| doubt problems/repentance|
Please, help me, someone...with the warnings about the end times and all, I just want to work this out asap! But just switching off my doubts just doesn't seem be something I can do just like that.
I've been having difficulty understanding how God is loving and selfless, I have been having difficulty seeing how I am personally to blame for my sinful state and how from birth I deserved hell naturally. I seem to be blind to something...obviously many people see the truth, and I do know that in heaven I would no longer be under any misconceptions that God is loving.
when i seek Him with faith and pray for an open heart, my heart kinda opens more and I tend to have little times when I do trust Him more, sometimes even times like when I block out thoughts that don't warm me to God (i.e. things which seem true, but which don't warm me to Him - i.e. Him being selfish in creating humans) and cling to what I do know, I feel I've engaged in a minirepentance and actually feel sorry for my sins to a certain degree. After that I start feeling much better, more full of joy, love for others and happiness. It has happened a bit in a dream, after all I had been putting into my subconscious b4 I went to bed I guess. It has also happened when I hear a song of God's love and tune into the words (blocking out those other thoughts in a way)...i.e. today in church. The songs were: "The Power of the cross" and especially "Servant King"...in case anyone's interested hehe :). But this 'repentance' never seems to go deep enough.
Sooo, would you say God expects me to just cut it (all the doubt) at once...or do you think He's happy with what Im doing, keeping on doing minirepentances like that until such doubts no longer come at all?
Thankyou to anyone that can shed light on this!
| 2011/4/10 11:20||Profile|
| Re: doubt problems/repentance|
May I ask what you mean by 'mini repentance'?
And also, could you use scripture to show the meaning?
| 2011/4/11 10:20||Profile|
| Re: doubt problems/repentance|
Ping pong, it sounds like you are going back and forth on some major issues. As a matter of fact they are a step beyond major. These concerns strike me as foundational. Enid asks of you a very valid question. One of the featured sermons on this site on the home page is by Paul Washer "The crushing of Christ". I believe he does an excellent job in dealing with pretty much everything you have mentioned, especially God's love and your sinful state. I would highly recommend giving it a hard listen in a quiet place and do not delay.
| 2011/4/11 10:40||Profile|
| Re: doubt problems/repentance|
I've been having difficulty understanding how God is loving and selfless, I have been having difficulty seeing how I am personally to blame for my sinful state and how from birth I deserved hell naturally.
I appreciate your honesty, many people feel the same way but never voice their thoughts.
You are religious, you've agreed in your mind with the word but have never fallen under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It's the job of the Holy Spirit to show you your wickedness, man can never do that, thus the lack of power in the modern church. Clever arguments and reasonings have never and will never produce a true Christian.
Here's a snippet from the diary of David Brainerd about a man just like you READ THE WHOLE THING, IT'S BEAUTIFUL AND IT WILL SET YOU FREE :
Lords day, July 21. Preached to the Indians first, then to a number of white people present, and in the afternoon to the Indians again. Divine truth seemed to make very considerable impressions upon several of them, and caused the tears to flow freely. Afterwards I baptized my interpreter and his wife, who were the first I baptized among the Indians.
They are both persons of some experimental knowledge in religion; have both been awakened to a solemn concern for their souls; have to appearance been brought to a sense of their misery and undoneness in themselves; have both appeared to be comforted with divine consolations; and it is apparent both have passed a great, and I cannot but hope a saving, change.
It may perhaps be satisfactory and agreeable that I should give some brief relation of the mans exercise and experience since he has been with me, especially seeing he is employed as my interpreter to others. When I first employed him in this business in the beginning of summer, 1744, he was well fitted for his work in regard of his acquaintance with the Indian and English language, as well as with the manners of both nations; and in regard of his desire that the Indians should conform to the customs and manners of the English, and especially to their manner of living. But he seemed to have little or no impression of religion upon his mind, and in that respect was very unfit for his work, being incapable of understanding and communicating to others many things of importance; so that I laboured under great disadvantages in addressing the Indians, for want of his having an experimental, as well as more doctrinal, acquaintance with divine truths; and, at times, my spirits sunk and were much discouraged under this difficulty, especially when I observed that divine truths made little or no impressions upon his mind for many weeks together.
He indeed behaved soberly after I employed him, (although before he had been a hard drinker,) and seemed honestly engaged as far as he was capable in the performance of his work; and especially he appeared very desirous that the Indians should renounce their heathenish notions and practices, and conform to the customs of the christian world. But still he seemed to have no concern about his own soul, till he had been with me a considerable time.
Near the latter end of July, 1744, I preached to an assembly of white people, with more freedom and fervency than I could possibly address the Indians with, without their having first attained a greater measure of doctrinal knowledge. At this time he was present, and was somewhat awakened to a concern for his soul; so that the next day he discoursed freely with me about his spiritual concerns, and gave me an opportunity to use further endeavours to fasten the impressions of his perishing state upon his mind: and I could plainly perceive for some time after this, that he addressed the Indians with more concern and fervency than he had formerly done.
