JimmyKiff

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My mother growing up was an everyday Christian, church every Sunday, etc. that’s how I grew up. I was Christian for a time too. I grew up with restless nights of mind racing of thoughts of what comes after death and the thought of not existing after terrified me to where I would scream for my mom crying and she would have to come in and would calm me down and pray with me. I would feel better. Over time those thoughts kinda just disappeared, but not entirely. Then I became a teenager and stop going and rebelled. Now I’m going on 30 and time is flying and my parents are getting old and I have a 4 year old son now and I have grown incredibly intellectually over the years and have come to be interested in space and physics and such. Looking at some of the things in life and the universe itself. I watched a video of a star sitting inside of a nebula that was pulsating and you can actually see the light travel over great distances through this nebula in a time lapse video from the Hubble Space telescope. It made me realize the how insignificant we are in the universe and if god really did create us, why such a large scale for something so small? That’s just one of many things I notice while pursuing information involving anything outside of this earth and even things on this earth. The thing is I do absolutely totally want to believe but based on the information I am seeing I am having a VERY difficult time believing. I wish I did because now the same crippling fear is back at the age of 29 and it’s even worse than before because even my mother couldn’t calm me down. It’s giving me so much anxiety and it’s making me nauseous and pace and cry. Sure, even if you can get me to calm down even somehow wholeheartedly believe I don’t know if I will be ok. Because what scares me is what if we are all wrong anyways? Ok sure, I’m dead anyways so nothing to worry about right? Well until that point I’m going to live with this anxiety and fear up to the last minute. I’m a little ok right now but I don’t know where else to turn. Just telling me he exists and saying you are going to pray for me isn’t going to help me. I need someone to talk to me. Hopefully someone versed in similar types of knowledge but still believes in God and Jesus. This is a serious and actual call for help. (Not a life or death call for help, just saying in case anyone interprets that$
 

Paulomycin

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Hi Jimmy, this is going to sound really facile and dismissive, but it's my actual perspective. Please hear me out.

Over time those thoughts kinda just disappeared, but not entirely.

My takeaway from reading your post on fear of death:

- Fear of death is the wrong motive. BTW, fear of Hell is the wrong motive too.

- At least you're aware of your own mortality. - Psalm 90:12

- Do you feel like your mother lied to you after all these years? If she's still alive, can you ask her what she placed her confidence in? Do you think she'll die from the same fear you're feeling yourself?

It made me realize the how insignificant we are in the universe and if god really did create us, why such a large scale for something so small?

Because it's actually not about "us" at all. Too many pop-Christian sources will claim God did it for you, but God created the universe to glorify Him instead. The perspective is on Him alone; not us.

God also tends to use the "so small" things to glorify Him so that the small things will not glorify themselves. - Deuteronomy 7:7, 1 Corinthians 1:25-27

Because what scares me is what if we are all wrong anyways?

"What if" is pure speculation that is usually less reliable than what is.

I'm willing to discuss this further, if you'd like.

 
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Tolworth John

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I have grown incredibly intellectually over the years

May I suggest a few things.
First off, have you looked into Jesus's death, and resurrection. Coldcasechristian web site or Lee Strobes book the case for Christ.

If you Ike logical arguements then try William lane Craig a web site Reasonable faith has plenty of reasonable arguements and debates about the validity of Christianity.

If you want something different tr winter Knight or answeresingenesise.

Lastly we if you can find an enquiry course either in the Christianity explored site or the alpha course web site.
Both will enable you to talk to people either in a meeting in someone's house or in a zoom meeting.
 
