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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.
Kyle Petro

My Journey to Find God

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My name is Kyle. I am a 23 year old former Marine. I have been a "Christian" my whole life, but I feel like I am still learning what that word really means. I was raised in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in Toms River, New Jersey. I never questioned the church or my parents. I just played along, and did what I was told to do. when I turned 17 I starting dating a girl in my high school and started to experience some feelings most teenagers do. I began to resent the church, and my parents. I always felt like I was missing out on a real childhood. I began experimenting with alcohol, pornography, and a sexual relationship with my girlfriend at the time. We never had sex, but we engaged in other sexual activity. We thought we were in love and that made it acceptable. She ended up leaving me for another girl, and was impregnated by him. I was very angry and confused. I thought we agreed on the standard of not having sex before marriage. At age 19 I left home to join the Marine Corps. I served for 4 years, and was back and forth with God. I wanted a relationship with him, but I could not seem to build a relationship of substance that lasted longer than two weeks. After my service I came back home.

 

Within a year my grandma passed away and my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. This is where I am now. this is not much of a testimony, but more a sharing of my ever continuing journey. I am still trying to learn what God wants from me, and how to please Him. I desperately need His presence. I seem to consistently fail and sin; then I spiral downward away from God. Only to rally and "fix myself up" and return to God for a short time. My mom is still alive, but I do not know how much time she has left. I found this forum and I felt God could use it to connect me with other seasoned Christians who maybe have been through trials and have grown from them. Please reply and leave me some thoughts and words of wisdom! Thank you and God bless!

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3 hours ago, Kyle Petro said:

My name is Kyle. I am a 23 year old former Marine. I have been a "Christian" my whole life, but I feel like I am still learning what that word really means. I was raised in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in Toms River, New Jersey. I never questioned the church or my parents. I just played along, and did what I was told to do. when I turned 17 I starting dating a girl in my high school and started to experience some feelings most teenagers do. I began to resent the church, and my parents. I always felt like I was missing out on a real childhood. I began experimenting with alcohol, pornography, and a sexual relationship with my girlfriend at the time. We never had sex, but we engaged in other sexual activity. We thought we were in love and that made it acceptable. She ended up leaving me for another girl, and was impregnated by him. I was very angry and confused. I thought we agreed on the standard of not having sex before marriage. At age 19 I left home to join the Marine Corps. I served for 4 years, and was back and forth with God. I wanted a relationship with him, but I could not seem to build a relationship of substance that lasted longer than two weeks. After my service I came back home.

 

Within a year my grandma passed away and my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. This is where I am now. this is not much of a testimony, but more a sharing of my ever continuing journey. I am still trying to learn what God wants from me, and how to please Him. I desperately need His presence. I seem to consistently fail and sin; then I spiral downward away from God. Only to rally and "fix myself up" and return to God for a short time. My mom is still alive, but I do not know how much time she has left. I found this forum and I felt God could use it to connect me with other seasoned Christians who maybe have been through trials and have grown from them. Please reply and leave me some thoughts and words of wisdom! Thank you and God bless!

Welcome to CF Kyle! And thank you for your service!

 

I often think a method God uses is worldly subtraction. In our poverty our prayers and hope are for everyone of God's children to understand the great sacrificial love of Jesus and the Apostles. And though we share joy with loved ones for only a time while here upon the earth, our ultimate joy is found in God alone. Perhaps all our earthly relationships are preparing us for a relationship with God?

 

I can't say how many times I struggled to hold onto emotional attachments (unhealthy or even healthy) or even prayed to gain the very things that destroys me. Hope you'll join me in thanking God for caring more for us and in His wisdom than we can possibly fathom.

 

I thank Thee, Lord, for mine unanswered prayers,

Unanswered, save Thy quiet, kindly "Nay,"

Yet it seemed hard among my heavy cares That bitter day.

I wanted joy: but Thou didst know for me

That sorrow was the lift I needed most,

And in its mystic depths I learned to see The Holy Ghost.

I wanted health; but Thou didst bid me sound

The secret treasuries of pain,

And in the moans and groans my heart oft found Thy Christ again.

I wanted wealth; 'twas not the better part;

There is a wealth with poverty oft given,

And Thou didst teach me of the gold of heart,

Best gift of Heaven.

I thank Thee, Lord, for these unanswered prayers,

And for Thy word, the quiet, kindly "Nay."

'Twas Thy withholding lightened all my cares

That blessed day.

- Author unknown

 

I hope your fellowship here in CF is fruitful!

 

God bless,

William

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Thank you Kyle for serving our country.

 

 You have a lot going on all at once with you. Sorry to hear about your girlfriend. I have had similar circumstances in that area and it is emotionally difficult to say the least. Not to ignore it but I have found as you move through life with jobs, church, circumstances, etc there will be plenty of more opportunities in that area.

 It also must be difficult with the death grandmother and the health situation with your mother. I pray that you stay strong in the Lord through all this. In life He is the only true source of strength. When we are weak He is strong. 

 

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13 hours ago, Kyle Petro said:

At age 19 I left home to join the Marine Corps. I served for 4 years, and was back and forth with God. I wanted a relationship with him, but I could not seem to build a relationship of substance that lasted longer than two weeks. After my service I came back home.

.

It may be too much of a burden to require very virile young and faithful Gentile Christian teenage couples to avoid pre-marital sex. Of course, the best solution is for them to get legally married with legal papers asap, but it may be lawful and practical for them to not wait and just be spiritually married in front of God who is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent = they can consummate their spiritual marriage but they cannot go and "divorce" or breakup later = if they do breakup after being spiritually married, God will curse/punish them.

