The Turning Point

Many who have chosen to devote their life to God have had a turning point…here you can share your story on what made you turn. Personally this hasn’t happened to me yet and I am not really looking for it…but I truly admire those who have whole-heartedly given their life to following the word. I think many of these stories can be inspirational to those searching.

I was raised in a Christian home. We didn’t go to church as regularly as I do now, but that was only because of a lack of transportation. We always managed Sunday mornings. We also used to go to camp meeting. We rarely stayed on site as a whole family (we had livestock to care for), but usually one or two of us did. I think this particular year was one the entire family stayed on site (a neighbor tended the livestock for us). I was 11 1/2 years old. They always had 2 sessions a day of Bible school, - Bible study in the morning, crafts in the afternoon. One morning in Bible study, they had an invitation, and I went forward & accepted Jesus as my Savior. I don’t know specifically what was said that triggered that, or if it was just that I was “ready.” I had been through many invitations before that. My Christian life was kind-of up-and-down for years (not that I ever completely turned my back on it, but I was often discouraged and questioned my salvation). A pastor friend - when I was about 29 - helped me to gain the faith I needed to continue when he pointed me to John 6:37 - “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” I realized that I didn’t have to have some euphoric feeling - which is what I was really looking for - but that if I had met the conditions for salvation - and I had - then God had kept his side of the bargain.

Okay, just this once, I will post here, it seems harmless. :bored: I was raised Catholic. My parents weren’t church goers, but sent me to a Catholic school, where we went to mass every Wednesday morning & Religion was an hour long class each day. (starting in 1st grade) I suppose my beliefs were deeply ingrained, because of that.
My parents went through a nasty divorce, I turned into a teen, and lost my footing; to put it nicely. :ninja: At 17, I married, and had my son when I was 18. My husband was not a church going guy either, though he had been raised Baptist. He was just a really good man, and his way of looking at things, sort of caused me to wake up.
He lost 9 fairly close family members in about 6 years, with each illness or death, I drew closer to God. He was the only one who can offer comfort to our souls. I suppose the major turning point came, when my wonderful father-in-law passed away, after a 5 year illness. We were in the room with him when he passed. After watching that, well, there’s no way someone could doubt God, or how wonderful heaven must be. :grin:

Okay, short version 'cause my story isn’t that interesting, and I still haven’t really lived up to it as I should.

I was raised in a strong Christian (Baptist) home. Both parents were involved in the muci ministry, sunday school etc…I was saved at the age of 6. And I do remember it clearly. I knew what it meant. Of course growing up totally around the church can also lead to taking it & God for granted. So, came the terrible rebelious years that most kids go through regadless. Thanks to a praying, and wise mom I made it through those years alive! :slight_smile: I should say that I don’t think I have totally dedicated my life to God, but Itry to do what I can.

We’re all at different levels, and stages in our lives. God meets you where you are! So, nobody is “more” dedicated than the next guy. There are many people who look more dedicated than others, but they may not really be. Only God knows. I have watched some who may not look like they are “as dedicated” but when the truth is seen they are more dedicated than say the missionary in some communist country. It’s about your heart & personal relationship with Christ. Not just what you do with your life. Of course we are suposed to progress. SOme of us are just hard headed (me).

there’s no way to know the year. Sometime before I got out of elementry school. Probably sometime between 4-6. I was raised in the church.

When later, at age 8-10 I’d hear an altar call, I’d think to myself “I’ve already done this.” I was fortunate to have leaders as parents. My sister I’m not so sure about.

That doesn’t mean that things were unwavering during the teen years…and there were those four years in a fraternity…

[QUOTE=scott158]there’s no way to know the year. Sometime before I got out of elementry school. Probably sometime between 4-6. I was raised in the church.

When later, at age 8-10 I’d hear an altar call, I’d think to myself “I’ve already done this.” I was fortunate to have leaders as parents. My sister I’m not so sure about.

That doesn’t mean that things were unwavering during the teen years…and there were those four years in a fraternity…[/QUOTE]

Well, we are human. All of us. I think anyone who made it through h.s. or college life without going out and trying most of the stuff we’re told not to are more the exception than the norm. My rommate and I spent a summer in her boyfriend’s fraternity once (cheap rent, free beer). Luckily I worked a lot so I didn’t get into much trouble.

Now, I am trying to raise my girls much the way my parents raised me and my brother. I think the jurry is still out on how we turned out. But then I don’t think we’re really raised yet. :wink:

My oldest is 8 now, she accepted Christ two weeks before her fourth bday. My youngest is 6and a half and she has accepted Christ at least two times…go figure. She might not quiet get the concept yet, but she is learning.

