| Re: |
I guess with all this I'm waiting for some sort of inner light switch that will tell me "YES! NOW I am fully persuaded that this is indeed true"...
Brother, I definitely understand the predicament you are in. When I was a young believer going through college, I was radically challenged by the claims this world makes about the Scriptures. Modern science has definitely made a strong attack against many classical Christian beliefs, and has called into question many of the things written in the Scriptures.
These things deeply troubled me as I tried earnestly to go through all the mental gymnastics of weighing all the different theories of science with various interpretations of the Scriptures. My faith was in great jeopardy at one point out of the mental anguish I felt, and I remember there was one day where I went to bed wondering if I would even wake up as a Christian. That was the state I lived in for a while.
But then things started to fall back into place for me, and I ultimately remembered whom I had believed on. I remembered the first time I heard the gospel message and the impact it made on me at the time. Though it would be a couple years before I would actually believe the gospel message, I still remember very distinctly how God truly spoke to me through the gospel message. Ultimately, this has become the bedrock of my faith. Anytime I have been tempted to doubt the things of God, I always remember the first time I heard the gospel message, about how Jesus loved me, gave His life for me, and came back to life after three days. That message arrested me. My confidence in the gospel message is built upon the reality of the supernatural experience I have had with God through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is ultimately what got me through my crisis of faith, and this is what keeps me going every day I wake up. It was from the reality of this personal revelation of the Lord that I have ultimately come to believe. I don't believe the gospel because I've worked out all the complex apologetical arguments for the faith, and agree that the gospel is true because of the solutions that apologetics have provided.
I believe the gospel because I truly believe Jesus Christ died for my sins and really came back to life after three days, lives right now, and lives forever more. I walk with Him, and I talk with Him, and the more I do that second by second and day by day, the more I am convinced of these truths.
Oh yes, I am also convinced because of the sureness of the prophetic word. We can read countless occurrences of such a thing in the word of God, without even getting into things regarding the last days. You should grow stronger in the assurance of your faith because of these things.
For example, when you have the chance, read Deuteronomy 28-31. It speaks of the blessings & curses God promised the nation of Israel would come upon them depending on how they stood in their relationship to the Lord. If they followed Him, they would be blessed. If they turned away from the Lord, He promised to curse them, and strip them of their land, and send them into exile. This becomes a MAJOR prophetic theme that consumes almost all of the Old Testament.
These covenant promises were made, according to the estimates of most scholars, in about 1200 BC. Then we can read about the fulfillment of the covenant curses against Israel in 2 Kings 17. In 722 BC, the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians. Many were killed, and many were forced into exile as a result of the nation turning it's back on God. We can read the writings of prophets such as Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah, as they lived in the times leading up to this very event, and prophesied the nations doom.
Likewise, in 586 BC, the southern kingdom of Judah had completely turned it's back on God. And it suffered the EXACT same consequences the northern kingdom had experienced more than a century prior, but this time, at the hands of the Babylonians. The nation was likewise destroyed. Many were killed, and many more were sent into exile. The writings of Jeremiah, Zephaniah, and Ezekiel, amongst others, predicted these very things.
All these prophecies were very thoroughly fulfilled, twice, just as Moses had predicted they would be, all the way back in 1200 BC. In fact, you will read in Deuteronomy that Moses taught the children of Israel a song, known as "The Song of Moses." This song was something that the Jews were to teach their children in every generation, so as to serve as a witness against them for when they would turn their backs on God, and as these things came to pass.
So, find great assurance in these prophetic witnesses of the Scriptures. God declared that these things would happen, and they did, just as He said.
| 2009/11/8 15:25||Profile|
| Re: |
Quote:I hope you'll always remain teachable and not stop at any conclusion till the LORD establishes and cements your faith in the things that remain, on that solid ROCK Christ Jesus our LORD.
I'm still growing in my understanding and study of the Scriptures, and always welcome fresh insights into these matters. I cannot explain everything, and I still have many questions to ask, and hold some positions with a sense that there is uncomfortable tension between some of the finer points of what I adhere to now
My heart melted reading that. If only all of us were like that, open to hear, open to understand and humble enough to ask.
God Bless you Brother.
| 2009/11/8 16:06|
| Re: |
King Jimmy, thanks for the words...I always feel alone in this, but it's encouraging to see that you've gone through the same...I'm just in anguish because I want to live my life with the joy that comes of being a believer...I feel like everything else is on hold...I dunno what I'm going to do with the rest of my life...I want to get married (I even have the girl in mind) but I feel like I can't until I get this sorted out, which is frustrating because it seems like it'll be like this for quite a while...I guess I've never had a gospel revelation in my heart...I just don't know what else to do...my heart and my head are in a painful condition...you have much more confidence in God than I do...please pray for me...thanks guys!
| 2009/11/8 17:51||Profile|
| Re: |
Just be sure to seek first the kingdom of God, and everything else will be added to you. Seek the Lord, but until you get these things worked out, you should probably not be pursuing any relationships, as these thins will more than likely just cloud your head all the further.
Truly come to believe and absorb yourself in the belief that Jesus Christ not only died for your sins, but after that, came back to life, and lives right now forever more. This dead man is really alive. He was really dead and now He truly lives. Let that be the source of your joy, and may you never allow your joy to waiver, because Jesus Christ lives forever and ever. Find joy in that. He's with you and will be with you. Ground yourself in this, and you will do very well.
| 2009/11/8 18:46||Profile|
| Re: |
If I may add to Jim's message to you JDL that we should not be anxious and to fret but to give ourselves over to prayer. Quiet your spirit by opening your mouth and praying to God. When you feel anxiety and are overwhelmed rebuke it by refusing to give into it. The battle is in the mind, God is there with you every step of the way. Stand fast and resist the devils menacing work. You have the power to overcome, it's up to us to yield to it. Each day you'll become more and more confident as you resist the urge to fret. Read the scriptures especially the New Testament and just fall in love with Jesus.
Here is a message that will put a spark in your step. While you listen, do the dishes or clean your bedroom, it keeps the mind from wandering. The message is called [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=4689&commentView=itemComments]Little Strength Christian by Carter Conlon.[/url]
| 2009/11/8 20:31|
East TN (for now)
| Re: confidence|
Confidence comes with relationship! Just keep on keeping on with Jesus, praying, reading His word, talking to Him and you will gain confidence.
I don't know about you guys (I've heard you hate to stop and ask for directions LOL)... but if you need anything at all, ask God and watch Him work. Then when it comes to pass and you will remember that you stopped and asked Him for help, you will be grateful and thankful! It's a real confidence booster too!!
God bless all you guys!!! LOLOL
| 2009/11/10 7:03||Profile|