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A_Thinker

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My mother growing up was an everyday Christian, church every Sunday, etc. that’s how I grew up. I was Christian for a time too. I grew up with restless nights of mind racing of thoughts of what comes after death and the thought of not existing after terrified me to where I would scream for my mom crying and she would have to come in and would calm me down and pray with me. I would feel better. Over time those thoughts kinda just disappeared, but not entirely. Then I became a teenager and stop going and rebelled. Now I’m going on 30 and time is flying and my parents are getting old and I have a 4 year old son now and I have grown incredibly intellectually over the years and have come to be interested in space and physics and such. Looking at some of the things in life and the universe itself. I watched a video of a star sitting inside of a nebula that was pulsating and you can actually see the light travel over great distances through this nebula in a time lapse video from the Hubble Space telescope. It made me realize the how insignificant we are in the universe and if god really did create us, why such a large scale for something so small? That’s just one of many things I notice while pursuing information involving anything outside of this earth and even things on this earth. The thing is I do absolutely totally want to believe but based on the information I am seeing I am having a VERY difficult time believing. I wish I did because now the same crippling fear is back at the age of 29 and it’s even worse than before because even my mother couldn’t calm me down. It’s giving me so much anxiety and it’s making me nauseous and pace and cry. Sure, even if you can get me to calm down even somehow wholeheartedly believe I don’t know if I will be ok. Because what scares me is what if we are all wrong anyways? Ok sure, I’m dead anyways so nothing to worry about right? Well until that point I’m going to live with this anxiety and fear up to the last minute. I’m a little ok right now but I don’t know where else to turn. Just telling me he exists and saying you are going to pray for me isn’t going to help me. I need someone to talk to me. Hopefully someone versed in similar types of knowledge but still believes in God and Jesus. This is a serious and actual call for help. (Not a life or death call for help, just saying in case anyone interprets that$
Hey Jimmy ...

The universe is, truly, monumental. It is also very complex.

If you research what it takes for life to exist here on Earth, you will find that a number of variables are "set" ... so as to enable the development and continued existence of life here on earth.

Here is a link to an article on the subject ...

The Earth: Unique in All the Universe

It is difficult to imagine that such complexity arose ... without intelligent organization.

As for me, re the "God vs. no God" argument, it come down to this ...

There is, ultimately, no downside to believing that God created all ... and continues to guide the universe.

If it just so happens that belief in God is incorrect, ... what real difference does that make to your life and your future (in terms of you losing something you potentially had) ?

It is, in effect, Pascal's wager. The only thing you miss out on by believing in God ... is the "knowledge" that God doesn't exist.

And what does that really do for you ? It's just an idea that appeals to our vanity ... that we "know" a rather ultimate answer.

But ... do we really ? Can we really be so sure ?

Since we can't be sure, better to err on the side of "possibility", I say.

There is much to be potentially gained through the acceptance of an offer of relationship with the creator of the universe ... and little to be lost ... except for a little vanity.

In any case, ... there is certainly no reason to endure anxiety over the choice of what to believe. Put your faith/trust in what is truly BEST for you ... and enjoy the peace which flows from that ...

Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.
 
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TzephanYahu

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Hi @JimmyKiff

I understand your concern here, but be very careful for what you take as “fact”. The Heliocentric Model of the Solar System that you are acquainted with is not what the Bible teaches, nor is it how the greatest of ancient cultures (Mayan, Egyptian, Greek and many others) understood cosmology. Far from simple minded, these ancient cultures achieved feats of construction we can’t even match today and nearly all of them are based of star constellations and movements of the luminaries that modern astronomers have only caught up with in recent years.

So take great care of what you take as “fact” because you have seen a “photo” or “video” or the information comes branded with the NASA badge. The world you live in isn’t as you have been taught and it’s very far from being insignificant. Rather, it’s the centre stage for all events.

You might immediately write that off as foolishness if you have already placed faith in NASA and because of how we’ve all been conditioned since young children. I know, I was there too. However, if you can bear to investigate the matter thinking outside the box, perhaps this brief video might give you a good place to start studying cosmology according to the Bible.

Again, pay close attention to the things you think are “fact”. Test these facts and models and investigate them independently – don’t take anyone’s word just because they have letter after their name. If the logical and reason seems overly complex, then investigate. If they stand to your objective scrutiny, all good. But if it eventually boils down to “because they said so” and “because I’ve seen a photo”, then you may be wavering into the realm of science fiction.

Now, if you have these wrong assumptions in place – mainly heliocentricity, multiple universes etc, then it will be no wonder why someone as smart as yourself will start seeing the juxtaposition to the Bible. You will quickly conclude we are insignificant and purposeless. This has been the very reason for the perpetuation of this science fiction, just like the theory of evolution. Both work hand in hand to say “You are nothing, you are not important, the Bible is not true, you are lost without hope”. In essence, this is no different that original deception of the serpent in the garden – getting you to question God’s word and aiming for to become your own god.

So once more, pay very close attention to what you are being fed as “fact”. Does what your told correlate with your personal observances? What about the facts we find that contradict a heliocentric model? What does the Word of God actually say about the world and it’s construction? Who would be more likely (and has a track record) of lying – God or NASA?

