Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Christian and Theologically Protestant? Or, sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Fenced Community

Christforums is a Protestant Christian forum, open to Bible- believing Christians such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, Church of Christ members, Pentecostals, Anglicans. Methodists, Charismatics, or any other conservative, Nicene- derived Christian Church. We do not solicit cultists of any kind, including Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Eastern Lightning, Falun Gong, Unification Church, Aum Shinrikyo, Christian Scientists or any other non- Nicene, non- Biblical heresy.
Register now

Christian Fellowship

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  
Jennifer

Do you have some special experiences?

Recommended Posts

Today, I read the Bible with my mother, when we read the verses, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) (kjv) my mother told me what happened to me when I was a child: when I was six years old, I fell off the bridge five metres in high and fell to the ground, then I was unconscious, an acquaintance sent me to my home. I woke up until the next morning. I found my foot hurt when I stood up. My parents took me to the doctor. Then the doctor said that my foot was only slightly hurt. We took some medicines and went home. My mother also said,“where you fell off was a pile of stones before you had an accident, but someone moved away the stones to dig the sand, so you fell on the sand and slightly wounded, otherwise you would fell on the stone and hurt seriously, and even be disabled. ” Hearing my mother's words, my heart was moved and I kept thanking the Lord in my heart . Though I didn't believed in the Lord at that time, He still kept and cared for me. It confirmed my faith to the Lord, meanwhile, combining the above verses, I understood that no matter what happened, we should thank the Lord for His salvation. Brothers and sisters, I believe that you may have the similar experiences, could you share them with me?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brothers and sisters, I believe that you may have the similar experiences, could you share them with me?

 

I've had a couple experiences of that kind which occured when I was an atheist. Their miraculous nature is only evident when viewed in hindsight and with the veil of unbelief removed.

 

I don't base my faith in these events although they are a nice confirmation of God's interest in me. By the same token, God could decide tomorrow to make me a quadriplegic for reasons known only to Him... so, I'm not really into recounting fantastic events as evidence of God's existence or His love for me. Non-believers won't be convinced by such stories, and I would hope that Christians would look at them askance as well.

 

PermaFrost

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I've had a couple experiences of that kind which occured when I was an atheist. Their miraculous nature is only evident when viewed in hindsight and with the veil of unbelief removed.

 

I don't base my faith in these events although they are a nice confirmation of God's interest in me. By the same token, God could decide tomorrow to make me a quadriplegic for reasons known only to Him... so, I'm not really into recounting fantastic events as evidence of God's existence or His love for me. Non-believers won't be convinced by such stories, and I would hope that Christians would look at them askance as well.

 

PermaFrost

 

Bingo!!! Amen!!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't base my faith in these events although they are a nice confirmation of God's interest in me. By the same token, God could decide tomorrow to make me a quadriplegic for reasons known only to Him...

From your response, I think you must be a devout believer. God can bless man, and can try man, too. No matter what He does, there is His will. As His children, we should obey Him. Just as Job, when he received God's blessings, he praised God. However, when he lost his property and his sons and daughters, he still could say the word “the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Could you share with me your experience of converting to Christianity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From your response, I think you must be a devout believer.

 

Well...I don't know if I'm «devout». That very word has negative connotations for me! It conjures up images of monks chanting and lighting candles to the Virgin Mary. That isn't me but I'll take your words as a compliment. Thanks!

 

Could you share with me your experience of converting to Christianity?

 

No, that isn't something I do. I don't really see the point of such stories. There are conversion stories in the Bible (Paul's is the most noteworthy) and these have the advantage of being canonical...!

 

Why do conversion stories interest you?

 

 

PermaFrost

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some people do not have a conversion story at all, they have believed as far back as they can remember. People in Scripture like John the Baptist, and now-a-days like John MacArthur, and other Covenant children that were raised in a Christian Covenant household. Too much emphasis on Conversion stories leans on personal understanding rather than trusting in the Lord, and the stories mostly contend with the Glory of God. What story can an anchor proclaim when being drawn into a ship? I was a dead weight, incapable of doing anything for myself, before I knew it or could comprehend what God was doing it was already done, and then, I "accepted" God? Most Conversion stories belittle monergism and state how exactly one has "accepted" the Lord. An example, I was drowning out in the ocean and the Lord threw me a life preserver and had drawn me into the ship saving my life. Here's my conversion story, now listen to how I accepted the life preserver....

