I cannot remember a time when I did not love God. Thanks to my family (specially my Grandmother) I learned of the sacrafice that Jesus Christ made on our behalf, I learned bible stories and I learned to pray. Do you remember your childhood bedtime prayer? I went to day care at church and when the time came, I went to kindergarten at church. There was also vacation bible study at the church. Sounds like I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church.
I remember going to a revival with my Grandmother and feeling motivated to go up front with the others who were exercising their public profession of faith. I followed the others. My Grandmother went with me and held my hand. I will never forget the experience but I cannot for the life of me remember where we were, what year it was or how old I was. I was not baptized until several years later.
As a child I believed in God. I believed that Jesus was the Son of God, that he was crucified and that he was buried and on the third day was resurrected to eternal life but why were my Catholic friends going to hell? This is my remembrance of Sunday school. I could not comprehend why kids like me, but who were born into Catholicism, would not be in heaven.
The simple answer was that they prayed to Mary, worshiped idols and did not have a personal relationship with Jesus. No personal relationship, no heaven. This was the answer. I heard it many times from the pulpit. I remember the hell-fire and damnation sermons of the seventies. I wonder how many kids were frightened into making that walk to the front of the Church?
Years past by quickly as did that church taught belief about my Catholic friends. I knew they loved God and his Son Jesus as much as I did. I had a hard time with the concept that God, through Christ would allow millions and millions of children to be born into this world only to consign the majority of them to an eternity in a place called hell. I could not comprehend this insanity.
I continued in my walk with Christ praying for understanding and for guidance. I went to church and participated in a bible study. I read and studied my King James Bible almost daily from 2005-2008. For a little over two years of that time my wife and I were attending members at a very small Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. Guess what? The Catholics were still lost!
My bible study group went through the entire bible in a year. This was quite the challenge. I got into it but I still could not see why God would consign the majority of his creation to hell. A Christian friend of mine googled a bible topic that had been a point of discussion. A guy by the name of L. Ray Smith had written on that topic. My friend ended up showing me the article and I copied the website down. As I read some of his writings I began to think about some key bible verses in new ways.
My wife and I went home to visit friends and family. We visited with a college friend of mine and her husband who is an Elder in a small Primitive Baptist Church. I was not surprised to find out that the Primitive Baptists were King James only just like the Fundamentalists. What I was shocked to find out was that the Primitive Baptists believe the majority of the world will be saved while the fundamentalists believe only a minority of the world will be saved. They are opposites in a sense but are both King James only and both Baptist! Can all of the Christian sects, factions and divisions along with their man-made creeds be led by the Holy Spirit and headed up by Christ Jesus?
This realization of how different the Baptist Churches were caused me to double down on my studies and my search for truth. L Ray Smith referenced a bible version I had not heard of. It was the Concordant Version of the New Testament. I searched the web...there was the organization: The Concordant Publishing Concern. I read what I could from the website and then ordered some books from them. When they came I read for hours on end. Friends, brothers and sisters, listen to me when I tell you my eyes were opened.
I am a new creature! I believe in my God and my Christ as I never had before. My love, adoration and trust has never been greater! You will KNOW your God and your Savior, Christ Jesus when your eyes are opened and His Eonian purpose is revealed.
The answers are in God's book. Some translations are better than others. I respect the King James that I carried through most of my life but I prefer the Concordant Version of both the old and new testaments.
If you are interested in the truth, not traditions or man made creeds, pray and ask for truth. Read Adlai Loudy's book God's Eonian Purpose, published in 1929 available at Concordant Publishing Concern. Use the scriptures to verify and test. Another great book is Andrew Jukes' Restitution Of All Things published in 1867 and available here in PDF.
Don't be afraid to have God's word and purpose explained to you. Acts 8:30-31 And Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some one shall guide me? And he besought Philip to come up and sit with him. (ASV)
The Concordant Publishing Concern has been publishing their bimonthly magazine called Unsearchable Riches (UR) for over 100 years. It is worth it's weight in gold! Read a few here. In addition to the books and UR from Concordant Publishing I have recently discovered the work of J Preston Eby. What a blessing!
Now you know my story.
Grace be with you!