I hope you at least investigate why you believe what you believe about the universe, because it is a worthwhile trip.

Peace
 
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A_Thinker

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I watched a video of a star sitting inside of a nebula that was pulsating and you can actually see the light travel over great distances through this nebula in a time lapse video from the Hubble Space telescope ...
Just a quick note to assure you that there are christians (the majority, actually) who believe in cosmology pretty much as it's been discovered by Science to-date ...
 
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1watchman

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My mother growing up was an everyday Christian, church every Sunday, etc. that’s how I grew up. I was Christian for a time too. I grew up with restless nights of mind racing of thoughts of what comes after death and the thought of not existing after terrified me to where I would scream for my mom crying and she would have to come in and would calm me down and pray with me. I would feel better. Over time those thoughts kinda just disappeared, but not entirely. Then I became a teenager and stop going and rebelled. Now I’m going on 30 and time is flying and my parents are getting old and I have a 4 year old son now and I have grown incredibly intellectually over the years and have come to be interested in space and physics and such. Looking at some of the things in life and the universe itself. I watched a video of a star sitting inside of a nebula that was pulsating and you can actually see the light travel over great distances through this nebula in a time lapse video from the Hubble Space telescope. It made me realize the how insignificant we are in the universe and if god really did create us, why such a large scale for something so small? That’s just one of many things I notice while pursuing information involving anything outside of this earth and even things on this earth. The thing is I do absolutely totally want to believe but based on the information I am seeing I am having a VERY difficult time believing. I wish I did because now the same crippling fear is back at the age of 29 and it’s even worse than before because even my mother couldn’t calm me down. It’s giving me so much anxiety and it’s making me nauseous and pace and cry. Sure, even if you can get me to calm down even somehow wholeheartedly believe I don’t know if I will be ok. Because what scares me is what if we are all wrong anyways? Ok sure, I’m dead anyways so nothing to worry about right? Well until that point I’m going to live with this anxiety and fear up to the last minute. I’m a little ok right now but I don’t know where else to turn. Just telling me he exists and saying you are going to pray for me isn’t going to help me. I need someone to talk to me. Hopefully someone versed in similar types of knowledge but still believes in God and Jesus. This is a serious and actual call for help. (Not a life or death call for help, just saying in case anyone interprets that$

Dear Jimmy, it appears from what you said that you never were what the Bible tells us is "Christian" ---and I don't say this against you. To BE a Christian one MUST be as the meaning states: '...of Christ'. To be OF Christ, one must know and trust the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me urge you to take time to know our Creator-God and His "...so great salvation" as found in His "beloved Son": the Lord Jesus. Please read (as I recommend, in a reliable Bible as the Authorized KJV Bible), the message God would like you and all mankind to know in John 3; John 14; Romans 8; etc. as starters to hear God speaking to you. Daily reading of the New Testament will prove a blessing!

We MUST receive God's "only begotten Son" (not just have a belief) into our life and heart as our Savior and Lord of our life to be saved for Heaven; and then we have the "sealing" of the Holy Spirit, which God promises true believers. Be a true believer, friend, and begin talking to the Lord Jesus as He said in John 14, and make Him your best Friend daily. I have found Him over 50 years ago and our walk together is precious ---a Godly relationship. God hears prayer in the Name of His "beloved Son), as He says. This gift of God in His Son is precious, and essential for entrance into Heaven. Write me personally any time if you wish to chat about these things, friend.
 