 

God bless,

William

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What story can an anchor proclaim when being drawn into a ship?

An anchor named Paul told the story of how he was drawn into a ship in Acts 22:3-21.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An anchor named Paul told the story of how he was drawn into a ship in Acts 22:3-21.

 

Most conversion stories I hear are of people interpreting experiences. Modern conversion stories differ from Paul's in the sense that his mission as well as prophetic call like Isaiah or Ezekiel were included. I guess I do need to ask what one means by conversion? Paul's account was not about converting from Judaism to Christianity. It was not about an emotional or psychological shift, or modern transition from a political party to another. Actually, I do not see much if any emphasis on a modern conversion in Paul's testimony.

 

God bless,

William

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Well...I don't know if I'm «devout». That very word has negative connotations for me! It conjures up images of monks chanting and lighting candles to the Virgin Mary. That isn't me but I'll take your words as a compliment. Thanks!

 

 

 

No, that isn't something I do. I don't really see the point of such stories. There are conversion stories in the Bible (Paul's is the most noteworthy) and these have the advantage of being canonical...!

 

Why do conversion stories interest you?

 

 

PermaFrost

 

I'm sorry. English is not my mother tongue, and I made a mistake again. I should spend more time in studying English. From sisters and brothers' conversion stories, I feel God's love and salvation. I'd like to share my conversion story. Before receiving the Lord, I lived a life full of emptiness and loneliness. I felt that it was meaningless to live. One day, my mother preached the Gospel of the Lord Jesus to me. I received the gospel happily. From then on, I often prayed, read the Bible, and had meetings with sisters and brothers . My feelings of emptiness and loneliness disappeared, and I was full of peace and joy. Now I know the meaning of life. As the Lord's child, I should follow Him forever.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now I know the meaning of life.

 

The Westminster of Confession has it:

 

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God,[1] and to enjoy him forever.[2]

 

[1] Psalm 86. Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. Show me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me. Isaiah 60:21. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. Romans 11:36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. 1 Corinthians 6:20, 10:31. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.... Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Revelation 4:11. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

 

[2] Psalm 16:5-11. The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 144:15. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD. Isaiah 12:2. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Luke 2:10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Philippians 4:4. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Revelation 21:3-4. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

 

God bless,

William

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sorry. English is not my mother tongue, and I made a mistake again. I should spend more time in studying English. From sisters and brothers' conversion stories, I feel God's love and salvation. I'd like to share my conversion story. Before receiving the Lord, I lived a life full of emptiness and loneliness. I felt that it was meaningless to live. One day, my mother preached the Gospel of the Lord Jesus to me. I received the gospel happily. From then on, I often prayed, read the Bible, and had meetings with sisters and brothers . My feelings of emptiness and loneliness disappeared, and I was full of peace and joy. Now I know the meaning of life. As the Lord's child, I should follow Him forever.

 

That's a very nice story, Jennifer. Thank you for writing it.

 

Your English is very good. What is your mother tongue? I'm just curious. (Mine is French.)

 

 

PermaFrost

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm new to the forum, and saw this thread, and thought I'd share. :) Last year at this time, I was an atheist. I had grown up in Christianity, but left the faith a few years ago, and eventually identified as an atheist. About six months ago, I had an amazing experience with what I would consider to be the Holy Spirit. I believe that it was Jesus revealing Himself to me, and I felt an intense physical change, and a joy that swept over me that I hadn't felt in a very long time, as an atheist. I instantly returned to the faith, and my life has been forever changed. I enjoy reading the Bible now, because I feel I'm relating to it now instead of just reading stories that felt boring and obligatory, before. Can't imagine ever leaving my faith again, I'm born again. Thank you for letting me share! :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm new to the forum, and saw this thread, and thought I'd share. :) Last year at this time, I was an atheist. I had grown up in Christianity, but left the faith a few years ago, and eventually identified as an atheist. About six months ago, I had an amazing experience with what I would consider to be the Holy Spirit. I believe that it was Jesus revealing Himself to me, and I felt an intense physical change, and a joy that swept over me that I hadn't felt in a very long time, as an atheist. I instantly returned to the faith, and my life has been forever changed. I enjoy reading the Bible now, because I feel I'm relating to it now instead of just reading stories that felt boring and obligatory, before. Can't imagine ever leaving my faith again, I'm born again. Thank you for letting me share! :)

 

Hi Deidre,

 

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for sharing!

