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Joined: 2006/11/19
Posts: 9
Calgary, Alberta

 Distraught and so confused!

Dear believers,

My name is Joshua Akin...I don't really know how to address this I will try my best to give a clear picture of myself and what is happening in my life...

Just so you know this is the first time I've posted a message here on Sermon Index...Although this site is not new to me. I "used" to come here often, so I could listen to REAL preaching.
Men like Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead, Keith Daniels and Paul Washer.

Anyway...I was brought up in a small church in a small town under my grandfather's preaching. and back then? The norm for "salvation" to me and everyone I knew was that "If you prayed a prayer to ask Jesus to come into your heart!" You were born again...You know SAVED! At least that was what I understood! So I lived through my youth believing that I was for sure saved!

--> skip ahead a couple of years my family moves to the city (this is when I was about 15-16 yrs old) and we eventually start going to this one service at this larger church! It's on a monday night and it's mostly geared towards young adults! You know loud music, "dynamic preaching" and fire tunnels! At the time for me? This is so normal! This is church!! YA!! THIS IS LIKE THAT REVIVAL WE HEARD ABOUT! Oohhh, this is revival! At least growing up in a small church and coming to that! Wow, I mean that was the sort of thing you sought after in a smaller church! At least I thought so... Anyway, this monday night service had those strange manifestations at those "revivals"! You know the kind where everyone goes up to the front and they got the music building up the atmosphere and emotion and then the "ministry team" comes and the pastor is laying hands on people! People start rolling in the aisles and shaking, etc...Of course! I'm thinking this is totally normal! It seems to line up pretty well with what I believe and what I grew up with!

--> skip a few more years! I've come through that whole experience and after awhile that "revival" just seemed to fade it was nothing! I wasn't sure what had happened! But I came away from it thinking that that! was revival! This is church! This is "christian" but still something inside me! It was like a feeling! I felt like I was fooling around...that this isn't really it, is it?
Because I was a "christian" but I was sinning! Constantly! and I really wasn't sure if I could really be a christian and be doing the things that I was doing!!

I came to a point where I had enough! I felt like I was being swindled! So I decided to look into it! I eventually found a website that had some information about revivals! This websites main focus was azuza street...and it had these audio clips of compilations of different preachers. I listened to most of them! Some of them were very charismatic like the revivals that I was familiar with. But there were a few that were different!

The Revival Hymn! I never heard preaching like that before!! NEVER in my life!! It just cut through all that other garbage! It had teeth! It wasn't this fluffy christianity where everyone is going to heaven! No! This gave me a view of something that was sacred!

It was through men like Leonard Ravenhill I finally heard about the real revivals that had happened and William Booth and the Salvation Army! It drew me in because it was so refreshing to me! Because it was a hard message to hear! So I mainly listened to Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead, Keith Daniels and Paul Washer! and I believed that what these men preach is truth!

But something has happened to me...I can't explain it... You probably would see me as vile...Because I've listened to what I believe to be the truth! But I fear that I've not yet been truly saved! I've gone backwards! Back to that filth, my sin... I think...I fell into a snare of legalism for a time...You see I've listened to these sermons! I believe them true!! But I was so timid and ignorant of what I thought I knew and believed...that when I finally tried sharing what I had discovered with my parents? They would not accept it! I think they thought I was attacking them or coming down and judging them...and I've tried explaining to them that I was never saved! all this time my so called christian life is false! Because there was no evidence of salvation! There was no fruit! I've even asked them to at least listen to a sermon of Paul Washer! They think he's off his rocker!! They must think that if a preacher like that leaves you questioning your salvation and feeling like you're the wickedest creature on earth...That that can't be a message from God.

I just don't know what to do!! I'm so confused...I'm not sure if I even know any true believers!! My parents will just tell me! You are saved! God loves you! He's not mad at you! We were there when you asked Jesus into your heart, we know you're born again!

But they don't go through scripture to show me! It's all phrases from their church! and I've been to their church and the pastor pretty much just tells stories! he has a few verses here and there and even has what sounds like a gospel message...but he doesn't preach!! His message goes something like this "God is not mad at you! God loves you! God wants to transform your life! You've got so much potential! etc!" and at the end they ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes! and now repeat this prayer after me!

I've posted this message because I don't know where else to go to seek Godly council and advice! I don't go to church anymore! Because I don't know where to go!! I don't want to be deceived by these well meaning pastors! Dear believers! I need prayer...That this Holy King would soften this wicked heart of mine! that He would lead me to true repentance and true salvation...That I would find true believers...or that they'd find me...


 2009/1/28 2:02Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3421
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: Distraught and so confused!

Brother Joshua,

It sounds like your eyes have been opened! Praise God. You will have to pray for your parents and just let them see the new you - Christ in you (and me), that's the hope of glory!

I encourage you to listen to some of Zac Poonen's teachings.

Zac Poonen - [url=]Topical Bible Studies[/url]

Some topics that come to mind to listen to (when you click on them, they will open to 3 or more sermons):
THE REAL AND THE COUNTERFEIT (19 down from the top)
BEING A DISCIPLE - (15 down)

Zac Poonen - [url=]Verse by Verse Bible Studeis[/url]

He has been studying the Word of God for 40 or more years and he is the most balanced. All the new Christian's I run into, I will make a few CD's for them and his style and explanations of passages really helps them.