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My mother growing up was an everyday Christian, church every Sunday, etc. that’s how I grew up. I was Christian for a time too. I grew up with restless nights of mind racing of thoughts of what comes after death and the thought of not existing after terrified me to where I would scream for my mom crying and she would have to come in and would calm me down and pray with me. I would feel better. Over time those thoughts kinda just disappeared, but not entirely. Then I became a teenager and stop going and rebelled. Now I’m going on 30 and time is flying and my parents are getting old and I have a 4 year old son now and I have grown incredibly intellectually over the years and have come to be interested in space and physics and such. Looking at some of the things in life and the universe itself. I watched a video of a star sitting inside of a nebula that was pulsating and you can actually see the light travel over great distances through this nebula in a time lapse video from the Hubble Space telescope. It made me realize the how insignificant we are in the universe and if god really did create us, why such a large scale for something so small? That’s just one of many things I notice while pursuing information involving anything outside of this earth and even things on this earth. The thing is I do absolutely totally want to believe but based on the information I am seeing I am having a VERY difficult time believing. I wish I did because now the same crippling fear is back at the age of 29 and it’s even worse than before because even my mother couldn’t calm me down. It’s giving me so much anxiety and it’s making me nauseous and pace and cry. Sure, even if you can get me to calm down even somehow wholeheartedly believe I don’t know if I will be ok. Because what scares me is what if we are all wrong anyways? Ok sure, I’m dead anyways so nothing to worry about right? Well until that point I’m going to live with this anxiety and fear up to the last minute. I’m a little ok right now but I don’t know where else to turn. Just telling me he exists and saying you are going to pray for me isn’t going to help me. I need someone to talk to me. Hopefully someone versed in similar types of knowledge but still believes in God and Jesus. This is a serious and actual call for help. (Not a life or death call for help, just saying in case anyone interprets that$
 
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Simply ask God to reveal himself to you.
I find the problem is that most churches preach another Jesus it is not the true real authentic Jesus which causes people the question is God real.
It's not about going to church on Sunday it's about spending time in the word of God and praying and asking God to reveal himself to you He loves you and wants a relationship with you an everyday relationship.
 
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Joyous Song

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Hey Jimmy ...

The universe is, truly, monumental. It is also very complex.

If you research what it takes for life to exist here on Earth, you will find that a number of variables are "set" ... so as to enable the development and continued existence of life here on earth.

Here is a link to an article on the subject ...

The Earth: Unique in All the Universe

It is difficult to imagine that such complexity arose ... without intelligent organization.

As for me, re the "God vs. no God" argument, it come down to this ...

There is, ultimately, no downside to believing that God created all ... and continues to guide the universe.

If it just so happens that belief in God is incorrect, ... what real difference does that make to your life and your future (in terms of you losing something you potentially had) ?

It is, in effect, Pascal's wager. The only thing you miss out on by believing in God ... is the "knowledge" that God doesn't exist.

And what does that really do for you ? It's just an idea that appeals to our vanity ... that we "know" a rather ultimate answer.

But ... do we really ? Can we really be so sure ?

Since we can't be sure, better to err on the side of "possibility", I say.

There is much to be potentially gained through the acceptance of an offer of relationship with the creator of the universe ... and little to be lost ... except for a little vanity.

In any case, ... there is certainly no reason to endure anxiety over the choice of what to believe. Put your faith/trust in what is truly BEST for you ... and enjoy the peace which flows from that ...

Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.

JS: this was the argument that started me investigating Scripture like I studied Mathematics. I found my faith and no longer needed that argument as I learned more.
 
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SANTOSO

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Dear one,

Do you know that you are in bondage ? For this is what we have heard:

and thus set free those who had been in bondage all their lives because of their fear of death.-Hebrews 2:15 CJB

Dear one,
because of your fear of death, you have been in bondage all your life.

Can anyone help you ?
This is what we have heard :

For surely it is not angels that He helps, but He helps the offspring of Abraham. -Hebrews 2:16

So we know God helps the offspring of Abraham.

Who then is the offspring of Abraham?
This is what we have heard :

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ. -Galatians 3:16

So the promises of God were made to Abraham and to his offspring and the offspring of Abraham is Christ.

You may ask how the offspring of Abraham help you ?

This is what we have heard Christ, the offspring of Abraham have said:

Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death." -John 8:51

So if you keep Christ’s words, you never perceive or taste death.

How? This is what we have heard:

.....the power of God, -2 Timothy 1:8
who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, -2 Timothy 1:9
and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, -2 Timothy 1:10

So the question that you need to ask yourself. Do you belong to Christ? Why, you may ask.

This is what we have heard:
And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. -Galatians 3:29

When you belong to Christ, then you are considered as Abraham’s offspring, and as heir, you can partake the promises of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Yes, when you belong to Christ, then as Abraham’s offspring in Christ, you will be aided —that is, that you will be delivered from the bondage of the fear of death.

You may consider “how I know that I belong to Christ”. This is what we have heard:

Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. -Romans 8:9

So you should concern yourself,”How you may have the Spirit of Christ.”

This is what we have heard:
Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:2

So we receive the Spirit by hearing with faith.

