Friday, 26 April 2013
From Roman Catholic To Christian :
"I was born into a family that encouraged me to attend and take part in the Roman Catholic religion. I went to a Roman Catholic infant school and then onto a large Roman Catholic secondary school where I was encouraged to follow the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
I remember my parents taking me to Church and almost dragging me kicking and screaming as a child. I hated it, I hated having to kneel, stand and sit religiously as instructed. I remember my parents saying going to the car afterwards, “I feel better after that,” it made them feel good attending Church as though they had achieved something.
The only reason I remember “feeling good” was because it had ended and it was over with for another week.
I took my first holy communion around the age of seven with the rest of my class and grew up then, having a belief in God and thinking that the Roman Catholic faith was all that there was to know about Him. Planted in my mind was the firm belief that I must try and be good and do good things in order to have favour with God, and if I did something wrong then I must go to the priest and tell him.
I stopped going to Church regularly as soon as I was old enough to decide for myself and I lived a self serving life as an adult, with not much concern for others, drinking and sleeping around. I was full of pride but still considered myself a good person, after all, unlike many of my friends I had a belief in God and from time to time would even make the odd appearance at Church.
In March of 2004 I had broken up with my girlfriend and was staying with my family. I was using the computer one night and found myself in a discussion with a Christian online. This person was a Jewish believer in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and was quoting the Bible to me which made no sense to me at all.
I had one question though, viz. "why did Jesus have to die?" It made no sense, I had heard He died for us, for our sins, but why?
The Christian online took me back to the Old Testament and the Passover lamb where the blood of the lamb was placed on the doorposts of God’s people in Egypt and when the LORD came into the land to kill the firstborn of every family He spared His people who had the blood as a covering.
Suddenly, it all made sense, I understood why Jesus had to die, God is holy, He requires a sacrifice for sin and “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin”
I was asked if I wanted to get right with God? and I instantly replied “Of course” and in my mind as I prayed to God asking Him to save me was an attitude of “Whatever it takes God, I’m yours!”.
I had an awareness like never before of God, I was broken and was told to go and get a Bible. I had never read a book before let alone the Bible, however when I started to read it I could not put it down.
I recognised when I read the words of Jesus Christ that they were not the words of a mere man, like those who heard Him speak recognised, saying; “no man ever spoke like this man.”
Something very significant in my life had changed, and it was not myself that had changed it, I had a desire to tell everyone, no matter what they thought of me, I was no longer filled with pride and pleasing self but wanted to please God and see other people come to a knowledge of this truth. My desires were changed, I no longer desired to get drunk and to sleep around.
Like the Bible says “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, old things have passed away; behold all things are become new” 2Corinthians 5:17.
I was having these experiences and then having them confirmed by reading about them in the Word of God.
I learned that I was saved, by faith, not my own goodness or any righteous act like Church attendance because all our good deeds are like filthy rags to God. I am saved simply by faith alone in what Jesus Christ did upon that cross on my behalf. It really is that simple.
I now attend a Christian Church not a Roman Catholic one, to meet with other believers who have been changed or born again by a supernatural God because I want to. I am not trying to earn my forgiveness with God, I already have it and have assurance that I will be with Him forever even though I do not deserve it, it is a free gift, given to those by God, who repent and trust in Jesus Christ alone.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9."
Dale Mcalpine, Christian.