Now, to find true believers, I encourage you to pray and ask God where they are. They are scattered through Calgary and it's surrounding areas! The Lord may lead you to drive through the highways and by-ways and finally say, "there, go there for a little while." Who knows how He may lead you?

Actually, I found four of my dearest friends at a type of church your parents think you got saved at! :-o Even though none of us still go to this church, we stayed friends because our common denominator is Jesus - not the church!

Through years of crying and praying for just one godly friend, (this will sound corny but), I found that it's Jesus himself who is that friend that sticketh closer than a brother/sister. :-) Even though, He eventually gave me like 6 close friends, He is the one that I cling to.

Josh, I and many others (on this website) will be praying for you. This truly is the best place for Godly sermons but be careful not to judge your town by these messages on here! LOL You will be sadly disappointed by not finding anyone who preaches/teaches like Zac Poonen, Leonard Ravenhill, Paul Washer, A.W. Tozer, etc.

If you must fast, then fast and pray. Jesus will never steer you wrong.

God bless you,


 2009/1/28 5:17Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3421
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: Duplicate

duplicate because I got an Internal Error page. Sorry.


 2009/1/28 5:20Profile

Joined: 2008/4/3
Posts: 228

 Re: Distraught and so confused!

Dear Joshua,

You may not know it, but your post has so blessed me. There are so many saints that have been and still are being deceived into thinking that they are saved by the simple prayer that they are saved and not know they have truly been born again! My Daughter in law had to finally realize that her own family has members that think they are saved and are not walking with the Lord. She is diligently praying for them to have their eyes opened and to truly repent and be born again.

There has been great conflict. When we began listening to Paul Washer, Ravenhill, Katz, and Wilkerson, the eyes of our understanding were enlightened as yours were and we realized we had been receiving a false gospel.

Dear Brother, you are so not alone and God Himself will bring you safely to the knowledge of your salvation and you will be guided to others that are like minded. They will be very meek and humble, and most definitely in the background and unnoticed. They will hunger to talk about Jesus and encourage you in the overcoming of sin through Jesus and His ability to deliver you.

Above all, read the Word of God and pray much. It is your communion with the Father and the quiet of prayer where you hear the voice of the Lord.

Desire this with all you heart and you will be able to recognize the move oF God in your life. You will note that the scriptures declare that He came to bring not to bring peace, but a sword. In a sense, I guess it is the desire to please God and not even our own families. Pray for them and set the example. His sheep hear his voice and know him and no other voice will they follow because they know not the voice of strangers.

Even if you must dwell in a wilderness place for a season, I know the Lord will carry you through and there are wonderful saints here that will pray for you and give you godly council.

May the Lord guide and direct you Joshua.



 2009/1/28 5:25Profile

Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320

 Re: Distraught and so confused!


I can identify with your struggle. The thoughts I want to share are based on my personal experience and the beliefs I have regarding them.

There is the aspect of the 'sower' that I believe is pertinent. When a seed is sown into our lives, regardless of the ground it falls on, we have an enemy that desires to snatch it away.

I will jump to the solution and then do a little fill in. Jesus said, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink'. The key to overcoming satan's attempts to decieve and distract, is to allow God more and more opportunity to sow more and more seeds.

It will always boil down to this, God will sow a seed, whether it is the initial seed He sows that results in our accepting Him as our savior, or subsequent seeds He sows with the intent of being Lord of your life, satan will always try to counter the seed that is sown. He will twist the truth of it. He has been doing that from the beginning. That has never changed.

The only good way to combat that, and I use the word 'combat' for a reason (we are in a battle, it is just that simple, and until we realize it and approach this Christian walk from that mindset, we are destined to flounder around at the mercy of satan who has his way with us (and believe me there is not much mercy there)).

Coming to God regularly to drink from His well is the regular fortifying we need to identify satan's attempt to subvert us. When satan tries to twist the truth, if we have little of it in us, we are easy targets. On the other hand, if we are filled, he has more difficulty getting to us.

For what it is worth, I agree with your parents. I believe you are saved and I know for a fact God loves you. Maybe this perspective will help you understand that your struggles are not a result of not being saved, but because you are, your enemy is doing all to prevent you from knowing the love God has for you.

I close with a verse I just closed with on another thread. Ephesians 3:17-19 'I pray that you, being rooted and esablished in love, may have the power, together with all the saints, to know how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know the love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled with the measure of the fullness of God.'

I'll be praying for you.

Mike Jones

 2009/1/28 7:29Profile

Joined: 2008/11/3
Posts: 77

 Re: Distraught and so confused!