What have we heard then? This is what we have heard:

In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. -Galatians 4:3
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, -Galatians 4:4
to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. -Galatians 4:5

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" -Galatians 4:6

When Christ have redeemed you from the curse of the law, then you might receive the blessing given Abraham through Christ so that you might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

In other words, you receive adoption as child of God through Christ. And because you are child, God has sent the Spirit of His son into your heart, crying, “Abba! Father!”

So when you have the Spirit of His Son, you belong to Christ— you are offspring of Abraham in Christ. And you will be delivered from your bondage of fear of death when you kept what Christ has said in His gospel of peace.

How you might have peace ? This is what we have heard:

For He ( Christ ) himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility -Ephesians 2:14
by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, -Ephesians 2:15
and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. -Ephesians 2:16
And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. -Ephesians 2:17

dear one,
believe that the Lord Jesus Christ have preached peace.
This is what the Lord have said :

But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. -John 5:36

So what has been said in Ephesians 2:14-17, that is the works that the Father has given Christ to accomplish, the very works that Christ is doing, bear witness about Christ that the Father has sent Him.

So dear one, if you have Christ’s word abiding in you, then you are considered as those believe the Father has sent.

Dear one,
if you are willing, then you will come to Christ that you may have life.

Dear one,
remember what Christ has spoken:

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. -John 6:63

May the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
 
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aiki

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My mother growing up was an everyday Christian, church every Sunday, etc. that’s how I grew up. I was Christian for a time too.

No one is a Christian "for a time." There are some who deceive themselves into thinking they were born-again disciples of Christ but always the "proof is in the pudding." Was the Holy Spirit in evidence in your life, as the Bible says he is in the life of every genuine believer? If he had been, you wouldn't now be referring to being a Christian "for a time."

I grew up with restless nights of mind racing of thoughts of what comes after death and the thought of not existing after terrified me to where I would scream for my mom crying and she would have to come in and would calm me down and pray with me. I would feel better. Over time those thoughts kinda just disappeared, but not entirely. Then I became a teenager and stop going and rebelled.

None of what you've written here suggests you were actually a born-again Christian. No one becomes a child of God by association or by attending church on Sunday. Do you become a surgeon by sitting in a hospital for an hour or so every weekend? Nope. Do you become a surgeon merely by being closely related to one? Nope. Why think, then, that having a Christian mother and attending church on Sunday makes you a Christian?

It made me realize the how insignificant we are in the universe and if god really did create us, why such a large scale for something so small?

Is the universe all for us? Nope. It's for God. He is reflecting something of Himself in the nature of the universe. That's why, at least in part, the universe is so enormous and amazing.

The thing is I do absolutely totally want to believe but based on the information I am seeing I am having a VERY difficult time believing. I wish I did because now the same crippling fear is back at the age of 29 and it’s even worse than before because even my mother couldn’t calm me down.

God is the Ground of All Reality, the Light and the Truth. If you reject Him, you can only move into darkness, deception and illusion. When you do, fear is often the result. Part of you likely senses the great danger of a life lived apart from, and in rebellion to, your holy Maker.

It’s giving me so much anxiety and it’s making me nauseous and pace and cry.

Matthew 11:28-30
28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."


Just telling me he exists and saying you are going to pray for me isn’t going to help me. I need someone to talk to me.

God says in His word that you know that He exists but you have suppressed that truth in unrighteousness. (See Romans 1:18-21) When we do this sort of thing - suppress what we know to be true - the result is often what you're experiencing.

If you want someone to talk to you, how about God? He's got a great deal to say to you, if you'll hear Him. Just pick up a Bible, turn to the Gospel of John in the New Testament, and start reading. As you do, if you'll actually hear what is being said in the things you read, God Himself will speak to you, revealing Himself to you in what you read.
 
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Hi, Jimmy, I'm not sure what you are actually struggling with, but your story sounds like mine. I hope you will take time to read my testimony below.

I grew up in a Baptist church where every Sunday I heard that I was a sinner who would go to hell if I didn't accept Jesus as my Lord and savior. At age 13, I was attending a revival at our church and when the evangelist gave the altar call he stepped out into the congregation, walking up & down the isles begging people to go to the altar and accept Christ as savior. I remember thinking to myself “I hope he doesn't come over here.” Well, he did walk over to me and when he put his hand on my shoulder I found myself walking down the isle to the altar. My Sunday School teacher met me there and led me through the Romans Road salvation plan, then he had me repeat a prayer after him asking Jesus to save me. I was baptized the next Sunday.