I don’t think I had an epiphany. It was more of a slow transition for me. It accompanied a lot of reading that covered a wide spectrum of philosophy and religion.

I was raised in a quasi religious home. We attend a Presbyterian church for a short while when I was young, which was the extent of my early exposure to Christianity.

I went on from there to become somewhat of a juvenile delinquent. I partied a lot, took drugs and generally didn’t care. I finally got tired of all the partying and decided I had better make something of myself before it was too late.

I went back to school and started reading philosophy and religious books. I then really got interested in eastern religions. I read a lot about Zen and Hinduism. I read the Autobiography of a Yogi which got me hooked on Yogananda. He’s the best.

Yogananda is a spiritual scientist of the highest caliber. He came to this country in the 1920’s to spread the doctrine of Kriya Yoga and to show that there is fundamentally no difference between the teachings of Jesus and those of the east.

Through his teachings I came to appreciate the deeper significance of Christianity. My respect and admiration for Christ were developed once I understood what the purpose of a savior really was. I now know what Jesus was doing when he took on the sins of his disciples. I understand what it means to be “saved”.

As unorthodox as my religious road has been, I feel that it has been a blessing. I was never taught that there is only one true religion. Instead I was able to freely study a wide variety of religious texts and decide for myself what was true and what wasn’t.

What I found was God calling home his children in many different ways. I found that God is a loving parent and wants us back. God is love.

I don’t remeber ever being told growing up that my religion is the only true “religion”. We never thought of ourselves as “religous”. We just believe in God, Jesus, Heaven, Hell. And happen to have been Baptist.

Your story is interesting Jemmy. That’s what is great about God He takes all of us on differnet roads. But we end up having to make a choice one way or the other at some point hu?

[QUOTE=smichellen]I don’t remeber ever being told growing up that my religion is the only true “religion”. We never thought of ourselves as “religous”. We just believe in God, Jesus, Heaven, Hell. And happen to have been Baptist.
Your story is interesting Jemmy. That’s what is great about God He takes all of us on differnet roads. But we end up having to make a choice one way or the other at some point hu?[/QUOTE]

You sound like you well understand our relationship with God. “Religion” can be a very simple thing. It really all boils down to our relationship with God through the savior, or the Christ, which is the same thing.

Many Christians feel that Jesus was the only son of God and that Christianity is therefore the only true religion. This is fine with me although I don’t hold that conviction. I have found others who have come back here to help us poor souls with redemption.

You are right about having to make a choice. I read about a saint who said that he sees all people divided in to two types: those who are seeking God and those that aren’t.

Which way to turn?
There are so many religions out there, which one is right?
Are they all right?
Does it matter?
Consider this: There are two factions out there and both want your soul. One is good and one is evil.
You will recognize the Good One’s campaign posters because they offer promise, security, strength, safety, and the list goes on.

Now on the other hand, how do you recognize the Evil one’s campaign posters? Will they offer what he truly has in store for you if you follow him? Do they say: Follow me and you shall have eternal damnation, slavery, pain, separation from God? Yeah, right. The Evil one does not subscribe to Truth in Advertising ideas. He can’t, I mean who who accept him if he told the truth?

He will appear as an angel of light, with promises for all the things you think you want. He’ll tell you what you want to hear… and he’ll ask you to follow him. He did this with Jesus, why would you think he would approach you differently?

How does religion and Christianity differ?
Religion is man reaching up to God, while Christianity is God reaching down to man.

Of all the religions in the world, Christianity alone promises there is a heaven to be gained and a hell to avoid.

If your religion is reaching to God by doing good works, just remember this: God wants you just as you are. He will make you clean, but only if you freely accept His Son Who already paid your debt. When you realize there is nothing you can do to make your self presentable and acceptable to God, you will be able to accept what He has already done for you at the cross.

I didn’t mean to get so long here, but I think there is a lot of confusion about which way to go, I only hope I have provided a bit of clarity for someone out there.

True Christianity can be simply defined as God reaching down to mankind.
While religion can be defined as mankind reaching up to God.

Christianity alone claims there is a heaven to be gained and a hell to avoid. Pretty simple, huh?

Christianity sayes: “…whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” That means, believe that Jesus was the sacrifice for your sin and He paid for you on the cross. And, you will see God one day and live forever with Him. Period. No works, no perfect church attendence, no self denial, no being as good as you can be. Nothing YOU can do will get you saved but believing Christ already did it for you and accepting Him as your Saviour.

