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ldonjohn

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ldonjohn last won the day on August 22 2017

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  1. Hey, Samuel, I just found your post and I feel compelled to share my experience, similar to yours, with you. My story is very much like yours. I grew up attending a Fundamental Independent Baptist Church where every Sunday I heard about God, Jesus dying on the cross, sin, hell, heaven, and salvation. Without repeating my testimony, see link below, I'll just say that years later my life was a life of misery & fear because I did not know that I had truly been saved as a teenager in church. I did not understand what “believe in Jesus” really meant. Like you said, I wanted to believe, but for some reason I just could not make myself believe. Please read my testimony of how I did find the truth about believing in Jesus. Hint: I did not need to make myself believe. Link below to my testimony here at Online Baptist.
  2. ldonjohn

    Salvation question

    Matthew, the weakest faith is saving faith as long as the object of that faith is Jesus' death on the cross and His shed blood there. I am including a link below to my testimony; it might help you. To me, the third verse of the hymn "It Is Well with My Soul" by Horatio Spafford describes the reason I have complete assurance of knowing my sins are forgiven. My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought, My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bare it no more, Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord oh my soul. http://www.onlinebaptist.com/home/topic/25297-my-testimony/?tab=comments#comment-425335 John
  3. ldonjohn

    My Testimony

    Thanks everyone. HappyChristian. Grandchildren make life fun again; I have 5. 4 girls & 1 boy. Read a story I wrote for my youngest granddaughter. Link below at this website. Don
  4. I wrote this story for my 6 year old granddaughter and to my surprise she read about half way through it before she asked me to finish reading it to her. She really liked it. I have shared it with others on another Christian Forum. I have received both negative and positive responses from readers. My hope is that this story might be used to help children understand the Gospel. Some might find it to be silly or a waste of time, or that it does not make sense, and that’s OK with me. This story is about a boy whose name was “Itzak,” a Hebrew name that means laughter. When Itzak was a little boy his mother took him to church most Sundays where he heard about Jesus. By the time Itzak was almost nine years old his mother, his friends, and everyone who knew him were calling him Itzy. One Sunday his Sunday school teacher told his class that if they would say a prayer, asking Jesus to come into their hearts that they would be saved and when they died they would go to heaven. Itzy really wanted to go to heaven because he had heard that hell was the other place and that hell is where all the people go who don’t get their sins forgiven and that hell is where people burn in fire forever so Itzy said the prayer. Itzy’s teacher told his mom that he got saved and of course his mom was really happy about that. Itzy was baptized the very next Sunday. The next year one of Itzy's friends was killed in an accident. The preacher told everyone at the funeral that Itzy’s friend was in heaven with Jesus. Itzy asked himself “Would I be in heaven if I was the one who died?” He decided that he really didn’t know the answer to that question. Itzy decided that he was going to start paying attention to what the preacher & his Sunday school teacher were saying in church. Itzy did whatever the preacher told him to do to be saved, because Itzy really wanted to know that he saved. As time passed Itzy found himself still wondering about where he would go when he died. He thought that he would go to heaven since he had done all the things he had been told to do in church, but for some reason he just wasn’t sure about it. Finally, Itzy decided that, just to be sure, he would pray and ask God to save him again but this time he would keep praying until God showed him that he was saved, so Itzy prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and prayed until finally he fell asleep. After Itzy fell asleep, he had a dream. In his dream God rolled back the sky so Itzy could see into heaven. Itzy could see God looking down at him. Suddenly God said “Itzy, there is something I need to show you." In his dream God told Itzy that He was going to take him back in time to the day when Jesus was dying on the cross. Immediately Itzy was standing in front of the cross. God said “Itzy, do you see My Son, Jesus, on the cross?” Itzy said “Yes God, I see Jesus on the cross.” Then God asked him “Itzy, do you see the nails?” Itzy said “Yes God I see three nails, one in each of Jesus’ hands and one in his feet.” God said “Itzy, those nails are your sins, one nail is all of your sins of your past, one