By the time I was around 18-19 years old I had forgot about God & actually had serious doubts that God was real or that the bible was true. I finished HS & college and started my teaching career at age 24, and had pretty much decided that God did not exist & that the bible was not true. Not long after I started my first teaching job I got married, and my wife and I attended church a few times. I started to think about the bible & God & all the things I had heard growing up about believing in Jesus, and although I had serious doubts about the truth of the bible and the existence of God I began to think that I might be wrong and the bible might be true. Finally, I decided that if I was wrong in my unbelief and the bible IS true then I would likely spend eternity in hell. That thought scared me so much that I began to really listen to the preacher when we DID go to church and eventually we started going regularly.

The next several years were miserable for me as I struggled with wanting to know the truth about the matter of salvation, while doubting the existence of God or the truth of the bible. I struggled with the meaning of “believe in Jesus.” I would hear preachers say “you have to confess Jesus in public,” “you have to promise to serve God the rest of your life,” “if Jesus isn't your Lord then He isn't your Savior,” you have to really mean business with God to be saved,” and so on. I was convinced that my salvation depended on me saying & doing the right things with the right attitude. I made many trips to the altar at church where I confessed Jesus as Lord & Savior. Many times I tried to “believe” by building up within myself a sense of having strong faith in Jesus, and then I would say a prayer confessing my sin and asking God to forgive my sin and to save me “in Jesus' name.” Saying that prayer would give me some peace & assurance for a day or two, and I would “feel” saved, but then I would hear the preacher say something like, “if you meant business with God when you said that prayer then you are saved,” and I would immediately ask myself “did I really mean business with God?” I could not answer that question with certainty, and soon the peace would be replaced with doubts & fear, and I would no longer have the feeling of being saved. I said that prayer many times, but could never find a lasting peace & assurance that God heard my prayer & saved me. My life was filled with feelings of misery, fear, and confusion.

For several years I talked to Christians, preachers, teachers, and read salvation tracts & books, but found nothing that convinced me of the truth of God's Way of salvation. I could not make myself believe. I thought I would NEVER know how to believe in Jesus so that God would save me. My life was miserable until I gave up on myself, and turned to the God who I wasn't sure existed for help. One night, as I lay down in bed hoping to get some sleep and with a sense of hopelessness & helplessness, I just gave up on myself and looked up at the ceiling and said this simple prayer, “God, will you show me how to believe in you?” The next night I picked up the big family bible, dusted it off, and turned to the Gospel of John. That was the first time I had ever read anything in the bible outside of church. I remembered someone saying that the Gospel of John told about Jesus, so that is where I started to read. I was desperately looking for the truth about God & Jesus, and I found my answer there. The difference in that night and all the other things I had been doing was that I turned from myself to God, and that's what God wants us to do. God wants us to turn to Him & to rely on Him, and when I did that God's Holy Spirit literally opened my blind spiritual eyes and allowed me to see the truth found in His Word.

I really believe that the time I went to the altar at age 13 was because I was under the influence of the preacher; not the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I was not really saved then.

The best way I know to explain my “experience” is that as I read through the Gospel of John God's Spirit turned on the light for me and “I got it.” I saw that Jesus had already done everything that God required for my sins to be forgiven. The Holy Spirit convinced me that when Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood there that my sins were nailed to that cross with Him and He paid the penalty for my sins “in full.” He paid my “sin debt” to God that I could never pay, and that He also proved He is God by coming out of that grave and that He is alive. The best way to describe the kind of “believe” I found there is that the moment I “got it” an enormous sense of relief overwhelmed my troubled soul and for the first time in my life I had peace. The peace I found that day is impossible to explain to anyone who has never found that peace for himself/herself. It is a lasting peace, because the source of that peace is not of myself, but it is the message of the cross. As that peace replaced the fear, the doubts melted away into a complete & total rest in knowing that Jesus had already paid my sin debt in full. God had just brought me out of complete spiritual darkness of unbelief into the light of His Word, and He immediately gave me the saving faith I needed to believe. I found myself talking to Jesus as though He was right there in the room with me. I did not think about how much faith I needed, or about confessing my sin, or about any of the things I had heard preachers say I should do. All I could think about was that I wanted Jesus in my life, and I told Him that as soon as I could. I don't know if my faith was weak or strong. All I knew was that I wanted to thank Him for dying on the cross for me & to tell Him I wanted Him to change me His way. He did change me that day. He gave me peace, and today, 40+ years later, I still have that same peace. Notice I said I “have” peace. I did not say I “feel” peace.