Great to hear your testimony. It sounds so much like mine - I grew up going to traditional, large, political "First-Baptist" churches. One day I experienced a Pentecostal campmeeting/revival with all the flash and flare you'd expect to see. For a season, I feel the Lord used these services to let me know as a teenager that there was more to being a Christian than the stereotype I'd always seen in my churches (grouchy older people who bickered and fought over what food was to be served at the fellowship meetings on Wednesday nights). I turned my heart to following after these "revivals", such as what was happening in Brownsville or Toronto. By the time I was out of college I had come to realize there was something amiss about this whole "revival" mentality and I too became burn-out on the concept. I was tired of seeing people seeking experiences and signs, but having no genuine and passionate holiness in their lives and the biblical teaching that accompanies these "revivals" was usually shallow and often unorthodox at best. Since then, I've come to see (and experience) that God does come down to move among His people in the power of revival, but it's much different and so much more powerful than what I used to think "revival" constituted.

Long story short, I can remember being in a very similar position as yourself. I want to encourage you in a few things:
1. The fact that you are wrestling with whether or not you've ever been "saved" is not a bad thing, but a wonderful sign that God is either your Lord or is drawing you with a discontented heart towards truly knowing Him. Someone in whom the Spirit is not moving is likely to believe themselves safe and doesn't want to even look into the issue.
2. I do believe this time of dispair is only for a season, this too shall pass. Remember Elijah in the wilderness after he had had the great victory on Mt. Carmel. He was so distraught that he hoped he might even die, believing that there was noone else that walked after God, that he alone was left - but the Lord told him of the thousands of remnant people who still served Him and that he was not alone. I believe this time in the wilderness is serving to strength you and mature you in ways you'll probably only recognize in retrospect.
3. It sounds like the Lord is dealing with your heart on aspects of your lifestyle. Don't reason through what He is tell you to do, just do it. Are there friends or relationships in your life that constantly cause you to stumble...then disassociate yourself from them. Is the television or internet a constant stumbling block in your life...then "cut it off and cast it from you." Is the Lord drawing you to start getting up earlier and spending time in His presense...then do what you must to get up earlier and spend time with Him. Just listen to what He is convicting you about and act on it. You'll be blown away by the power of obedience to the Holy Spirit.
4. You CAN find Godly fellowship and council and this is a great forum to start with. I encourage you to get involved in posting and talking with others on this site, you'll find that there are many from whom you can be encouraged. Ideally, and in time, the Lord will lead you to some local believers that you can become involved with and can worship and learn from. They're closer than you think, just begin seeking the Lord diligently on this issue.

God bless you Joshhh, and I hope to see your name popping up more and more in these threads. I'll be praying for you as the Lord leads you through this Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Buck Yates

 2009/1/28 8:00Profile

Joined: 2009/1/16
Posts: 67
East Texas

 Re: Distraught and so confused!

Joshua, when I realized that something was wrong with my Christianity, that it didn't compare with the Early Church, I started praying fervently to God to show me what was wrong. I prayed like Bartimaeus, " Jesus of Nazareth, have mercy on me." And like that blind man, I continued praying and crying louder, that same prayer. This went on for weeks.

The problem was, I thought I was good! When God started showing me the truth, I got angry, and said a very stupid thing. "Well, God, what's so bad about me?" Very stupid, but so great, because then God showed me through various happenings over the next few weeks. The final revealing showed me something inside me I never knew was there, murder.

That night, there was a revival going on at our church. I didn't hear a word the preacher said. My heart was so broken from the happening that day, that when the altar call was given I fell to my knees and cried out to God. " God, I don't know where that came from, and I don't want it. Please give me the love of Jesus in my life."

That moment I was born again. No matter that I had gone to church for years, taught sunday school, spoke in tongues, the whole nine yards, I had never been saved.

Joshua, cry out to God. He will answer. I will be praying for you, Brother.


 2009/1/28 8:11Profile

Joined: 2004/4/5
Posts: 952

 Re: Distraught and so confused!

"He came to Me."
The Gulf that seperated me from Christ my Lord.
Was so Vast the Crossing I could never go.
From where I was, to His Domain, it seemed so far.
I cried, "Dear Lord," I cannot come to where you are.

He came to me,
He came to me.
When I could not go to where He was, He came to me.
That's why He died, On Calvary's Tree,
When I could not go to where He was, He came to me.

He loves you.
He will bring you through, Victorious!

By the Blood of Lamb we will all make it through.

Jesus is the only One who will never fail you.

God Bless you.

 2009/1/28 9:49Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3592

 Re: Distraught and so confused!

Hi Josh,

Jesus said these words:"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." (Matthew 5:6).

God is drawing you to Himself. Believe it or not, you are in a good place. He works through the crises that we go through.

God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

Continue to seek the Lord with all of your heart, and you shall find Him.



 2009/1/28 11:53Profile

Joined: 2008/10/21
Posts: 151



it seems that many have already offered some good council and encouragement.

i just want to add that the first time i heard the "shocking" message by paul washer, i was in the same place you are at now. i thought i wasn't saved (i do not blame this ambiguity on brother paul). as my wife reminded me of the fruit that is evident in my life (how we know we are saved) i realized i was saved.

regeneration is a hard thing to tackle. i would encourage you to realize your attitude toward sin. if you become more sensitive to your sinfullness, i would say that is a strong indication of having a regenerate heart.

pray for your family. truth is a hard pill to swallow.

be blessed,

Ben Fuehrer

 2009/1/28 13:22Profile

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