to God in all things. Amen.
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 9:11:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By WildBoar:

...



Amen!

And macman, you are correct.
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 9:40:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
not to hijack, but the title of this thread intrigues me:

"Ok, lets see who is really serious in here... your testimony"

Do some people have better testimonies than others?

What if you don't have a testimony?

I'm a pretty serious dude, but I don't have a testimony. Is that possible????



No, not really. To have faith is to have a testiment to that faith. Patty
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 8:15:25 AM EDT
I was saved during 7th grade. I went to a Christian school and answered an alter call. I stayed pretty faithful until college. I started to back-slide in college, doing the whole fraternity and party scene. Always I knew God was still there waiting to welcome me back and forgive.

I had pretty much screwed up everything (nothing severe, just screwed up), until I met my wife. We started attending a large evangelical church near us, and she became saved. I had rededicated my life and tried to find God's will for my life.

Flash forward to January 2003. My wife, mother of my 3 small children, was diagnosed with a very horrendous Leukemia. She would die 7 months later. I spent many nights at the hospital chapel begging God to save her, to take me instead, anything. She died and my faith was broken. I turned my back on God, how could he let this happen? Then I found my wife's journal she started at the beginning of her illness. The first half was what you might expect, requests for help and cure, etc... The second half was simply praise, not giving up, but praise to her savior. Then I realized God did not fail us, he was glorified and took my wife to His own.

If God had asked my wife to give her life so that someone else mught be saved, she would have made the deal in a heart beat. After her funeral, where our Pastor had given her testimony he said someone came to him afterward and told him how Sue's death had changed her life. Deal done.

I still struggle in my walk, but my eye has never left the prize, and I WILL see my wife again. Praise be to God.
Todd
Link Posted: 8/8/2005 1:06:09 PM EDT
I trusted Christ from a young man, and I'm not sure exactly when I was saved, probably very young. I was raised Baptist and still lean that way, in regards to my belief in the plenary verbal inspiration of the bible. I was baptized when I was 28 years old. I look forward to being a part of the Kingdom of God in the next life.

I believe that the bible speaks the truth, that there was no death before sin, that the earth is young, and that evolution is only a figment of some people's imagination who prefer to have faith in Darwin rather than Christ.
Link Posted: 8/8/2005 2:26:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2005 2:28:02 PM EDT by Headlice]
I went to a Bible church since the age of 5 and had the gospel of Christ preached to me many many times, yet I did not understand it. The Spirit had not opened my eyes to give me understanding for some reason or another.

At age 19 and still unsaved, I decided I wanted to be a missionary (more for adventure than anything). Went to a New Tribes training center down the road from me and I told the guy I wanted to be a missionary. The guy gave me a pamphlet on a short term missions trip to Paupa New Guinea (PNG).

I grabbed it out of his hand, walked out, worked for a few months to save $2,100 (youth group in my church put an additional $900 towards my trip as well) and left for PNG.

In PNG they taught us about missions, somewhat. They showed us how the missionaries lived and so forth and what they ate and how they got around. Got to meet some of the nationals as well.

But the one event that changed my life forever happened in a Bible study in PNG, exactly halfway around the world. John Cross (a missionary and an author) was teaching our missions group the Bible, but in an easy to understand way- chronologically. If you have never been taught this way, I HIGHLY advise having someone teach you. You will look at the gospel with a different perspective in an easy to understand method.

June 6th, 1998, John Cross was teaching and bringing the final lesson to a close and a light bulb went on in my head. All of those times I heard the gospel I missed one key ingredient- I didnt realize I was on my way to the lake of fire. My sins, no matter how small, were sending me there on a rocket ship (not literally). Then I heard the news that Jesus had taken my place on the cross so that I wouldnt have to go to the lake of fire. The spirit entered me, and I have been a child of God ever since.

The Chron. study, BTW, goes from creation to Christ and shows how the OT weaves into the NT and shows you the big picture, with Christ pictured in the OT from the illustration of the flood to Issac, to Moses, the tabernacle, into the NT.

(sorry for the long post)
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:25:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 5:18:36 PM EDT by VA-gunnut]
****Deleted****<va-gunnut>
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 6:29:23 PM EDT
Great post, headlice.

Link Posted: 8/15/2005 5:08:55 PM EDT
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