I don't “feel” saved today, but I have no doubts about the matter. I'm not worried about where I will spend eternity because my eternity is secured in the message of the cross; not in my feelings. If the peace I found over 40 years ago and which I still have today depended on my feelings then I would not have any peace & my life would be miserable.

My point is that knowing we have “believed” is not feeling we have believed, but it is the convincing work of the Holy Spirit as He convinces us that the penalty for our sin has already been paid in full. The Holy Spirit must be the convincing influence that draws a lost person to believe the Gospel. When the Holy Spirit convinces us of that truth so that we see that it includes “our” sin or includes “my” sin then that truth becomes real for us individually and that convincing influence of Holy Spirit leads us to rely upon that message so that we come to saving faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. When the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the truth & I “got it” my troubled soul came to rest; I found my answer; my struggle was over. I saw that the matter is not about me; not about what “I” could do, but about what He had already done; it is a done deal; God cannot lie. It is finished.

My “feeling” is that after one “believes” then he/she would just naturally want to talk to Jesus about it, and Jesus promised that He will not reject anyone who comes to Him.

My struggle with “believing” happened over 40 years ago. Back then we did not have the internet as a source for finding information and/or to participate in a forum such as this one. My search ended when I found my answer in God's Word. That is the source I recommend to anyone who is searching for truth about believing in Jesus. But, I have found several good articles & sermons on the internet that I think might have been of some help to me back then had I known about them, and I am including links to 2 of them below. They are sermons by the late Dr. John R Rice, and I consider them to be a good source of information about believing, of course except for God's Word. I can give more resources if anyone is interested further reading. Again, God's Word is the best place to search for your answers.

1. How to Come to Jesus, by Dr. John R Rice
SermonIndex.net Audio Sermons - Sermon Index

2. What Must I do to be Saved, by Dr. John R Rice
SermonIndex.net Audio Sermons - Sermon Index

Regards,
John
 
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1watchman

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Some good counsel here, Jimmy! Take it to heart and RECEIVE THE LORD JESUS into your heart now, and find that "peace that passeth all understanding" as God tells us. When the Lord Jesus becomes your 'best Friend' as well as Savior of your soul, you will know all I well and can walk and talk with Him daily.
 
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BobRyan

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My mother growing up was an everyday Christian, church every Sunday, etc. that’s how I grew up. I was Christian for a time too. I grew up with restless nights of mind racing of thoughts of what comes after death and the thought of not existing after terrified me to where I would scream for my mom crying and she would have to come in and would calm me down and pray with me. I would feel better. Over time those thoughts kinda just disappeared, but not entirely. Then I became a teenager and stop going and rebelled. Now I’m going on 30 and time is flying and my parents are getting old and I have a 4 year old son now and I have grown incredibly intellectually over the years and have come to be interested in space and physics and such. Looking at some of the things in life and the universe itself. I watched a video of a star sitting inside of a nebula that was pulsating and you can actually see the light travel over great distances through this nebula in a time lapse video from the Hubble Space telescope. It made me realize the how insignificant we are in the universe and if god really did create us, why such a large scale for something so small? That’s just one of many things I notice while pursuing information involving anything outside of this earth and even things on this earth. The thing is I do absolutely totally want to believe but based on the information I am seeing I am having a VERY difficult time believing. I wish I did because now the same crippling fear is back at the age of 29 and it’s even worse than before because even my mother couldn’t calm me down. It’s giving me so much anxiety and it’s making me nauseous and pace and cry. Sure, even if you can get me to calm down even somehow wholeheartedly believe I don’t know if I will be ok. Because what scares me is what if we are all wrong anyways? Ok sure, I’m dead anyways so nothing to worry about right? Well until that point I’m going to live with this anxiety and fear up to the last minute. I’m a little ok right now but I don’t know where else to turn. Just telling me he exists and saying you are going to pray for me isn’t going to help me. I need someone to talk to me. Hopefully someone versed in similar types of knowledge but still believes in God and Jesus. This is a serious and actual call for help. (Not a life or death call for help, just saying in case anyone interprets that$

1. If there is no God and you die - the worst you get is "nothing" and the best you get "is nothing". And in that scenario you can't really change anything no matter what you believe. So it is not a "contender" for someone trying to make a decision - because in that sort of world -- your decision does not matter.

