So Jennica, if you don't mind my asking, it seems that the JWs fear the Lord's return because they think if they don't follow some JW rules, they will be forced to suffer through the great tribulation?
I don't know much about their beliefs, but it does sound like it was rather controlling and frightening to you. Are your parents and in-laws and family all JWs?
I understand how you say you miss the sense of community and a bit about how difficult it is to not be accepted by the people who were once your friends.
As a Jew, I believed that Christians were wrong because I thought they worshipped 3 gods. I also thought they were wrong because they had this whole reward and punishment system thing of be good and you get to go to "heaven" with golden streets and angels and harps and get and do whatever you want, but if you are bad you go to hell and "burn" with a red guy with horns.
To me, it sounded even more unbelievable than Santa Claus.
When a friend of mine shared the gospel with me, she told me that Jesus is God and that He wants to live within us if we only will ask Him to. She asked me to pray this prayer:
|Lord Jesus, I am a sinner.
I need You.
Thank You for dying for me.
Lord Jesus forgive me.
Cleanse me from all my sins.
I believe You rose from the dead.
I receive You right now as my Savior and life.
Come into me! Fill me with Your life!
Lord Jesus, I give myself to You for Your purpose.
So, I thought about it and decided that it seemed to me that either Jesus was God or He was not (and I really was more on the not side), and that if I prayed that prayer and He was not God that I was just wasting my breath for a minute or two and it would not make any difference.
So I prayed it.
I really had no idea that it would make any difference at all.
Then she asked me if I would be baptised and for some reason, I said ok, and I was baptised right then in her bathtub with her and her husband praying.
I went home that night thinking that was a strange thing I had just done, but did not think much of it.
But, after that the Lord did indeed live within me.
I had never heard of the sinners prayer.
No one had told me that I might feel different or anything.
I had never heard of "being saved" or "born again".
But, after that, I began to be very happy for no reason at all and contrary to the circumstances I was in and I felt so different that I went out and took a hpt because I knew something was different within me and I thought I might be pregnant. I was not pregnant, but there was a new life within me.
That life is the life of the Lord Himself.
My friend later took me to her church with her and I have since read the Bible and learned a lot about the Lord.
But, what really convinced me was the Lord Himself.
He is real and He lives in me and in all of His regenerated believers.
I have seen other people have the same experience.
It is not something that is taught. It is a real and genuine experience of Christ living within us.
I enjoy Him with the other Christians who I meet with.
I can also enjoy Him with other Christians from other churches or denominations.
Anyway, I think I got sidetracked again.
I just felt to share my experience.
I think it is sad that to many people God is confined within a religion or set of rules and that they see Him as fearful.
I just know He is real and wonderful because I know and experience Him as such.
I don't believe on going solely on emotion.
I believe we need the word (Bible), the Spirit (the Holy Spirit within our human spirit) and the Body (the other believers) to help us to be balanced and make sure that we are really following the Lord and not merely our emotions.