If your religion requires you pray to an idol, statue, dead “prophet”, just live a decent life, just follow the 10 commandments, take a trek, pray to rats, kill infidels, go to church or do any other work, to be saved… it, my friend is a false religion. Period.

I hope this offers some clarity in a confused and confounded world for you.

[QUOTE=rhmorgan]True Christianity can be simply defined as God reaching down to mankind.
While religion can be defined as mankind reaching up to God.

Christianity alone claims there is a heaven to be gained and a hell to avoid. Pretty simple, huh?

Christianity sayes: “…whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” That means, believe that Jesus was the sacrifice for your sin and He paid for you on the cross. And, you will see God one day and live forever with Him. Period. No works, no perfect church attendence, no self denial, no being as good as you can be. Nothing YOU can do will get you saved but believing Christ already did it for you and accepting Him as your Saviour.

If your religion requires you pray to an idol, statue, dead “prophet”, just live a decent life, just follow the 10 commandments, take a trek, pray to rats, kill infidels, go to church or do any other work, to be saved… it, my friend is a false religion. Period.

I hope this offers some clarity in a confused and confounded world for you.[/QUOTE]

You have an interesting way of looking at religion. Who did you have in mind when you wrote this?

I think it’s a general statement of his own faith as he sees it. God (or the individual) will decide who “needs” to hear the messege. But, maybe he had me in mind…since he and my mom are the ones who raised me? LOL

Anyway I should also clarify. I do believe my Bible is the only absolute truth. And I take it literally. That doesn’t mean that I can’t respect the beliefs of others. My parents taught me in my opinion well. They made sure that I knew my Savior at a young age. And raised me in God’s ways. Now as an adult I have made poor choices in life…that is human nature (some of us are just more bull headed than others), but I am always safe and secure in my faith and relationship with God because I know that I have put my faith in the one and only true, living, breathing God.

There is a lot of focus in society concerning religions that think they are the only ones going to heaven etc…Personally I think “what is the point in believing a certain “religion” or set of beliefs if you can’t believe it is the truth?”

If all religions and ideas (no matter how they contridict eachother) are truth, then there is no point to any of them.

[QUOTE=smichellen]I think it’s a general statement of his own faith as he sees it. God (or the individual) will decide who “needs” to hear the messege. But, maybe he had me in mind…since he and my mom are the ones who raised me? LOL
Anyway I should also clarify. I do believe my Bible is the only absolute truth. And I take it literally. That doesn’t mean that I can’t respect the beliefs of others. My parents taught me in my opinion well. They made sure that I knew my Savior at a young age. And raised me in God’s ways. Now as an adult I have made poor choices in life…that is human nature (some of us are just more bull headed than others), but I am always safe and secure in my faith and relationship with God because I know that I have put my faith in the one and only true, living, breathing God.
There is a lot of focus in society concerning religions that think they are the only ones going to heaven etc…Personally I think “what is the point in believing a certain “religion” or set of beliefs if you can’t believe it is the truth?”
If all religions and ideas (no matter how they contridict eachother) are truth, then there is no point to any of them.[/QUOTE]

I have found that there are many true paths back to God. Accepting Christ as your savior is certainly one of them.

However, everyone doesn’t resonate to the same message. Regardless of the teachings of the Christian church that Jesus was “the only son of God”, there have been other equally authentic saviors.

Saying that Jesus is the only Son of God can be deceiving. Christ is a title that was given to Jesus because of his spiritual stature. The Christ consciousness is well know by eastern masters. Krishna is the same title, although spelled slightly differently, that was given to another savior. It denotes a person who has become one with the Christ consciousness. The Christ consciousness is also known as the Son of God in the Trinity.

So, while there is only one “Son of God”, and Jesus was one with that state of consciousness, technically Jesus is the only Son of God.

What the church conveniently leaves out is that anyone who has become one with the Son of God can also be considered “The only Son of God”.

Many people have found God outside of the Christian faith. Anyone who has done any investigation into comparative religious studies will find many of the same attributes of Christianity throughout other faiths. And while ignorance will lead some Christians to believe that other religions conduct Paganistic worship of rats and cows, people of other faiths will see a Christian revival meeting as proof of the vile nature of Christians who worship rattlesnakes and shout and dance wildly. Both points of view are false for the same reason.