of the nails is all of your sins of today, and the last nail is all of your sins of your future.” Itzy asked God “Why are you showing me this, God?” God said “Itzy, you have been begging me to save you and I want to save you, but I can’t save you until you see the cross in the same way I see the cross.” Itzy said “How do you see the cross, God?” God said “Itzy, I’m going to show you. Are you looking at the cross?” Itzy said “Yes, God, I’m looking at the cross.” Then God said “Do you see the nails?” Itzy said “Yes God, I see the nails.” God said “Itzy, tell me why I should save you” Itzy said “Well God, I said a prayer that the preacher told me to say.” God said “Itzy, just saying a prayer doesn't save you, look at the cross again.” Itzy said, “OK God, I’m looking at the cross.” God said “Do you see the nails?” Itzy said “Yes, God, I see the nails.” God said “Now Itzy, tell me why I should save you.” Itzy replied “ Well God one time in church I went to the alter and confessed all my sins.” God said “Itzy, confessing your sins doesn't save you, look at the cross again.” Itzy said “OK God I’m looking at the cross.” God said “Do you see the nails?” Itzy said “Yes God I see the nails.” God said “Now tell me why I should save you.” Itzy said “Well, when I went to the alter at church I promised you that I would serve you the rest of my life.” God said “I’m sorry Itzy, but that doesn't save you either, look at the cross.” Again Itzy said “I’m looking at the cross, God.” God said “Do you see the nails?“ Itzy said “Yes, God, I see the nails.” God said “Tell me, Itzy, why should I save you” Itzy said “One night I got down on my knees and repented of all my sins.” God said “You should repent of your sins, but there is still something you need to see , so look at the cross again.” Itzy said “I’m looking.” God said “Do you see the nails?” Itzy said “I see the nails, God.” God said “Tell me why I should save you.” Itzy said “OK, God, I said the sinners’ prayer, I confessed all my sins, I promised to serve you all of my life, I repented of all my sins, I turned from all my sins, I believe in Jesus, and I was baptized, now will you please save me?” God said “Those are things you should do but there’s still something missing, so look at the cross.” Itzy said “God, I don’t get it, why do you keep telling me to look at the cross?” God said “Itzy, you will get it when you look at the cross the same way I look at the cross. I want you to look at the cross again.” Itzy said “OK God, I’m looking at the cross.” God said “Tell me what you see.” Itzy said “I see Jesus on the cross.” God said “Do you see the nails?” Itzy said “Yes, God I see the nails?” God said “Itzy, tell me why I should save you.” This time Itzy didn’t say anything. God waited a few seconds then said “Itzy, are you there?” After a long pause, Itzy said “Yes, Lord, I’m here.” God said “Itzy, tell me why I should save you.” Again Itzy didn’t say anything. After another short pause God said “Itzy, why won‘t you answer me?” Itzy said “I’m still looking at the cross, God.” Again God waited a few seconds then said “Itzy, what do you see?” Itzy didn’t say anything. Again God said “Itzy, do you see the nails?” Finally, after another long pause Itzy said “Lord, I see Jesus, but Lord, now I can’t see the nails.” God said “Why can’t you see the nails, Itzy?” A short pause this time, then Itzy said “They’re covered with blood Lord; all I can see is the blood.” God said “Now you see the cross in the same way as I see the cross. When I look at the cross all I see is the blood.” Then God asked “Itzy, why I should save you?” Without hesitation Itzy said “Because of the blood, Lord, because my sins are covered by the blood.” God said “Wait just a second, I’ll be right back.” Itzy said “OK Lord, I’ll wait.” A few seconds later God was back. God said “Itzy, are you still there?” Itzy said “I’m here, Lord.” God said “Now that you have been saved I just wrote your new name down in the book of life.” Itzy said “Wow, you mean I get a new name too?” Then Itzy said “What is my new name Lord?” God said “I won’t tell you now, you’ll have to wait until you get to heaven, then you will know your new name.” When Itzy was awakened by his mother he told her about his dream. He told his mother that he wanted to read about Jesus dying on the cross in his bible. Itzy and his mother opened their bibles to the Gospel of John and read about Jesus. His mom explained to him how that Jesus died on the cross & that His blood paid the penalty for our sins. Itzy told his mom that he had heard that in Sunday School but that he really had never thought about his sins being nailed to the cross with Jesus. Itzy’s mom told him that if he wanted be sure he was saved that Jesus was waiting for him to come to Him just like they had read about in the bible. Itzy made his salvation sure that day and never again did he worry or wonder about whether or not he was saved. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37;KJV) LJohnson, Revised, March.2014
  5. ldonjohn

