One of the reasons that we should all read more of the Bible is that cults across this planet are
tearing lives apart. It is within the pages of the Bible that our pastors don’t tell us to read, that
we find out the difference between real Christian Shepards and wolves in sheep’s clothing.
People in cults need us to study the Bible and pray so that we can lead them
away from the wolves, and into the arms of their loving savior.
Amber Sawyer was just 8 years old when it happened.She was watching cartoons on the living room floor of her Mississippi home when she heard the bang.She went to investigate and found her 21-year-old sister, Donna, dead in her bed. She had shot herself in the heart with their father’s hunting rifle weeks after being excommunicated by their church for getting engaged to a non-Jehovah’s Witness.For Sawyer — who sat on the bedroom floor near her sister’s body for hours that day, waiting for her mother to come home from her door-to-door missionary work — it was the beginning of a long, painful journey that would one day tear her family apart.
Years later, Sawyer got excommunicated, too, after seeking a divorce from an abusive husband. She ended up leaving the husband — and the faith. Her family cut all ties. “Jehovah’s Witness kids grow up knowing that if they ever mess up, their parents will leave them — and that’s scary,” Sawyer, now 38, said in a recent interview from her home in Pascagoula, Miss. “The shunning is supposed to make us miss them so much that we’ll come back. … It didn’t work.”
Conversions from atheism are often gradual and complex, no doubt. For many converts the road is slow and tedious, tiring and trying. But in the end unbelievers who find God can enjoy an inner peace that comes from a clear conscience in knowing they held to truth and followed the arguments faithfully.Of course not all converts from atheism become Christian or even religious. Some converts only reach a deistic belief in God (an areligious position that God is “impersonal”) but the leap is still monumental; and it opens new, unforeseen horizons.The factors that lead to faith are often diverse. It is clear that every former atheist has walked a unique path to God. Cardinal Ratzinger was once asked how many ways there are to God. He replied:“As many ways as there are people. For even within the same faith each man’s way is an entirely personal one.”Of course, the pope-to-be was not endorsing the view that “all religions are equal” but rather that there always seems to be a unique combination of factors—or steps—that move each convert towards belief in God. It also seems that some of these factors are more prominent across the board than others.Here are eight common factors that lead atheists to change their minds about God:
Do you ever feel like a failure for Christ? I know I do, but our timing is not God’s timing. It isn’t always our responsibility to see things through till the end, God will finish, what we could not.
I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
This truth is amazingly clear for a group of missionaries that visited a remote part of the Democratic Republic of Congo eighty-four years after a man thought that he had failed to make an impact for Christ.
In 1912, medical missionary Dr. William Leslie went to live and minister to tribal people in a remote corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After 17 years he returned to the U.S. a discouraged man – believing he failed to make an impact for Christ. He died nine years after his return.But in 2010, a team led by Eric Ramsey with Tom Cox World Ministries made a shocking and sensational discovery.
In recent years a fairly popular criticism of Christians in Western society is that those in traditional churches are playing the part today of the “religious leaders,” also called the Pharisees, who clashed with Jesus in the first century.
I maintain that this position compares avocados and watermelons. The Pharisees were trying to work their way into God’s good graces, even as they rejected Jesus. Christians—if they are actual followers of Christ—have understood that our best efforts fall short of God’s glory and have instead accepted the work of Jesus at the cross.
Does the fact that Christians follow Jesus mean we can then live as we please and do as we wish? Certainly not. The instruction in the New Testament is for Christians, not all people in general, which I think we sometimes lose sight of, at least here in America. Rather than concerning ourselves with all that…
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