But these impressions seemed quickly to decline, and he remained in a great measure careless and secure, until some time late in the fall of the year following, at which time he fell into a weak and languishing state of body, and continued much disordered for several weeks together. At this season divine truth took hold of him, and made deep impressions upon his mind. He was brought under great concern for his soul, and his exercise was not now transient and unsteady, but constant and abiding, so that his mind was burdened from day to day; and it was now his great inquiry, "What he should do to be saved?" His spiritual trouble prevailed, till at length his sleep, in a measure, departed from him, and he had little rest day or night; but walked about under a great pressure of mind, (for he was still able to walk,) and appeared like another man to his neighbours, who could not but observe his behaviour with wonder.
After he had been some time under this exercise, while he was striving to obtain mercy, he says, there seemed to be an impassable mountain before him. He was pressing towards heaven, as he thought, but "his way was hedged up with thorns, that he could not stir an inch further." He looked this way and that way, but could find no way at all. He thought, if he could but make his way through these thorns and briers, and climb up the first steep pitch of the mountain, that then there might be hope for him; but no way or means could he find to accomplish this. Here he laboured for a time, but all in vain; he saw it was impossible, he says, for him ever to help himself through this insupportable difficulty. He felt it signified nothing, "it signified just nothing at all for him to strive and struggle any more." And here, he says, he gave over striving, and felt that it was a gone case with him, as to his own power, and that all his attempts were, and for ever would be, vain and fruitless. And yet was more calm and composed under this view of things, than he had been while striving to help himself.
While he was giving me this account of his exercise, I was not without fears that what he related was but the working of his own imagination, and not the effect of any divine illumination of mind. But before I had time to discover my fears, he added, that at this time he felt himself in a miserable and perishing condition; that he saw plainly what he had been doing all his days, and that he had never done one good thing, as he expressed it. He knew, he said, he was not guilty of some wicked actions that he knew some others guilty of. He had not been used to steal, quarrel, and murder; the latter of which vices are common among the Indians. He likewise knew that he had done many things that were right; he had been kind to his neighbours, &c. But still his cry was, "that he had never done one good thing." I knew, said he, that I had not been so bad as some others in some things, and that I had done many things which folks call good; but all this did me no good now, I saw that "all was bad, and that I never had done one good thing;" meaning that he had never done any thing from a right principle, and with a right view, though he had done many things that were materially good and right. And now I thought, said he, that I must sink down to hell, that there was no hope for me, "because I never could do any thing that was good;" and if God let me alone never so long, and I should try never so much, still I should do nothing but what is bad, &c.
This further account of his exercise satisfied me that it was not the mere working of his imagination, since he appeared so evidently to die to himself, and to be divorced from a dependence upon his own righteousness, and good deeds, which mankind in a fallen state are so much attached to, and inclined to hope for salvation upon.
There was one thing more in his view of things at this time that was very remarkable. He not only saw, he says, what a miserable state he himself was in, but he likewise saw the world around him, in general, were in the same perishing circumstances, notwithstanding the profession many of them made of Christianity, and the hope they entertained of obtaining everlasting happiness. And this he saw clearly, "as if he was now awaked out of sleep, or had a cloud taken from before his eyes." He saw that the life he had lived was the way to eternal death, that he was now on the brink of endless misery: and when he looked round, he saw multitudes of others who had lived the same life with himself, persons who had no more goodness than he, and yet dreamed that they were safe enough, as he had formerly done. He was fully persuaded by their conversation and behaviour, that they had never felt their sin and misery, as he now felt his.
After he had been for some time in this condition, sensible of the impossibility of his helping himself by any thing he could do, or of being delivered by any created arm, so that he "had given up all for lost," as to his own attempts, and was become more calm and composed; then, he says, it was borne in upon his mind as if it had been audibly spoken to him, "There is hope, there is hope." Whereupon his soul seemed to rest and be in some measure satisfied, though he had no considerable joy.
He cannot here remember distinctly any views he had of Christ, or give any clear account of his souls acceptance of him, which makes his experience appear the more doubtful, and renders it less satisfactory to himself and others, than it might be, if he could remember distinctly the apprehensions and actings of his mind at this season. But these exercises of soul were attended and followed with a very great change in the man, so that it might justly be said, he was become another man, if not a new man. His conversation and deportment were much altered, and even the careless world could not but admire what had befallen him to make so great a change in his temper, discourse, and behaviour. And especially there was a surprising alteration in his public performances. He now addressed the Indians with admirable fervency, and scarce knew when to leave off: and sometimes when I had concluded my discourse, and was returning homeward, he would tarry behind to repeat and inculcate what had been spoken.