2. If the God of the Bible does exist - then you have everything to lose by "going it alone". that is in fact that only path with "risk".

Don't get hung up on the easy part.

============ now lets take an example of someone wayyy on the wrong side of the tracks for this discussion

She had no Bible, no Christian information at all, stuck in a communist country...(born and raised in it)...


Chinese atheist miracle testimony

 
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zoidar

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My mother growing up was an everyday Christian, church every Sunday, etc. that’s how I grew up. I was Christian for a time too. I grew up with restless nights of mind racing of thoughts of what comes after death and the thought of not existing after terrified me to where I would scream for my mom crying and she would have to come in and would calm me down and pray with me. I would feel better. Over time those thoughts kinda just disappeared, but not entirely. Then I became a teenager and stop going and rebelled. Now I’m going on 30 and time is flying and my parents are getting old and I have a 4 year old son now and I have grown incredibly intellectually over the years and have come to be interested in space and physics and such. Looking at some of the things in life and the universe itself. I watched a video of a star sitting inside of a nebula that was pulsating and you can actually see the light travel over great distances through this nebula in a time lapse video from the Hubble Space telescope. It made me realize the how insignificant we are in the universe and if god really did create us, why such a large scale for something so small? That’s just one of many things I notice while pursuing information involving anything outside of this earth and even things on this earth. The thing is I do absolutely totally want to believe but based on the information I am seeing I am having a VERY difficult time believing. I wish I did because now the same crippling fear is back at the age of 29 and it’s even worse than before because even my mother couldn’t calm me down. It’s giving me so much anxiety and it’s making me nauseous and pace and cry. Sure, even if you can get me to calm down even somehow wholeheartedly believe I don’t know if I will be ok. Because what scares me is what if we are all wrong anyways? Ok sure, I’m dead anyways so nothing to worry about right? Well until that point I’m going to live with this anxiety and fear up to the last minute. I’m a little ok right now but I don’t know where else to turn. Just telling me he exists and saying you are going to pray for me isn’t going to help me. I need someone to talk to me. Hopefully someone versed in similar types of knowledge but still believes in God and Jesus. This is a serious and actual call for help. (Not a life or death call for help, just saying in case anyone interprets that$

Like what's been pointed out, many Christians believe what scientists reveal. When we read things like the story of creation we have to understand that it was written in a different culture, in a different setting than of today. Of course that doesn't mean the Bible isn't true. It just means the Bible isn't a science book, it's not giving answers to things like physics and was never meant to.

The reason I became a Christian was because God answered my prayer one day, and I knew in my core being Jesus was real. To me this was the ultimate conviction and whatever science finds out in the future can never undo what I experienced.

But there are also many good arguments for God, also for Christianity. You can find a lot on the net if you look around. One argument for God is the moral argument. Here is a short clip on that.

God bless you my friend!

 
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BobRyan

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Like what's been pointed out, many Christians believe what scientists reveal. When we read things like the story of creation we have to understand that it was written in a different culture, in a different setting than of today. Of course that doesn't mean the Bible isn't true. It just means the Bible isn't a science book,

BTW I really liked your video. nice!

A science book on creating all life on Earth in a 7 day week - would be showing us "how it is done" - not merely that it happened in the 7 day week (which is what the Bible does). The Bible tells us the accurate historic detail - that God did it in 7 days - but not how it was possible for Him to do it in 7 days -- how He did it like How He did the incarnation of Christ, How Christ raised Himself from the dead, How God raised other dead people - the Bible does not say.. It only gives us the accurate historic fact THAT He did it as He said.

In fact the Bible gives us that detail in the form of "legal code" in Ex 20:11
 
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mkdrive2

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I don't think it is a good idea to have your fear of death pressure you into believing. Those are two different matters. Your fear of death is a psychological illness that needs to be treated by a therapist. The reason you are afraid is not because you don't believe in the afterlife. Not everyone who thinks that death is the end fears death. First treat your anxiety of death and after that you can calmly think about why Christianity is the right religion for you.
 
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