 

God bless,

William

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Man’s chief end is to glorify God,[1] and to enjoy him forever

 

Thank you for sharing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a time to remain silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 spells it out. Jesus as we know in the gospel writings speaks many times, but he also remained silent when likely most of us would have opened our mouths in own defense.

 

​When should we speak to tell others of our blessings or of our experiences with or by God? We need direction:

 

"O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" Jerem 10:23

 

Our Director should be, no needs to be God, the only One who can always see what is in our hearts and what other hearts need. We always need to be witnesses with our ways as we walk through our homes, neighborhoods, work places, grocery stores, etc., but sometimes we also need to open our mouths and speak of our personal experiences in the glory of God.

 

We need to be paying attention:

 

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" John 10:27

 

"Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matt 13:9

 

The apostle Paul told the way to hearing. Is that not also the way to become a sheep if we are not one presently?

 

"So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God" Rom 10:17

 

So we by the mean available "hear" what thus saith the Lord, how can we keep our mouths shut?

 

Give God the glory!

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

That's a very nice story, Jennifer. Thank you for writing it.

 

Your English is very good. What is your mother tongue? I'm just curious. (Mine is French.)

 

 

PermaFrost

 

 

Thank you. My mother tongue is Chinese. I am interested in learning foreign language. Now I am learning English and Italian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm new to the forum, and saw this thread, and thought I'd share. :) Last year at this time, I was an atheist. I had grown up in Christianity, but left the faith a few years ago, and eventually identified as an atheist. About six months ago, I had an amazing experience with what I would consider to be the Holy Spirit. I believe that it was Jesus revealing Himself to me, and I felt an intense physical change, and a joy that swept over me that I hadn't felt in a very long time, as an atheist. I instantly returned to the faith, and my life has been forever changed. I enjoy reading the Bible now, because I feel I'm relating to it now instead of just reading stories that felt boring and obligatory, before. Can't imagine ever leaving my faith again, I'm born again. Thank you for letting me share! :)

Thank you for sharing. I am glad to hear that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hi Deidre,

 

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for sharing!

 

God bless,

William

Thank you for the welcome, and thank you Jennifer for posting a thread where we can share here! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I have.

 

I had just committed a sin, a sin that I would commit over, and over, and over again, something I yet still struggle with.

 

Well, after I had just committed that sin, I felt horrible guilt wash over me, I began shaking, my heart was beating at such a fast rate, it felt as if time itself was slowing down, I couldn't breathe very well, everything was blurry, I was trembling, I leaned over on something to prevent myself from collapsing and I prayed a prayer, I said I would try to avoid it in the future, right after I said that, all the guilt, the blurry vision, the trembling, it all left me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, I have.

 

I had just committed a sin, a sin that I would commit over, and over, and over again, something I yet still struggle with.

 

Well, after I had just committed that sin, I felt horrible guilt wash over me, I began shaking, my heart was beating at such a fast rate, it felt as if time itself was slowing down, I couldn't breathe very well, everything was blurry, I was trembling, I leaned over on something to prevent myself from collapsing and I prayed a prayer, I said I would try to avoid it in the future, right after I said that, all the guilt, the blurry vision, the trembling, it all left me.

 

Not sure if it was God trying to get me to knock it off, or what it was, all I know is that it felt like a punishment of some sort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not sure if it was God trying to get me to knock it off, or what it was, all I know is that it felt like a punishment of some sort.

 

Forget the fanciful explanations...it was probably no more than transitory ischemia. Lay off the fatty foods and high-caffeine drinks or you'll be dead by the time you reach my age.

 

 

PermaFrost

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Humor on the Internet is a difficult thing to successfully achieve. So much non-verbal inflection is lost that humor can easily be misread as something else. Just a general word of caution and a recommendation to, wherever possible, read each post with as much grace as possible. Assume the best, rather than the worst.