His change is abiding, and his life, so far as I know, unblemished to this day, though it is now more than six months since he experienced this change; in which space of time he has been as much exposed to strong drink, as possible, in divers places where it has been moving free as water; and yet has never, that I know of, discovered any hankering desire after it. He seems to have a very considerable experience of spiritual exercise, and discourses feelingly of the conflicts and consolations of a real Christian. His heart echoes to the soul-humbling doctrines of grace, and he never appears better pleased than when he hears of the absolute sovereignty of God, and the salvation of sinners in a way of mere free grace. He has likewise of late had more satisfaction respecting, his own state, has been much enlivened and assisted in his work, so that he has been a great comfort to me.
And upon a view and strict observation of his serious and savoury conversation, his christian temper, and unblemished behaviour for so considerable a time, as well as his experience I have given an account of, I think that I have reason to hope that he is "created anew in Christ Jesus to good works." His name is Moses Tinda Tauta-my; he is about fifty years of age, and is pretty well acquainted with the pagan notions and customs of his countrymen, and so is the better able now to expose them. He has, I am persuaded, already been, and I trust will yet be, a blessing to the other Indians.
*** Three days later heres the entry: ***
July 26 Preached to my people, and afterwards baptized my interpreters children (the man mentioned above)
*** This mans whole house was saved! ***
| 2011/4/11 12:34||Profile|
| Re: |
Thankyou everyone for your replies :). I have been talking to Mum last night (I talk to ppl or parents when Im desperate, and then things happen). Anyway, she has really helped me to take a good step forward. I think that is in how she was helping me to understand what repentance really is (i.e. how you can say sorry but it doesn't always mean that yes, i should have known better at the time/or should have been perfect basically, but that saying sorry often means just admiting it was wrong when u realise it may have offended the other person and doing all you can to fix it/make up) and about how there IS a difference between humans needing a family and God creating humans (i.e. he didn't have any need).
Anyway, today has been a breath of fresh air as I could actually start to thank God for what he's done (even though the conviction is not superduper strong yet) and want to do something 4 Him and want to love others more. Got somewhere last night...and today as a consequence.
Today I did listen to that gospel talk this website has put up. And what affected me the most was things about God never needing us from the beginning, how only Jesus would have the best explanation of the gospel and how there was no diminishing of God's punishment/anger at sin if Jesus was to take it on...and how that was laid on Him in full strength.
Mini repentances - well sorta like today, but I only get little glimpses of it, which has an effect on me, but then I go backwards again because of still so many wrong mindsets and doubts that need to be undone.
Just tonight, though today & last night much further at the back of my mind about "God making man for himself"..it has come to the front of my mind now..and I just want to confirm with Mum that this was not in any way a selfish sense...because if you say that parents have children because they are being selfless well then that's putting God in the same light as parents. God sees children as a blessing for a couple. So if it's a blessing, then although they have to do a lot of selfless things once they have the children, it is still a blessing for them (well supposed to be be anyway).
Anyway, I really don't know whether I should be putting this on here open to debate because I just need confirmation of that...and not more uncertainty and changing facts.
The information I have been dwelling on today has made me warm to God...so yeah, that seems right.
Anyway it does take mind readjustment (or whatever u call it), and easier when there is consistency.
| 2011/4/12 8:28||Profile|
| Re: |
I am glad to hear you are doing better, I would just like to add something for you that may help clarify your minirepentances.
The Greek word for Repentance is Metanoya
Meta= Change and Noya= Mind
So repentance is quite literally "a Change of Mind" a minirepentance would intell us that you have not had a full blown change of mind quite yet but reading your words you seem to be on your way.
I would also say Repentance is not just an act but an entire lifestyle ie a Constant turning to God daily.
Also in reference to your question about God making man in a selfish sense, couldn't be further from the truth. What can man give God? We are the benefactors of the relationship not God because God is eternal and self-sufficient.
I am a father of two beautiful kiddos, I do receive blessing from them, however I do far more for them than they do for me meaning they depend on me but I don't depend on them (in time when I am an old man this may change). God is the same you can't benefit God but you are completely 100% dependant on God and thus benefit 100% from Him. The more submitted you are to Him the more and more you need Him. I believe like a loving Father when I look at my little ones I can still see them as the helpless beings they once were no matter how old they get they will always be my little babies. I believe God is the same way with us despite how much we mature in Christ we will always be viewed through this same mindset of God's precious little children.
I hope this helps any question you had.
| 2011/4/12 9:27||Profile|
| Re: |
I can only suppose that by 'mini repentance' you mean conviction.
In Acts 24, as the apostle Paul is speaking to Felix of righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, it says Felix was afraid.