 

Cancer treatment is very expensive if without health insurance or government financial assistance. The caregiver of cancer patients can be very stressed out or over-burdened. So, you may need to avoid being bankrupted by the cancer treatment costs for your mother and being over-burdened by patient-care for her.

....... Eg a poster here spent 6 years caring for his dying father and had to leave his job to do that. Was it wise.?

.

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After some years of study and experience, here's my summary of the Bible or Word of God.

0. God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. God has His throne in heaven.(EZE.1, REV.4) Satan and his demons rebelled against God.(ISA.14:12, EZE.28:17, REV.12:4-9)
....... God-in-heaven desired to replace the spiritual rebels with S'piritual humans. Earth is like a test-bed for this purpose.

1. On earth, all humans are born sinful/evil/satanic because of Adam's Original Sin = unclean/dirty/unholy = bound for hell when they die.(ROM.5:12)

2. Because of 1. , no humans on earth can see the true face of God and live or qualify to be in heaven.(EXO.33:20, JOHN.1:18 & 5:37)

3. To save fallen humans, God-in-heaven endeavoured to come down to earth in lesser forms as the invisible Spirit or as the visible human(= Angel of God or Jesus Christ). (JOHN.8:58/EXO.3:14, JOHN.1:1 & 14, 1TIM.3:16, 2COR.3:17, ISA.9:6)
....... As the Spirit in the yet-to-be-revealed Jesus Christ, God-in-heaven gave His Law to Moses and the Jews, in order to curb humans' inborn tendency to commit sins/evil-deeds/satanic-deeds.(DEUT.28)
....... As Jesus Christ, God-in-heaven gave the apostles and Christians the sacrificial Lamb of God on the Cross(JOHN.1:29), in order to save them from hell when they die = the free gift of salvation or the kingdom of heaven through faith in Jesus Christ/God.(JOHN.3:14-18, LEV.17:11, HEB.9:22, MATT.4:17, GAL.2:16)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

A good analogy of our One and Only God is our one and only sun.
... God-the-Father-in-heaven sends His invisible Spirit and His visible Son-Jesus to earth to sustain immortal life = the sun-in-outer-space sends her invisible warmth/heat and her visible light to earth to sustain mortal life.
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.
.
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The Bible or Word of God can be broken down into 2 parts, the Old and New Testaments/Covenants, ie,

(i) if you wanna have a good n long life on earth, you need to keep the Law/Word of God.(DEUT.28, MATT.19:21, ACTS.15:24-29, cf; 1COR.5:1-5 & 11:30, 1JOHN.5:16-19),

(ii) if you wanna go to heaven when you die, you need to be saved from hell by Jesus the Christ/Messiah/Savior.(MATT.5:27-30, ROM.5:12, LEV.17:11, HEB.9:22, JOHN.3:16, 1COR.6:9-11, REV.22:12-15)

Christians should aim to achieve both, ie to gain both blessings from God, eg MATT.19:23. Both blessings require faith in God/Jesus, ie believe that He will bless them accordingly.(HEB.11:1-6) Cf; obey or follow like a robot, like a pack of dogs.
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Bc of our inherited Adam's Original Sin, we have the dual problems of INVOLUNTARY satanic/evil/sinful thoughts, eg immoral lust, hate, anger, greed, selfishness, jealousy, fear/worries, doubts, etc, ...and VOLUNTARY satanic/evil/sinful deeds, eg blasphemy, idolatry, murder, adultery/fornication/rape, stealing, lying/cheating/defrauding, etc.
....... The former resulted in being cursed/sent to hell when we die(GEN.3:14-16) and the latter resulted in being cursed by God with a sad and short life on earth. God's Law solved the latter and God's Son solved the former.
....... Usually, before someone committed murder, he/she had originally harbored hate or greed or lust or jealousy or etc in his/her heart and mind.(source is spiritually from Satan - JOHN.8:44, MATT.16:23 & 23:27, MARK.7:21, 1JOHN.3:8)) IOW, all humans are born satanic/evil/sinful/unclean, from their hearts to their feet.
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At ACTS.15:24-29, God/Jesus requires Gentile Christians to begin their born-again lives of the Spirit by keeping 4 easy or non-burdensome laws of Moses, ie avoid eating blood, strangled animals, foods sacrificed to idols and sexual immorality = minimum legal requirement. They r then given time to learn to gradually keep the other laws of Moses which are not a burden, esp morality laws, eg the Ten Commandments at EXODUS.20, LEVITICUS.10:9, DEUTERONOMY.18:9-14, etc.
....... In comparison, Jewish Christians are required by God/Jesus to continue to keep Moses Law, as many as possible, because it is not a burden to them.
....... Eg, Gentile Christians should still avoid homosexuality and can continue to eat non-kosher foods because the former is not a burden but the latter is a burden(ie it's a burden for them to keep the food laws).

 

Faith in God's Son, Jesus = faith in God's Word/Law/commandments because JOHN.1:1 says the Son is the Word and is also God = justified for salvation by faith in Jesus Christ/God alone, and not by the works of the Law/commandments or not by faith+works.

 

We need to properly differentiate between involuntary satanic/evil/sinful thoughts and voluntary sins/evil deeds, and between involuntary or inborn Gentile and Jewish Christians.

 

Analogy about involuntary evil/satanic thoughts and voluntary evil-deeds/sins - black crows often squawks noisily over our heads but we should not let them settle and build their dirty nests on our heads.

Edited by discipler77

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