 

Moving on to the topic at hand, I agree with the earlier post that there is a time and a place for everything. If a 'testimony' serves some purpose other than the good of another or to focus attention and glory on God, then it is probably misplaced. However, I believe that there is a time and a place for both tales of God performing extraordinary acts to open the eyes of the elect to His calling, and tales of a faithful God who has always made himself known to one whom He has loved since before the foundation of the world.

 

I happen to have one of those 'testimonies' that people like to hear. It is also a testimony that I seldom share in any detail. For most cases, it is enough to say that like the song 'Amazing Grace' states, I once was lost but now am found. I want no one to focus on me, but rather on the work of the Good Sheperd who came and found me. That being said, the only time that I generally feel compelled by God to share the details, is on those rare occasions every handful of years when I meet someone who has done something that they feel God cannot possibly forgive. Then I can sit down and present my first hand account of just how far God can reach and the extraordinary lengths He is prepared to go to in order to reveal eternal truth to one whom He has chosen.

 

Those who have been forgiven much, love much.

 

An interesting aside, I am personally fascinated by stories of people who cannot remember a time when God was not part of their life. I find assurance of the faithfulness of God through his covenant relationship to be something worthy of praise. Even more so than tales of a very lost sheep being carried home on the shoulders of the Shepherd.

 

YMMV

Arthur

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
An interesting aside, I am personally fascinated by stories of people who cannot remember a time when God was not part of their life. I find assurance of the faithfulness of God through his covenant relationship to be something worthy of praise.

 

You might enjoy this, an interview with Pastor John MacArthur:

 

PHIL: How old were you when you first recall sensing your need for Christ?

 

JOHN: Well I always believed the gospel. I don't ever...I don't ever remember a time when I didn't believe the gospel. I mean, it was so wonderfully modeled by my Mom and Dad, it was so consistent. They were exactly at home what they were in the church. And what my Dad was in the pulpit he was in the house. And Christ was always very wonderful to me and inviting to me. And my Mom and Dad lived out their Christian life before me. And so, I never rebelled against it. I always knew I needed Jesus to be my Savior.

 

But there was an incident when I was about nine or ten. I had gotten involved in some vandalism because some kids had kind of prompted me to do it. My Dad was actually preaching in another town and he took me with him for the week of evangelistic meetings and some kids vandalized a school. And they happened to be, one of them happened to be the pastor's kid and so he drags me along, you know, my Father takes me to spend the week with this pastor's family with him. Anyway, I get involved in this thing. And they did some stuff in the school and I came back and I was...I felt terrible and frightened by it. And I sat down on the steps with my Dad...as a result, I don't know...remember the exact time sequence, but I said, “You know, I think...I'm not a good boy and I need the Lord to forgive me.” And that was sort of an initial prompting. And I remember my Dad praying with me on the steps that the Lord would save me. There may have been other times that I brought it up, but that one stands out in my mind. And as to whether I was actually converted at that time, I don't know. Again, in the years following I never rebelled, I was always responsive to the things of Christ. But I don't know that they were really the dominant matters of my life and the priorities that early.

 

PHIL: So you're saying...are you saying it would be difficult for you to put your finger on when your conversion took place?

 

JOHN: Yeah. I've never been able to do that. And it doesn't bother me. I think I'm one of those kids...I was one of those kids that never rebelled and always believed. And so when God did His saving work in my heart, it was not discernable to me. I went away to high school and for all I knew, I loved Christ, I was part of the ministry of the church. I went away to college and I wanted to serve the Lord and honor the Lord. I was certainly immature. But at some point along the line, I really do believe there was a transformation in my heart, but I think it may have been to some degree imperceptible to me because I didn't ever have a rebellious time, I didn't ever revolt against, you know, the gospel or not believe. And I guess that's...in some ways that's a grace act on God's part. So that all that wonderful training found some level of fertile soil in my heart and none of it was wasted.

 

Read more

 

 

I think stories like this need more attention. I think stories of proper upbringing and resulting obedience rather than personal experience of rebellion testifies towards the Wisdom found in the teaching of the Lord more than anything else. At least for me, as a parent this inspires me to bring my child up in the precepts of the Lord, and I hope that they are obedient and wise in following the Lord, rather than rebellious - which seemingly get way too much attention.

 

God bless,

William

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
Articles - News - Privacy Policy