However, he told Paul to go away. That is what he did with the conviction that he had.
Again, in Acts 26, Paul is speaking to King Agrippa. Agrippa declares that Paul had almost persuaded him to become a Christian. However, he did not become one. He was only convicted.
I'll leave it at that.
| 2011/4/12 10:46||Profile|
| Re: |
Have you ever sought the filling of the Holy Spirit?
If you are struggling with the love Of God, I suggest this is the best thing to seek, because no one can communicate the love of God to you as God Himself through His Holy Spirit.
This is an account of Finney's experience with the baptism of the Holy Spirit and how it filled his heart with God's love.
Hope this encourages you to seek the same.
(((I did not get a chance to share this on Friday night. The great evangelist Charles Finney was saved and filled with the Spirit of God in the early 1800′s.
Within hours of his receiving saving grace he had a powerful encounter with the love of God. This infilling empowered him and propelled him to be among the great revivalists of all time. Besides dismantling the faulty doctrine of Calvinism, Finney set a whole section of our country on fire for Jesus in the early 19th century. Here is his account of his encounter with God the afternoon of his conversion.
There was no fire, and no light, in the room; nevertheless it appeared to me as if it were perfectly light. As I went in and shut the door after me, it seemed as if I met the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. It did not occur to me then, nor did it for some time afterward, that it was wholly a mental state. On the contrary it seemed to me that I saw him as I would see any other man. He said nothing, but looked at me in such a manner as to break me right down at his feet. I have always since regarded this as is most remarkable state of mind; for it seemed to me a reality, that he stood before me, and I fell down at his feet and poured out my soul to him. I wept aloud like a child, and made such confessions as I could with my choked utterance. It seemed to me that I bathed his feet with my tears; and yet I had no distinct impression that I touched him, that I recollect.
I must have continued in this state for a good while; but my mind was too much absorbed with the interview to recollect anything that I said. But I know, as soon as my mind became calm enough to break off from the interview, I returned to the front office, and found that the fire that I had made of large wood was nearly burned out. But as I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received at mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in as manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me.
Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love; for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings.
No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, I shall die if these wavers continue to pass over me. I said, Lord, I cannot bear any more; yet I had no fear of death.)))
| 2011/4/12 13:38||Profile|
| Re: |
I dunno, it seems so hard to tell the difference between a parent's love and God's love. People seem to be giving very conflicting messages about whether God needs us/wants us etc....and how this is similar or different to humans. There always seems to be something which stops me moving forward. That gospel presentation says God did not need us at all. But you could say God wanted us, couldn't you? Similarly, a couple (generally) wants children....and you hear it all the time...it's something for them, something they desire...humans are made to be in families. It's a blessing FOR THEM to have children. Whether you say they need the children, well u could say it either way...though they may not need them, they want them. That seems selfish.
Do people know what I mean?
How is God different?
I would so love to know where Im going wrong.
Before I originally starting thinking these kinds of thoughts (a process stemming from the idea of being open minded to people that were promoting Calvinsim....as they seemed to be able to back it up with Scripture), I had a great love for God and desired to please Him (well surely that wasn't all my imagination?).
Anyway, when you have such misconceptions about God it can be hard to warm to Him and forever just keep on seeking the Holy Spirit in the hope that that will solve the doubt problems. But then again, there may be misunderstanding by one's definition of 'seeking the Holy Spirit'. I have found actually hitting the problem on the head and dealing with the doubts straight out along with having an attitude of faith to be most helpful.
I don't plan on taking heaps longer to sort this out, but if by the end of this Semester (which is so busy, taking a lot of my attention) Im still not in the right place Im thinking about taking a gap year off (I do really like my course and have every intention of returning, but other things are on my mind right now and grades are going down). All studying seems to do is make me have to put out of my mind things to do with God and focus on the task at hand. If I could have a gap year I would focus full time on sorting stuff out with God, instead of constantly having to redivert my attention.
This is all because I don't want to ever regret not doing ALL I can (and giving up everything to make sure I get right with God).
I was in NO doubts about doing this, until I told Mum (a Christian) and found out she is dead against it for various reasons that don't really seem to be much of a reason. Her reasons are like "we still have to keep going about our daily life, can't put a stop to everything just because of difficulty"; "you may not end up returning to uni if you have a gap year...so much could happen in that time"; "You just seem to go downhill when you spend time trying to 'work stuff out with God'".
I feel that when I try to work stuff out with God, stuff happens...although at times maybe there is the relevance in the idea that too much information can sometimes be too much/detrimental (as is on another thread on this website) (??).
| 2011/4/15 7:03||Profile|
| Re: |
Well it is true that God did not do anything to increase His blessing...
many overlapping things with parents and God, but not to the degree that God created humans to bless himself.
| 2011/4/18 20:17||Profile|