    My Testimony

    Afterwards I did not read the bible; I just went to church. Later, as a young adult, I began to have doubts about my salvation which eventually led to a life of uncertainty, fear, & misery. I doubted my salvation because I did not understand how God would save someone just for saying a prayer “in Jesus' name” and being baptized. I was confused about all the teaching I had heard growing up in a church. I was confused about God & the bible. I did not understand the meaning of “believing” in Jesus. I did not know what to believe or how to believe. One bible verse that I had trouble understanding was Romans 10:13. I would call on the name of the Lord many times, but could not find any assurance that He heard me. My confusion led me to question if any of it was true or if God even existed. My life was miserable. I was looking for evidence that would prove to me that the bible is true, that God exists, and that Jesus does really forgive sinners, but there was something missing, a missing link, and I did not know what it was. I needed something to convince me that it was all true. I talked to several Christians & asked a lot of questions, read several books about how to have assurance of salvation, and read several bible salvation tracts. I could not find any answers that convinced me of the truth about any of the teachings I had heard growing up in church. I did the things I heard at church that I thought were necessary to get God to save me like making a public confession of my sin, repenting of my sin, publicly confessing Jesus as my Lord & Savior, promising to follow Him the rest of my life, I taught a Sunday School class, drove the church bus, went to church 3 days a week, etc. etc. I tried to make myself have some sense of faith, I said the sinners' prayer over & over begging God to save me, and each time I would find relief from the doubts. But, then our pastor would say in a sermon that to be saved we must really mean business with God, and I would question myself as to whether I really did repent of all my sins, or did I really commit my life to Christ, or did I really believe in Jesus to save me, and the doubts would return. I could not find a lasting assurance of salvation, and I had no peace. I could not concentrate on my job or my family. I was obsessed with a dreadful fear of dying without ever knowing for sure if I had done the right things to get God to save me. One night, out of a sense of helplessness & desperation, I said a prayer to the God I wasn't sure existed. My prayer was, “God will you show me the truth about believing in Jesus?” Next, I did something I had never done outside of church; I found our family bible, sat down at my kitchen table, and opened the bible to the Book of John, the Gospel of John. I opened the bible to the Gospel of John because I had heard someone say that the Book of John was the best place to find out about Jesus. I did not know what I would find there but I was ready to accept whatever it was if it convinced me that it was real & the truth. As I started to read the Gospel of John I had no idea that my life was about to change forever and that I would soon have a peace that is impossible to explain to anyone who has never experienced that peace for themselves. Yes, I was desperate to know Jesus as my Savior. I thought I would never know, for sure, that I had found Him or that I had enough faith in Him, or that I had really believed in Him. I was confused about what it all meant, and just wasn't sure about any of it being real. But, the moment I began to read John 1:1 for some reason I was seeing the words of the bible in a different way. I remembered reading the Book of John in Sunday School as a kid where our teacher told us to memorize the first chapter, but it really meant nothing to me back then. But, that night, as I sat at my kitchen table reading that big family bible, the words came to life and something was telling me that I was reading the truth about Jesus. I realized that the missing link I referred earlier was the Holy Spirit showing me the truth that I so desperately needed. The Holy Spirit opened my blind spiritual eyes so that I could see & understand spiritual truth. That night I found the evidence, the the proof, that completely convinced me that the bible is the Truth, that God is real, and that Jesus does really forgive anyone who earnestly comes to Him for forgiveness. God Himself showed me that He is real. God saw that I was seeking Him in the way described in the following scripture. Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (KJV) The Holy Spirit used the following scriptures and several other scriptures to convince me that Jesus is who He said He is, and that He was waiting for me to come to Him. John 5:39-40, Jesus said to the Pharisees “Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.(KJV) John 6:37,”All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”(KJV) John 6:44, “ No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”(KJV) John 6:45, “ It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”(KJV) Romans 10:14, “How shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”(KJV) Revelations 3:20, “Behold I stand at t he door and knock, and if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me.”(KJV) That night, as I read the Gospel of John, the Holy Spirit opened my spiritually blind eyes for me and “I got it.” He showed me who Jesus is and what He did for me when He died on the cross to pay for my sins. The Holy Spirit completely convinced me that the Bible is the absolute truth, that God is real, and that Jesus is God who became a man so He could pay the penalty for my sins that I could never pay myself. God showed me how to “believe in Him” as He convinced me that all the things I had heard in church as a kid, and all that I was reading that night were His way of not only saving me from spending eternity in hell, but also is His way to change me now by giving me a new nature. Immediately I forgot about all the things I was doing to get God to save me as my complete trust & confidence literally fell upon Jesus. I wasn't thinking about how much faith I needed to call out to Him. I knew without a doubt that Jesus was waiting for me to come to Him, and I did. The moment the Holy Spirit convinced me & I “got it” was the moment I believed in Jesus. I saw that Romans 10:13 alone was just words without faith, but that together Romans 10:13-14 means that I believe in Jesus before I call on Him. I found myself talking to Jesus as though He was right there in the room with me. I was thanking Him for saving me and asking Him to change me His way, and that He did. That was almost 40 years ago and today I still have that same peace and assurance that He gave me then. I will use another scripture here although at that time I knew nothing about it but it helps to explain what actually happened to me that day: Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” God gave me the right kind of faith to believe just like this verse says, it is a gift of God. The faith God gave me was focused on Jesus’ death on the cross, and also believing that Jesus will do what He said He will do in John 6:37, and that’s “saving faith.” The “wrong kind of faith” was focused on myself, on what “I was doing” to try to get God to save me. I did not find my answer from men. Only when I turned to God through reading His Word and by the convincing power of the Holy Spirit did I find the truth about “believing” in Jesus. IOW the Holy Spirit changed my mind & convinced me; He made it real to me; He removed all doubts from my mind, and He changed me from a doubting unbeliever into a born-again believer who has a total assurance of salvation and a lasting peace. Don
  6. ldonjohn

    Guidance needed

    Wmccarthy, the best way I know to explain eternal security is that when a person is born-again he/she becomes a child of God. A child can turn against his/her parents, a child can decide he/she does not want to be the child of his/her parents, a child can die, etc. but that child can never be un-born, and a child of God cannot be un-born-again. Don
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