Jesus came here to save us from the world. The message he brought was the true word of God. However, it wasn’t new and he wasn’t the first. You can find all the concepts in the Bible in the ancient Vedic texts in India that predate Christianity by thousands of years. India has been the center of religious study for many centuries and contains a huge wealth of spiritual information. I would encourage anybody who is curious to study the rich history of spiritual science that India has to offer.

You are mixing religions that contradict eachother. There can not be many truths, or many Saviors. Sorry. God said he would send His one and only Son to save us from our sins, and curse of death…not to save us from the world.

I know many hindu, muslim, mormons etc…I am friends with people of all these different beliefs. So, I do know some of what other people believe. I am not threatened by what any of these religions believe, because I am secure in my faith. I find it important and also interesting to know how others believe.

So, do I believe Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven? Yep. Do I believe that there are many “roads” to Heaven? Only in the sense that we all “travel” down different paths before coming to the point where we have to accept or reject Christ (the only “path” to Heaven)…not Krishna or allah or whoever. Jesus Christ Himself, the one and only.

Ducks, everyone sees things differently. What you got out of RH’s post…I took in another way. You asked who it was directed at…and the answer, I think, could have been anyone. I was raised Catholic. Non-Catholics may think we pray to statues (not true). They think we pray to Saints, true for some. Etc.

I DO think that most people believe “their” denomination is right. And that’s okay, as long as it’s all CHRISTianity. :wink:

Nobody in particular… anyone who might be confused or confounded by this crazy world we live in.

I try not to point fingers… everytime I do I find three of them pointing back at me. :wave:

God spoke to the jews in the Jewish Scriptures with a prophesy of the coming of the Messiah.

(By the way, the one test of a prophet was that ALL prophesies were fullfilled… 100% of them.)

All of the prophesies concerning the coming of the Messiah with the birth of Jusus the Christ.

Jesus grew to be known as a prophet, a teacher, a rabbi… but most of all, Messiah and Saviour of the world. The One and Only Son of God. He was a Man and He was God. He died on the cross, crucified and was buried, dead, in a cave. Three days later He was alive and risen from the grave and victorious over death.

He is not just a conciousness, He is the Son of God. The one and ONLY Son of God, glorified. It is He to which all requests for salvation should be address.

Muhammad was called a prophet, but unfortunately many of his prophesies were false… meaning he was a false prophet. He never rose from the grave, the Muslims still have some of his remains to worship.

Buddha to was a prophet, albeit a false one. He to failed to rise from the dead and be seated at the right hand of God. They still have some his remains to worship.

Some believe you die and have to come back as a rat. Then die and come back as a human… talk about your rat race.

I only want to face my death on earth once and go to be with Jesus after that death. The word of God says I will, because Jesus paid my debt of sin. Once and for all.

Talk about all the different religions in the world. There are hundreds, but only a relationship with the One and only God with His Son promise me heaven and assure me a place there rather than hell.

Satan will provide any “truth” he can get you to believe, as long as it will keep you away from Messiah. He will give you philosophies, false prophets and any lie you will believe as long as he can keep your soul.

One Son. One God. One Holy Spirit… a Trinity. The Godhead with one, and only one, plan for salvation. It can not be simpler than that.

I’m glad too, because the Bible quite simply excludes any alternative paths to heaven.

In fact, the Bible (the word of God the Creater) is the only written document promising a heaven to be gained and a hell to avoid.

I’ll take Him at His Word, thank you.

now Jemmy, if you know rh is my dad you can see more clearly where I am coming from, and why I am far more secure in my beliefs than some people in ur society. I can never be as clear and to the point as that though. Any questions?

:beerchug:

[QUOTE=smichellen]now Jemmy, if you know rh is my dad you can see more clearly where I am coming from, and why I am far more secure in my beliefs than some people in ur society. I can never be as clear and to the point as that though. Any questions?
[/QUOTE]
I see quite clearly where you and your father are coming from. That is standard Christian dogma, and it’s exactly what I was talking about.
You and your father are quite comfortable in your beliefs and don’t care to hear anything to the contrary. If there is a different belief than yours it is written off as the ignorant rantings of a false prophet. I could produce evidence of other saints that have also risen from the dead but you would never believe it because it would threaten your faith.

You and your father have made up your mind about what you believe is true and that will never change. That’s fine, I have no problem with that. Just don’t poke your nose into a thread where those ideas might be challenged and then get all huffy about it. You would be much more comfortable in your own church where it is safe and everybody agrees with you.