True Faith

Hello, I have really been struggling over the past 4-6 weeks. I came to the realization that I needed to repent. I was living a sinful life and didn’t care what I did. I grew up in the church and thought I was saved at a very young age but I didn’t ever form a relationship with Christ. I was in my car and My thoughts went to “if the lord returned right now I wouldn’t be saved”. I have changed and started reading the word daily and searching for a relationship with Christ. I want a relationship with him but I’m feeling guilty because I came to my repentance out of fear of going to hell and not from how my sin was distancing me from Christ, so it seems I came to repentance for selfish reasons. I don’t know what to do really, I pray and read daily but can’t get over this thought of do I really love Christ or am I just scared of hell? I really want to have a relationship with him. I know I have felt love for him at times but other times I don’t feel anything. Can anyone give some advice on my situation?

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Hi Ashby, first of all welcome to Connect and thank you for sharing your heart with us here. As I read your post, it was like I was reading about myself! I have been in exactly the same place as you!

That sounds like repentance! Repentance literally means ‘to turn around’. It’s not all based on a simple feeling of being sorry, but it’s a choice to switch one mindset or habit for another.

I think it’s great that you’re praying and reading your Bible daily - you’re doing exactly the right thing! Remember that reforming your relationship with God isn’t going to be an overnight thing. Like any relationship, it takes time as you get to know Him better. As you do so, your feelings of intimacy and love for Him will grow. Don’t be discouraged about your feelings at this present time. Feelings come and go, but the Bible promises us that God is faithful, that he will never leave nor forsake us, and that he loves us.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

You know the story about the robber on the cross next to Jesus (Luke 23)? I’m sure he was afraid of what was next and he repented - and Jesus welcomed him readily! He had no chance to live a better life or sort out his motives and make amends. His repentance on the cross was enough for Jesus.

I hope you can feel encouraged that you’re on the right track, and try not to judge how you’re doing but just focus on Jesus each day. Ask for the Holy spirit to strengthen you and bring fresh revelation of God as you study the word.

It would be great to hear how things go for you in the next few weeks.

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Thank you so much for replying. It is so nice to speak with someone who’s experienced the same thing. I will continue the what I’m doing and keep you posted. Our churches are starting to open up here so really looking forward to getting involved there as well!

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Welcome Ash1993
Proverbs 1:7 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Hebrews 10:26-31
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth no sacrifice for sin is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy in the testimony of 2or 3 witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the son of God under foot, who has insulted the spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “it is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Ephesians 4:2-10
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you fallowed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us up with him in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works. So that no one can boast. For we are Gods workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do!
Right now there is a great heavenly host celebrating over your repentance!! May you see God continue to be faithful as you learn and obediently put him first, may you see true fruit produced so you are able to further see the graces Christ has lavished upon you. So glad your here!! Take it day by day. Making the choice continually to put the things of the Lord first!!!

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Hey Ashby @Ash1993. Welcome to Connect. What a genuine heart, opening up to God. What more does a father expect from his child. He already knew all of it before you even told him, but you came anyways and said “Father, I have sinned.”

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

We are fallen, we are selfish, we are everything that is evil, but only He could change our hearts. We cant do it all by ourselves. We are not to come to him clean and righteous. That is impossible. Only God is good, no one can enter heaven by their own works. We are to go to him so he can heal us and help us walk his ways.

Matthew 19: 16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17 So He said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.

Matthew 19: 25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

So as you did, the first step is to repent, then it is to realize how loving our God is. That, even knowing you, 2000 years ago, he died for you and I. Knowing that, it will change your thinking to love him for who he is and not because of hell. It will take time as Alison said @artownsend.

God Bless You. He is with you, at this exact moment holding you. Just let go of your own thoughts and say “thank you Father.”

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Ashby, welcome to the world of sinners saved by grace! :clap: You are in great company here. I spent many years in exactly the same spiritual doldrums as you, but you know what? So did the Apostle Paul! He constantly struggled against the flesh:

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. (Romans 7:15, ESV)

This great apostle spent his whole life at war against the flesh. Be encouraged. The fact that you are honest about your battle shows that you are fighting it, just like Paul. You ain’t alive if you ain’t fighting!

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Hello brother, I have also been in your situation. I fell so hard and like @artownsend Alison said, repentance is turning towards Him. I also love the scripture in
2 Tim 2:13
if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

He will never ever leave those searching for Him no matter the reason. Don’t be too hard upon yourself, but pray for relief. The door is open and you have walked through it… throw your burdens upon Him, He loves us all and no longer sees our sins when we have turned to Him.
It’s still hard for me at times, but I’ve come to realise, through reading my bible, that I have been washed clean of my sin and when I feel like this I pray for more faith.
God bless you, take courage you’re not alone in your struggles with the flesh- keep going.

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I think maybe I need to reword my post. I’ve been struggling for the past month to figure out my repentance. I lived in sin for years. I’m just now starting to struggle. I just want my repentance to be genuine.

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Hello, I thought I’d give an update if you were still interested. I feel as if I’m growing in Christ now. It’s definitely slow and I have daily struggles but I’m staying diligent with Christ’s help. My hunger for the word has grown immensely, whether it’s reading or listening to sermons, I just love to listen to or read the word. I feel closer to Him and I look to His promises when I start to question my salvation. The struggle I’m having now is sharing my faith. I’m trying to work through how I go about doing that in my life and workplace and whether I need to grow more before I take that on. I know he’ll show the way through prayer though. So yeah anyway thank you for your response to the original post! I’m in a better place now and pray for more growth to come. I feel my love for Christ starting to bud!

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I struggle with that idea too. But it comes down to the fact that I’m always imperfect and it’s the spirit that draws other people- not me. Someone said to me recently, ‘don’t be too hard towards yourself, it’s enough that you’re there’, I’d add, and reflecting the love that you have been given. Keep pressing forward, we’re all doing the same, trying to perfect our faith. But it’s Christ who comes to us and makes us complete. Lots of warm Christian love.

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